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Old 12-17-2019, 11:48 AM   #1
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Home Monitor

Does anyone have recommendations for a home temperature and water alarm for use when traveling? My old system was hooked up to the land line which I don't have any more so I'm figuring WiFi. No need for any home security functionality.
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Old 12-17-2019, 01:38 PM   #2
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I'm almost ready to pull the trigger on a Samsung Smart Things hub, ecobee Tstat and a couple of compatible water detectors.

https://www.smartthings.com/
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Old 12-17-2019, 03:11 PM   #3
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We us a honeywell thermostat that is Wifi and can be controlled remotely.
https://www.amazon.com/Honeywell-RTH...6Y9EEQB&sr=8-6
I don't know if they are still available, because i saw them on sale everywhere, is a d-link water sensor that is Wifi as well and monitored remotely.
try an amazon search;
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=wifi+wate...f=nb_sb_noss_1
There are a few things you can do if you have the internet and wifi when you are away.
There are remote wifi water shut offs.
https://www.amazon.com/Jinvoo-Wirele...6616619&sr=8-4


The bonus part of the thermostat for us was that it could be set way lower than the mechanical. we save hundreds of dollars each year because of that.
We also use d-link cameras that pan and tilt and are remotely accessable.
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Old 12-17-2019, 04:00 PM   #4
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Sensors

We installed an ADT alarm system some years ago which had, we thought, a good collection of sensors, motion, doors and windows, perimeter, temp sensor in boiler room, smokies, & CO. We have it covered, we thought? Well, we forgot something...a temp sensor in the refrigerator. Duhh. We got home last week from a 5 week trip only to find a fridge full of rotten meat, fish and other contents. Sometime while away the inveter control board in the fridge quit working (power surger?) and the unit shut down. Don't forget the fridge sensor!
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:19 PM   #5
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What's the reasoning for a remote thermostat?
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Old 12-17-2019, 06:02 PM   #6
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Speaking of home automation. Installed this yesterday cause I always forget if I left the garage door open. Works good and only $30 @ Lowes.
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Old 12-17-2019, 07:17 PM   #7
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What's the reasoning for a remote thermostat?
We have radiant heating lines in the floors of our house and if the boiler went out for any length of time and the house got really cold, we could freeze the water in those heating lines. The purpose of the temp sensor in the boiler room is to give us early warning that there is a problem so we can get a repair guy in to work on the unit before the house gets too cold.
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Old 12-17-2019, 07:55 PM   #8
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We have radiant heating lines in the floors of our house and if the boiler went out for any length of time and the house got really cold, we could freeze the water in those heating lines. The purpose of the temp sensor in the boiler room is to give us early warning that there is a problem so we can get a repair guy in to work on the unit before the house gets too cold.
I too have in floor radiant heat, however mine is one continuous loop, cast iron pipes, and is 75 years old. I worry about leaks while gone and water running from a leak would ruin my floors and plaster walls. I found a system that monitors water use for leak detection. I can wash one car or take a 10 minute shower. I can not water my lawn or fill a pool, it shuts the water off. There is a bypass if need be. I feel better now. I love the heat, the pipes are encased with gravel which transfers the heat. Takes about 6 hours of operation but once it gets warm, it stays warm until the next 6 hour "on" cycle 4 am to 10 am. Oh, the dogs and cats lay around on the floor for warmth.
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Old 12-17-2019, 08:07 PM   #9
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I'm surprised radiant floor heat works like this. I assumed there were two circuits, one for the boiler and one for the floor, connected with a heat exchanger, and that the floor circuit would contain antifreeze. I guess not.
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Old 12-17-2019, 08:19 PM   #10
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Speaking of home automation. Installed this yesterday cause I always forget if I left the garage door open. Works good and only $30 @ Lowes.
Try to secure that thing as well as you can-- you don't want Russian hackers playing with your garage door.

I'd really like to see home automation stuff that didn't need an internet connection. I keep my cellphone with me all the time. If it were possible for my house to detect the presence of a cellphone, it could perform certain functions when the phone is absent: such as shut the garage door, turn off the stove after ten minutes, etc. But I'm unaware of anyone working on stuff like this.
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Old 12-17-2019, 08:49 PM   #11
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Because my hardwood floors float due to the heat underneath, there are no nails, just tongue/groove connection. I set my water temp to 150 degree on my boiler, I initially had it too high and the floors had bumps. I turned the temp back to where the floors just float a tiny, I could turn it down lower but it would then run too long and would not reach the set point. Silent heat, no dry nose or throat and I set the thermostat to 65 because I do not need to heat the air in the room higher than the thermostat. But once it turns off it continues to rise to around 68 where it stays.
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Old 12-17-2019, 09:17 PM   #12
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I have the Ecobee Smart thermostat, one of the features is to allow you to monitor temperature of the house remotely, you can set the temperature threshold high and low, i.e if you set the low temp threshold to say 40'F when it reaches this temp it will will send you an alert to your phone warning you low temperature in the house which could mean your furnace is not working you need to get someone to check before the temp goes lower and water pipes start to freeze

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Old 12-18-2019, 12:39 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
What's the reasoning for a remote thermostat?
We were in Pensacola, FL when the first freeze came through our town. Luckily I called our neighbor who agreed to go change both thermostats to heat, when we left on our trip the end of September it was in the 90's. One of the first things on my to do list was to swap the thermostats out for the Honeywell WiFi versions. Just beware you must have a "C" thermostat wire, it provides the 24 volts to operate the thermostat.
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Old 12-18-2019, 06:19 AM   #14
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Thanks all, ordered a La Cross WiFi weather station.
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Old 12-18-2019, 07:09 AM   #15
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Which one Bob, I have a Bushnell...one in Escape, one at home
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Old 12-18-2019, 07:42 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
Try to secure that thing as well as you can-- you don't want Russian hackers playing with your garage door.

I'd really like to see home automation stuff that didn't need an internet connection. I keep my cellphone with me all the time. If it were possible for my house to detect the presence of a cellphone, it could perform certain functions when the phone is absent: such as shut the garage door, turn off the stove after ten minutes, etc. But I'm unaware of anyone working on stuff like this.
Mike
Just last week This Old House (TOH) did a piece on a product that did just that. When your cell phone was not detected it would take all your automated devices to a preset gone from home mode setting. I get Free TV TOH 24 hours a day so no telling how old the show was and when it was aired.
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Old 12-18-2019, 09:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chama View Post
We have radiant heating lines in the floors of our house and if the boiler went out for any length of time and the house got really cold, we could freeze the water in those heating lines. The purpose of the temp sensor in the boiler room is to give us early warning that there is a problem so we can get a repair guy in to work on the unit before the house gets too cold.
Same issue for us, if the propane runs out we don't want the cabin/pipes to freeze.
We know that the cabin drops about 1 degree per hour so with a thermostat setting of 4.5degrees C, we have about 4 hours to get there and fix whatever.
I have tried putting a camera on the propane tank gauge but the propane filler people have broken 2 of them so far.
And of course we can put the heat up on our drive to the cabin so that it is nice when we get there.

As for a warning system;
You can buy a cheap temperature switch thing on amazon that at a certain temperature setting will turn on a light, a camera pointed at the light will sense the light on as movement, you set the camera to send you an email upon detecting movement. Bingo, remote monitoring.
The issue with the one I bought is that it only resolves to 5degree C increments.
But there are others..
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Old 12-18-2019, 09:32 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
Try to secure that thing as well as you can-- you don't want Russian hackers playing with your garage door.

I'd really like to see home automation stuff that didn't need an internet connection. I keep my cellphone with me all the time. If it were possible for my house to detect the presence of a cellphone, it could perform certain functions when the phone is absent: such as shut the garage door, turn off the stove after ten minutes, etc. But I'm unaware of anyone working on stuff like this.
One of the honeywell thermostats has geofencing that senses when you leave and then it turns down the heat. I think it also has IFTT programming available.
" If This Than do That "
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Old 12-18-2019, 09:37 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by phsw98 View Post
I have the Ecobee Smart thermostat, one of the features is to allow you to monitor temperature of the house remotely, you can set the temperature threshold high and low, i.e if you set the low temp threshold to say 40'F when it reaches this temp it will will send you an alert to your phone warning you low temperature in the house which could mean your furnace is not working you need to get someone to check before the temp goes lower and water pipes start to freeze

Sounds like I need to replace my Honeywell thermostat.
Maybe I will ask Santa for one.
Really the Honeywell has served for many years, before there was any fancy stuff. But I do like to play with that stuff.
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Old 12-18-2019, 10:24 AM   #20
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We’ve used the Honeywell WiFi thermostats at both our home and cabin for about 5 years now. Works perfectly and have had no issues. Nice to be able to check on each property for heat/cool and if you leave on a trip and forgot to set, login and good to go from the phone.
We get emails if they go offline or reach certain warning temps, which is a nice feature. As John said above, it is real nice to turn the cabin heat on before we head up, and arrive to a warm home.
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