Best way to use geofencing with stored hot water

I've recently installed Tado on a central heating system with stored hot water whereas I've previously used it central heating with on-demand hot water. I'm struggling to work out how best to manage the hot water control as rather than the two conceptual home and away states that make sense for the heating side, I've realised that for me, there are effectively the states of "home", "away from home but nearby and returning today" and "holiday". I don't want the hot water to not be heated up because I'm out at work as when I get home, I'll be having a cold shower but conversely, I don't want to be heating the hot water daily when I'm away from home for a few days. I can't see an obvious automatic solution to this "dilemma" and wondered how other people set up their Tado for this?

Thanks in anticipation...


  • Rob2
    Rob2 ✭✭✭

    There is no automatic solution because Tado cannot know if you will return shortly or will be away for several days.

    So you will have to switch off the system manually. And unlike long-existing solutions from other manufacturers, there is no "holiday" mode in Tado (where you tell the system that you will be away until date/time). So when you return, you will have to switch it on manually again.

  • OK, so you've understood my issue and have you described the workaround I planned recently when going away for a few days. Needless to say, I forgot to switch on the water on the way home and when we arrived home in need of showers, we had to wait for some water to heat up!

    This feels like an obvious feature omission, my old non-smart heating controller had a holiday mode where you set a return date.

  • I've just realised something else, I naively thought that switching the "away" behaviour for hot water to "on" would mean that it would follow the "home" schedule when I'm away but I've just tried it and it seems to simply turn the hot water on permanently when in the "away" mode. This seems crazy!

    Does this mean that I can either only choose between have my stored hot water not heating when I'm away from the house for a few hours including the heating period or I have it permanently heating when I'm away from the house? Neither of these options seem sensible for a household where people go out to work and possibly stay out for the evening but want a store of hot water to be maintained. Am I missing something or is it really this bad?

  • cbd20
    cbd20 ✭✭✭
    @geojay you can choose whether Away mode sets the hot water to permanently on or off.

    The geofencing setting on each individual time block determines if it should go to away mode or not for an individual time period.

    Then on the Away tab, you can choose what it does when it goes to Away mode.

    Of course this doesn't solve your initial problem, but rather responds to your last observation.

    As you've recently had your stored hot water installed it should be very well insulated and efficient at keeping temperatures up for long periods of time.

    For example, I have a megaflo cylinder. I run mine on a schedule, so it only heats morning and evening - i.e when I'm most likely to need it. I use geofencing, so if we're out during one of those heating periods then the water isn't heated. However, I've noticed it remains hot enough if it misses one of those heating periods to still be usable on our return.

    If necessary I can boost it for an hour. I also know that it's capable of heating up very rapidly should I need to "top it up" - typically less than 20-30 minutes, so for me that's no big deal.

    As an alternative you could set one short time block each day in the early evening that doesn't use geofencing? That way if you're out it will still heat for that period only. As it's only one time block then when you go away on holiday, if desired, you can toggle that timeblock to use geofencing, so it then doesn't heat up unnecessarily. Not the neatest of solutions I know, but perhaps gets you some of the way there?
  • cbd20
    cbd20 ✭✭✭

    @geojay so I wrote a really long comment that appears to have hear it is again slightly shorter.

    Essentially in answer to your last observation, you can set whether geofencing is used on each individual time block. Then on the Away tab you can set what it should do when you're away, which can be set the hot water to on or off.

    As you've recently had your hot water storage installed it should be very well insulated and efficient at keeping temperature for a long period of time.

    In my case, I have a megaflo cylinder. I heat it twice a day on a schedule, morning and evening, when I'm most likely to need it. I use geofencing, so if I'm out over one of those heating periods it doesn't heat up. However, if it only misses one of them, the water in the cylinder is still plenty hot enough.

    If I do need to boost it, I've found it takes less than half an hour to heat up, which to me is no big deal.

    Not a complete solution, but you could set a short time block early evening that doesn't use geofencing, so it always heats at this time regardless. That way if you're out and come back it'll still be hot. Then if you go on holiday you can switch that one time block to use geofencing, so it does turn off. Obviously this will still need you to remember to switch that time block back, to cover the case when you have the odd day out.

  • The unvented systems are designed to be on all the time, they top themselves up with heat if they need it, which due to their high level of insulation is basically after you've used the hot water.

    Some people run it for an hour in the morning and an hour at night and likely it makes no difference as if you're not using much or any hot water between, the boiler wasn't going to come on anyway. But if you run it all the time during the day as intended then that one time that you have 5 visitors call round on your day off and they all need a shower for reasons, you still have hot water to wash the dishes after they've gone.

    Mine is only off over night as the boiler would wake me up if it fired, but in reality, it isn't losing enough heat over night to come on unless someone had a shower.

    Anyway, with Tado I have it set to Geofence, if I'm coming back in 10 minutes I have hot water because the tank recharged while I was still in the house, if I go away on holiday it doesn't heat as it cools. I tend not to need a shower within half an hour of getting back from a trip long enough to have caused the tank to cool down as there's stuff to unpack etc, so this works fine.

    I use If This Then That to put a button on my mobile phone that boosts the hot water for an hour, so I can press that if necessary and I think I could set that up using my calendar to identify the last day of an Event categorised as Holiday and heat the tank that morning so there's hot water that way.

    You're right it's not as easy as it could be, but IFTTT can get you pretty close. It does have the advantage of only needing to set your Calendar once, rather than having to go into Tado too though.

  • The benefits of water storage.
    Frankly one of the many reasons I moved away from this old fashioned concept, many combi boilers heat up rapidly and can even pre heat and frankly won't ever spend money hearing up a tank of water insulated or not.
    10 seconds an my shower is hot.

    Press the button and turn it on on the way home.and atop moaning, this unit solves many issues others don't and with some thought as described above a schedule can be applied and geogence disabled where required.
    Do you want me to pop around and I can turn it on and off for you, lmao.