Tado Smart Thermostat Installation and Setup

So after unboxing the Tado Smart Thermostat and Radiator Thermostat it was time to install them both.

My Tado Website

To begin I needed to create an account on the My Tado website so i could add the devices to my account.  Registering the devices is simple, the site gives you a list of the devices available and you then enter the serial number and auth code located on the devices.

After I added a device a guide on how to install the device is shown, you can cancel out and resume the installation at any point during the installation.  The guides i saw are excellent and are tailored to you based on the type of heating system you have and the thermostat you are replacing, i actually ran through the setup for both devices using the mobile browser on my iPhone and had no problems following the instructions.

I started with the Radiator Thermostat first because it appeared to be a simpler installation and i could do this whilst the power was still on to the heating system.

Radiator Thermostat Installation

Following the installation guide on the My Tado website i was instructed to remove the base of the valve from the radiator thermostat to gain access to the battery and pairing buttons.

The base simply came apart from the body as they are not clicked together in the box.  Inside the body at the bottom is a blue battery tag, removing this begins the setup process, the display sprung into life and after the thermostat saying “Hi” to me i was presented with a spanner symbol.

The online guide told me to hold down the pairing button for a few seconds, once that was done a connection was made through the internet bridge to the My Tado website.  The guide updated to inform me the Radiator Thermostat was successfully connected to the Tado servers.

The guide continued asking me to remove the existing radiator valve, as you can see the guide is very clear and concise and provides links to additional information if required.  The valve i was replacing was a standard TRV.  All i had to do was unscrew the TRV from the base and it came straight off.

  

I begin fitting the Tado Radiator Thermostat to the existing TRV base and found that the base spun around rather than being fitted correctly, this didnt seem right so i took it off and compared the old TRV and the Tado Radiator Thermostat.  As you can see the Tado one has a larger opening compared to the existing TRV, this meant the Tado device wasnt gripping to anything despite being screwed in correctly.

I struggled with this for a while, trying to understand the mechanism involved.  I was unsure if it needed to be fitted exactly or if having the base spinning was a going to be a problem, from my understanding and monitor other TRVs the valve adjustment is actually done by depressing the valve rather than spinning it (please correct me if i am wrong).  So with that I decided to crack on and install it anyway, the next step was having is screwed in place was to refit the body to the base.   To do this the guide says to turn the body to the right until you hear a click, however with the base spinning i couldnt do this without holding firmly on the base and hoping it didnt spin.  Finally after a few tries the body clicked into the base.

Completing the setup guide you are asked to give the zone a name, i gave the zone an appropriate name and finished the setup.  From there is could then control the radiator from the website, more on that later.

Smart Thermostat Installation

With the heating switched off I set about installing the Smart Thermostat, i was replacing a Honeywell T6360 thermostat located in our living room.  This is a wired thermostat connected to a Honeywell ST9400C.  This system isnt great, the programmer only supports 2 on/off cylces and the thermostat seems to always think the room is 15 degrees.

Honeywell Thermostat Honeywell Programmer

As with the Radiator Thermostat you need to register the device on the My Tado website using the serial number and auth code, these are found under the base plate.

Once registered the installation guide asks you for your existing heating setup e.g. wired thermostat + programmer or wireless thermostat etc…

My system is a basic wired thermostat + programmer with an oil powered boiler.  After i selected this i was asked to provide the make and model of my existing thermostat, programmer and boiler.  I entered the details above, I knew the boiler was kind of irrelevant with the Tado installation so i just picked something which looked like my existing boiler as i couldnt remember the make or model.

After you have given the information the My Tado website gives you an installation guide designed especially for the model of thermostat you are replacing, this is really great and makes the installation a breeze.  As someone who hasnt installed or replaced a thermostat i was concerned before i started, i have also come across my fair share of terrible guides which actually make the installation of devices harder than they should be, however this guide was super easy to follow and i cant praise this enough to be honest.  It really is excellent!

Starting as before i had to remove the blue battery tag first, I was again presented with a “Hi” message and the device started pairing automatically, once paired a got a big tick mark.  The online guide also confirmed the Smart Thermostat had connected to the Tado servers.

  

Moving on, the guide asked me to remove the front of my Honeywell thermostat.  To do that there is a single screw at the top of the unit, undoing this i could then remove the fascia of the thermostat to reveal the wiring.  My unit had 3 wires connected to it, the RED was connected to number 1, the BLACK was connected to number 3 and the bare cable was the EARTH cable.

 

Inside the box were some sticker labels, these are used to label the existing cables for installation but also for retrofitting the old thermostat back.  The guide told me which cables should be labelled e.g. RED (1) is the COM cable, BLACK (3) is the NO cable and EARTH is EARTH 🙂

 

I unscrewed the cables and labelled them accordingly, then i set about removing the base plate from the wall which was simple enough.

 

I fitted the Tado base plate into the existing gap, this base plate is larger than the old one so it covered the hole nicely,  the wiring went through the hole and out of the front with no problems.

Wiring the Tado base plate was simple enough, again the guide tells you exactly which wire needs to go where.  As i only had the NO and COM cables i connected them and then connected the EARTH to the 4th connection along as per the guide.  I then tided the cables to the fascia could be reconnected without causing problems and refitted the fascia.

 

The next part of the guide informed me about the programmer setup, nothing was needed wiring wise however for the Tado system to work i need to set the heating to “continuous” mode.  This for me is still the oddest part, how can leaving my heating on save me money?  I suppose the proof is in the pudding and we will have to see if it saves us money in the long run.

With the programmer setup, the thermostat wired in i replace i completed the setup, named my zone and could then adjust the device from the My Tado website.

I have also downloaded the Tado app for myself and my fiance’s iPhones.   Ill go through the app in more detail in another post but so far it works ok, i personally think it could have done with a bit of a better intro screen to help explain what each part on the app is however the online PDF guides on the Tado support pages helped me understand it.

Annoyingly also because of the order i set my system up in (Radiator then Thermostat) my Zones in the app are also in this order and there is no way to reorder them.  I need to drop a support message into Tado to ask if this can be done because at the moment if i open the app i am presented with the radiator thermostat first and i have to swipe to get to the main thermostat, a minor annoyance.

Overall Thoughts

The installation of both devices couldnt have been easier to be honest, as someone who hasnt installed a device like this up before it was a breeze and that is all testament to the tailored online.  They are clear and concise and give you excellent pictures to follow, i cant comment on other products and maybe the other products have similar installation media but ive never experienced this type of device installation before.

As i said in my previous post the Tado devices are both really well built and they look nice on the wall/radiator.  The display is bright and gives you the current ambient temperature and the current heating mode/target temperature.

At the moment im happy with them both, i have adjusted the schedules and temperatures via the app to match what we want.  The automatic AWAY mode seems to work and detected when we left the house and when we where heading back and started heating the house up.

I will make another blog post going over the iOS app and the schedules im using once im a bit more familiar with it.

I do have doubts to whether this will save us money as so far the heating has been on quite a lot to ensure the house is set to the target temperatures however i have witnessed the heating being off and the house doesnt seem to get cold like it did with the old programmer/thermostat.  I know the radiators i have need some balancing and adjustments which will help i am sure.

Tado Smart Thermostat First Impressions

So finally my Tado smart thermostat and radiator thermostat have arrived.  I ordered these back in November 2016 and well the wait has been a long one.  It seems that since i placed my order, Tado couldn’t fulfill their production/delivery quota and everything slipped back in regards production and delivery which has been frustrating to say the least.

I was tempted to cancel my order and go with another product such as Nest or Hive however they always seemed to be quite expensive in comparison to the Tado units and i wasnt sure if they would fit our lifestyle, with shift working the house can sometimes be empty during the day and other times be occupied.  Also Nest and Hive seems to get a bad rap for some reason?

I almost nearly purchased direct from Amazon during Black Friday however Amazon only sell the v2 thermostats (at time of writing) which are not HomeKit enabled and as we are an iOS house having that would be a useful addition.

Ive never had or used a smart thermostat before. I stumbled across Tado from a Reddit post, people seemed to be praising them and from their site the setup and configuration seemed minimal.   The zonal configuration that you can do sounds great, it would ensure our daughters room is always warm regardless of the location of the main thermostat.  Tado uses the iOS app to track GPS of the users to ensure the heating turns on before we get home.  Another great option is that Tado offer a rental of the devices, as a tenant of a rental property this works for us as if we leave we can just give the thermostats back however we still have an option to pay if we want to keep them.

The only other product which i would have considered was an Ecobee3 with additional temperature sensors however i struggled to find them in the UK (at time of writing).

Tado Smart Thermostat

Anyway, enough of the why i went with this and down to the first impressions.

First off, the packing and layout was very good.  Actually opening this felt like opening an Apple product, everything was in its right place, clearly labelled and looks like some excellent precision German engineering.

Tado Box Covers

Included inside the box:

  • Tado Thermostat
  • Tado Internet Bridge
  • Mini USB Cable
  • USB to Power Supply with country adapters
  • Screws, fitting kit and cable stickers

Tado Smart Thermostat

The Tado thermostat feels great quality, comes part easily enough to access the back plate.  I think it will blend nicely into the room decor without looking out of place.

Tado Smart Thermostat Rear

My only gripe with the items included are the USB cable and Ethernet cable are both quite short, the idea is you use a spare USB port on your router to power the Tado bridge.  The USB on the back of my router is already powering a Raspberry Pi so i had to make use of the USB power supply however the supplied cable was too short to reach the extension lead.

So i had to use a longer one, no biggie but longer cables would have been nice.   Same goes for the Ethernet cable. at 10cm it made it quite awkward to get plugged in and connected with everything else going on behind my router (i suspect you can use any RJ45 Cat5e/6 cable but i wanted to use the provided kit where i could).

Tado Internet Bridge

At the moment i believe this is the V2 bridge, looking at their website the bridge listed on their site looks different to this one.  From my understanding the HomeKit integration is still being certified however Tado hope to get the V3 bridges shipped by Q2 2017.  I was informed by Tado customer support that i would receive a new bridge and a software update to enable the HomeKit integration.

Tado Radiator Thermostat

As with the thermostat the quality of the radiator thermostat also feels excellent, this should retro fit onto the existing TRV we have on the radiator where this will be fitted.  The top part of the valve turns like a regular TRV and has a nice tactile feedback click to it when you turn it.   Included with this are some additional fitting valves but that is all.

Tado Smart Radiator Thermostat

Overall Thoughts

So far i’m am impressed with the quality of the devices, i have connected the bridge to my router and started the process of registering the devices on the mytado website.  I will be installing them this weekend and will do my best to capture some photos along the way with a new blog post covering the setup and installation.