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Tested: Calypso Controller | A brain for the water heater



Is there a simpler but more essential device than a water heater? The first statement is no longer true when you install a Calypso controller, capable of controlling any water heater, recording the temperature and respecting Hydro-Québec’s peak periods. It can also shut off the water in the event of a leak, but only with a compatible valve.

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Sinopé had already developed a charge controller capable of going up to 50 amps. The small Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu company went further with a less expensive controller specifically for the water heater, the Calypso. This little box has three wires that go between the water heater and the power supply, with a maximum load of 20.8 amps. Two sockets at the front allow you to connect a temperature sensor attached to the inner tank as well as a water detection cable.

It is then necessary to couple the Calypso with the Zigby gateway designed by Sinopé, the GT130. You can then control everything from the Neviweb home mobile application, which indicates the temperature recorded and the power of the current in real time. Everything is recorded in a table, in dollars or kWh, for 48 hours, 30 days or 24 months.

At this first basic level, you can easily turn off the water heater with a click or simply have fun comparing your hot water consumption from one day or week to the next.


The device is installed on the electrical inlet of the water heater.

By default, the Calypso will restart the water heater when the water temperature reported by the probe drops below 45°C, the lower temperature limit for health. This function can be disabled. It obviously cannot exceed the maximum temperature controlled by the mechanical thermostat of the water heater, generally between 55 and 60°C.

But there is more. Sinopé, even if it was not selected as the manufacturer for the Hydro-Québec subsidiary Hilo, can order its compatible devices to adjust to peak periods. These programs, called Winter Credit or Flex D, allow savings when you reduce your electricity consumption at critical times, announced by Hydro-Québec the day before.

And the Calypso, precisely, is compatible. In addition, it can operate on any model of water heater requiring less than 20.8 amps, unlike the similar product offered by Hilo which requires a water heater installed by HydroSolution.

Last December 22, when two peak periods between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. were planned, we were able to see the Calypso at work with Hydro-Québec’s Winter Credit. The controller was not alone, let us specify, the central heating much more energy-consuming being him also conscript. The water heater did not start during peak hours and even two hours before, despite a shower in the morning.


Overview of the electrical consumption of the water heater for 48 hours

At Sinopé, it is estimated that in winter, 20% of electricity consumption is for the water heater. Total savings on December 22, according to Hydro-Québec: $38.19, for 73.51 kWh credited.

To this control called Eco Sinopé is added a long list of automations in which the Calypso can be integrated. You can thus turn the water heater on or off according to the time, sunrise or sunset, the geolocation of one of the registered telephones, the triggering of another Sinopé device or voice commands by Alexa and the Assistant. Google.

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The water detection cable placed at the foot of the water heater makes it possible to cut off the power supply in the event of a leak, thanks to another Sinopé device, the Sedna valve. However, only the Sedna Zigbee, and not the WiFi model, is compatible with this function. Without the correct valve, leak detection is useless.

A WiFi version of the Calypso is announced this spring, but until then a second device, the $99.99 Gateway GT130, is a must.

One buys ?

There are two user profiles that can really benefit from Calypso: those who are registered for Hydro-Québec’s dynamic pricing and those who want to turn their water heater off or on remotely or with geolocation, for a chalet. or a prolonged absence from home. Here we have a cleverly designed device, manufactured by a Quebec company whose reliability we can confirm since our first test in 2015.

We could add to these two groups the do-it-yourselfers, the curious and lovers of novelties who will have fun tracking the consumption of hot water in the family or multiplying the automations to seek savings. The usefulness of the device then seems less obvious to us.

RM3500ZB Smart Water Heater Controller

Maker : Sinope

Price : $99.99 (GT130 gateway not included)

Note : 9 out of 10

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