Restarting our faulty boiler when it fails and light turns red

Wanted to share a proud moment. I finally made a life-changingly useful smart-home device. For ages now, our boiler (which is in our cellar) has been having problems. It just fails for no apparent reason and its indicator/light turns red and the LCD shows an F1 error. This has meant I have had to go in to the cellar every time it happens and manually turn the boiler off and on again. This has been the bane of my life for a couple of years now. Imagine getting back from a run, getting in the shower, only to find it’s freezing cold and that you have to then go (naked!) down two flights of stairs to the cellar and back.

Not to mention the grief I get from my wife about it!

Today I fixed it!!

Blu-tacked to the boiler there is now a BH1745 light sensor, which is connected to a Pi4. The pi4 is checking every 2s for the primary colour reported back from the sensor. If the colour turns red it send a message to an IFTTT webhook for the event “boiler_errored”. IFTTT then tells SmartThings to turn off the smart plug in to which the boiler is plugged in. SmartThings has another trigger to listen for the boiler’s “off” event which turns it back on.

Voila. If the boiler’s LED turns red then it restarts, via the cloud.

If this is of any interest to anybody I’ll happily share or talk more about the code involved…

[Update]: the boiler itself is OLD. About 15 years old and probably just needs renewing, which I plan on doing, come April next year when the new tax year starts. This is a stop-gap solution to save me spending more money than I need to prior to then…

1 Like

Nice work! A gas fitter would doubtlessly write off a 15 year old boiler, sold you a new one and charged bundles for refitting a new unit. sounds like F1 and shutdown may be a safety cut out though. I trust you have not bypassed without checking the underlaying cause.