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Old 11-08-2006, 03:31 PM   #1
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Facts about thermostats


To all the DIY'ers and potential DIY'ers. I have noticed looking over the questions that there are alot of thermostats being changed out, before consulting a proffessional. So I wanted to take this time to let you know some simple facts. Keep in mind I am not going into the mundane operations. A thermostat is basically nothing more than a light switch that turns its self off and on automatically. There are very few working parts inside a thermostat. Everybody likes to make you think that this control will put the shuttle into space, when in acutuality it would be lucky to turn on the lights. With the exception of the few cheap pieces of crap, thermostats seldom fail. However don't let this detour you from upgrading when you feel you need to. The other thing I would like to warn against is just buying the first one that looks cool. Get online or do some research with other people. Just remember you don't change the light switch because the bulb burned out. Fix the problem not the possibility! If you find someone that tells you different about stats have them explain to you in your terms how it operates, but for the most part you don't need to know. Another thing to remember if you are using a mercury or a snap action thermostat, the heat anticipator has to be set for proper operation. On mercury thermostats the subbase has to be level also. If you are coming out of the dark ages and into the digital world, there will be a section in the installation paperwork called thermostat configuration. This must be set to the application you are using it for, otherwise you have just wasted your money. Last but not least, study the wiring diagram and mark each wire down on a piece of paper or on the picture in the installation paperwork so you get them back on properly. And if needed one of us will help you as we can.
I just wanted to add some nomnclature to help you understand what those letters mean on the thermostat. This is the simple version.
R=24 volt hot (power)
RC=24 volt power (cooling)
RH=24 volt power (heat)
Y=24 volt output (cool)
W=24 volt output (heat)
O=24 volt output (reversing valve heat pump)
C= 24 volt common or neutral (not to be mistaken with ground).
There are many other thermostat designations out there, this is the most common thermostat applications. If you run into ones that don't fall into this, test the talent on this site and I will bet you find your answers.

Carrierman


Last edited by #CARRIERMAN; 01-04-2007 at 02:01 PM. Reason: Added information
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Old 11-08-2006, 04:02 PM   #2
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Facts about thermostats


I can't count the number of times I've been on a service call, and the customer is sure that the thermostat is bad. People are quick to blame the piece of the system that they are famaliar with. While thermostats do fail from time to time, about 99% of the time that a customer thinks that a stat is bad, they are just plain wrong. I'm happy to install a new one if they insist, but it's often unnecessary. Consequently, set back thermostats might not save you any money, but that's almost another thread.

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Old 11-14-2006, 09:15 PM   #3
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Facts about thermostats


Hi DIY,ers

Was hoping to see more visits on this topic, and even hoped for a few questions for mdshunk and myself. Hopefully the ones of you that visited got some insight, thats all that really matters.

I was going over some things with my techs, just thought I would add it in with this post. You will run into older thermostats, some of them used this nomenclature.

Old / New
V= R (24 volts hot)
4= RH (24 volts hot)
M= Y (24 volts outut Cool)
R= O (24 volts output Reversing valve)
F= G (24 volts output Blower)
Y= W2 (24 volt output Heat, heat pump only)
H= W (24 volts output Heat)
X= C (24 volts common or neutral) same rules apply as in previous post. Just a little more information, as before if you don't find it in a post. Please don't be afraid to ask.

Carrierman

Last edited by #CARRIERMAN; 01-06-2007 at 05:49 PM. Reason: Added Information
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:19 PM   #4
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Facts about thermostats


Hi DIYers

I have been reading some post about thermostat changeouts gone wrong. Thought I would go back in the archive and drag this one back out. If there are any questions after reading this, please let us know and one of us will be glad to help you with it.

Carrierman
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:15 PM   #5
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Facts about thermostats


I have a Noma Programmable Thermostat with places for 4 wires to be connected. The Problem? I have "5" wires coming from the furnace that were all connected to the old thermostat. I was told I could wrap the #4 wire and not use, but that resulted in no-heat. So obviously this wire needs to be connected, but I don't know to where or with what. I have a picture of the old set-up showing the wires labeled etc.
All below except the #4 have the proper place in the new thermo...but this black wire must either connect with one of the others or be used in place of. The instructions discuss this but do not cover the wire I'm dealing with. (likely only because its perhaps not called "4" now)
G-Green
RC-Red
W-White
Y-Orange
4-Black

Any help would be most appreciated.Thanks in advanced!

DIYW

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Last edited by diywoman; 01-04-2007 at 01:18 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:23 PM   #6
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Facts about thermostats


Hi diywoman

The #4 terminal on the old thermostats were what is now the RH terminal. This probably means that you have an older system with two transformers. If this is so you will need to get a thermostat with seperate RC and RH terminals. That would be the easiest fix, not sure if they are available to you. White Rodgers 80 series stats are amongst the most reliable and best priced on the market.

Good luck
Rusty
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:57 PM   #7
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Facts about thermostats


Thank you very much for your advice. I am in Canada, and am unsure of that brand name. It's not a known brand here. I even checked with some of our American hardware stores and they don't carry that, but I am sure I will be able to find the right thermo...
I do appreciate this site and the helpful info available. I would normally leave electrical jobs to the PRO's, but this seemed like a DIY'er, which it is, providing you get the right start.

AGAIN Thanks, Rusty!!

Lisa
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Old 01-06-2007, 05:52 PM   #8
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Facts about thermostats


Hi diywoman

Just wanted to say, if you need us anymore you now where to come too. I am not the only one here, there is a lot of good talent on this sight. Anyone of them will help be willing to help you if they can.

Good luck
Rusty
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:14 PM   #9
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Facts about thermostats


Can you tell us what colors are hooked up at the furnace and to what letters on the board I think we could get you there.
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:25 PM   #10
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Hi trollmastergeneral

If you give us the wire colors available to you and the designations on the stat and board. If I can't figure it out, I'm calling on you and mdshunk to bail me out.

Rusty
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:36 PM   #11
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Facts about thermostats


If she gives us all that I will look like the hero lol
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Old 01-08-2007, 07:49 AM   #12
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Facts about thermostats


Thanks guys...Seems like all the gentlmen are in the USA...
It's a Grimbsy (I believe)

From the wall i have the following wires
G-Green
RC-Red
W-White
Y-Orange
4-Black

The Thermostat has locations for the "G,RC,W and Y"

I dont have a known place to hook up the #4(which Rusty tells me is equivalent to an RH)
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:43 AM   #13
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Facts about thermostats


Hi diywoman

If you have a Grainger supply in your area you will be able to find a thermostat that will work for your application. I am not sure if your system has two transformers for certain, but there is a good possibility it does. This is why you need the thermostat with the seperate RC and RH terminals.

Good luck
Rusty
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:06 AM   #14
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Facts about thermostats


browsing through the flyers last night I found the local Home Hardware has a Rodger White on sale...so they may have the one I'm looking for. I'll pop over at lunch and see. Unfortunately I now have a perfectly good thermo and no receipt to take it back...maybe if I batt my lashes and look real cute they'll take it back,......HA HA NOT!

Thanks.
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:35 AM   #15
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Facts about thermostats


Hi diywoman

You never know, if you get one of the younger guys. You might be able to pull it off. Besides, I have seen some of you Canadian ladies, some of you are drop dead gorgious.

Good luck
Rusty

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