How to check, if desired radiator works with OpenHAB

i’m planning my home automation, startet with some lights, plugs and open windows detectors. Everything is getting better.
There are many different radiator valves out there, can i assume they work, when they use zigbee, such as Xiaomi Aqara E1?
Secondly, underfloor heatings take ages to get to temperature, so wouldn’t it be better to controll them by absolute values (10% open e.g.) instead of degrees? Is that a dumb idea or does no valve support that anyway?
I thought radiator valves would be the easy part…

Thanks for any hint!

First hint: it’s never as easy as you initially think. Remind me one day to tell you about comparing humidity values with different temperatures into the mix…
Anyway, if you use the builtin openHAB zigbee controller, you should look for zigbee 3.0 compliant valves. Xiaomi and aqara apparently like to mess with the protocol and so they might (probably) not be compatible.
If you use zigbee2mqtt on the other hand you have a nifty device list available online to look over the compatible valves.
Bosch has a nice zigbee valve though. If I had a central heating system I’d probably get those.

As for the ground heating…. I have no idea. I would assume that the quicker you get it to temperature the faster you would turn it off. So I’d set it with one speed (fast) raise it to temperature, and turn it off. Let it cool down a couple of degrees and turn it back on again. Seems… intuitive to me.
But I’m actually curious what others would say :slight_smile:

1 Like

Valves for radiators are easy as they have an inbuilt PID controller and react very quickly, but underfloor heating is for sure complicate and cannot be controlled by a kind of thermostat head for radiators.

You need to adjust the valve directly, as you already found.
You could for instance couple with a weather service and adjust the valve according to the future temperature forcast.
But that is no simple task, you need a refined logic behind to handle this properly.

1 Like

You’ll have to look at each binding’s list of supported devices. Most of them have this. Yours doesn’t seem to be here: Xiaomi Mi Smart Home - Bindings | openHAB so, question is: does it run “only with Zigbee”? that’s a question for a seperate thread, if you can’t find it already here in the forum.

nope. Rule of thumb: don’t mess with your heating controller and directly try to influence valves, which are not intended to have a “user interface” :wink:
Meaning: if you’ve got a “decent” underfloor heating running with water - I’m not talking about some electricity run ones - they’re usually installed by and connected with a local installateur. With it you got some kind of heating controller - mostly thermostats in each room.
What you want to do: control the thermostat in the room with smarthome (aka openHAB), not the hardware directly - keep in mind, your openHAB runs on a cheap SoC, not intended for and not capable of high availability and it’s nowhere near failure-proof.


  1. have a look on the desired device: does it have a dedicated binding → use it
  2. have a look, if there’s other similar devices with binding integration → use that
  3. if neither applies, have a look on github, if there’s 3rd party scripts to control the device → use that
  4. if you’re keen on system-level integration, try to access the device yourself (and upload the solution to github and or openHAB)
  5. => start with 1.

and have fun with openHAB and hier in the community: Welcome!

1 Like

to add some more info: ground heatings (waterbased) are not meant to heat up quickly - but to keep the heat with low flow temperature from your heating. So you have to plan it - and that’s why they always come with an heating controller, which takes care of this. You type in your temperatures and the clock inside sets some presets (mostly: comfort, standby, night, frost) accordingly.

What you want to do: not interact with valves directly - but with the presets. Nearly all (modern) ground heating come with thermostats in every room, so you can then influence the preset on each room. And as a bonus you can also check/set set temperature for the presets.
Let’s say, usually you’re away for work from 8 til 18. So you’re preset would be “standby” (or “night”) for that time. But you’re in homeoffice today. Your house (aka openHAB) knows this (presence detection of some kind) and sets “comfort” for your office room at least. If you leave for vacation, you either have it in your calender (openHAB knows) and it sets “night” for the week you’re away…

But: you never want to tell the valve what to do, because then you’re doing the work of the heating controller (knowing on what percentage the valve should be, when to open/close, …). and if openHAB crashes while you’re on ski holidays and it fails to open the valves, your house freezes…


Aha! Thank you, I had to read it a few times and think about it. I just came across the zigbee2mqtt stuff. Yeah that dew point calculations are next :wink:
I think I’ll dig deeper into that Bosch suggestion.
Ground heating is a topic that i possibly can’t solve here.
I would even go for other protocols like LoRaWAN but would like to avoid bridges by any means. So i dislike zigbee2mqtt. Maybe I’m wrong, very likely even, but well, my home my castle.
Anyway: thank you so much for that enligthning comment!

Thank you Chris!
I think I’ll leave the underfloor heating as is for now and wait until some TRV comes across that fits into my task.

Thank you Thomas for your helpfull directions.
I currently have no thermostats anywhere. The underfloor heating is just supllementary and I would like to use it just to prevent cold feet. Currently, when manually turning on the radiators the floor heating cools down => cold feet. I would like to have them open at something maybe 10% during daylight and close at night.

I quite strongly dislike those bridges. Especially when manufacturer specific. I want to be able to mix TRV, maybe Bosch ZigBee in the living room and MC Vicky LoraWAN for the shed. I don’t want to bind to a Bosch thermostat in the living room, a Devolo thermostat in the 1st floor and so on.
So in short i will follow your advice and take a look at the dedicated bindings.

Thank you!

ah…I might have explained myself incorrectly. We are not talking about multiple bridges here. You can have multiple devices from different vendors with zigbee2mqtt. That application is just a secondary layer where you connect all zigbee devices to. And from there it converts zigbee to mqtt. Hence zigbee2mqtt.
With the mqtt you can then have everything you have directly connected to openHAB.
You can have xiaomi, aqara, ikea (tradfi), lidl and many other vendors, all in zigbee2mqtt.

It’s not a hub… or rather, if you want to look at it as a hub, it’s the main zigbee hub. Everything connects to it. From there it gets converted to mqtt.

Or maybe I misunderstood you??

1 Like

Thank you Pedro,
nah, it’s more likely that I talk rubbish. I just have noticed the concept of one zigbee2mqtt gateway talking to different vendors.
Anyway @binderth pointed me to the device list and the Bosch seems to be supported directly. I ordered a few of them. Another good candidate seems to be Eurotronics spirit z-wave plus. It needs a z-wave adapter, sure, but my feeling is that vendors don’t mess up with z-wave unlike with zigbee so support for them might be more reliable. Plus longer range/no need for meshing.
I generelly dislike every unecessary abstraction layer. One OpenHAB instance to rule them all :wink:

Depending on where you are, Zwave or not it’s irrelevant. As long as you get zigbee 3.0 compliant devices (their boxes clearly show whether they are or not) it’s just as good as any Zwave device.
Related to the range, it’s irrelevant. Every mains connected zigbee device is a router. So if you buy a zigbee gu10 light from lidl (which costs 6 euros) bam, you double the range.
Also, price. Zigbee is cheaper than Zwave.
Living in Europe I have yet to see a Zwave hub or device here so I dunno why people rave for Zwave :confused: but that’s besides the point!

As for the adapter, zigbee, Zwave, thread, all of those require an adapter. The adapter is the same as a Wi-Fi antena. It’s not a hub, but the hardware with which the system will communicate. Or you can get the tasmota zigbee hub, flash it with tasmota, and you’ll get all zigbee devices directly in there and then push them to openHAB. I have a friend using that method and he is super satisfied.

In the end it doesn’t matter much, as long as it works :slight_smile:

1 Like

Thanks. I was a bit anxious about these “range extenders” in Zigbee. But for now I’ll simply follow that advice and stick to Zigbee.

Can you explain why? If you have any doubts I’d be happy to detail more.

I’m used to wiring up networks following star topology as required for stuctured networks. Zigbee seems more self-coordinating. That’s hard to plan. :wink:

Hi, I have Eurotronic Zigbee Heads (SPZB0001) and they are reliable under zigbee2mqtt : Eurotronic SPZB0001 control via MQTT | Zigbee2MQTT

1 Like

Oh, zigbee2mqtt gives you a nice map that shows who is connected to what and the strength of the sign.
But I’m dumb so what I do is to add one Maine connected zigbee device (like a bulb or smart socket) and it’s done :smiley:

Edit: looks like this

1 Like