Talk About the Latest in Home Automation/Home Electronics -
Home Automation Forum

Smarthome Forum
Insteon Home Automation
Login or Register
 
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Search | FAQ | Smarthome
 All Forums
 General Discussion
 Insteon
 Insteon Thermostat Aux Heat Problem
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

skim32
Starting Member

2 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2018 :  09:33:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Anyone else own an insteon thermostat for heat pumps? I am having auxiliary heat problems. I know it's not my heat pump or air handler because when I install a another generic thermostat and it works fine. I've narrowed down the wiring to my white wire. The white wire I am positive is the aux heat elements.

My current wiring is as follows:

Blue 24VAC Common
Red 24VAC RH
BLANK
Orange O/B Reversing Valve
White AUX Heat
Green for Fan or Blower
Yellow for stage 1 compressor
Nothing plugged into Stage 2 Compressor


When I put the white wire into the aux heat terminal of the insteon thermostat. The aux heat never kicks in. It's 10F degrees outside and i have my thermostat set to 80F and the indoor temp never gets above 66F.

So for kicks, i tried to put the white wire into my compressor stage 2 port of the insteon thermostat. Which is the Y2 port. The way the manual describes how Advance 2 stage Heating and Cooling works, is if the set temperature on the thermostat is different by 5 degrees or more OR if the target temperature isn't reached within 10 minutes, then the 2nd stage will kick in. So when i do this, low and behold my aux heat kicks whenever the two requirements above are met.

Now this is all fine and great in the winter, but in the summer this is not gonna be good. When cooling my house, I think the heating elements will kick in even in AC mode and if the one of the two conditions are mentioned above are met. Any ideas?

Logically to me, the AUX heat port should act like the Stage 2 Compressor port but for heat only.

Edited by - skim32 on 01/01/2018 9:27:20 PM

stusviews
Moderator

USA
15777 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2018 :  11:19:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
What did you have for the original thermostat? Which specific generic thermostat are you trying?

Stu's Views is Education and Fun. What do YOU want to VIEW today?
MathLandia High school mathematics learning fun.
Both Stu's Views and MathLandia are free websites that do not sell anything.
Saving energy is not always free. Be a world saver.


Please don't PM with questions that can be asked in a forum.
Go to Top of Page

skim32
Starting Member

2 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2018 :  9:23:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by stusviews

What did you have for the original thermostat? Which specific generic thermostat are you trying?



My old thermostat was the white-rodgers. Below is the link for the manual for it. For this thermostat I put the white wire on the E terminal. And it works fine.

http://www.emersonclimate.com/en-US/resources/faq/white_rodgers/Documents/0037-6233.pdf


Lastly I forgot to mention. When using my insteon Thermostat, even when I follow the manual and turn on emergency heat by holding down up and down button, it doesn't kick in at all. The only way I can get the emergancy heat to work is to plug the my emergency heat wire is into the Y1 or Y2... but then it's on all the time which is waste. It just seems like the Aux Heat terminal is non-functional. Unless I am missing a setting or something.

Edited by - skim32 on 01/01/2018 9:25:23 PM
Go to Top of Page

stusviews
Moderator

USA
15777 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2018 :  10:17:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Did you make a list of what each color wire was connected to each labelled terminal originally similar to the list you first posted?

And, just to be sure, does your original post refer to the new thermostat?

Stu's Views is Education and Fun. What do YOU want to VIEW today?
MathLandia High school mathematics learning fun.
Both Stu's Views and MathLandia are free websites that do not sell anything.
Saving energy is not always free. Be a world saver.


Please don't PM with questions that can be asked in a forum.
Go to Top of Page

Tango
Starting Member

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2018 :  7:10:12 PM  Show Profile  Send Tango an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I'm having the same issue. I'm in a new house with two heat pumps (one for each floor). Originally it had Honeywell thermostats in them, but I replace them with Insteon thermostats. Now, with the cold wave on the East Coast, I'm freezing my tail off - and in a new house I just spent a lot to build. It's frustrating and disheartening.

When I installed the Insteon thermostats, I took a photo of the wiring for the Honeywell thermostats and studied them and the Honeywell manuals showing any wiring diagrams. Then I carefully studied the Insteon wiring diagrams and hooked them up. When I called the HVAC subcontractor, he asked me to send him my photo of the wiring for the Insteon thermostat. I sent it to him and he verified it was hooked up as it should be. (I'd provide a photo of my wiring, but I can't see any button on here that lets me upload a photo - only an "IMG" button, which provides tags, but no way to upload the image.)

The aux heat will NOT come on with the Insteon thermostat. The HVAC guy asked me if I minded swapping out the Insteon thermostats for the old Honeywell thermostats. I did and the aux heat came on as it should and operated perfectly. (In other words, on if the set temp is mover 2 above the current temp and off otherwise.)

I did find, in the manual, a reference to activating the aux heat (they call it emergency heat) by changing to the HEAT mode and pressing the up and down buttons at the same time. In another forum someone said they heard Insteon doesn't support aux heat.

I'm seriously disappointed, since I thought I was buying something that was pretty much state of the art. I don't see how a thermostat can be considered automated if it can't take care of the important function of engaging the aux heat when necessary. That's like a college student saying he can do things in 400 level classes, but is stumped by assignments in 100 level classes. All heat pump thermostats should engage the aux heat automatically. There's no excuse for it not doing so.

I hope there's a solution because if there isn't, I'm going to have to change to another thermostat. (That's not meant to be a threat, just that I can't use thermostats that drop temps so low my dogs are shivering.)
Go to Top of Page

Tango
Starting Member

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2018 :  6:44:45 PM  Show Profile  Send Tango an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I called Insteon customer service today. In all honesty, that's a waste of time. At one point you could call and talk to people who knew the components of Insteon systems and could answer most questions easily. What I got is what I'm used to getting now: People who do not fully understand the situation and need background to the issues explained to them. Then they put you on hold and look up information and come back and essentially give you scripted or otherwise limited answers. In short, they're pretty sure that the Insteon thermostat can NOT activate the aux heat automatically. It must be done manually.

So I called Smarthome. My position is that pretty much any thermostat in 2017 (when I bought my two) can turn on the aux heat as needed, without the need to activate or deactivate it manually. This is the kind of feature needed in a heat pump thermostat to make it dependable and useable. (What if, for instance, you're caring for an elderly or ill person in the house and need the temperature to be kept up above, say, 70?) I asked about returning my two thermostats. They said it had been 95 or more days and they could not do that. I pointed out that the thermostats are defective by design. This issue is not the kind of thing you check in research now days because it's included in pretty much every thermostat on the market and it has the "AUX HEAT" wire, which implies it can handle it. I pointed out this is like going to buy a new car, seeing 'R' on the gear shift and thinking, "Okay, it has all the gears," and not feeling a need to test it because that's a market expectation that a new car can go in reverse. This is essentially a feature standard in today's thermostats, so Insteon leaving it out is less than competent. It means the thermostat is less than adequate.

I also pointed out that if I had bought it just before this extreme cold wave, I'd know, quickly, it was an issue, but it took this long to find the problem because it didn't show until the system is in extreme conditions. The guy on the phone said he'd see what he could do in talking to the next level up about this. Of course, neither Insteon or Smarthome support (are they both the same?) let me talk to someone the next level up.

This weakness, and having to fight to return it because of this has really soured me on Insteon. While I have a number of Insteon light controllers I'm planning on installing that I can't return at this point, in the future I am extremely unlikely to use Insteon. If they refuse the return, I can say I will definitely avoid Insteon in the future - unless they are the only company making a particular type of product.

Hal Vaughan
Go to Top of Page

oberkc
Advanced Member

USA
3630 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2018 :  7:05:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very strange. While I am not as confident in the commonality of "any" thermostat being able to operate a "dual fuel" heating system, it is certainly becoming more common. Too, it seems the description of the "insteon thermostat" indicates it should be able to control a "2-stage" heating system (I assume that this is synonymous with "dual fuel").

Unfortunately, I don't use an insteon thermostat, but it sure seems like it should match up well with what you have. Hopefully you can find the problem, but it does not appear in my mind that it is because of some incompatibility with the thermostat.
Go to Top of Page

Tango
Starting Member

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2018 :  8:27:01 PM  Show Profile  Send Tango an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Oberkc: Maybe there are thermostats that don't handle 2 stages, so that's a point to consider. However, for a thermostat that's supposed to be advanced, such as one that does home automation, communicates wirelessly with a control system, and allows 7 day programming, that would certainly imply a thermostat advanced enough to handle aux heat.

But there's another reason I'm miffed about this that I haven't even gone into. I'm a retired programmer. I'm self-taught, so there are many things I don't know that I should, but, with that in mind, if I can figure out how to do something fairly easily, any professional programmer with experience should be able to figure it out. You can turn on the aux heat by entering the proper mode on the thermostat and pushing the up and down buttons at the same time. These buttons are not hardwired to the aux heat connection, they connect to the main system, so their state is read by the onboard CPU. In other words, there is a routine within the firmware that reads those buttons and turns on the aux heat line.

And yet, with the routine to do this, the system does not include simple code, maybe in the main loop, to check if the heat is on, if the current temp is less than 2 from the set temp, and, if so, to turn on the aux heat. (And, of course, that same routine would, if the temperature difference is 2 or less, make sure the aux heat is off.)

That's it. One simple routine to check the state of a few variables or inputs and turn an output on or off, accordingly. It's a feature that could easily be added with a firmware update. The device has been on the market long enough that any excuse such as, "We're still testing it," is not viable.

So I've found the problem: I need a different thermostat and if the guys at Insteon, in Southern California ever had deal with using their hardware in a cold wave like the one on the East Coast now, they'd see why it's important to add a simple subroutine to do this.

Hal Vaughan
Go to Top of Page

oberkc
Advanced Member

USA
3630 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2018 :  04:43:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tango,

I agree with you. It is inexcusable, especially since the web page claims that it is compatible. I was just trying to exhaust all possibilities.





Go to Top of Page

jackman
Average Member

160 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2018 :  06:47:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been considering a smarter thermostat for my 2 stage heat pump. I quickly dismissed Insteon since it's no longer available.
https://www.smarthome.com/insteon-2732-242-thermostat-for-heat-pump.html

It's either the Ecobee or the Nest since my local utility company offers a $100 rebate for each of them. The Nest connects to the hub so that seems to be the convenient choice.

Edited by - jackman on 01/06/2018 06:48:09 AM
Go to Top of Page

oberkc
Advanced Member

USA
3630 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2018 :  08:48:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am not sure I understand why there are two versions if the once currently available works with "2-stage" system. How is a heating system "with heat pump" different than "2-stage"? Do I misunderstand? Is the 2-stage in reference to varying output levels (low/high) of a single stage furnace?

Edited by - oberkc on 01/06/2018 08:48:58 AM
Go to Top of Page

Tango
Starting Member

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2018 :  08:54:23 AM  Show Profile  Send Tango an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I'm not clear why there has to be a different thermostat for heat pumps and other systems. I think both use the same 6 wire (or 5 wire in the "wiresaver" configuration) setup, but I could be wrong. And, honestly, I would think it'd be less expensive to include all the wires needed for both, clear wiring diagrams, and to do one model that can do both, but I'm not sure about that.

Hal Vaughan
Go to Top of Page

jackman
Average Member

160 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2018 :  10:27:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm no expert on HVAC systems but I'll try to explain it. My heat pump has a single stage for cooling (A/C) and two stages for heating. The second stage consists of heat strips which offer no energy efficiency. The thermostat that I currently have is programmable and has an energy efficiency mode which calculates the amount of heating required and decides whether to use the heat strips (2nd stage) or not. If the demand can't be met by the heat pump alone, as in the case of really cold outside temps, then the thermostat turns on the heat strips.

A current day thermostat of any kind needs to have this capability.
Go to Top of Page

oberkc
Advanced Member

USA
3630 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2018 :  6:48:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jackman

I'm no expert on HVAC systems but I'll try to explain it. My heat pump has a single stage for cooling (A/C) and two stages for heating. The second stage consists of heat strips which offer no energy efficiency. The thermostat that I currently have is programmable and has an energy efficiency mode which calculates the amount of heating required and decides whether to use the heat strips (2nd stage) or not. If the demand can't be met by the heat pump alone, as in the case of really cold outside temps, then the thermostat turns on the heat strips.

A current day thermostat of any kind needs to have this capability.




Mine has standard air conditioning, a heat pump for mild days, and gas heat for when outside air temperature is too low for efficient use of the heat pump. Both my heating and cooling systems have varying output levels to ensure efficient operation and minimize frequent cycling on/off of the system.

I have seen the term "stage" refer to the varying output levels of a system. For example, one might have a gas furnace with multiple stages of heat output...one for a mild day with lower heat output and one for a colder day with higher level of heat output, both stages from natural gas. Because of this, I am less certain that "stage" is in reference to heat-pump versus gas, or heat-pump versus resistance heating (as it sound like you have), or any two sources of heat.

My system was called "dual fuel" by those who installed it. I have always understood this to reference the fact that mine can run on electricity OR fossil fuel.

But, neither am I an expert on HVAC systems.
Go to Top of Page

stusviews
Moderator

USA
15777 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2018 :  7:40:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tango

I'm not clear why there has to be a different thermostat for heat pumps and other systems. I think both use the same 6 wire (or 5 wire in the "wiresaver" configuration) setup, but I could be wrong. And, honestly, I would think it'd be less expensive to include all the wires needed for both, clear wiring diagrams, and to do one model that can do both, but I'm not sure about that.


A thermostat can be designed for both a standard HVAC system and also a heat pump system (many are), but their operation is not at all the same. For one thing, a standard HVAC system does not need nor use a reverse valve, a heat pump must have control of that valve. Also, heat pumps use auxiliary heat, standard thermostats do not. There are other differences.

Standard thermostats need only 2 wires (heating or cooling, not both) or 3 wires (both heating and cooling).

Programmable thermostats need only one more (or a battery). There are one, two and even three stages for both heating and cooling available, ultimately eight wires are needed for some installations

It'd only be less costly in the long run for the consumer to have more wires than required for the system being installed. The installer buys thermostat wire in 1000 foot rolls. It can be quite costly to install wires that are unneeded in anticipation of a use that may never transpire.

Remember, a fully versatile system need eight wires. What should be the deciding factor? BTW, many contractors do install one or two extra wires

Stu's Views is Education and Fun. What do YOU want to VIEW today?
MathLandia High school mathematics learning fun.
Both Stu's Views and MathLandia are free websites that do not sell anything.
Saving energy is not always free. Be a world saver.


Please don't PM with questions that can be asked in a forum.
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Smarthome Forum © 2000-2017 Smartlabs, Inc Go To Top Of Page
Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.07