Need advice on controlling electric heaters

LightwaveRF Community: Welcome Forums General LightwaveRF Discussion Need advice on controlling electric heaters

This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  VFRHawk 7 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #23284
     VFRHawk says:

    VFRHawk
    Participant

    Hi,

    I’m new to the smart home area, though not to technology, and was hoping that someone could give me some advice please.

    I rent a flat with standalone electric heaters – no central controls at all. One is a storage heater, the others just plain electric heaters. Only one has a timer control, and that’s the one I use the least. What I’m looking to achieve is a central point where I can control all the heaters (there are 4 I’m interested in) by turning the plugs off and on remotely. Even better if I can do it from a smartphone app, when I’m not there, set up different schemes (I work shifts, so I want the heating on and off at different times on different weeks) etc.

    Now, I’ve seen on MegaManUK that LightwaveRF make the Lightwave Link and the electric switch, so I’m assuming what I would need to do is buy a single link and 4 switches, then pair them together? If that’s right, do the lighwave switches replace the current isolators on the heaters, and if so, are they a standard size so I can take the current plain mains switches out and fit the new smart switches in the same wall boxes? If not, is there another way of achieving that? As I’m renting, I need to be able to do this with a minimum of disruption to the existing setup, and I need to be able to put it back to the way it is now if I move out.

    Hope that makes sense!

    Graham

    #23290
     Grunthos says:

    Grunthos
    Participant

    Not quite sure what you are replacing.

    How are the heaters connected to the mains, are they plugged in to standard 13amp 3-pin sockets or wired in to outlet point.

    If it’s a 3-pin socket you can either replace the socket with a LW260 socket or a LW321 plugin unit .

    If it’s wired directly into the wall with an isolation switch elsewhere, it starts to get complicated.

    You can’t replace the isolation switch with a lightwaver lightswitch, it’ll blow up.

    You could conceivably install an in-line relay (LW830) and a wireless switch but we’re talking about some recabling here which you probably don’t want to do in rented accomodation.

    If you stick some photos up of what you’re replacing it might help.

    #23292
     Node Zero says:

    Node Zero
    Participant

    I get the impression that you currently have switched fused spur units, if so the electric switch would fit to the same back box fine. If you are not concerned with having temperature control then I would swap out the fused spurs for 1g sockets and use LWRF plugins- that way you don’t have to get involved with the somewhat disfunctional heating gear schedules and you could set up an event for each of your shift patterns and pause and activate them accordingly.

    #23304
     VFRHawk says:

    VFRHawk
    Participant

    Sorry for the delay in replying – night shifts!

    I took another look at the 4 radiators and 3 of them are actually plugged into standard 13 amp mains points, so I’ll take a look at these LW260 and LW321 units – thanks. I presume I’d still need the Link to give a central point to control those?

    As for the other radiator, that’s on what I think is called a fused spur – there’s a picture of it attached, the spur is just to the left of it if that helps. It’s just an off/on switch with what looks like a fuse embedded in it. That’s the unit I particularly want to control, unfortunately..

    I have no idea what a 1g socket is unfortunately. I’m not too bothered by temp control, the heaters are set quite low so just running them for a few hours at a time works fine.

    Graham

    #23305
     Node Zero says:

    Node Zero
    Participant

    A 1g socket
    http://www.screwfix.com/p/lap-13a-1-gang-sp-switched-plug-socket-white/32767

    I would say swapping out the spur for one of these and using plugins would be your best option. Not as neat a finish as a Lightwave retro fit socket but I believe the plugins are more robust when switching heavier loads. It would also work out at about half the cost.

    #23307
     Grunthos says:

    Grunthos
    Participant

    I agree with Node Zero, using lw321 plugin units is by far the easiest and cheapest solution and I have heard the lw260 sockets can be a bit fragile switching large loads (vacuum cleaners, tumble driers…) .
    Yes you will need a link of some sort to do any automation, timers etc.
    If you have a choice, go for the old style wifi link with the lcd panel. It’s cheaper and much easier to work out what’s going on with a display!

    #23310
     VFRHawk says:

    VFRHawk
    Participant

    Ah! so 1g = 1 gang = single gang socket. That’s simple…

    Yes, like the look of that as a solution and much cheaper.

    Thank you all very much for your help.

    Graham

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