Preventing radiator valves from getting stuck

I have replaced my heating control system with Tado smart vales on all radiators.

On my previous system there was a feature that opened and closed all TRVs at a fixed time once a week irrespective of any heating schedule in operation. This operation did not take more than a minute or two. This meant that valves not used often were opened and closed to prevent sticking.

Could this feature be added to each of the smart schedules?

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  • Please make it during the day, so that this does not disturb sleeping people.

  • Yes please add this feature
  • yes ADD this please to avoid blocking during hot season

  • RoomForHire
    edited May 2021
    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 https://community.tado.com/en-gb/discussion/comment/27691. 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.

  • 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.
  • 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 2021

    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?
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • I vote for this feature.
    This was actually one of the main features I wanted when I changed to smart thermostat’s but missed the fact that Tado doesn’t have this.
  • Graxlso
    Graxlso
    edited March 28

    Clearly some people think this already is a feature which it clearly isnt.

    Give us the choice to enable the feature. a quick open close once a month wont bother anyone, that is a silly excuse.

    For the danish market where the water in some areas has a very high chalk content it would be a marketable feature.

  • Please add this as an opt-in feature, thanks!
  • We miss this feature. Please add it ASAP!
  • That would be a nice feature.
  • yes add this please to avoid blocking during hot season
  • Please @Jurian read also the italian section of this community.

    In Italy ALL centralized system for blocks of flats need to set open the valve on summer, for the anti-calcification program that our centralized boiler start on summer!

    It's the most voted feature for italian community https://tado.vanillacommunities.com/it/discussion/749/modalita-estate-per-le-teste-termostatche and please everyone go to vote it.

    @Jurian without this feature ALL the people in italy that live in blocks of flats need to remove your tado system during summer.. it's ridiculous.

    Thanks

  • Hello!

    Dear Tado, why have there been no answers to these summer programs for years? Don’t they feel this is important despite the myriad requests?

    Regards

  • johnnyp78
    johnnyp78 ✭✭✭
    This really doesn’t seem like an overcomplicated thing to implement. It can be done manually by making the trvs independent so they don’t call for heat and then opening them, so I don’t see why it couldn’t be automated.
  • This should be included for sure! Even cheap Computherm system can do this (and they do it). Like turning the pump on for 1 minute each day or week once. Here the valve should be added as well.
  • Hi,

    Every autumn when I turn my radiator thermostats back on after summer, the pin in the radiator valve is stuck (since it hasn't been "exercised" for several months). Searching around the Internet, I know that this is a very common problem among other house owners.

    I know of at least one vendor of smart radiators, Danfoss, who prevents this from happening with a feature called "valve exercise". What their thermostats do is "exercise" the radiator valves once a week, moving the pin back and forth once or twice, to prevent the pin from staying in the same position for months and months and getting stuck.

    You can check out the product page of e.g. Danfoss Eco here, who has valve exercise: https://installer.danfoss.com/products/radiator-thermostats-and-valves/radiator-thermostats/danfoss-eco/

    What I would love to be able to do, as a user of tado smart radiator thermostats, is the following:

    • Select whether or not I want to enable valve exercising (the feature probably needs an in-app explanation for less tech savvy users) for one or several of my thermostats, and
    • If I choose to enable it, also select a schedule (both frequency and at what time, preferrably with a recommendation (e.g. once every week))

    Thank you for an otherwise great product!

  • I completely agree with all of the above, this should be an easy one to fix. I just upvoted this suggestion, after having first submitted a feature request of my own. Surprised this ticket has been open for 2+ years, since competitors (e.g. Danfoss) have already had this feature for far longer than that.

    I propose you start with a simple, minimal implementation of this, one that simply allows users to switch the feature on or off, which you then expand upon and make more granular (with the ability to change frequency, scheduling, etc.).

    Thank you!

  • Noted - thanks! I've now upvoted and added a comment to that ticket. I gotta say I'm genuinely surprised it hasn't already been implemented, given the amount of push for it in the community.

  • rafm5
    rafm5 | Moderator

    My suggestion and a response to the official post from June 2021 is:

    Make this feature optional, so users would have to turn the option on.

    • In this instance no more wondering why the motor moved in the middle of summer.
    • If a time of the day is a problem, make the option customized. Just did a small test how fast (on a similar device) it takes to run a valve test - 10 seconds.
    • What to do in a low battery situation? - add a proper notification system to the app.
  • How to properly implement this in an intuitive way without confusing users isn't a hard nut to crack even for a moderately functioning product team, honestly. They could just put it under "advanced features", turn it off by default, and the problem would be pretty much solved.

    Offering customers the "solution" to demount the entire radiator thermostat and manually exercise the pin is just ridiculous - that's one of the very reasons I bought a smart thermostat in the first place. In retrospect I guess I should have checked the features list prior to purchase the thermostats, but hey - I took for granted this was included.