Getting more from a British Gas UP2 Timer

14Jan18

TL;DR

The UP2 is a rebadged Drayton LP822, which means that it can operate in 1, 5/2 or 7 day modes, set with a jumper on the back. So if yours is set to 1 day (like mine was) then you can get loads more flexibility by changing that jumper.

Background

My central heating was installed with a Potterton EP2002 timer, but when that failed it was replaced with a British Gas UP2 (under the maintenance policy that I’ve had since moving into my house). One of the things that I liked about the EP2002 was its ability to have different timings at the weekend. I asked the engineer if the new timer he was putting in could do that, and his answer was that it couldn’t. If only he’d bothered to read the manual (which incidentally he didn’t leave me with). Fast forward almost a decade and I’ve had enough of getting up at the weekend and having to run downstairs to press the ‘advance’ button for heating and/or hot water, so I started looking for alternatives.

This thread pointed out that the UP2 is a rebadged Drayton Lifestyle timer, though it seems that guesses on the model aren’t quite on target, and are based on how the UP2 has been jumpered. I was on the verge of buying an LP722 when I stumbled on this eBay listing for an UP2 with the vital comment ‘Change type by pins at rear’.

An easy change

Firstly I turned off the heating system at its isolation switch. The UP2 is held onto its backplate with a couple of screws, and can be removed by loosening them and lifting it out and up. I could then get to the jumpers on the back:

Here’s a closer look at the three jumpers:

The top and bottom jumpers should be left alone. The top switches between Linked (hot water and central heating on the same timer) and Independent (hot water and central heating on separate timers). The bottom switches between Pumped and Gravity.

The switch I needed to change was the middle one. It was set to 1 which has the same 24hr timers every day. The other option is 7 which can then be configured to give different timers for each day of the week. If the jumper is left off altogether then it will offer 5/2 mode with different timers for weekdays and weekends, but there’s little point to that as 7 day programming starts with 5/2 and is then further customised for individual days (should you wish).

For full details take a look at the manual for the LP822 (pdf)

After setting the switch to 7 I put the timer back onto its mounting plate and tightened the screws to hold it in place. On powering the system back up I found that it remembered the time and my previous 24h settings, but I was then able to customise the weekend timings using 5/2 mode. I’ve not bothered to customise specific days because I don’t need that.

Conclusion

I’m a bit annoyed that I’ve put up with my timer being on the wrong settings for so long, but pleased that I ultimately found an easy fix (and that I didn’t have to buy a new timer).

Further adventures

I’d like to have more sophisticated control of my heating system, but I’m wary of cloud based services such as those behind Nest, Hive etc. So I’d like to do something Raspberry Pi based, likely starting with the thermostat. If I end up doing that I might return to this video of dismantling the UP2.



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