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Electric heating "fil pilote"?


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The panneau rayonnants that I will be using have a fil pilote 2 ordres.

I can understand how to wire them (presumably using a programmer) and realise that no signal gives "confort" mode and a 240vac signal will give "eco" mode but what do these modes mean?

My house has the standard (I think) heures plein and heures creuse tariff, I don't think I have tempo but thats another term that I don't understand!

Also what type of programmer should I use, are they simply time based?

The final question is about the more expensive heaters with fil pilote 6 ordres are they for use with tempo (what is it?) and what are the extra functions Conf1 and conf2?

I look forward to some insight, I tried in Brico-depot where I bought them and the "expert" said he "thought" that Eco would use less electricity than Confort - well worth 10 minutes of my stumbling discussion in French!

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The 'modes' are heat settings.those having 6 fils (wires) are able to supply six different heat settings contolled by programmer/thermostat. The fil pilote is the control circuit wire. 2 ordres means 2 heat settings.

You say you know how to wire them and then say "presumably with a programmer". Pardon me if I say this sounds like a contradiction. Nor am I sure what you mean by "no signal confort/240v signal eco", could you elaborate please?

Tempo is an option you can have from edf which charges different prices on different days on a colour coding system. If your house is mostly or all electric it probably isnt worth having as almost all the expensive (red) days are in the winter.

If you look at your meter and it has 2 sets of numbers prefixed by HP and HC then you are on 'heures creuses'.

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There is only one fil pilote, the number relates to the nuber of commands that are sent down the wire for each heater to intepret.In a 6 order system the heater can either be

Normal Temperature as set on the heaters own control.

Normal -1 degree

Normal  -2 degrees


Frost Prevention

Disconnected (Load Shedding)

These pulses are sent out by a box added to the distribution board. A "Gestionaire D'Energie" The GdE interacts with the meter so that on Red Days (Penal Charges under the Tempo system) the temperature is automatically reduced.


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Thanks for the replys.

From what you have said I deduce that "confort" mode corresponds to the thermostat setting on the heater.

I still need an explanation of what "Eco" mode is.

Please don't tell me that it is more economical (the adolescent in Brico-Depot thought that that answered my question) I need to understand what it actually does in this mode.

With regard to the "Confort -1" and "Confort -2" on the fil de pilote 6 ordre, I had deduced that was what it probably was but does a reduction of 1 or 2 degrees make a significant difference on a high tariff day?

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Here is what I thought it was.

Confort will keep the temperature close to your target temperature e.g. the setting +-1 deg

ECO will operate more 'coarsely' e.g. setting +- 4 deg or possible +1 -4


If the above is correct the confort will 'kick-in' more often. BUT I am only guessing really.




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Thanks for the correction.

So eco is for those too simple to turn the dial down eh ? There's one to add to the list of 'most desirable features' then.

Still, my (French) central heating has a 'cup of coffee' button. Something to do with temporarily not dropping the temp down to your normal tight fisted level while you have the neighbours in I think.

Oh and it also has a 'if you are on strike on Monday ' button which temporarily replaces the Monday settings for the weekend programme.

Sorry for the hijack. John

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I think the idea is that when the meter receives a signal to tell it that today is a red day for the Tempo tariff, it automatically reduces the heating by this set amount, thereby putting off for a few days the arrival of the bailiffs.

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