Zigbee circuit breaker

In the US, as of 2008, I think the NEC requires combination arc/ground fault breakers (CAFCI breakers) for circuits that supply power to all living areas. Obviously, this doesn't apply to much older homes like mine.

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I've had quite extensive talks with Sinopetech and unfortunately that doesn't work for me either:

In total we have 3 underfloor heating rings, but we only have 2 thermostats. One thermostat therefore determines what happens for 2 of those underfloor heating rings.
That thermostat is placed near the entry of our house which leads to a 10m corridor (first heating ring) with floor to ceiling single glazing either side which then ends up in the living room (second heating ring).
We've closed off this hallway from the living room because that hallway basically serves as a giant fridge which sucks the heat out of the rest of the house. Running that hallway underfloor heating just adds to the crazy cost we already incur just running the living room heating ring and there is no point in heating that section of the house. The result of course is that there is never an increase in temp in that section of the house where the thermostat is and the underfloor heating in the living room never shuts down as a result. With underfloor you want to reach a certain temp and then have it cycle on/off to maintain the heat, something I'm having to do manually now by running up and down the hallway every 30 minutes :joy:

Given that the Sinopetech thermostat:

  • needs to be installed in the same spot as the original thermostat (i.e.: in the always cold entry hall)
  • rely exclusively on their internal temp sensor or attached floor temp probe and the SetTemp is evaluated against those readings to determine whether to switch the heating circuit on or off
  • those readings can not be replaced with readings from other zigbee temp sensors

this means that the SinopeTech devices are unfortunately of no use to me :frowning:

ah! so there you go. aust is not ahead, rules are the same.
except, here if you change/update a circuit it must be compliant when you leave it, regardless of age.
so on an old house, it can be left alone and its still compliant until you do work on/change it, and at that point it must be left compliant with all current regs...which means @Silvermane should be swapping out his CB for an RCBO if he has his electrician re-configure that circuit...on top of the fact that an RCBO on an UFH is just a darn good idea. Nothing worse than spilling a beer AND getting electrocuted too. Double whammy.

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I doubt we have beer strong enough to penetrate the slab once spilled to short out the UFH :grin:
Maybe tequila in sufficient quantaties could manage that though :sweat_smile:

But yes, I will definitely look into getting an RCBO fitted, thx for the advice all. Guess it's sparky time... anyone know a good one with a bit of affinity for smart devices in Melbourne? I'll be updating all my wall switches soon too so decent enough work to be had. Typically I would do that myself, but if I'm having to call one in anyway, may as well get everything done up to code.
Unfortunately for me @sanewton72 is in Brisbane...
Not sure if a sparky will consider putting a zigbee or zwave switch on a contactor as being up to code though :sweat_smile:

there is nothing to worry about in that regard. AS3000 is pretty protocol agnostic, much to the disappointment of the cbus product manager.

Just a thought.

You might consider a 24 volt thermostat controlling a relay, contactor or SSR (via wires) that controls the heat circuit.

I guess you can get one of the Zooz (or others) relay output devices to control the above mentioned relay, contactor or SSR.

The relay....ssr would have to go in an approved electrical box which shouldn't be too much of an issue. Pretty straight forward.

Now if you are in Australia I've heard the union has lobbied for laws that won't allow the homeowner to change a dimmer. I don't know if this is true but in means you would need an electrician to set this up.

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I'm so jealous of the options you guys have for thermostats! Before I got into this, I had no idea of the differences and there are so many options in the 24V ones...

Problem is that for that to happen, I would need to get a control wire in place where I'd want the thermostats and the way houses are built here there are no conduits containing what we back home in the EU, where I'm originally from, would call 'waiting-cables' for lack of better translation. Those allow you to either use those cables if they fit their intended purpose, or to pull through a new cable in the conduit which allows for smooth pulling without damage to the cable.
Putting additional wiring in an existing home in Aus however, is next to impossible simply due to it being cost prohibitive or too invasive as they are all installed during the wood framing of the house, attached directly to beams and struts, without any conduits.

I've just installed overhead Atmos speakers in my home cinema myself and I was fortunate enough to be able to use an unused coax cable to run the speaker wire to where my receiver is. But boy it was tough going trying to drag those cables along wood cut-outs and 90 degree corners. If I had tried that with any other cable than the one I did, I would not have felt comfortble that the sheething wouldn't have been compromised due to the rubbing against the wood.
I wouldn't even know where to start to be able to do that for an electrical cable, even if it is low voltage. I'd have to tear down walls and ceilings before I'd get anywhere near my fusebox.

Thx for the suggestion though.

lol, a mate of mine is a big cbus fan and is constantly harping on about it. I in turn try to convert him to the ways of Zigbee :slight_smile:

yeah. cbus works, and reliable.
if your thing is paying many thousands of dollars for capability that could be done for a few hundred, not to mention a fetish for decorating all your wall cavities with hundreds of pink cables that are rarely where you need them at install (let alone as time passes and how you use the house changes), but its too destructive and costly to fix/change so you end up living with it: i say GO FOR IT. :wink:

drag those cables along wood cut-outs and 90 degree corners

Now you have me curious on the construction of Aus. homes.
Do you have a 1 floor or 2 floor building?

I'm in the USA and I can go in my attic, drill down through an interior wall header and drop a cable with no issues. We have basements too so I could go from the basement to the 1st floor just as easily.

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Yup, but the dude is very well off (commercial real estate developer) so couldn't give a toss :joy:
He was telling me he'd just swapped out his toggle buttons for each of his switches in his own home, costing him $50 per gang while raving about the fact that they had a built-in led... A 3-gang switch (with existing back and cover plates) ended up costing him $150 extra that way... I just said good on ya, I'll just go buy a $50 zigbee 3-gang switch thank you very much! :wink:

LOL! Cbus target demographic, right there!!! Lots of Clipsal Execs cruising Sydney Harbour very thankful to this demographic methinks. $1300 for a relay module, indeed! Even the cable is overpriced.
Wires are so last decade. Unless of course, electrons is what you need.

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I can only speak to my home which is 2 floors.
I was trying to install the Atmos speakers on the 2nd floor and there is no attic.
Just plaster ceiling with roof joists/beams above them. On top of the beams are insulation 'blankets' (alu inner, rockwool outer) that have been stapled in such a way that you can't get a cable over the beam and under the blanket. On top of those beams are metal channels to allow for a metal sheeted roof (brand is called colorbond).
If I wanted to come in from above, I'd basically have to completely remove the metal sheeting and the insulation blankets...
The only room in the ceiling is the height of the beams.

Oh and no basement either! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I think the house I'm in is pretty representative for many buildings here.
Of course you have the more luxurious properties that do have basements or have basements because of topology, but the vast majority are just built on a concrete slab.
The even older ones are built on stumps so you do have access from underneath. But you would never get me underneath there to pull a wire!! Too many critters :joy:

solution: clipsal cbus surface-mount conduit in lurid pink just $180/metre. cbus conduit saddles are the only supported ones, $17.50 each installed with cbus official saddle tool (aka hammer) $850 +gst

:joy:

on a serious note: you're spot on @Silvermane just 'dropping a cable' isn't like it used to be. and it has to be this way so we can edge the archaic NCC a microstep closer to the Passivhaus ideal.

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Thanks for the explanation. I live in the Northeast USA for the most part we have basements just because of history so at the moment it is the norm. They are not as common on other areas of the country.

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I worked for an electrician for many summers. We did "old house" work, dirty and with odd construction. I put cables in some very weird locations.
Anyway if you are motivated to try, I would suggest:

  1. Get a good quality stranded irradiated PVC wire, maybe #22 or #18. Irradiated because it makes the exterior of the insulation hard(er) reducing the chances of being damaged by a corner. I don't believe you need a jacket but I've never seen your type of construction so the recommendation of individual wires is the only area I'm not sure of. And I think running individual wires will allow them to go around corners easier. (the tape mentioned in 2 should keep them from really falling in different areas).

  2. With one more wire than you need, tape them together periodically with "scotch magic tape". (i.e. this stuff you might use when wrapping Christmas gifts. (its thin and will just rip off if caught on something)

  3. After you get in installed, tape each strand on one end. On the other end, connect a 220 lamp through each possible combination of your just installed wires. This will verify the insulation is still in good condition and if there is a short the lamp will limit the current.

This is based on my experience with cabling in automotive installations. We would normally test with a HiPot device that can deliver a very current limited 1000 to 5000 volts.

Tuya circuit breakers ( with or without power/energy/voltage measurements) are supported by this community driver:

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Thx @kkossev! That's great to know.
I've since had an electrician wire up Moes single gang switches with dry contact relays in line with the contactors which basically does the same thing now. It allows me to turn on/off my underfloor heating circuits remotely and/or to have it be done based on temp readings from sensors that are actually in the room where the circuit is :smiley:
It's also allowed me to get rid of my ugly ■■■ stoneage analog thermostats :wink:
Still nice to know that these devices are supported though. I might switch to them for their energy reporting features later on now, but less of a priority now.

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Of all the Chinese electrical gadgets that I have, these circuit breakers seem to be the most robust, most solidly build, most .. everything! :slight_smile: Except that they are not UL listed, of course ...
Note, that these are true circuit breakers, with contacts that are disconnected by a strong spring mechanism, not simply power relays. Switching the circuit breaker on/Off is made by a small electric motor inside. These have current overload short circuit protection - both electrical and thermal protection! Also, have overvoltage protection, etc.

For me, these circuit breakers are something that I can trust (unlike many other cheap products).

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