How To Wire a Thermostat
How do I know which wires to connect to the Thermostat Terminals? Typical Thermostat Wiring for HVAC Furnace Heating and Air Conditioning, Thermostat Wire Connections.
Thermostat Wire Connections
Electrical Question #1 I am wiring a thermostat, how do I know which wires to connect to the terminals?
- I am purchasing a home which I noticed the thermostat is missing and the wiring is there but no thermostat. I have replaced the one in my current home and used the old thermostat wiring set up to do the new one and it works fine. The thermostat which I am wanting to install is a Honeywell programmable. My question is how do I know which wires go to what terminals since the instructions say do not worry about the colors, use the old one to set up the new one, but there is no old thermostat there.
This electrical question came from: Sid, a Homeowner in St. Lucie, Florida.
Additional Comments: Your website has great articles for the homeowner and the novice.
Electrical Question #2
- I’m attempting to install the Honeywell Lyric T5 thermostat but I’m not sure what setting to use. I live in an apartment building that has geothermal heating and cooling and a heat pump in my unit. However, there is no O or B wire that a typical heat pump wiring should have. The wires I have are R, C, G, Y1 and W1 only. When I went to configure the thermostat as Geothermal Heat Pump, it asked for O/B Changeover on Heat or Cool, which neither applies to me. When I chose O/B on Heat, the cooling and heating works but the heat did not shut off even once the ambient temperature has reached the set temperature. I’m confused as to what heating/cooling system I actually have.
This electrical wiring question came from Sanny, a Homeowner in Vancouver, Canada.
Electrical Question #3:
- I had a furnace question. I previously switched to a smart thermostat but I’m looking to switch back to the “non-smart” thermostat and I forgot the wiring placement. The system is 1-2 years old and only an AC and heater are connected to it. There are two bundles inside the furnace panel, one has two wires and the other has four. The two wire bundle are white and black The four wire bundle are white, black, red, and green. The furnace board has 7 connectors. They are R, Y/Y2, W, Com 24V, G, DHUM, and Y1. Can you please tell me which wires connect to where? Also, the furnace is a Carrier 59SP5A.
This electrical wiring question came from Robert in Dallas, Texas.
Thanks for your electrical questions.
Yes Sid, that is a bit odd. The wire colors and number of wires are typically the same as shown below in the thermostat wiring table.
Thermostat Wiring Made Easy
Application: Thermostat for Controlling HVAC Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced. This electrical work is best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electrical Hand Tools including a small screw driver and small wire strippers.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools and the small thermostat wires.
Precaution: Identify the circuit for the furnace or heat pump, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the thermostat wiring.
Troubleshooting and Testing: Most thermostats may be tested using a Volt/Ohm Meter. The thermostat battery should be tested and replaced as needed.
Notice: Make sure to get the exact replacement thermostat.
Thermostat Wiring Table and Wiring Diagram
Thermostat Wiring Question: Where do the red and white wires attach on a new thermostat?
- I have a thermostat now that has only red and white wires and I am wondering where I put them on my new thermostat?
This electrical wiring question came from Sylvester, a Homeowner in Cumming, Georgia.
Example: Typical Thermostat Wiring for HVAC, Furnace Heating and Air Conditioning
- Most Common Thermostat Applications:
- Air Conditioning Thermostat
- Heating Thermostat
- Heat Pump Thermostat
Typical Thermostat Wire Colors and Function
|Wire Color||Function /Description|
||24 Volts for Heating|
||24 Volts for Cooling|
||First Stage Cooling|
||Second Stage Cooling|
Gray wire *
|Indoor Fan Blower
||First Stage Heat|
||Second Stage Heat|
|C||Brown wire **||24 Volt Neutral
* Found in some Carrier brand furnaces
**The brown is often the first wire used for the 24 volt common leg however white, black and blue are most frequently used.
Typical Thermostat Wiring for Furnace Heating and Air Conditioning
Most Common Thermostat Applications:
- Air Conditioning Thermostat
- Furnace Heating Thermostat
|Wire Color||Function /Description|
NOTE: Although many home heating and air conditioning systems have a standard type thermostat cable with color coded wires, the wires should be identified to make sure of the exact purpose for each wire.
Example: Thermostat Wiring Diagram
More about Wiring Heating and Air Conditioning
Heat Pump Wiring
- Heat pumps are used for heating and cooling. Wall mounted units are great for offices, sun rooms, room additions, garages and are used in hotel and motel rooms.
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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