FAQ

General
How do I access the app?

Go to app.bridgiot.co.za and fill in your login details.

How do I sign up?

To sign up, click here.

Fill in your details and click “Sign Up”.

A verification email will be sent to you.

Click on the link in the email to verify your account.

You are now signed up and ready to add devices to your profile.

I cannot find my verification email?

If you’re using Outlook or similar, check your spam folder.

If you’re using Gmail, check under the “Promotions” tab.

How do I add additional users?
New users must sign up using this link: https://app.bridgiot.co.za/signup. Thereafter, the admin user for the device can add additional users by
following these steps:

  1. Navigate to the device view on the app.
  2. To the far right you should – as an admin user – see a bust icon. Clicking this will take you to a new screen where you will be able to add
    additional users to the device. (Note, that the users you wish to add must already be registered on the platform in order to do so.)
  3. After clicking the icon, you should see a view similar to the one below:
    Here you can type the email address of the additional user(s) and click add (one-by-one).
  4. These users will now see the device in question on their device views also, and provided their details are correct, will also receive any
    notifications generated by the device.

Setup Onboarding

How do I add the app to my home screen?
Geyser Controller
How do I setup a schedule?

Log into your profile on the BridgIoT web app.

Navigate to “Devices” and click on your Geyser Controller.

Scroll down until you find “Heating Schedule” and click on the arrow on the right.

Click on “Create New Schedule+” at the top right of your screen.

Choose a name for your schedule. Choose what days it should be active on. Choose a time and temperature.

Click on “Create New Schedule” on the bottom right.

How accurate is the temperature reading?

Normally the temperature difference between the measured temperature and the maximum temperature in the water heater, will be around 7°C.

There are some factors that impact the accuracy of the temperature reading.

The main factor is whether the temperature probe has been fitted correctly. As per our Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), the temperature probe must be fitted as close to the geyser on the water outlet as possible. This ensures that the water leaving the geyser does not cool down before the probe measures it.

The probe must also be fitted with Self Fusing Silicon Tape. What can happen is that the installer used insolation tape instead of self fusing tape. The insolation tape relies on glue to keep the probe fitted to the pipe, and with time the heat of the pipe will degrade the effectiveness of the glue and cause the probe to come loose or even fall off. Self Fusing Silicon Tape does not rely on glue as it molecularly fuses to itself, making it resistant to the heat and ensures that the probe stays attached.

Can I replace the temperature sensor with any common sensor?

No.

The Geyser Controller uses a digital temperature probe, which is calibrated to the device itself, replacing it with a model that does not match the specification exactly will lead to incorrect temperature readings and could lead to damage on the device or controlled hot water cylinder.

My Geyser Controller sent a Leak or Burst notification, now what?

This indicated that the drip sensors have detected the presence of water in the drip tray underneath your geyser – this should always warrant a visual inspection by yourself or a trained professional.

In some cases, the presence of water in the drip tray might be due to vacuum breaker failure, causing small amounts of water to accumulate in the tray. Roofs or areas with high humidity could cause water to accumulate in the drip tray too.

The unit has two sensors – when one sensor is covered with water and triggers, it’s a leak. When two sensors are covered with water and both are triggered, it’s a burst notification. This helps to identify more serious leaks and bursts.

Why is my water cold?

You will not have any hot water outside the heating schedule that you set on the Web App. If you are trying to use hot water outside your scheduled times, you will need to adjust your schedule or select the Boost mode to heat your hot water.

Other reasons may be:
  1. There is loadshedding during your schedule.

  2. There is a timer (or ripple control) installed on the geyser that prevents the controller from turning on during its scheduled times (check the app to see if the unit is online during the heating times).
  3. The thermostat or heating element is faulty and does not allow the unit to heat the geyser water. Check if the unit is online and drawing power during its schedule.
  4. Too much hot water is being used from the geyser. If the temperature of the geyser is set too low, it may not be able to supply enough hot water for all of your usage. If this is a problem, increase the set temperature which will allow you to mix more cold water at the point of use – thus increasing the volume of hot water at the point of use. Note, this will use more electricity.

    If all of these cases have been ruled out, please contact support@bridgiot.co.za, along with your user email address, the device details in question and any other pertinent information.

What happens when there is a loss of connection?

The Geyser Controller will revert to an “Always On” state, ensuring that you will not be without hot water, until it re-establishes connection.

What happens if there's loadshedding?

The controller is connected to your power, thus when the power is off the controller will also be off. But there is also no power to heat your water. Once the power comes back on, the controller will power on and the connection will be re-established within seconds.

What electricity savings can be expected?

The electric geyser is the single biggest contributor to your monthly electricity bill and, on average, it will account for around 36% of your entire household electricity consumption [1]. It stands to reason, then, that the biggest single intervention a homeowner can implement to reduce her electricity bill lies with the geyser. The average household geyser consumes around 4259 kWh per year, or 355 KWh per month when controlled by its thermostat [2].
For a 150L geyser set at 70°C, the default setting for some geysers, around 76 kWh per month is expended by the geyser compensating for lost heat [3]. We call this usage standing losses. Left undisturbed, a geyser will lose around 2.5 kWh per day in this way. This accounts for around 21% of the total consumption of an average 150l geyser. These standing losses are affected by environmental conditions, efficiency, insulation, piping, geyser orientation and any number of other factors. Even with perfect scheduling and insulation, the homeowner is only reducing usage on 21% of the geyser’s total consumption.
The remaining 79% of usage is almost exclusively determined by how the homeowner uses hot water. Savings on this portion occur mostly from reducing the set temperature on the geyser as well as behaviour change. Every time hot water is used, the geyser gets refilled with cold water that needs to be heated to a set temperature, which is normally around 70°C. We call this a usage event. Without any form of control over the geyser, every time hot water is used, the geyser will heat back up to 70°C, which consumes a tremendous amount of electricity. [4]

Below, we explain the effect of reducing a geyser’s set temperature: [5]

From these calculations, we can see that:

  • Simply reducing the set temperature by 20°C can save you 40% on the user-dependent component. Because this component comprises 79% of total geyser usage, a 40% saving on this component correlates to a 6% (a) saving on the geyser’s total consumption.
  • Employing schedule control can save you even more by significantly reducing standing losses. An estimate is required here as this is dependent on so many environmental variables.
    • Suppose, for example, you are saving 50% of the standing losses (due to a lower set temperature and proper on/off scheduling), you would be saving around 38 kWh per month, an additional 7 % (b) off the total consumption
  • Thus, the total theoretical savings on electricity for your geyser could be as high as 3% (a+b) based on these calculations.

Question: “Why don’t I just set my thermostat to 50°C, why do I need your product to do that?”

Answer: There are a few reasons why our product

  1. People rarely make the mental jump to connect your electricity bill to the geyser and then associate the geyser usage with that of the thermostat set temperature. Some, if not most, people are simply unaware of the geyser’s electricity usage, the thermostat setting, or the potential savings from changing the set temperature.
  2. The next hurdle to overcome is actually to climb into your roof and do it – in SA most geysers are located in the roof space or high up on a wall. Then to get to the thermostat setting one would need to turn off the geyser at the mains, get all the equipment you need and a ladder, get into the roof, switch off the isolator switch, remove the faceplate of the geyser, turn the mechanical thermostat dial (with little precision) to a chosen temperature, then put everything back in place again. Now test the temperature on the next shower and possibly have to return to make an adjustment. It really is just a lot of effort to use the thermostat in this way.
  3. You can more easily and frequently change the temperature with our product.
    For example:
    – Someone might only want lukewarm water in the morning for a shave, but scalding hot water in the evening for a shower. Using the Geasy you can set multiple schedules with varying temperatures throughout the day or week.
    – Another person might have solar power which they want to take full advantage of, setting the geyser to maximum temperature throughout the sunniest part of the day, then store that heat until the next day. Using only your thermostat will result in your geyser heating to that temperature throughout the whole day, and not only when you can take advantage of solar power. This means the temperature will never be allowed to drop, thus heating at times when solar power isn’t available as well as increasing standing losses because of a higher temperature being maintained.

It bears mentioning that the savings on your geyser as a percentage of your total household electricity bill will vary drastically based on your total electricity consumption. Suppose a user saves R200 per month on their geyser usage. The % savings on the total electricity bill would be very different for a household with a monthly electricity bill of R500, compared to a household with a bill of R2 000 as an example:

Consider the recent real electricity rate for the City of Cape Town (which has increased more recently):

  • <600 kWh = R2.12/ kWh
  • >600 kWh = R2.92/ kWh

The average geyser, as mentioned above, uses around 355 kWh when controlled with a thermostat. Remaining on the conservative side and assuming a household uses less than 600 kWh/month. This means an average geyser would cost around R752.6/month. Assuming a household can save an arbitrary amount of 94.34 kWh on their geyser’s consumption, that would be equivalent to a monetary saving of R200 and a 26.57 % saving on their geyser’s usage – which research has shown to be entirely possible [6].

Household 1 Household 2
Monthly electricity bill before Geyser Controller R500 R2 000
Monthly savings on Geyser only (R200) (R200)
Monthly electricity bill using Geyser Controller R300 R1 800
% saved on total monthly electricity bill 40% 10%

As we can see above, the same savings on a geyser’s electricity consumption will look very different based on the total consumption of a household. We are, however, confident that a 25% saving across household electricity usage is entirely possible when a home has few energy hungry appliances and multiple geysers.
Ultimately, the largest savings occur in the event of a leak or burst, when timeous action can prevent much larger water, electricity, and consequential losses bills.

 

References

  1. QS Catherine Effective Geyser Management through Intelligent Hot Water Usage Profiling Dissertation, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (2009) p.5; Harris, A, Kilfoil, M. & Uken, E-A. 2008. Options for residential water heating. Proceedings of the 16th Domestic Use of Energy Conference, Cape Town, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (2008) pp.141-148.
  2. QS Catherine Effective Geyser Management through Intelligent Hot Water Usage Profiling Dissertation, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (2009) p.5; Harris, A, Kilfoil, M. & Uken, E-A. 2008. Options for residential water heating. Proceedings of the 16th Domestic Use of Energy Conference, Cape Town, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (2008) pp.141-148.
  3. QS Catherine Effective Geyser Management through Intelligent Hot Water Usage Profiling Dissertation, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (2009) p.13
  4. A high setting of 65°C was chosen as research previously done by (Delport, 2005: 139-144) showed that 64.3°C is the average temperature setting of thermostat controlled geysers. QS Catherine Effective Geyser Management through Intelligent Hot Water Usage Profiling Dissertation, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (2009) p.53
  5. Calculations based on formula (1) in P.J.C.Nel, M.J.Booysen, B.van der Merwe “Energy perceptions in South Africa: An analysis of behaviour and understanding of electric water heaters*”* 32 Energy for Sustainable Development 62-70 at 65.
  6. Nel, P. J. C., Booysen, M. J. & Van Der Merwe, B. Saving on household electric water heating: what works best and by how much?. In IEEE Innovative Smart Grid Technologies – Asia (ISGT-Asia), 4-7 December 2017, Auckland, New Zealand, doi:10.1109/ISGT-Asia.2017.8378439.
Water Monitor
Where is the best place to install a Water Monitor (at home)?

Install it on your main water meter. Monitoring the mains means that you can see the entire home’s water usage and compare it to the municipal bill as well as detect leaks property-wide.

How much water have I used?

Say for example you want to know how much water you’ve used during the hours of 08:00 – 17:00

This example graph is interpreted as follows:

*to see the column values, hover over each of the columns which will then display the exact value of the usage for that hour.

09:00 (for 08:00 – 09:00) | 29 Liters

11:00 (for 10:00 – 11:00) | 94 Liters

13:00 (for 12:00 – 13:00) | 40 Liters

15:00 (for 14:00 – 15:00) | 112 Liters

17:00 (for 16:00 – 17:00) | 105 Liters

Add the hourly totals up:

Total (for 08:00 – 17:00) | 380 Liters

To get the average, divide the total by the number of hours:

380 Liters / 9hrs = 42.3 Liters

How long does the battery last on my Water Monitor?

3 – 10 Years depending on reporting period and environmental conditions.

What are Usage Events?

When your device has registered zero flow, then measured some amount of flow, and again returned to registering zero flow, this measured usage between the zeros is classified as an event. These events are shown in the app as bubbles, with the average flow rate for the event on the vertical axis and their starting time on the horizontal axis, both located at the center of the volume – indicating the relative size of these events identified throughout the day.

What to look out for?

Very high flow rates could mean a burst, while very low flow rates could indicate a leak. For example having a large bubble with a low flow-rate might be a sign of a constant leak in your water system. The gray bubbles are your previous week’s usage. By comparing your current weekday’s events with that of a previous week, you can identify abnormal events and potential problems.

What are event thresholds?

The event threshold determines at which set volume a notification will be sent. For example: Let’s say you have a leak and its leaking water at 10L every hour. You have your event threshold set to 200 L. After 20 hours (assuming you havent used water), the event size wil reach 200L. Then one hour later it will have gone over the event threshold and you will receive a notification informing you of this. This is a usefull way of keeping track of your water usage and to know when you have a leak. Thresholds are by default set to 15 000 L, but you may need to change it for your individual requirements.

Note: Once the event threshold notification has triggered, it will not trigger again unless water usage has returned to zero.