Need advice, help on door sensor solution

I really need a solid solution to the following problem:

I serve on the board of a 100 unit seniors apartment. It has sliding patio doors onto the balconies. The building also has a boiler with hydronic heat (hot water). There is a radiator directly below the patio doors. If a tenant lowers their thermostat because they feel it is too hot in their suite, a valve shuts off the hot water flow through the radiator, if the tenant then opens the patio door in extremely cold weather (this is in Winnipeg, we get -40), the pipes inside the radiator freeze and the repair job and the water damage is extensive and expensive. This has been happening a few times per year. The tenants have been informed many times not to do this, but some forget.

We would prefer not to lock all the balcony doors in winter, with fire code I am not sure we would even be allowed to. This leads me to door sensors on each patio door. The building is concrete block construction with precast concrete hollowcore floors. The building was built in 1980 so their is no data cabling to each suite.

An upcoming project, (that could start immediately) is to run whole building wifi by installing 8 or so access points down the hallways on each floor. Testing has shown the wifi signal does push through from the hallways into the suites, not as good as I would like in my own home, but it still works.

Anybody know of any good wifi door sensors that work well with Hubitat? Any other solutions people can think of?

Thanks, (P.S. Merry Christmas)

Hello Stephen:
Although I live in Toronto, I can sympathize with low temperatures!
(They don't call your place "Winterpeg" for nothing!)

How about another alternative:
(I'm not sure this is feasible, but ...)
what about a Zigbee door contact in each suite with a repeater (my favourite is that new Sonoff USB Dongle)?
in the ceiling, for every 2-3 suites, you would have a Hubitat; Many Hubitats meshed together into one "control" Hubitat.
Q: would a Zigbee sensor (with repeater) get the signal to the hallway?

Thanks for the reply, after some more contemplation. I think a Sinope Zigbee Thermostat with Zigbee door sensors, would allow for the desired control. With a Hubitat, I could make the thermostat stay in heating mode when the door sensor is open and the temperature outside is cold. This would prevent the pipes freezing and be a good solution. The Sinope T-Stat is a zigbee repeater, I could also install as many of these as I need: (https://www.sinopetech.com/us/product/smart-in-wall-outlet-zigbee/

I also like the repeaters you linked to, any idea how to power them up in the Hallway of an apartment complex. With enough zigbee repeaters do you think I could do one hubitat per floor, there are 2 hallways in opposite directions about 100 feet long each.

  1. Although the Sonoff USB Dongle is by far the better repeater, your idea of using an existing wall outlet in the corridor is MUCH better. I have used that particular sinope outlet and have found that it is a competent, capable repeater (make sure that the Hubitat always puts in "ON", so that the residents aren't confused).
  2. I'm not sure if one Hubitat per floor is enough, or perhaps you may need 2 per floor. It depends on the configuration of the floor. In the past I have found concrete walls with rebar are my "mortal enemy".
  3. Another issue is are the Hubitats going to mesh with each other? If so, then you have to worry about inter-floor communication. Again, concrete with rebar is a sure killer for Zigbee signals.
  4. Another point to worry about is all those routers that are on a typical floor (that you have no control over). If they are on the same channel as the Hub, that could present a lot of difficulty getting the signal through to the corridor.
    Not insurmountable, but work nevertheless.

I would go with Zigbee and use plug sockets throughout as repeaters. Another option is to make some of the light switches Zigbee for repeater purposes. I would also install Zigbee thermostats in each room as a backup.

Wellll, it's not Wi-Fi and no experience with how well it works with Hubitat, but they do claim they work in condos.
Saw this earlier on an add for Yolink products.

can do condos!

And they do offer a door sensor.

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