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Old 01-27-2010, 08:43 AM   #1
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Remotely turn thermostat on and off


I live in Wisconsin and have a workshop building about 300 feet from my house. During the winter, when not in use I have the workshop theromstat turned off to save fuel. I would like to have a remote control device that can simply turn the workshop thermostat on from in the house so it can warm up before I plan to begin work. I don't need anything fancy (i.e. changing temperature settings, zones, etc), just "heat" and "off".

The other consideration is that the thermostat needs to work if the temperature falls well below zero degrees F. I found out the hard way that the Honeywell digital thermostat I bought didn't. It wouldn't function/turn on the heater when it was that cold. I had to switch to a mechanical/coil type.

I was thinking that a simple remote controlled switch could be installed in the thermostat wire between the thermostat and the heater. Then the thermostat should be left in the "heat" position and the remote controlled switch would be used to complete/break the cuircut.

Any suggestions?

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Old 01-27-2010, 09:11 AM   #2
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Remotely turn thermostat on and off


No digital will bring the heat on if its turned to off.

So you don't work or go out to this building every day?

There are ways to make a Honeywell do somewhat what you want. If you don't have A/C on the heater also.

With the building 300' from your house. A low voltage switch in your house would probably not work well. Too much voltage loss due to the distance.

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Old 01-27-2010, 12:59 PM   #3
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Remotely turn thermostat on and off


On my last shop, which was about 100' from the house, I used a spare Cat5 cable I had ran to allow me to turn the heat on/off from the house.

I wired up a 3 position toggle switch, and a 60 minute timer and a LIGHT.

One position of the toggle switch allowed my tstat in the barn to control the heater. I usually left it set at 40 degrees. (although on occasion I would turn it off)

The second position of the toggle switch allowed me to control the heater from the house, regardless of the t-stat setting in the barn. This was wired to the 60 minute timer, so that I wouldn't accidentally leave the heat on for more than 60 minutes.

The last system was an OFF position. I used this position to "lock out" the heater.

The light was wired so that if the heater was actually running, I could visibly tell from the house.

I had all of this in a double gang wall box by my back door.

One could use a relay for a long distance. My actual cable run was near 200' and I relied on the 24VAC transformer of the modine heater to power it all.
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If it was pretty cold out, about 30 minutes before I was going out to the shop, I would flip the toggle switch to the "inside" position and turn the timer dial to 30 minutes. Once I was ready to go out, I would change the toggle switch to "outside" so that I could control the temperature while I was out there.

When I got back to the house, I would switch the toggle switch to inside, which made sure the heater shut off.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:28 PM   #4
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Remotely turn thermostat on and off


Does the shop have its own electric meter or run off of a subpanel in the house. If it's from the house just set the mechanical thermostat where you want it and turn the high voltage on/off from the house via the breaker.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:54 AM   #5
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Remotely turn thermostat on and off


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty S. View Post
Does the shop have its own electric meter or run off of a subpanel in the house. If it's from the house just set the mechanical thermostat where you want it and turn the high voltage on/off from the house via the breaker.
He wants it to be able to run automatically if the temp drops below 0 though.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:21 AM   #6
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Remotely turn thermostat on and off


The shop is wired throught the house's panel, but I don't want to turn the power off to the shop because of other devices that will be in use even when the heater is off.

I don't want anything automatic. I just want to be able to manually turn the heater on and off from the house.

There is a Cat5 line run down to the shop. I guess I'll try to figure out how to use it rather than RF.

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