If you're posting a request for installation help, please provide as much info about your system as possible. For example, for help regarding connecting a smart thermostat, please include details about your system including whether you have gas/electric, heat pump, number of heat stages, A/C condenser, etc.

Goodbye Lyric!

craigtonecraigtone Holland, MIMember

So how many people did Honeywell reset yesterday? I woke up and the house was 61F inside (19F outside). I checked the thermostat and it was saying it needed to be configured. By the time I got it working, the house had dropped to 56F. Imagine if I was not home ... would I be returning to broken water pipes?

Long story short, Honeywell pushed an update to the thermostat and some stats went back to factory default settings.

Lack of failsafe means it has to go! Just ordered an ecobee3 ...

Comments

  • GuyManGuyMan U.S.Member

    So is it confirmed that the Ecobee3 has said failsafe - Not that I know one way or another, but such a failsafe is news to me..

    zeroskatr512
  • zeroskatr512zeroskatr512 Reading, PAMember
    edited January 2015

    @craigtone I think you will be pleased with the ecobee3, but as @GuyMan stated there is no such fail safe on the ecobee either. If the ecobee team happens to push a buggy update the same could happen as well. Honeywell probably should have done some more testing but don't fool yourself in thinking that the ecobee3 will be immune to such a situation. Unfortunately, this risk comes with the territory of pushing updates automatically without asking the users permission.

  • GuyManGuyMan U.S.Member

    Not to get to far too off topic here, and I just moved away from Proliphix's NT series T-Stat, which had it's own limitations, but that said, they DID have a failsafe switch for heating demand- It was thermal switch that would close (acting as the relay contacts calling for heat), if the temperature fell below 45 or so. This thermal switch was strictly mechanical and could close, regardless if the CPU was running or the T-stat was even powered. That said, there was nothing to prevent bad code from keeping a heating or cooling relay closed "too long". (Some users even had to cut the traces for this switch on the PCB for use in freezers, etc).

    But bottom line, such things do exist, but I'm not aware of E3 having such a thermal failsafe switch..

    Finally, that said, it wouldn't be that complex to wire up your own thermal contacts between RH and C if you in a high risk environment.. - Something like the below:

    http://tinyurl.com/qfn66n3

    But per @zeroskatr512 it's a much better idea for Ecobee to ASK permission at the T-Stat to do an upgrade, versus just pushing new firmware at the dark of night, I've seen an Ecobee person acknowledge a preference on one of these forums, and comment that such a feature is on their "futures list" - but bottom line, automatic updates from the internet are dangerous for any embedded system.

  • CAudetCAudet CanadaMember

    @craigtone, my Lyric have reset too. It's out the door now, I returned it and no way they will do that too me again. I ordered an Ecobee 3, getting it Monday, can't wait to see.

    By the way maybe there is no thermal failsafe on the E3 but software wise as per the tech at Ecobee something exist to avoid the firmaware update issue, at least this is what they claim, let's hope it's not marketing BS. Something about 2 copies of the firmware and the backup copy being read as soon as the device restart x time type of thing.

    @GuyMan, regarding the Lyric having a thermal failsafe, I have talk to Honeywell a few times this weekend following their improper update and I did mentioned that in the middle of January my pipe would freeze here and nobody there mentioned about any of their fail safe, if they have it they don't seems to know. Thanks I like the Idea of the thermal contact you provided, good idea, I appreciate. It's on my to-do list now.

  • craigtonecraigtone Holland, MIMember

    @GuyMan, I talked with ecobee and there is no mechanical failsafe. IT does revert back to stored firmware in memory if anything happens and picks up where it left off. To add more to the story, I had nothing but issues with my Lyric from day one, so this was just the final nail in the coffin so to speak.

    ecobee will be here tomorrow, so hopefully things go much better!

  • GuyManGuyMan U.S.Member

    @CAudet and @craigtone, I suspected that such a failsafe didn't exist in an E3 - Good to have that confirmed. When I spoke about a T-Stat that DID have such a failsafe device, I was specifically talking about the Proliphix NT series devices - They DID/DO have such a thermal switch embedded in their HW - I'm quite sure of this, as I own said device, and have actually tested this feature. - I understand that doesn't have much to do with a Lyric discussion on a E3 board...

    That all said, it was interesting to read about a second copy of the firmware being stored in the E3 - Bottom line, IMHO any firmware updates should have the approval of a human being - Just to avoid issues in some remote cabin.. And given the low cost of a thermal switch, it would have been a nice feature to add - But as I mentioned, it did cause issues for Proliphix, in instances where the devices we're be used to control freezers and cold storage (as they were some marketed to more "energy management" applications, versus consumer applications)

    @craigtone - Good luck with the E3 - I'm generally happy with it, but the remote sensors do seem to be a bit "finicky" on placement, as I do have one that's repeatedly falling off/on the network back to the T-Stat.

  • EFTCEFTC AB, CanadaMember

    Actually, something similar happened to E3 as well; however, the firmware update only affected a select group of configurations and most of the users were not affected.

    It's one of the blessings (and curse) of using a smart thermostat. Heck, the same happened to smart phones as well.

  • SteveSteve Seattle, WAAdministrator

    Tagging @nashib so he's aware of this discussion. This is good info/feedback for him to see. :)

  • nashibnashib TorontoEcobee Employee

    Hi Folks, Great to see this discussion. The facts are on the mark.
    1. There is no thermal/mechanical failsafe
    2. We (ecobee) always store a backup version of the f/w so that if the stat cannot boot up after x tries it will revert to the old f/w.
    3. We do want to improve how we distribute our f/w updates so that it is "ecobee indicated, user initiated".

    Regards,
    Nash.

    bemyaxvaluequest
  • CAudetCAudet CanadaMember

    Put my vote in @Nashib for the user initiated Firmware upgrade ;-)

    Christian

    Sleepy
  • CAudetCAudet CanadaMember

    @Nashib, I am trying not to start a new thread here but any system can fail I guess so let me ask you, what happened to my Lyric was that it came back to factory default therefore loosing all communications to whatever server they are using. But their server/service don't have any alerts setup based on a tstat that is not sending data anymore. Is there anything like that in the E3 that if it ever goes kaput that the server side will alert that a heartbeat is not detected anymore ?

  • nashibnashib TorontoEcobee Employee

    @CAudet - Offline Alerts is one of our most requested features and on the backlog. We are defining some more details around it but it is not yet scheduled.

    Regards,
    Nash.

  • New to this forum but so glad to have found it as I contemplate the purchase of a few Ecobee3. You guys are a wealth of info. so thank you first, and hopefully I can contribute eventually. However...
    Can you please confirm, there is no way to prevent an automatic firmware update? I see this is likely a dealbreaker which really stinks since finally just worked through presales questions and ready jump in. Like a few others have mentioned, staying a firmware version or 2 behind is usually a good thing while the bugs are worked out. Regardless, I'd like to have some human control over that(at least within a version or 2 which Ecobee could override for safety issues or the like). Can someone please confirm? Thx! :-O
    Just something to consider ... http://tinyurl.com/llb96q8

  • GuyManGuyMan U.S.Member

    Just to confirm, and I'm quite sure of this - Currently, there is NO WAY TO PREVENT AUTOMATIC UPDATES. That's just the way there current firmware is setup. If that's a deal breaker for you, I would consider delaying your purchase.

    That said, I've seen it somewhere stated that Ecobee plans for about 4 updates year - on average, about 1 every 3 months, that are broadly pushed -This only happens after a fairly extensive beta process. Per this thread, they seem to keep a "backup" copy of the old firmware in flash, to support "booting to a last know good configuration" sort of approach - Finally, they clearly acknowledge that this isn't a desired long term approach, and they DO plan (and it seems to be a somewhat high priority), to get user approval at the E3 itself, before the update is applied.

    So what you want is "coming", but it's not the way things today - And clearly one or two "automatic" updates are going to be required to be installed, before you get the new bits, that contain such functionality.

    So, "human control" around firmware updates is coming, and I'm sure nashib, will update this thread when it is released. That said, that's not the way things work today.

    So, you can either buy now, and wait for the status quo to change, buy some other model (Nest and Lyrics seem to do the automatic updates, and don't seem to have plans to change that behavior), or just wait until this feature is released in a pending update..

    If you want a guess on timing, nashib is your best source, but don't expect anything more "detailed" than a given quarter (hopefully, in 2015)

  • GuyManGuyMan U.S.Member

    One last correction - There IS a way to disable auto firmware updates - Basically, block the E3 from being able to access the internet at your router - If it can't check in, or talk back to the mother ship, it will never update -

    That said, it disables any weather updates, disables phone and web access, and HomeIQ functions, etc. - It pretty much disables alot of the functionality (excluding the sensor support) - I don't know your setup, but perhaps that's an option (agreed, it's not a very good one)..

    Sleepy
  • EFTCEFTC AB, CanadaMember

    I am sure you can e-mail Ecobee tech support and ask them to disable auto update to your E3 unit.

  • a0128958a0128958 Dallas, TXMember

    Three key points:

    1. You have to be careful with sites like this to not get too convinced that if a problem is brought up enough here it will get addressed for the masses. For every one forum user here Ecobee is selling thousands of E3s. Probably most are well satisfied - Ecobee wouldn't be in business otherwise because there's too much competition.

    2. Regardless of how 'in unison' posters here are on wanting something different, for a residential product like the E3, if competitor versions don't have the 'something different,' it's unlikely to happen with the E3. It's likely that Ecobee's 'we'll put it on the backlog to be scheduled at a future point in time' position is really simply saying 'this is a consumer product and we can't afford to do what you want

    3. We don't use the E3 in commercial settings because of this firmware subject. We just can't afford to have a small hotel, office building or a restaurant suddenly lose it's ability to have heat and cooling controlled, due to an unknown (to us) firmware update.

    Best regards,

    Bill

  • CAudetCAudet CanadaMember

    @craigtone, I am now using the Ecobee since 1 week and it's a big contrast with the Lyric. How well it controls my equipment, time will tell but I have no disappointment in my first week. The huge difference is in how you feel you have control over your setup from the actual tstat, your phone and the web interface. The web Interface is very nice, nothing close to the Lyric non existent web interface / phone only setup.

    I love the ability to have sensors in my main room/bedroom and to be able to tell the tstat to average the temperature calculation from the rooms where there is movements. So far I see a lot of potentials. Another huge difference is the ability to override your current program for moments you are away for days. It's way more flexible than the Lyric where you can create a vacation schedule and tell the tstat when you come back and then you just forget about it.

    So far I miss nothing from the Lyric and the Ecobee feels like it was designed by people that have used and love smart technology.

    bemyax
  • looking4OPHlooking4OPH Chicago, ILMember

    Hate to pile on, but I've gone from ecobee Smart SI to Lyric back to ecobee3 HomeKit in the past couple of months. The current Lyric is just not anywhere near the feature set of the current ecobee.

  • CheezWizCheezWiz TennesseeMember

    I too jumped ship from the Lyric. I installed it July 2014 and stayed with them this long. Waiting for them to deliver promised features. That never happened and the thing has ZERO to offer. It is a one-trick pony, geofencing.. When it actually works. I could not pass up the Black Friday Ecobee 3 deal and I could not be happier!

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