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The Smart Thermostat C Wire Explained - What If You Don't Have One?

  AUTHOR:Carlos Paras
 UPDATED:October 4, 2021

The smart thermostat has captured the attention of many homeowners with its ability to automate a home’s heating and cooling system. Not to mention its ability to connect to a Wi-Fi network which allows control of the thermostat from an app on a smartphone or computer device.

In addition to its convenience and energy saving features, another reason for the smart thermostat’s popularity is its ease of installation. You don’t have to be extremely handy or technically savvy to add this piece of modern-day technology to your home.

But before heading straight into the installation of a smart thermostat, it’s important to become familiar with the thermostat’s wiring. Most importantly, the C wire.

Many smart thermostats require a C wire to power the display screen, wireless connection, and internal processor.

It’s this article, I’ll explain what a C wire is, how it works, and how to know if you have one. We’ll also go over the options available if you don’t have a C wire and want to install a new smart thermostat.

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What Is a C Wire?


The C wire, a.k.a. the "common wire", allows a constant flow of 24 VAC (volts AC) power to a smart thermostat. However, the C wire doesn’t provide the actual source of power to the thermostat.

The wires that provide the source of power are the R wires (or hot wires). They are labeled Rh (for heating), Rc (for cooling), or Rh/c (for both heating and cooling). Some thermostats simply have one wire labeled R.

The power from the R wire isn’t continuous and that is where the C wire comes in.

The C wire completes the circuit from the R wire back to the HVAC system’s control board. This is what provides the continuous flow of power which keeps the smart thermostat’s display and Wi-Fi capabilities running 24/7.

What Color Is a C-wire?


The C wire’s color isn’t standardized, so its color can’t be guaranteed across all HVAC systems. It is most often either blue or black, unless the installer did their own rewiring to create a C wire.

These are the most common colors and the labels used for thermostat wires:

  • Blue or Black – C – The common wire

  • Red – R – 24 VAC power from the transformer in your furnace

  • Red – Rc – 24 VAC provides power to Cooling

  • Red – Rh – 24 VAC provides power to Heating

  • Green – G – Fan
  • Yellow – Y – Air Conditioner

How Do I know If I Have a C wire?


Checking the labels for the wiring in your thermostat is the easiest way to figure out if you have a C wire. If you open up your thermostat, you will see some wires connected to labeled terminals inside.

One of the terminals will be labeled C and if there is a wire connected to that terminal, then you know you have a C wire.

If you don't happen to see a C wire connected to the C terminal, there is still a chance that you have a C wire installed.

Sometimes, if a C wire isn’t needed on the thermostat, the installer will run a C wire from the HVAC control board anyway and leave it disconnected behind the thermostat. Head down to your HVAC control board and see if there is a wire attached to the C terminal there.

If there is a wire connected to the C terminal at the HVAC control board:

  1. Note its color
  2. Check if there are any wires tucked behind the back of the thermostat with the same color
  3. If there is a matching wire, that should be your C wire.

If there is no wire connected to the C terminal at the HVAC board, you most likely do not have one.

A C wire isn’t necessary for all heating and cooling systems or thermostats. If you have an older heating and cooling system, there really isn’t a need for a C wire.

Not having a C wire doesn't mean that you can't install a new smart thermostat in your home. There are several options available if you don’t have a C wire and still want to take advantage of a smart thermostat.

What If I Don’t Have a C Wire?


Caution: The following options require working with the wiring from your HVAC system. Although thermostats use low voltage power, you should turn off the power to your HVAC system before connecting or running any wiring.

If you've never worked with wiring before, I highly suggest hiring a pro to do this. But, if you’re experienced with wiring and want to do it yourself, the process really isn’t too difficult or complicated.

Here is a list of options and step by step instructions to follow if you don't have a C wire:

Option 1: Add a C Wire to Your Furnace


If your furnace and new thermostat have a C terminal, you can simply run a new wire between your furnace and thermostat.


  1. Turn off the power to the furnace and thermostat at the circuit breaker.

  2. Make sure the power is off by trying to turn the thermostat on.

  3. Remove the access panel from the furnace and locate the thermostat wires and terminals.

  4. Connect an 18 AWG wire to the C terminal at the furnace.

  5. Next, remove the thermostat face plate.

  6. Now, run the new C wire from the furnace to the back of the new thermostat. This may take a little work depending on how far the new thermostat is from the furnace.

  7. Connect the wire to the C terminal at the thermostat.

  8. Put the thermostat face plate back on.

  9. Put the access panel back on the furnace.

  10. Turn the power for the furnace and thermostat back on at the circuit breaker.

Option 2: Run New Thermostat Cable


An alternative to Option 1 is to run completely new 18/5 wire from your furnace to your new thermostat. You’ll need to already have a C terminal on your HVAC control board for this option to work.

18/5 wire is simply a bundle of five colored, 18 AWG wires. If you only have a heating system with no AC, you can use 18/3 wire. But, if you’re going to do the work of running new wire, might as well use 18/5 in case you install AC in the future.

Running new 18/5 wire might be a little easier than Option 1 since you can use the old wiring to pull the new wires through the wall and to the back of the thermostat (see step 6 below).


  1. Turn off the power to the furnace and thermostat at the circuit breaker.

  2. Make sure the power is off by trying to turn the thermostat on.

  3. Remove the access panel from the furnace and locate the thermostat wires and terminals.

  4. Disconnect the old wires and connect the new wires to the appropriate terminals on the HVAC control panel. You can use the color and label chart we provided at the beginning of the article.

  5. Next, remove the thermostat face plate.

  6. Now, run the wires from the HVAC control board to the thermostat.

    An easy way to run the new 18/5 wire to the thermostat is to securely connect the new wire to the old, then use the old wire to pull the new wire along the same route to the back of the thermostat.

  7. Attach the new wires to the appropriate terminals on the thermostat.

  8. Put the thermostat face plate back on.

  9. Put the access panel back on the furnace.

  10. Turn the power for the furnace and thermostat back on at the circuit breaker.

Option 3: Use the existing G wire for the C wire:


This is probably the easiest and least expensive method to add a C wire to your system. You should only use this method if:

  • The thermostat is wired directly to the furnace and not to a zone panel
  • There is no other equipment wired to the fan such as a purifier, humidifier, or any other indoor air quality (IAQ) equipment
  • The thermostat only runs the fan in cooling mode and doesn’t need the fan for heating

If the conditions listed above are met, you can proceed with this option. If not, you will have to try a different method.

It is important to note, with this option, you will lose the ability to manually control the fan. However, it will still operate normally with the thermostat in the Auto position.


  1. Turn off the power to the furnace and thermostat at the circuit breaker.

  2. Make sure the power is off by trying to turn the thermostat on.

  3. Remove the access panel from the furnace and locate the thermostat wires and terminals.

  4. Disconnect the G wire from its terminal on the HVAC control board.

  5. Connect the G wire to the C terminal on the HVAC control board.

  6. Add a jumper wire to connect the Y and G terminals.

  7. Remove the thermostat face plate and disconnect the G wire from its terminal.

  8. Connect the G wire to the C terminal on the thermostat.

  9. Put the thermostat face plate back on.

  10. Put the access panel back on the furnace.

  11. Turn the power for the furnace and thermostat back on at the circuit breaker.

Option 4: Use a C Wire Adapter Kit


C wire adapter kits can allow an existing 4-wire system to work with a thermostat that requires a C wire. In order to use an adapter kit, there must be a minimum of four wires currently present on your thermostat and HVAC system.

The most popular adapter kit available is the Venstar Add-A-Wire (link to Amazon). It is inexpensive and user friendly for the novice home improver.

The Kit Includes:

  • Venstar Add-a-wire device
  • Diode ‘Y’ – (This is a blue wire split into a yellow wire and a green wire)
  • Installation manual
  • Electrical caps
  • 2 wire nuts

Tools You Will Need:

  • Electrical tape
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Drill bit

How to Install the Venstar Add a Wire kit to a 4-wire system:

  1. Turn off the power to the furnace and thermostat at the circuit breaker.

  2. Make sure the power is off by trying to turn the thermostat on.

  3. Start at the thermostat and remove the thermostat face plate.

  4. Remove the G wire from its terminal and connect it to the C terminal.

  5. Remove the Y wire from its terminal and connect it the blue wire on the Diode ‘Y’ with a wire nut.

  6. Connect the green wire from the Diode ‘Y’ to the G terminal on the thermostat.

  7. Connect the yellow wire from the Diode ‘Y’ to the Y terminal on the thermostat.

  8. Put the thermostat face plate back on.

  9. Remove the access panel from the furnace and locate the thermostat wires and terminals.

  10. Mount the Venstar device near the HVAC control board.

  11. Connect the red wire from the Venstar device to the R terminal on the HVAC control board.

  12. Connect the brown wire from the Venstar device to the C terminal on the HVAC control board.

  13. Remove the G wire from its terminal and connect it to the C terminal on the HVAC control board.

  14. Remove the Y wire from its terminal and connect it to the blue wire from the Venstar device with a wire nut.

  15. Connect the yellow wire from the Venstar device to the Y terminal on the HVAC control board.

  16. Connect the green wire from the Venstar device to the G terminal on the HVAC control board.

  17. Put the access panel back on the furnace.

  18. Turn the power for the furnace and thermostat back on at the circuit breaker.

The Venstar Add-A-Wire kit can work with existing 2 and 3 wire systems. For more details on how to connect these systems, see the online installation manual here.


Option 5: Purchase a Smart Thermostat with a Power Extender Kit


ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control , Black

Smart thermostats like the ecobee SmartThermostat (link to Amazon) and the ecobee3 lite (link to Amazon) come with a Power Extender Kit (PEK) in the package. The PEK allows the smart thermostat to be used without a C wire.

The PEK will only work with HVAC systems that have:

  • 4 wires - W/W1, Y/Y1, G, and R (or RC or RH)
  • 3 wires - Y/Y1, G, and R (or RC or RH).

To install the PEK:

  1. Turn off the power to the furnace and thermostat at the circuit breaker.

  2. Make sure the power is off by trying to turn the thermostat on.

  3. Remove the access panel from the furnace and locate the thermostat wires and terminals.

  4. Disconnect and label the R, Y, G, and W wires from the HVAC control board.

  5. Connect the R, Y, G, and W to the corresponding terminals on the PEK.

  6. Connect the 5 labeled wires coming out of the PEK to the corresponding terminals on the HVAC control board.

  7. Mount the PEK to the inside of the furnace.

  8. Put the access panel back on the furnace.

  9. Remove the face plate from the old thermostat.

  10. Disconnect and label the wires from the old thermostat.

  11. Remove the old thermostat mounting plate.

  12. Install the new thermostat mounting plate.

  13. Connect the thermostat wires to the corresponding terminals on the new thermostat.

  14. Put the face plate on the new thermostat.

  15. Turn the power for the furnace and thermostat back on at the circuit breaker.


Option 6: Purchase a Power Stealing Thermostat


The most obvious solution to not having a C wire is to use a smart thermostat system that doesn’t require one. Most smart thermostats that don’t require a C wire use a process called power stealing.

What is a power stealing thermostat? A power stealing thermostat "steals" power from the circuits used to activate or deactivate the heating and cooling functions of the HVAC system.

When the thermostat is off or inactive, it draws a small amount of current from the unused circuits. Some power stealing thermostats are designed to draw this extra power even while the HVAC system is running.

The stolen current is used to power thermostat functions such as staying connected to Wi-Fi, powering the display, and recharging a battery or capacitor. The thermostat must draw just enough power to complete these functions.

If too much power is drawn, it may cause an inactive thermostat to switch on. If not enough power is drawn, it may cause the thermostat to shut down or the battery to run out of power.

The difficulty in determining the correct amount power to draw is one of the main reasons power stealing thermostats often operate erratically. In addition, using the circuits in this manner may cause the thermostat to break down after a few months of service.

There are plenty of negative reviews and experiences from people all over the internet complaining about the performance of their power stealing thermostat. I would recommend steering away from this option and sticking to one of the other methods listed above.

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  • EASILY INSTALL YOURSELF: It only takes about 30 minutes thanks to an easy to follow installation guide and an in-app...
  • CONTROL FROM ANYWHERE: Easily adjusts your thermostat from wherever you are using your iOS (iPhone iPad Apple Watch) or...
  • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS: Ecobee3 lite works with your favorite smart home setups including Apple HomeKit, Alexa, Google...
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Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat with Touchscreen Color Display, Works with Alexa, Energy Star Certified, C-wire Required, ST75 (Renewed)
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  • MOST INSTALL IN 30 MINUTES OR LESS**: Use the built-in level, illuminated easy click terminals and step-by-step in-app...
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Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat with Touchscreen Color Display, Works with Alexa, Energy Star Certified, C-wire Required, ST75W
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  • SAVE ABOUT 23% ON HVAC ENERGY*: By adjusting the temperature using flexible scheduling, remote access, and geofencing, Sensi...
  • MOST INSTALL IN 30 MINUTES OR LESS**: Use the built-in level, illuminated easy-click terminals and step-by-step app...
  • SMART HOME COMPATIBLE: Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings smart home...
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Sours: https://www.diysmarthomesolutions.com/smart-thermostat-c-wire-explained/

Top WiFi Thermostats That Don’t Need a C-Wire [2021 Reviews]

Traditional, non-smart thermostats act as a switch that turns your heat or air-conditioning on or off. It doesn’t need a steady power source. Today’s wifi thermostats, on the other hand, need electricity to power the unit’s backlit display and other functions and features.

A C-wire, put simply, supplies constant power to your connected thermostat. If you want a smart wifi thermostat but do not have a C-wire to power it, then you can run a new thermostat wire from your thermostat to your furnace.

However, this can take a lot of work, depending on the distance between the two. If you don’t want that, you can buy an adapter that allows you to add a C-wire to your thermostat. This option, however, is only ideal for those smart thermostats that already have a four-wire 24VAC layout and lack only a C-wire.

Plus, installation can be a tad too daunting, especially for people who do not know how to open their furnaces.

You can also just simply buy a smart thermostat that does not need a C-wire. You still get the same features as other smart thermostats without the need to trouble yourself with costly and complex installation. So, what are the best WiFi thermostats without a C-wire?

These are the three best Wi-Fi thermostats in the market that do not need a C-wire:

Contents (Jump to)

#1 Nest Learning Thermostat

  • Smart Learning: The Nest Learning Thermostat takes away the hassle of having to program everything. It learns your behavior automatically to give you the perfect levels of cooling and heating while also allowing you to save on your fuel costs.
  • Starts Working Quickly: It takes only a week for Nest to know about your routines, and then it pretty much works on its own after. The thermostat uses your phone’s GPS and sensors to know whether somebody’s home or not and if everybody’s out, it will turn on Eco Temperature mode to save energy. Note: learn more about how it works.
  • Farsight Tech: With its Farsight feature, Nest lights up when you go inside the room to show you the current temperature, time or weather.
  • App Control: It has a companion app that allows you to see how much energy you have used, how much you have saved, and how to save more on energy. This app also allows you to control the thermostat using your smartphone.
  • Design: Nest is beautifully designed. From its interface to its steel ring, Nest harmoniously blends with your wall no matter color it is. However, the Nest’s real value is in its sensors. Ambient light sensors can adjust the brightness of the display, while it tracks the last 10 temperatures of your home. It also has a humidity sensor to show you how muggy it is inside your home and even turn on the dehumidifier to help things a bit. Nest also checks the weather report so that it could adjust the temperature inside your house based on whether it is hot or cold outside.

Nest Learning Thermostat

Even while the Nest Learning Thermostat does not really need a C-wire, there are instances when it is recommended. Nest recharges its batteries using the heating and cooling wires, and it “steals” power from these wires to operate. But if you are using Nest with some control panels that will require a C-wire, then you need one. Some micro-controller-based systems and some gas valves also need a C-wire to work with Nest.

#2 Ecobee

  • One of the Smartest Wifi Thermostats: One of the biggest advantages of getting an Ecobee3 is that it works even without a C-wire. Ecobee was the first company to come out with a thermostat that is app-enabled. Now on its third generation, Ecobee gives you a Wi-Fi thermostat and a remote temperature sensor that can be integrated with IFTTT, Apple Homekit and Amazon Alexa. NOTE: I’ve now updated this section for the release of the new Ecobee4 (read more about it here).
  • Offers a Solid C-Wire Workaround: Ecobee technically needs a C-wire, but if your current heating and cooling systems do not have it, you can use the Power Extender Kit that is included in the package.
  • Multiple Room Sensors: Ecobee has room sensors that allow it to detect cold or hot areas in the room and adjust the temperature accordingly. You can also use your smartphone to adjust the temperature. The Ecobee can detect if there is somebody in the room or not and it can connect to and control other devices. The companion app gives you monthly reports on your saved energy and gives you tips on how to save more energy. On average, you could cut 23% on your energy costs.

Ecobee Thermostat

  • Does Not Steal Power: Unlike the Nest Learning Thermometer, Ecobee does not steal power from other wires in your thermostat unit to charge.
  • Better Integrations: The IFTTT integration is one feature to watch. It certainly is very useful if you have a connected home, and it allows you to get more out of your smart thermostat. For instance, you can get an IFTTT recipe that would notify you when your Ecobee goes on Away mode automatically. You can also use Ecobee with your Amazon Alexa, allowing you to speak to it in order to adjust the temperature.

#3 Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat

The Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat promises to give you everything you need in a thermostat, allowing you to feel utmost comfort in your home. It boasts easy installation, one you can do yourself. It also boasts a companion app that enables you to remotely adjust heat and cooling from anywhere in the world.

The mobile app gives you the current temperature in your home, as well as humidity levels and even the current weather forecast. It also allows you to see your upcoming cooling and heating schedules.

Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat

  • A Good Halfway Point: Sensi looks like your typical current thermostats, which means that even if you have a traditional-looking home, the device will still fit right in. Even so, it has modern features that you would look for in a thermostat.
  • Flexibility: For instance, it displays the current temperature and humidity, and it can show you the weather report for the day. It also allows you to manually schedule your heating and cooling preferences, and you can use it with Amazon Alexa as well as the Wink Hub.
  • Simple Installation: Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat is very simple to install and very simple to set up. It also has a backlight button that is always lit to make it easier for you to see things even in the dark.

Comparing the Top Battery Operated WiFi Thermostats Without C-Wire

While it seems that Ecobee3 and Nest Learning Thermostat are keen on competing with each other as far as price is concerned, Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat is happy to give users a more affordable choice. The Ecobee4 and Nest are each priced comparably, while the Sensi is the cheapest.

Despite being cheaper, Sensi offers most of the basic features you’d find in the more expensive brands. For instance, all three display temperatures on screen, as well as humidity and time. You can also get weather reports for the day. All three allow you to control the fans while also having a companion app that enables you to control the heat and cooling at home from anywhere in the world. All three also offer some way to manually schedule heating and cooling for your home, as well as offer the ability to lock the thermostat so that your kids and other people would not be able to adjust it.

That cheaper price tag, however, does come with some trade-offs. For one, your Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat does not have sensors that allow it to detect if there is a person in the room and its mobile app does not have usage logs. These are features that both Nest and Ecobee3 offer.

One of the most pronounced differences between the three thermostats is the way you control the thermostat unit when you do not have your phone with you. Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat is controlled by physical buttons on the unit, while Nest 3rd Generation has a rotary knob around the main unit. Only Ecobee3 gives you a touchscreen interface to make adjusting temperatures a whole lot easier.

Ecobee3 also has remote sensors that help you get the most comfortable temperatures in different areas of the house. However, while Ecobee3 has a simple workaround to the C-wire problem, it might not be that simple to install. You need to put the extender directly on your HVAC unit’s controller board. So it might not be easy to do for a beginner.

Side by side Wifi Thermostats Comparison: Nest vs Ecobee vs Sensi Wi-Fi

This table provides an easier look at the features for each thermostat:

Google Nest Learning Thermostat - Programmable Smart Thermostat for Home - 3rd Generation Nest...
ecobee4 Smart Thermostat with Built-In Alexa, Room Sensor Included
Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat for Smart Home, DIY, Works With Alexa, Energy Star Certified,...
Smart Response or Autoscheduling
Stainless steel, white, copper, black
Google Nest Learning Thermostat - Programmable Smart Thermostat for Home - 3rd Generation Nest...
Smart Response or Autoscheduling
Stainless steel, white, copper, black
ecobee4 Smart Thermostat with Built-In Alexa, Room Sensor Included
Smart Response or Autoscheduling
Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat for Smart Home, DIY, Works With Alexa, Energy Star Certified,...
Smart Response or Autoscheduling

Looking for a Honeywell Thermostat With No C Wire?

I’ve received this question a few times, so I wanted to answer it in context here.

While the latest “smart” Thermostats from Honeywell (Lyric models) typically do require C-wires off the shelf, you can opt for a capable their 7-Day WiFi Programmable Thermostat here instead. It’s not specifically “smart learning” like the Nest, Lyric, Ecobee, etc… but the WiFi customization makes it significantly smarter than “most” thermostats.

Final say: What Wifi Thermostat should you buy?

If you only need a thermostat that would allow you to easily control your house’s temperature without the frills, then you should consider the Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat. This allows you to save a little bit while giving you a decent set of features, including integration with Amazon Alexa and Wink.

If Price is the Issue: Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat is also a good choice for people who do not want to tinker with their HVAC systems too much just to solve the no C-wire problem.

For Everyone Else: However, if you are looking for a smart thermostat that helps you save energy and cut costs, then check out the Ecobee4 and the Nest Learning Thermostat. These two might be worth the additional money you pay for them when you realize that they will keep you from heating or cooling a room when nobody is there. They also give you insights into your usage and even give you actionable tips to help you save even more.

Thermostat on the Way? Check out my guide to the optimal placement for WiFi thermostats or The Best Wifi Thermostats for your Vacation Home

Filed Under: Home Climate

Sours: https://www.allhomerobotics.com/best-wifi-thermostats-not-need-c-wire/
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WHAT IS A C-WIRE? DO I NEED ONE? WHAT IF I DON'T HAVE A C-WIRE?

If you're installing a new thermostat, but your existing one is missing a C-Wire, you have the following options:


Check for Unused C-Wire

Some homes have an unused C-Wire hidden in the wall. To check for an unused C-Wire:


1. Turn off power

To protect your equipment, turn off the power at the breaker box or switch that controls you heating and cooling equipment.

Note: The thermostat off switch won't turn off the power to the equipment.

C-Wire


2. Check that your system is off

Change the temperature on your existing thermostat so that your system starts heating or cooling. If you don't hear or feel the system turn on within 5 minutes, the power is off.

Note: If you have a digital thermostat that has a blank display, skip this step.

C-Wire


3. Remove your existing thermostat from the wall plate

On most thermostats, you can take off the thermostat by grasping and gently pulling. Some thermostats may have screws, buttons, or clasps.

Note: Don't remove any wires from your thermostat at this time.

C-Wire


4. Do you have a line voltage system?

Line voltage systems have thick, black wires with wire nuts, or are labeled high voltage (120V or higher).

YES – Your system may not compatible. Contact Support at 1-855-733-5465 to find a pro-installer in your area.

NO – Continue to the next step.

C-Wire


5. Take a picture of your existing wall plate's wiring

Make sure you get a good view of all terminals. You may need to reference this image later.

C-Wire


6. Remove any jumpers

A jumper is used to connect two terminals. It may look like a small staple or colored wire.

Note: Don't discard any jumpers.

C-Wire


7. Label wires

Label each wire on your existing wall plate with the stickers provided with your new thermostat. If you don't have stickers, you can use tape and a pen.

Note: Don't label jumpers.

C-Wire


8. Write down the colors of the wires

Check the boxes and write down the color of the wires connected to terminals in the existing wall plate. Check all that apply (not all will apply).

Note: If there are wires in terminals that aren't listed, you will need additional wiring support. Contact Support at 1-855-733-5465.

C-Wire


9. Disconnect the wires and remove the existing wall plate

Some wire terminals are "push-in" type (gently push on the terminal to release the wire), and some are flat-head screws. You may need a screwdriver to release wires from terminals.

Note: Wrap the wires around a pencil to prevent them from falling into the wall.

C-Wire


10. Do you have a C-Wire?

This is to confirm that your system isn't using a C-Wire. Look at the thermostat wiring checklist from Step 8: is the C-Terminal checked? Alternatively, you can look at the photo from Step 5: is there a wire in the C-Terminal?

YES – This means your thermostat is using a C-Wire, and you don't need to install a C-Wire Adapter. You can continue installing your new thermostat.

NO – This means your thermostat isn't using a C-Wire. Continue to the next step.

C-Wire

C-Wire Go to your furnace or heating system

This system is often located in your basement, attic, or garage.


11. Do you have a zoning panel?

Your zoning panel is often mounted to the ducting on your furnace. It typically has a bundle of wires that runs to your heating/cooling system, and smaller bundles of wires that run to dampers on your ductwork.

YES – C-Wire Adapter installation is more complicated for zoned systems. Contact Support at 1-855-733-5465 to find a pro-installer in your area.

NO – Continue to the next step.

Return to your existing thermostat

C-Wire


12. Do you have an unused wire?

You previously removed your existing wall plate. Look at the bundle of wires coming from the wall.

Note: You may have to pull the bundle of wires out from the wall to find the unused wire.

YES – You can use this unused C-Wire. Continue to Step 13.

NO – Since you don't have C-Wire, you need to use a C-Wire Adapter. Continue to the Use C-Wire Adapter section.

C-Wire


13. Label unused wire

Label your unused wire with the "C" sticker provided with your new thermostat. If you don't have stickers, you can use tape and a pen. You may need to use a wire stripper to expose at least 1/4 inch of wire.

Note: If you have multiple unused wires, then label only one wire and make note of the color.

C-Wire Go to your furnace or heating system

This system is often located in your basement, attic, or garage. Bring a flashlight and screwdriver.

C-Wire


14. Remove cover from furnace or heating system

Open the heating and cooling system's cover to find the control board. The control board may be at the top or the bottom. You should see the same terminal labels that are on your thermostat.

Note: If you don't see a control board, your system may not be compatible. Contact Support at 1-855-733-5465 to find a pro-installer.

C-Wire


15. Find the other end of the unused wire

In Step 12, you found a bundle of wires near your existing thermostat. Locate the other end of this bundle near your furnace or heating system, and then find the unused wire.

Note: The unused wire should be the same color as the one near your existing thermostat. See Step 13 for the color you wrote down.


16. Connect the unused wire to the C-terminal in the control board

Note: If there are existing wires in the C-terminal, make sure they are still connected after connecting the unused wire.

C-Wire


17. Close the cover to the furnace or heating system

Be sure the cover is completely closed. Some systems won't power up if the cover isn't fully closed.

Congratulations, you've connected an unused C-Wire! You won't need to use a C-Wire Adapter. You are now complete.

C-Wire


Use C-Wire Adapter

A C-Wire Adapter replaces the need for a C-Wire. The C-Wire Adapter is included in newer Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostats. If you own an older thermostat model, you can purchase a C-Wire Adapter here.

To use a C-Wire Adapter:


18. Do you have a G and Y wire?

In Step 7, you labeled the wires of your existing wall plate. Look at those wires and make sure you have both a G and Y labeled.

YES – This means your system is compatible with the C-Wire Adapter. Continue to the next step.

NO – Your system is not compatible with the C-Wire Adapter. Contact Support at 1-855-733-5465 to find a pro-installer.


19. Relabel your G-Wire to "C"

Relabel your G-Wire with the "C" sticker provided with your new thermostat. If you don't have stickers, you can use tape and a pen.

C-Wire


20. Relabel your Y-Wire to "K"

Relabel your Y-Wire with the "K" sticker provided with your new thermostat. If you don't have stickers, you can use tape and a pen.

C-Wire Go to your furnace or heating system

This system is often located in your basement, attic, or garage. Bring a flashlight, labels, phone, and screwdriver.

C-Wire


21. Remove cover from furnace or heating system

Open the heating and cooling system's cover to find the control board. You should see the same terminal labels that are on your thermostat.

Note: You may need to unscrew the cover. The control board may be at the top or the bottom.

C-Wire


22. Take a picture of the control panel wiring

Make sure you get a good view of the following terminals, since you may need to reference this image later:

  • G
  • C
  • R
  • W or W1 (not in all systems)
  • Y or Y1

Note: If you have wires connected to two R-Terminals, then you have a two-transformer system and need additional assistance. Contact Support at 1-855-733-5465 to find a pro-installer.

C-Wire


23. Label wires

Label each the following wires with the stickers provided with your new thermostat:

  • G
  • C
  • R
  • W or W1 (not in all systems)
  • Y or Y1

If you don't have stickers, you can use tape and a pen.

Note: If multiple wires are connected to a terminal, only label the wires running to your thermostat *.

C-Wire


24. Disconnect the labeled wires

Disconnect only the wires that you labeled. Don't disconnect any unlabeled wires. If unlabeled wires disconnect, reconnect immediately.

Note: You may need a screwdriver to release wires from terminals.

C-Wire


25. Connect labeled wires to the C-Wire Adapter

On the C-Wire Adapter's "Thermostat" side, press down a tab to open the corresponding terminal. Insert the labeled wires to the following terminals:

  • W-Wire --> W-Terminal
  • G-Wire --> C Terminal
  • Y-Wire --> K-Terminal
  • R-Wire --> R-Terminal

Note: This will convert G into C, and Y into K.

C-Wire


26. Make sure the wires are connected

Gently tug on the wires to make sure they are connected to the C-Wire Adapter.

C-Wire


27. Connect C-Wire Adapter to control board

On the C-Wire Adapter's "Equipment" side, connect the wires to the corresponding terminals on the control board.

Note: Be sure to remove the plastic tip on each wire before connecting to a terminal.

C-Wire


28. Mount C-Wire Adapter

Use the included mount and adhesive pad to attach the C-Wire Adapter inside your furnace or heating system.

Note: Make sure your wires aren't over-extended or strained.

C-Wire

C-Wire


29. Close the cover to the furnace or heating system

Be sure the cover is completely closed. Some systems won't power up if the cover isn't fully closed.

Congratulations, you've connected a C-Wire Adapter! You are now complete.

C-Wire


Check if your System is Heat-only or RedLINK

Both heat-only and RedLINK thermostat systems have only two wires, typically R and W for heat only systems. Heat-only and REDLINK thermostats with only 2 wires are not directly compatible with wi-fi thermostat replacements or C Wire Adapters. Contact Support at 1-855-733-5465 to find a pro-installer.


30. Turn off power

To protect your equipment, turn off the power at the breaker box or switch that controls your furnace or heating equipment.

Note: Turning off your thermostat won't turn off the power to the furnace or heating equipment.

C-Wire


31. Check that your system is off

Change the temperature on your existing thermostat so that your system starts heating or cooling. If you don't hear or feel the system turn on within 5 minutes, the power is off.

Note: If you have a digital thermostat that has a blank display, skip this step.

C-Wire


32. Remove your existing thermostat from the wall plate

On most thermostats, you can take off the thermostat by grasping and gently pulling. Some thermostats may have screws, buttons, or clasps.

Note: Don't remove any wires from your thermostat at this time.

C-Wire


33. Do you only have 2 wires?

Check how many wires you see connected to terminals.

YES – Continue to next step.

NO – You don't have a heat-only system.


34. Are the 2 wires connected to the R and W terminals?

YES – You have a heat-only system, which is more complicated. Contact Support at 1-855-733-5465 to find a pro-installer in your area.

NO – You may have a RedLINK system, which is more complicated. Contact Support at 1-855-733-5465 to find a pro-installer in your area.

Sours: https://www.honeywellhome.com/us/en/support/everything-you-need-to-know-about-a-c-wire/

3-wire heat-only thermostat (R, G, W)

If you have a heat-only system, you may notice that your thermostat has three wires—R, G, and W. In this scenario, the Power Extender Kit (PEK) is not compatible. There are three options available to create a C wire and make the ecobee compatible.

Option A: Use an additional wire as the C

If you have an extra, unused wire behind your thermostat, you can use it as the C by connecting to the furnace control board. If you don't have an available wire, you might be able to run a new one from the thermostat to the furnace (this may require the assistance of a technician).

Option B: Install a Fast-Stat Common Maker

In case you cannot run a new wire, but want to retain independent fan control, you can install a third-party device called a Common Maker, made by Fast-Stat (more details here: https://www.fast-stat.com/

Option C: Re-purpose your G wire as your C wire

Another option is to move the G wire to C on both the ecobee and equipment sides.

The only drawback is that you will no longer have independent fan control (meaning that the blower fan won't be able to run without heat).

Once your ecobee powers up, you will be asked to configure your equipment. Make sure to select "RC only" and not "RC and RH" during this configuration process.

Your ecobee will detect RC, W1, and C. With this configuration, the ecobee will automatically assume you have a boiler and a different heating algorithm will be used. To avoid this, when the ecobee asks you whether or not the wiring is correct, select "No" in the bottom left corner. Next, select "Modify in the bottom right corner--this will allow you to manually select terminals. Tap the G terminal to make sure the G is selected so that the ecobee will recognize your equipment as a furnace.

 

 

 

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Sours: https://support.ecobee.com/s/articles/3-wire-heat-only-thermostat-R-G-W

Wire thermostat wifi 3

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How To Install A Common (C) Wire: The Easy Way

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