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Boiler text Notifications should be a standard

Comments

  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,815
    Interesting but who is to say someone couldn't hack your phone/ computer and mess w/ your boiler... it could happen. Simple is good.
    BobCRich_49
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
    Yeah, I can't help but feel that the 'connected'-ness is getting a little out of hand. I can't for the life of me see the point in, say, a wifi-connected fridge.

    If I wanted to keep an eye on my house while gone, heating-wise, I could use a wifi-enabled thermostat. That's good enough.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,228
    edited May 2016
    I was in the army for only 3 years but the most important thing O learned was KEEP IT SIMPLE! Simplicity has it's downfalls but it's usually less than complexity.

    In the 35 years I've lived in this house I've had ONE service call outside of yearly clean outs (when I was on oil). Simple systems are a lot less likely to fail and when they do it's usually pretty easy to figure out why.

    Bob

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Jason_13
    Jason_13 Member Posts: 299
    I know a manufacturer looking into this tech but it is not cheap. Who will pay for it?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966
    edited May 2016
    How about instead of working on a boiler that emails or texts you when it breaks, try working on making a boiler that doesn't fail?

    Just thinking outside the box here.


    The furnace in the house I grew up in worked flawlessly from 1958 until 2002 when it's gas valve finally failed. It had no need to text or email anyone for 44 years and the only servicing it received was the pilot was cleaned once or twice.

    Work on that.........not making it easier to tell when the piece of shazbut failed. To me the first thing I thought was "oh so you have absolutely no faith in the equipment you're making?"

    forty-four years......................
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Hatterasguy
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,004
    How about instead of working on a boiler that emails or texts you when it breaks, try working on making a boiler that doesn't fail?

    Are you kidding me! Compare the equipment required to run a modern micro-processed boiler to a standing pilot type that we all know and love.

    Then throw in sensitive gas pressure, sensitive voltage, sensitive fluid condition, sensitive venting, sensitive set up and adjustment, lack of qualified installers, troubleshooters and support, I could go on.

    Is there anyone on this list that cannot troubleshoot a standing pilot boiler with a few simple tools and a meter? Could you teach and explain that procedure to a person with basic electrical and mechanical skills?

    The days of a boiler that never fails may be beyond us.

    The ability to monitor and possible fix it via the www, may be the only hope.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966
    edited May 2016
    hot rod said:

    How about instead of working on a boiler that emails or texts you when it breaks, try working on making a boiler that doesn't fail?

    Are you kidding me! Compare the equipment required to run a modern micro-processed boiler to a standing pilot type that we all know and love.

    Then throw in sensitive gas pressure, sensitive voltage, sensitive fluid condition, sensitive venting, sensitive set up and adjustment, lack of qualified installers, troubleshooters and support, I could go on.

    Is there anyone on this list that cannot troubleshoot a standing pilot boiler with a few simple tools and a meter? Could you teach and explain that procedure to a person with basic electrical and mechanical skills?

    The days of a boiler that never fails may be beyond us.

    The ability to monitor and possible fix it via the www, may be the only hope.


    No,
    I'm not kidding you.

    Perhaps I would be if the things you mentioned were the only failures, but they're not.

    Even a modern CI steamer rotts out in 5-10 years if you look at it wrong.

    How many standing pilot forced air furnaces have failed since the 1970s due to blower and heat exchanger failures? Are there even any left!?

    Yes, those days are long gone, but it's not only because things are more complex.

    Lack of qualified installers. We agree on that one 100%! :)
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • CLamb
    CLamb Member Posts: 91
    I've heard in the past about oil tanks which call the supplier when they get low but never encountered one.

    If there is already an Internet connection available such a device shouldn't cost more than $50 or so excluding any additional sensors or controls needed. I would be very cautious about using one to control a boiler from afar due to the possibility of hacking. If carefully designed it could be useful to alert the owner/technician through email (or other means) of poor function, such as excessive water use, which could otherwise go unnoticed. As long as this outgoing only messaging didn't reveal personal info it wouldn't be of much interest to a hacker except possibly to generate false alarms.

    However these things aren't often well designed or properly set up to prevent unauthorized use. Here are just a couple of entries from the comp.risks newsgroup showing what could happen.
    catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/29.25.html#subj4.1
    catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/28.59.html#subj7.1
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    edited May 2016
    Connected hmmm..........wifi light bulbs anyone. Society has allowed connectivity, and its peripherals to think for us. Zombies anyone? People need to stay connected with the old to avoid being thrown back into the Stone Age in one giant leap with the new. There is pluses to connectivity. However some things are a little rediculous.
    Rich_49
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966
    Gordy said:

    Connected hmmm..........wifi light bulbs anyone. Society has allowed connectivity, and its peripherals to think for us. Zombies anyone? People need to stay connected with the old to avoid being thrown back into the Stone Age in one giant leap with the new. There is pluses to connectivity. However some things are a little rediculous.

    What?
    You mean like this toaster that pulls the current weather forecast from wifi and then burns it onto your toast?




    Yeah.
    It's real.
    3.jpg 22.4K
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Tim Potterrick in Alaska
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,004
    It seems the majority of customers are asking for more, not less electronic and wifi enabled equipment?

    I see a lot of the folks I travel with backing up their pickups with the cameras, not even looking over their shoulder, or using rear view mirrors! Some of the new vehicles will parallel park and even back up your trailer for you.

    Of course you can chose to not use these features and functions, but I doubt they are going away.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,673
    You cannot stop technology. You either change or you get left behind. Similar to the recent tool discussion but you can't have it both ways.
    With that said, it's my personal belief that technology will be our undoing some day, the Frankenstein monster.
    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966

    You cannot stop technology. You either change or you get left behind. Similar to the recent tool discussion but you can't have it both ways.
    With that said, it's my personal belief that technology will be our undoing some day, the Frankenstein monster.

    >>>Message deleted by SkyNet<<<
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Rich_49
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,004

    hot rod said:

    It seems the majority of customers are asking for more, not less electronic and wifi enabled equipment?

    I see a lot of the folks I travel with backing up their pickups with the cameras, not even looking over their shoulder, or using rear view mirrors! Some of the new vehicles will parallel park and even back up your trailer for you.


    I would like some electronic gadget with wifi to takeover this task.

    Think someone can design something for that? That would be excellent.


    Here you go, try one out.


    http://www.totousa.com/washlet®-s300e-toilet-seat-elongated-ewater
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966
    Oh...
    hot rod pulled out Ol Reliable, The Toto Washlet.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,814
    http://www.amazon.com/b?node=10667898011

    Doesn't help with function, but with one push you can order more and have it delivered to your house.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,004
    Amazon is one way to get dog food delivered on a regular basis, if you feed a lot of chow hounds
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 348
    Despite being a retired electrical engineer, I prefer the least possible electronification of everything in my life. If I were concerned about knowing my home's temperature while away during winter, here's what I'd do.

    Buy a simple, round Honeywell thermostat. Wire it in series with a 600 ohm resistor and connect to the phone line. Set it for a temperature that is low enough to indicate the heat has failed. In other words, if one's heat was supposed to be keeping things at 65, set this monitoring thermostat to 60.

    When away, phone home. If the phone rings, be confident that the house is above 60. If a busy signal is heard, the house is 60 or less. That's all there is to it.

    I'm certainly far from being representative of the public at large in terms of gadget desire; this won't satisfy most customers. However, in case anyone here seeks an elegant solution for themselves, enjoy. :)
    rick in AlaskaCLambGordy
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,831
    And, since a standard phone line provides the power to operate this, it will work even if the electricity goes out. But like Orifice Vapor, it's too simple for most people.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 348
    Steamhead said:

    And, since a standard phone line provides the power to operate this, it will work even if the electricity goes out...

    Only if the phone line is still Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS), otherwise know as copper-to-the-home. If someone has succumbed to their cable company's "bundle" marketing and moved to an Internet-based VOIP phone line, it will go down just like their TV and computer when the power goes out.

    I'm keeping my POTS service as long as state regulators prevent AT&T from discontinuing it. :)

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,831
    That's what I meant, a standard phone line. Which I have at my office and home. Besides, cell phones are so unreliable I refuse to depend solely on them.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966
    I had a POTS line one time for a month in the past 12 years.
    It had constant problems and Verizon had no interest in fixing it. I got rid of it and never went back.

    Have relied on cellphones and cablephones for the most part though we only have cellphones now. I've found them to be more reliable than POTS, though I suppose that depends on the phone you have and where you live.

    Both my phone and my wife's phone support Verizon's HD service which actually sounds really good for a phone, better than POTS in many ways.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,020
    I have a POTS 'phone line. Even the same number which we got when we got dial service, back in the '50s. The interior wiring in the house (most of it) was installed by one Dr. A. G. Bell...

    Which is more or less irrelevant. What isn't, perhaps, is this thought: there are, fundamentally, two kinds of folks when it comes to technology. Those who can fix stuff and keep it running, and enjoy doing it -- which applies, I expect, to most of the regulars here on the Wall. And those who either don't, won't, or can't, which applies to the vast majority. That vast majority is actually almost helpless when faced with, say, a round thermostat. These people need and want the most possible technological assist they can get. What happens when the magic quits isn't pretty, but they can't exist without it...

    It's an interesting social phenomenon.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Rich_49
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    Years ago, I worked for a company printing facial tissue boxes. The company we printed them for, asked for suggestions for changes to the box. I suggested they figure out a way to put a button on the box, that you pushed to dispense the tissue. They laughed at me. I know it would serve no purpose, but if a guy went shopping for his wife, he'd automatically get it.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    edited May 2016
    All I'm saying is you should embrace it. However don't forget how we got to this point. Problem is with people who never used the stepping stones to get to the present phase in technology.

    Pretty soon society will forget how to wipe their own arse.......
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514

    Despite being a retired electrical engineer, I prefer the least possible electronification of everything in my life. If I were concerned about knowing my home's temperature while away during winter, here's what I'd do.

    Buy a simple, round Honeywell thermostat. Wire it in series with a 600 ohm resistor and connect to the phone line. Set it for a temperature that is low enough to indicate the heat has failed. In other words, if one's heat was supposed to be keeping things at 65, set this monitoring thermostat to 60.

    When away, phone home. If the phone rings, be confident that the house is above 60. If a busy signal is heard, the house is 60 or less. That's all there is to it.

    I'm certainly far from being representative of the public at large in terms of gadget desire; this won't satisfy most customers. However, in case anyone here seeks an elegant solution for themselves, enjoy. :)

    I like that. With a twist. Maybe a Scottish accent voice reply saying "captain we are giving her all she's got!" .......I need more Scotty!


  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    edited May 2016
    We need more art. How about custom boilers like this Bike.....

    https://www.facebook.com/amijamesmotorcyle.automotive/videos/846430932166959/