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Old 04-29-2014, 10:19 AM   #16
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Nest Thermostat Install


Personally I don't believe in using setback thermostats for hot water or steam systems. Both are designed to give you even constant heat. They are slow to recover and when you cool them down a lot you get a lot of expansion and contraction in the rads which is not good. They are not designed/sized to recover quickly so it is not a good idea. Of course Nest or others wants to sell you there product but the reality is different.

You would need to run a 18/2 thermostat wire from the boiler to the thermostat and that requires fishing the wire thru walls etc. If you want to pay several hundred $$ for an electrician to do it, the thermostat will never save that amount of fuel or pay for that IMO. If you know of one that you can barter with then it may be feasible.

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Old 04-29-2014, 10:46 AM   #17
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I'm not too concerned on the return $ on the Nest as it was a gift. Honestly it's more for the wifi features and app than trying to save money. The thermostat is directly above the basement and is exposed so not a big deal to run the wire.

Do all boilers have a common hookup? Mine is probably 30 years old. The 2 wire runs to an old looking transformer with 2 twist knob hookups. I'll send pics next time I am home.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:22 AM   #18
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Your boiler may not have a common.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:34 AM   #19
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Yeah, modern boilers have transformers that have a specific Common terminal and some ground the secondary side of the transformer/C common. Has to do with electronics as to how that works. Your Nest may not be a good candidate for the old system.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:42 AM   #20
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Nests are also not good candidates for new systems either......wonderful marketing though.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:03 PM   #21
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You do not need to hire an installer. If you can use that current wiring to pull a 4-pair back up from the basement, for future proof. Then you would have the extra third wire for right now.

Now if you are going into the end of season. As the boiler tech that will come to shut the system down for the Summer, what it would cost to fish the new wire up to that location. Some are pretty cheap if you supply the roll of wire. Others will charge more. It all depends on how difficult it will be.

Things like these. I do for a 12 pack of some Micro-Brew beer. Plus have them help pull the wire.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:37 PM   #22
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I am a controls designer who as a part of my job have to verify compatibility with other companies' products. I had a terrible time dealing with the Nest product. Spent lots of time with their tech support. I know that the grounding of your transformer can be a big deal with Nest. You may want to verify that your controlled device (boiler) and control transformer have a common ground. Connecting the Common wire did not cure my problems.

If you Google "Nest thermostat Problems" you will see that there are lots of discussions about problems occurring with that product. It has been awhile since I fought with their product, but I can tell you that of all the web enabled stats I used Nest was the only one that gave me any difficulty. No one wants to hear advice that they should spend $120 bucks on replacing something they just bought, but one day worth of fighting will cost a lot more.

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Old 04-29-2014, 02:58 PM   #23
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My company does not sell them as we are a Lennox dealer and use our own high quality Lennox ( made by Honeywell ) stats as some of our units are VERY VERY expensive and we don't want conflicts or damage. We installed some Nests that customers bought but don't really promote them. Modern furnaces and circuit boards are VERY polarity and grounding sensitive and I suspect those Nests are too. When you get old steam boilers and old corroded wiring with cotton covered insulation etc I imagine that is where lots of the problems stem from. Poor grounding to the panel etc is probably a huge issue.
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:20 PM   #24
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So regardless if I go with the Nest or another Wifi thermostat, I'll need a C wire.

The transformer where my 2 wires goes to is right next to my breaker panel, as well as 4 outlets. Can I get something like this to power my thermostat?

[ame]http://www.amazon.com/Class-II-Transformer-Approved-MGT-2440/dp/B004VMVDTA[/ame]

Is the C run directly from that? Someone mentioned in the reviews that the red from furnace should go thru the transformer as well.

Will post pictures tonight. Thanks.
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:58 PM   #25
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Sensi does not require a C connection...I'm not promoting it but just letting you know about it to do your own research. They are new on the market and made by white rodgers/emerson
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:20 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvactech126 View Post
Sensi does not require a C connection...I'm not promoting it but just letting you know about it to do your own research. They are new on the market and made by white rodgers/emerson

Cool, I hadn't heard of it before. How does it compare with the nest with radiator/ steam heating?
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:18 AM   #27
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An update-

My electrician wired a 24v transformer ($35 at HD) so I now have a C and rc connection. Setup was a breeze and the Nest is working normally now. I definitely recommend it as you won't have to deal with battery issues.

Thanks everyone,

Kevin
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:22 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjmass1 View Post
An update-

My electrician wired a 24v transformer ($35 at HD) so I now have a C and rc connection. Setup was a breeze and the Nest is working normally now. I definitely recommend it as you won't have to deal with battery issues.

Thanks everyone,

Kevin
Come back in time and give us an update on this thing I've heard everything from "Disaster" to "wonderful" with these things. Would like to hear your opinion.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:25 AM   #29
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Of course it is spring and almost time to shutdown the boiler...I'll check back when I have an update!

I did go with the first gen vs second as reviews seemed pretty bad. Wifi app is pretty cool but won't get a sense of "true radiant" heating unless temperatures dip.
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:14 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Sanders View Post
Come back in time and give us an update on this thing I've heard everything from "Disaster" to "wonderful" with these things. Would like to hear your opinion.
It all depends on the person using the product. You hear the same thing about vehicles or even housewares.

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