Prevent radiator valves sticking

Hey all,

As you know many people end up calling an engineer after prolonged period of little to no central heating useage.

Why, well often it's because the radiator valve pin has become stuck and won't open. We know that the tado TRVs when not in use sit in the closed position so if the valve is stuck it will likely be in the closed position after a period of non use and a build up of scale or sludge around the valve inside.

My proposal would be a check box option in the settings of the tado app for a "trv refresh" option. This would periodically fully open and close the Tado TRVs (maybe when there has been X number of hours of no central heating activity) which then cycles all TRVs full open and then full closed ensuring the valves remain free moving over summer months and into winter.

I think it would be a good maintenance free way to prevent valves becoming stuck which cost people a call out charge to have an engineer come out in winter when a radiator isn't heating up (you can of course free of the valve by removing the trv and pushing the pin etc but not everyone is confident in doing maintenance jobs even if it's pretty straight forward)

For reference, I work for a central heating repair company and see this repair needed regularly, every winter.
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  • RoomForHire
    edited May 27
    Would it be possible to create a setting/timer that exercises the valves during summer, this should fully open then fully close the valve without starting the boiler. This would assist in stopping the TRV body on the radiator seizing whilst not operating for long periods
  • There is a similar ask at Honestly I don't see it happening (zero feedback from Tado admins), but makes sense to upvote that instead?

  • The Calcification Protection feature was on the development roadmap in 2017, but was never released.

  • I live in a very old 5 floor building with old pipes and a lot chalk in the water. The chalk means the my regulators will get stock in the summer period because we basically turn all heat of!

    A great feature of TADO could be if it massaged all regulators once every day no matter if it was on or off. Just all the way in and out every day would safe me for the trouble of un-mounting all my TADO regulators each fall.

    This should be an option so you can elect this

  • Hope anyone at tado actually takes this one as priority, we're talking about basic maintenance. Taking all controllers to do this and plug them back is something to avoid.
  • Jurian
    Jurian | Admin
    edited June 21

    Hi all, thanks for bringing this up.

    We have looked into bringing this feature to our customers, however during the initial concept phase we ran into some use-cases that would create confusion among users. Every point below could be fixed, however it would increase the complexity of what should be a simple feature enormously.

    • It seems that the calcification problem is more theoretical than a real problem. We have many devices in the field and after each summer, the amount of people contacting us with potential valves that are stuck in the closed position is very low.
    • Our Smart Radiator Thermostats are not fully silent, this means that if we move the motor, people will notice and would start wondering why the motor moved in the middle of summer. This means you would have to exclude this from being done in the middle of the night. But even during the day this could disturb people who are on shifts.
    • Some heating systems provide hot water all year round, and the only thing stopping a radiator from heating up is that the radiator valve is closed (district heating, or multi-family homes that are common in Germany). By opening the valve and closing it again shortly after, the radiator would heat up. Not ideal when outside temperatures are above 20 degrees.
    • What to do in a low battery situation? (Can't risk the valve remaining open because the battery ran low)

    These points (and some others) have lead us to focus on other improvements instead.

    If you are worried about calcification, you could manually take off the tado Smart Radiator Thermostat and then manually move the pin a few times. However, in our experience this should not even be needed and your valve will most likely work fine at the start of winter. And if it is stuck then, you can in most cases easily fix it by doing the above mentioned manual procedure.

  • Is it possible to add as an opt-in feature?
    Especially to not disturb the average user as you explained.

    Can it be combined with an "open all" for servicing/bleeding?
  • pfmc
    This is not actually theoretical, instead it depends on valves, water hardness and other factors, bottom line a valve can get stuck or create bedding inside if it remains in same position for a couple of months.

    This is not only about calcification! Please Tado team, consider all options here!

    Opened several valves, to find evidences of that, rubbers that had to be replaced, calcification also.

    Providing a summer mode where you tell the users what it's would clarify about sudden movements and then avoiding questions about it.

    low battery? easy, low battery comes first, you don't enable the valve while in low battery.
  • gary333
    gary333 ✭✭

    Surely the valve should be left fully open when the heating is turned off using the manual override function? Many boilers (including two of mine) both cycle the pump every 24 hours. It makes sense for the boiler to be cycling the water within the system to prevent it just sitting there.