Foolproof, ergonomic Zigbee radiator valves

I’m in the process of getting rid of 10 Moes BRT-100-TRV devices.

They work fine in general, but there are two real issues with them:

  • When the battery is low they open the valve all the way
  • When someone turns them thinking they are mechanical valves, they come off, and that opens the valve all the way.

Both of these lead to a higher heating bill instead of a lower one, so they’ve got to go.

There was also ergonomic problems

  • Heat is either full-off or full-on, feeling either too hot or too cold
  • Noisy enough to wake you at night

I’m not quite ready to give up on Zigbee valves yet. But my new valves need to fulfill these criteria:

  • Must work with Zigbee2MQTT
  • Must have externally controllable valve position
  • Must turn off on failure, e.g. empty battery
  • Must be manually controllable by twisting
  • Must not be easy to accidentally remove
  • Must be quiet

I made a list of all TRV’s that are supported by Zigbee2MQTT and allow controlling the valve position (pi_demand_heat as 0-100).

  • Danfoss 014G2461
  • ETOP HT-10
  • eCozy 1TST-EU
  • Eurotronic SPZB0001
  • Saswell SEA801-Zigbee/SEA802-Zigbee
  • Hive UK7004240
    Popp 701721

Are you familiar with any of these? Do you know if they are quiet, hard to accidentally remove, and most importandly, might they “fail gracefully” and turn off the heat?

I’m also on the hunt for the perfect Zigbee TRV. The first Siterwell ones I got are OK, but very noisy. The Danfoss is quieter, but still not silent. Given that the primary use case is to switch on my bedroom radiator one hour before I want to wake up, noise level is paramount.

Both of them work with Zigbee2MQTT, can be manually adjusted, and don’t come off easily. I don’t think either of them let you set the valve position explicitly, but it might be possible if you dig in a bit deeper.

I expect that “must turn off on failure” will be unlikely given the way the worm gears work - you are always going to need intelligence and power to push the TRV pin back in. That said, I’m surprised to hear that the Moes devices open the valves up when they get low battery - that makes no sense.

I see! I heard that the Sonoff TRVZB are completely silent, according to YouTuber beardedtinker.

It also seems nice that you can turn it to turn up the temperature by turning a ring.

It doesn’t fulfill all of my criteria so my search continues…

I really appreciate this and I’ve ordered one to confirm. One of the comments suggest the units they got were not as quiet, so I won’t celebrate just yet, but fingers crossed.

Fingers crossed!

I just saw that the evening standard (for what it’s worth) recommends the Hive White Smart TRV for quiet, so that might be another option.

Did you find a good product?

I have settled on the Sonoff TRVZB because it is relatively quiet (although possibly not quiet enough for light sleepers), the display is on the side (which suits horizontal mounting), and it is cheap. I was initially put off by it being either open or closed rather than supporting multiple levels of openess, but I’m experimenting with adjusting the boiler temperature to keep the radiators just below the threshold, which is a more efficient way to run the boiler anyway.

The quietest valve I found was the Tuya TV02, which has all the same benefits as the Sonoff, but has a hysteresis issue that needs a workaround script and it doesn’t report whether it is “idle” or “heating” (closed or open) like the Sonoff does, which will be useful when I get around to integrating it with the “call for heating” switch of my master thermostat.

In the end the “dumbness” of both of these two TRVs turned out to be a positive. The smart TRVs I have tried will tweak the valve to try and match the target temperature and in some cases (like the Danfoss) even try to learn as they go. While this makes them good at their job on a room-by-room basis, it makes it difficult to debug them in a whole-house system where you are never quiet sure what state the actual valves are in. For example, I’m currently trying to find the optimal boiler temperature to maintain a steady 21 degrees in all the rooms, but the Danfoss is doing it’s own adjustments at the same time.

It’s a late response but I have settled for the Hama TRV (SEA801-Zigbee/SEA802-Zigbee), after comparing with both the Aqara TRV and the Sonoff TRVZB. It was a close call between Hama and Sonoff but the former is:

  1. Clearly quieter
  2. More sturdy
  3. Uses two batteries instead of 3, although I have no clue about the battery consumption for now

I like both over the Aqara which is too complex (both on the device display and the MQTT exposures) and less sturdy.