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Old 01-03-14, 01:07 PM   #1
himespau 
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Anybody know anything about wireless thermostats?

We've been in our new house for just over a year. A month or two ago I noticed that our A/C was running nonstop without regard to external or internal temperature (or the fact that I'd set our thermostat to heat instead of cool). I called our HVAC guy who'd installed a new furnace the day we'd moved in, and he was too busy with people who didn't have working furnaces (it was our first cold snap of the winter) to come out right then but said he hoped it wasn't a bad wire in the walls as one of the others had been shorted out when he put the new thermostat in and there weren't any spares left. I said that I hoped so too and shut off the breaker to the AC and didn't think anything more of it.

I guess it slipped the HVAC guy's mind too because he never called back to set up a time to come take a look at it. I was talking with my dad about how I hoped we didn't have to go through the walls to rewire things while I was home over Christmas holidays, and he said he'd heard of a wireless thermostat you could use anywhere in the house and it would talk via radio frequency with a base that you had directly hooked up to the furnace (no rewiring needed), but he didn't know anything more about them than that. Anybody know anything about them? I'd like to have a general idea before I call the furnace guy back so I can have some idea of what I'm talking about (he's sort of an old school guy).
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Old 01-03-14, 01:44 PM   #2
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Never heard of them but they are out there it appears.

http://www.homedepot.com/b/Heating-V...s/N-5yc1vZc5kl

And pricing does not seem too bad either.
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Old 01-03-14, 01:48 PM   #3
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On the thermostat, is there an 'Auto' fan setting? My thermostats have an option where I can run the fan regardless of whether the system is heating or cooling. I'll do this sometimes just to move air around the house. I have forgotten to move the switch back to 'Auto' and after hearing it running for hours in the middle of the night I realize what I've done.

Thermostats, basic thermostats are pretty inexpensive and easy to replace.

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Old 01-03-14, 01:52 PM   #4
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Basic ones are simple if the wiring is good. His wiring is bad. Either has to pull a new wire or go wireless.
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Old 01-03-14, 01:57 PM   #5
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How do you know the wiring is bad? Has anybody tested it? The thermostat is bad what I'd suspect or the original install is shorted at the thermostat.

I for sure wouldn't call the same guy back and have to pay for his mistake. He should drop everything and come fix it. For Free.
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Old 01-03-14, 02:20 PM   #6
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as said above id gues the stat is broke not the wireing unless ya drove a nail into it thru wall etc etc
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Old 01-03-14, 02:20 PM   #7
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My Dad's place has a battery powered thermostat that you can lift off the wall mount and program while relaxed in the comfort of your couch...BUT it's not wireless. Has to be back on the wall, plugged into its "jack" to function. Works very well, 7 day programmable Honeywell.
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Old 01-03-14, 03:13 PM   #8
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My Dad's place has a battery powered thermostat that you can lift off the wall mount and program while relaxed in the comfort of your couch...BUT it's not wireless. Has to be back on the wall, plugged into its "jack" to function. Works very well, 7 day programmable Honeywell.
Hmm, that's not promising. Most of the other "wireless" thermostats I'm seeing are wifi connected meaning you can program them via the computer but still use the traditional wall mount. I suppose that mount could be in the basement and I could program them from the PC in the other room.
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Old 01-03-14, 03:17 PM   #9
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How do you know the wiring is bad? Has anybody tested it? The thermostat is bad what I'd suspect or the original install is shorted at the thermostat.

I for sure wouldn't call the same guy back and have to pay for his mistake. He should drop everything and come fix it. For Free.
It sounds like at least one of the wires was already shorted out when he installed a new furnace the day we moved in a year ago (maybe someone stapled the wires to a stud while wiring and the staple went through a wire?). The AC worked fine all summer, but when I switched the thermostat over to furnace mode the AC kept running and froze up the line running from the AC to the furnace (iced over the insulation). I shut everything down, let the ice melt/evaporate, replaced all the filters, and restarted. Iced over again in about a week. I checked the thermostat to make sure it wasn't in some sort of heat pump mode, and that's where I am now. So old wiring, relatively new furnace and thermostat (old one was bad and needed to go for safety reasons according to inspector, but the new one also boosted us from 80%-96% energy efficient).
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Old 01-03-14, 03:22 PM   #10
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Can we hack into your thermostat from across the street?
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Old 01-03-14, 03:26 PM   #11
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Hmm, that's not promising. Most of the other "wireless" thermostats I'm seeing are wifi connected meaning you can program them via the computer but still use the traditional wall mount. I suppose that mount could be in the basement and I could program them from the PC in the other room.
The 9 volt battery remembers the EPROM programming but the thermostat is hardwired to the furnace via the low voltage wiring circuit. One of those interesting old tech..new tech solutions that bridges the computer divide but before "wireless and Bluetooth". Appears to be wireless but..Nope.
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Old 01-03-14, 03:29 PM   #12
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A wireless thermostat may be the way to go if the wire is bad, or you want to move it to a new location. Be aware that while it doesn't need to be wired in, it does need a power source, or run on a battery.

Before you write off the old one, consider that thermostats that run both an A/C, and heating plant have a winter/summer switch. In the summer, it controls the A/C and keeps the house below the set temp. In the winter it controls the heating plant to keep the house above the set temp.

Test the summer mode and A/C by turning it back on and bringing the set temp to the high end of the scale. The A/C should turn off, and turn back on as you lower the set temp below the actual temp. If it doesn't do this, it's still possible that the thermostat is OK, but the A/C relay is bad.

Take your time and do a proper diagnostic to identify the actual problem before spending dough to replace the wrong parts.
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Old 01-03-14, 06:08 PM   #13
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A wireless thermostat may be the way to go if the wire is bad, or you want to move it to a new location. Be aware that while it doesn't need to be wired in, it does need a power source, or run on a battery.

Before you write off the old one, consider that thermostats that run both an A/C, and heating plant have a winter/summer switch. In the summer, it controls the A/C and keeps the house below the set temp. In the winter it controls the heating plant to keep the house above the set temp.

Test the summer mode and A/C by turning it back on and bringing the set temp to the high end of the scale. The A/C should turn off, and turn back on as you lower the set temp below the actual temp. If it doesn't do this, it's still possible that the thermostat is OK, but the A/C relay is bad.

Take your time and do a proper diagnostic to identify the actual problem before spending dough to replace the wrong parts.
Not a bad idea. I'll probably wait until a nice warm day to play with that though. Don't want to mess with it while there's snow on the ground.
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Old 01-03-14, 06:13 PM   #14
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if i recall coretly the white wire is for heat.and if you conect the white wire to th red the heat will come on please note dont try this i may be wrong
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Old 01-03-14, 07:48 PM   #15
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Testing wires if you have a volt/ohm meter is really easy. The switch is is on the wall. Test for continuity. Then worry about how to deal with it.

If I read correctly this hasn't been done.

I think you had a bad install.
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Old 01-03-14, 08:49 PM   #16
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I'm used to run wires because I dislike WiFi. Usually is really easy, unless the attic is a pain to navigate. I would drop some cat 5 and call it a day.
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Old 01-03-14, 09:29 PM   #17
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Testing wires if you have a volt/ohm meter is really easy. The switch is is on the wall. Test for continuity. Then worry about how to deal with it.

If I read correctly this hasn't been done.

I think you had a bad install.
Well, he did test the wires at the time of install and that's how he knew that one had already been shorted out and he used what he thought was the only spare to set up the thermostat. If the wire running to the AC has a short (hasn't been tested, but since it ran fine - or didn't when it wasn't on - as programed last spring and over the summer, a short or problem in the wiring since there already had been one was the furnace guy's best guess without seeing it), there aren't any more spare wires to re-connect the two.

The problem is, the whole basement is finished and it runs a long complicated way to get to where the thermostat is. I don't know if the wires were stapled to any studs along the way, but, if they were so they can't be used to fish new wires through, it's going to mean a lot of cutting of drywall (and potentially tearing up flooring, wainscoting, and wallpaper) to run new wires. When the guy put in the new furnace/thermostat last year, he didn't run new wires because access wasn't easy, he just used the wires that had already been there (hence finding out one had a short and using the spare rather than re-running everything).

Not sure that he screwed up as all he had to do with the AC was connect the wire to the thermostat and it worked like that for 9 months. Maybe he did and there's something I'm missing (because I know relatively little about wiring or heating/cooling), or maybe there's a different problem that caused the AC to run all the time even when the thermostat was changed over to the winter "heat" rather than the summer "cool" setting and freeze up the line. Could be the switch on the compressor motor out on the AC unit got stuck in the "on" position.

Like I said, no one has actually looked at the AC yet (so I'm not discounting any of your ideas about this guy's competence or lack thereof), this is just what the guy (who I got lots of word of mouth recommendations to use when I moved to the area) gave as his best guess as to the problem without seeing it and knowing about the previous wiring problem.

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Old 01-03-14, 09:45 PM   #18
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If he ,picked up a spare wire at the thermostat end because the other one was shorted out, did he actually use the same coloured wire at the AC end? That would be a starting point check for me.
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