Remote alarm to call my phone if my Prestige 110 boiler shuts down ?

Discussion in 'Boiler Forum' started by oak orchard, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. oak orchard

    oak orchard New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Western New York
    My all-season cottage has a Prestige 110. In Dec 2012 it went into hard lock-out mode during a heavy nor-easter snow and wind storm. Apparently a power sag/brown-out (but not full interruption) results in a hard lock-out. It was fortunate I arrived from vacation to find the indoor temp to be 34F degrees. The auto reset does not work in this power sag situation and the manual re-set did not work until I powered the unit off and on. Triangle Tube is sending me a fix-kit for power sags -- saying it has something to do with a condition (i.e. the boiler can't reset automatically) caused by 6000V rural tranformer electrical servcie.

    Needless to say, I am now worried about leaving my cottage heated and not being there daily. Other suggestions have been to put the boiler on an automatic timed power-off/power-on switch to cause it to premptively auto reset itself. I am wondering if there is such a thing as a remote notification solution that will send an alarm to my phone or computer when the temperature of the cottage drops below a set temp?
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,833
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    There are IP cams with dry contact inputs that can trigger a recording to sent via email. Just wire it to a cheap mercury bulb T-stat set low.

    I was having a problem with my new furnace so I put an IP cam on it facing the status indicator. I hosted it on Click2Stream and can look in on it at any time. Not much to look at but I can see the status from anywhere.
    C2S.jpg
  3. BadgerBoilerMN

    BadgerBoilerMN Master Hot Water Mpls,MN

    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    When designing heating systems for remote cabins we often use frost alarms like these: C:\Users\Morgan\Documents\BOOK\Controls\Freeze Alarms\Protecting Your Home- Product Detail Page.mht

    But lately have been specifying these also: http://www.ecobee.com/
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,833
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
  5. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    You may be better off using a Low Voltage Cut off, That has a time delay reset.

    A phone line is normally the most reliable way to control something when the power has failed.
    A plain old phone dialer could set you up with a simple security system with audio and video.

    Even better a High Speed Internet connection, but don't count on it if the power is out.
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,833
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    At home I have a UPS on mine so power outages are not a problem until the battery in the UPS depletes. At work, all of my UPS systems email me their status. I also have environment monitor systems that email me and text me.

    At work I tied flagging tape to the registers of the A/C units and the security guard station monitors the camera. The guards were trained to look in on the room if the flagging tape ever stops moving as it indicates the A/C unit stopped. That way they can restart the A/C before the temp would set off the alarm and I don't get woken up by it.
  7. oak orchard

    oak orchard New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Western New York
    One Prestige owner blogged on another site that he resolved the problem with a 24 hour cycle, power off/on timer. Preempted the problem by having his unit shut down for a few minutes every day, which apparently activates the reset when power is returned. But power outages are not uncommon during winter storms in our area.

    I was pleasantly enlightened by discovering the Freeze Protection devices recommend by others, here. Thanks. I am still do my research on them.

    My cottage is not wired for a telephone but Emerson has a unit that works with a cellular phone (no need for a land line):

    http://www.controlproductsonline.com/intermediate-freezealarm-cellular-package-p-191-l-en.html

    The FA-I-CCA Intermediate FreezeAlarm has a Cellular Package and its also has a "power outage" alarm.

    But it is pricy.
  8. oak orchard

    oak orchard New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Western New York
    I considered an UPS (uninterrupted power supply) solution but then I realized that the temperature and power-off alarm will give me more reliability for protection over a broader range of problems. Plus, I am going to install the Triangle Tube fix-kit (for power sags which defeat the auto reset on the boiler) so I don't expect brown outs and sags to be a problem after that.

    But the issue raised my awareness about needing long distance knowledge of the heat and the power. You need an EMS (not just UPS) to find out if things are failed and your approaching a freeze up.

    Albeit, in looking into this I realize that a UPS might be good idea to prolong the life of the boiler's electronics (and many other sensitive electronics) - since we get a lot of power sags which I understand harm electronic circuitry (i.e. like power surges harm electronics).
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,833
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Any system that relies on cellular will come with a monthly recurring cost. How do you get internet at the cottage? I live out in the sticks and get my internet via a WISP. The Canopy SM is on UPS as is my router.
  10. BadgerBoilerMN

    BadgerBoilerMN Master Hot Water Mpls,MN

    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    If you're nerdy, eh? hehhehee
  11. BadgerBoilerMN

    BadgerBoilerMN Master Hot Water Mpls,MN

    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    I get my internet via Verizon hot spot. The phone can do all. When designing heating systems for cabins up north - MN and WI, not YT, NT or NU mind you - we find that the land lines often go out with the power.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  12. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,833
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    We don't have Verizon up here but I know of only two ways to get internet over cellular. One is a hotspot feature on a smart phone that essentially "tethers" wirelessly a laptop to the phone. If you use the phone "tethering" then when you leave the premise and take your phone with you, there is no longer any internet at the cabin.

    The other is a desktop device that needs it's own SIM card and has monthly fees and data caps. It would need to be on a UPS and you would hope the cell carrier's tower is also on a UPS.

    If you cannot rely on land lines working in a power outage, cellular may be your only option.

    My cellular provider is also my WISP although they are two different technologies. The cell tower is on UPS and I asked them to also put their Canopy gear onto the UPS so that I can get internet during power outages. Well... at least until the batteries deplete. Around here, land lines (POTS) most often still work in a power outage but DSL probably wouldn't. A basic phone dialer with OGM would probably suffice as long as whatever took out the power didn't also take down the phone lines. A while back we had a power transformer catch fire that not only took out the power but the fire spread to the wooden pole and took out the phone lines too.
  13. oak orchard

    oak orchard New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Western New York
    I am in western NY in farming and cottage country where Verizon has reasonable service for mobiles and they have a flat basic monthly plan for $15 with $2/day for any days used. Suits a weekend visitor. During outages we retain some cellular service during power outages, no land lines or DSL though.
    I might have the option of putting an alarm in an all-season occupied neighbor’s home; maybe a temp sensor alarm either hard wired or wireless. It’s about 400’ across a pasture.
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,815
    Location:
    New England
    If you neighbor has internet service, they might let you tap into it for a fee. This would give you lots of opportunities, but would be dependent on maintaining power, which would potentially be an issue. But, if they lost power, you could ask them to check on things. A directional antenna for wireless or a CAT6 cable would get internet over to your place.
  15. oak orchard

    oak orchard New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Western New York
    Thanks, kindly, all, for your recommendations and thoughts. I have to chew over the options now.
  16. Buffalobillpatrick

    Buffalobillpatrick New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Stonewall Colorado
    So far I like my Nest WIFI thermostat. It uses my Verizon MIFI router.

    Remote, from my Ipad or Iphone, I monitor house temp. & turn up the heat before return home.

    Nice app. Too

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