Why doesn't the extra C wire work when hooking up WiFi thermostat?


Check the voltage between the R wire and C wire at the thermostat. I bet it's 0.

It happens all the time... installers hook the wires backwards on the transformer. Historically, it didn't matter because transformers make AC power. Polarity doesn't matter on AC.** As long as one side of the transformer went to "thermostat" and the other side went to "furnace", it was good. The early transformers didn't even have R and C labels, that was added later as a "convention" for future expansion. And the convention is "R" to thermostat, and "C" to furnace.

Well, these smart thermostats need power for themselves. Since they're supposed to be getting "R", the instructions say connect "C". Of course if your transformer is wired backwards, the terminal labeled "C" on the transformer already goes to the thermostat, so connecting another wire does nothing.

So on "C", what the smart thermostat is looking for is the side of the transformer which goes to the furnace (and not to...

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We moved into a new house. I installed a new Hunter Thermostat. I have a furnace only and the old thermostat only had 3 wires connected. SO I connected those three wires (G, RH and W/B). The heating system is working fine, except that when the heater is not engaged and I turn the fan switch to ON the fan does not come on. It will only come on when the furnace is on. Why can't I turn the fan on independently?

You haven't provided a whole lot of information, such as if the fan worked with the old thermostat. Regardless, I can help diagnose the problem.

The wires involved are:

R or Rh (possibly red) - 24V AC power G (Possibly green) - Fan W (Possibly white) - Heating call

Don't make any assumptions on wiring. You need to open the furnace, find where on the control board the thermostat wire is attached, and verify its wires are connected as you expect. If the wires look right, and your thermostat wiring matches, it's possible there is a break in the wire.


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When I install any new thermostat, I always take a look at one thing first: the c wire. Why? This thermostat wire is used by Wi-Fi models, like the ever popular Nest. But not every thermostat has a c-wire, which can become a major issue.

What is a C-Wire, and Do I Have One?

In short, this wire provides power to a thermostat. Since older models were often dials, they didn’t have a need for immense power consumption. Models now have LED screens, a variety of settings and features that make controlling a home’s heating and cooling a breeze. In technical terms, the c-wire is the 5th wire and supplies a 24vac power source.

Smart thermostats require this wire to run properly.

When removing an old thermostat, the easiest way to find if the c wire is present is to look at the number of connecting wires available. If you count 5 wires, you’re good-to-go. Typically, the c wire will be the blue wire that is connected to the thermostat, but colors may...

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Here’s the deal. If you plan on getting a smart thermostat and don’t have a c-wire, get one! That’s my advice. You will save yourself a whole bunch of potential headaches.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about the c-wire and how smart thermostats power themselves. There is also a lot of incomplete information. In this article, I have done the research and filtered out the garbage for you.

If all you care about is how to get one and don’t care about the what and why you can skip to here. Otherwise, read on.

What Is A C-Wire?

The c-wire is an extra wire that can be used to provide continuous 24V power to any application. It’s normally used to provide power for the thermostat.

The “c” stands for common. It is often labeled as “c” on thermostat backplates. Keep in mind that it is not necessarily labeled as c and the wire is not necessarily any particular color. Although there are some best practices, there are no strict standards...

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Back in the olden days, thermostats were simple on/off devices that didn’t need their own continuous power supply. Modern thermostats with Wi-Fi and backlit display, by contrast, need a steady supply of juice.

The C wire, or “common wire” enables the continuous flow of 24 VAC power to the thermostat.

Technically speaking, power flows from the R (red) wire, but not continuously (not on its own, anyway). To make it continuous requires a common wire to complete the circuit. When the circuit is complete, 24V energy will flow continuously.

If you’re considering purchasing a smart thermostat, you’re probably thinking of doing the installation yourself. After all, if you’re able to change a light switch or receptacle, you’re skilled enough to install a smart thermostat – assuming your system already has a C wire.

If your system has a C-wire, it might be in use or just tucked away behind your current thermostat.

If your system doesn’t have a C-wire,...

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So you’ve decided on dragging your old home into the 21st century with some home automation, congrats! It’s really exciting if you’re going the DIY route and installing your devices yourself.

Most projects are as simple as installing a light switch, but some can get more complicated.

One of the toughest projects is your thermostat, especially a wifi thermostat without a C-Wire, you… Wait, what’s a C-Wire? And what does it have to do with your smart thermostat? There’s a lot to learn about home automation for the DIY expert, but we're here to help you. Don’t worry, you’ll be installing your wifi thermostat in no time!

A C-Wire, also called a “common” wire, this is an electrical wire inside the wall that supplies continuous power to your thermostat. That way, your smart thermostat can communicate through wifi and keep an LED screen lit.

Basically, it needs a steady supply of 24V electrical power. The red wire (one of the colored wires you use to replace a...

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I have a similar problem to J Theros in that I have previously maintained a wireless connection and can now only surf using a wired ethernet connection, however my problem remains unsolved by his solution and is dissimilar in that when there is no ethernet there is no internet.

This all started in October(?) when the cmos battery for the bios settings quit, after I replaced that all of the wondrous wireless internet ceased to be.

I have since uninstalled/reinstalled drivers been through the bios and just recently tried the command prompts I have also searched media disconnected and found that some people are posting elsewhere a description that looks like this:

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

Media state ................................: Media disconnected

Wireless LAN adapter Wireless Network Connection:
Media state ................................: Media disconnected

Tunnel adapter isatap.ph.cox.net
Media state...

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My furnace's control board. The "C" terminal has no connection to the thermostat in this picture. (The white wire on the C terminal goes to the A/C.) I connected the unused blue wire (bottom center) to the C terminal.

The Nest now confirms the active "C" wire.

I recently bought and installed a Nest Learning Thermostat to replace my old non-networked thermostat. I show the installation, demonstrate control from mobile devices, and provide a general review in the above video.

It's been about a month since I installed the device, and I found one important issue yesterday. My Nest dropped off the network for 7 hours, and upon investigation I discovered that the battery was low and it turned off the Wi-Fi radio to save power. Many other people have reported problems with the battery, which is scary because your thermostat is one device that you absolutely want to work 24/7 -- you don't want your pipes freezing when you leave town and the Nest decides to run out...

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I have to confess that when I first started looking for a new thermostat, I didn’t realize just how much technology was involved with a lot of the models I came across. One type of technology that really astounded me was the wireless thermostat.

For the thermostat novices reading this page, don’t get too excited. You still need wires to connect it to your HVAC system. What it does mean is the unit has the ability to connect to the internet so you can access various features remotely via Wi-Fi.
“Big deal” you might think, but the additional extras you get with a device like this are pretty extensive.

Whilst I’m not about to tell you a wireless thermostat should be your next purchase, I thought you should at least be given the opportunity to find out more about the benefits a unit like this can offer you.

Control Anytime – Anywhere

Thermostats that don’t use wireless technology cannot be controlled unless you’re in the same location as the unit...

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How WiFi Works To Transmit
From Your Wireless Enabled Devices

How does WiFi work:

When asking how wifi works, it is important to have a basic knowledge of the history of wireless networks, because not everything was always neatly inside of an integrated circuit.

We need to take a step back before the creation of the IC which will enable us to talk about the fundamental components of a WiFi transceiver, so can you have an understanding of how the process works.

When discussing how does wifi work, it’s crucial to point out that wifi technology itself is a collaboration between several types of technologies both hardware and software that allow data to be transmit from one device, through the air to another.

We’re going to be covering each component of how wifi works.

We’ll talk about hardware to software, and explain how WiFi devices can communicate with one another at great distances without ever taking a single step.

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Just because everyone’s heard of Wi-Fi, it most certainly doesn’t mean that they know what WiFi is or how it works; in fact, most don’t even know what does WiFi stands for, let alone what all those numbers and letters represent. So keep reading to find out more about WiFi and how the wireless technology works so you can pick the best wireless router for your home or office.

Table Of Contents:

What Does WiFi Stand For And What Does It Mean

When we talk about the term “WiFi”, it helps to know right off the bat that “WiFi” doesn’t actually mean anything (and nor does it stand for anything).

Many people believe it refers to “wireless fidelity”, but in fact the name is simply just a marketing term that an advertising agency came up with back in 1999 when wireless technology was still struggling to find its feet.

Nowadays of course it has become the de-facto colloquial term for a wireless network. But what does it actually mean, and where did it all...

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A vulnerability in Wi-Fi encryption has sent the entire tech industry scrambling; the so-called Krack attack affects nearly every wireless device to some extent, leaving them subject to hijacked internet connections. In terms of scope, it doesn’t get much worse—especially for the Internet of Things.

The extent of the Krack fallout remains to be seen. Security analysts say it’s a tricky vulnerability to take advantage of, and major platforms like iOS, macOS, and Windows are either unaffected or have already been patched. But given the millions of routers and other IoT devices that will likely never see a fix, the true cost of Krack could play out for years.

“For the general sphere of IoT devices, like security cameras, we’re not just underwater,” says Kevin Fu, a computer scientist at the University of Michigan who focuses on medical device security. “We’re under quicksand under water.”

Krack exposes just how deeply those problems run—and how slowly the industry...

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[reminder : These reviews are from internet – from different stores’ websites. These are not my own reviews]

A good budget wifi thermostat – Could be easier to install…, April 15, 2013 (5 star)

40 of 44 people found the following review helpful

I picked up this thermostat at Lowes. I had expected to pay $150 for Honeywell’s touchscreen wifi thermostat or as much as $180 for last year’s nest. I was pleasantly surprised to see a wifi thermostat option for around $120.

I got the thing home, took down my old thermostat (which had 4 wires R, G, Y and W) and installed this one. I turned my furnace back on and… nothing. It turns out I didn’t have a “c” wire. There were 6 wires coming from the furnace but only 4 of them were used. I removed the cover from my furnace and took a look. Sure enough there was a “C” spot with nothing hooked up to it so I stripped the (unused) blue wire going to my thermostat and connected it to “C”, then went back upstairs and...

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Our friends at Android Central recently took a deeper look at Google's Nest, so we thought we'd do the same thing with the ecobee4, which as thermostats go, might be even smarter. And we're starting with a hands-on install!

Step 1: Disconnecting the dumb

Right from the start, Ecobee did a good job with the instructions. They made the process seem simple, which took a lot of the stress out of something that could otherwise seem like a major change to your home.

First, we went into the garage to power off the HVAC system (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). A couple of switches later, and we were ready to go. That meant taking the cover off the old thermostat.

The next step was the most daunting: We had to label all the wires. Ecobee provided stickers to make it easier, but it was slow going just because none of us had ever done anything like that before. For example, there was a warning about high voltage systems, which we didn't...

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Everywhere you look - you see the same feedback. "I've deployed a Wi-Fi repeater and it sucks".

There is a simple explanation as to why a Wi-Fi repeater typically sucks. It is because it, and the AP for which it is acting as a repeater, are on the same channel and therefore causing interference with each other.

Let me explain.

You have a 2.4GHz AP with a wired ethernet backhaul but you find that there are spots in your office where coverage is poor. You do not have another ethernet port in the poor coverage area to attach another AP to, so a repeater sounds like a good solution. You buy a 2.4GHz repeater, set it up and lo and behold.......its as bad (sometimes worse) than it was before. You might find that you have extended the coverage to the dead spots, but the overall network performance has actually gone down.....but why?

When 2 APs are close to each other and on the same channel, they create interference which causes each devicve to have to...

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As you know, a thermostat is a device that can be found in your machine. Its chief aim is to make sure that the machine will keep a steady temperature. Besides, it can be controlled depending on the temperature. Therefore, if this device doesn’t work, it’s certain that there are some problems in the process. Here are some common troubles that you often see in the poor thermostat as:

The car doesn’t accurately work because it has not controlled well to the temperature. Hence, emissions will increase higher, and the fuel economy will diminish. There is an opportunity that more fuel will be consumed because of the poor device. The effectiveness of the machine might be reduced, too. The car’s heat will not work accurately if it has been exhibited too much cold.

Well, understanding bad influences will aid you in finding a good care for your thermostat. At the moment, you might be wondering how you are going to perform that. Don’t miss some helpful tips below to help you...

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You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future.

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I'm befuddled and have spent far too much time on this already so I'm hoping someone here can help. We recently bought a home in a very rural area so it's difficult to get vendors/technicians to head out here.

I want to replace an older (12 years?) battery-operated thermostat with a wifi thermostat (Honeywell's 7 day programmable wifi thermostat, model YRTH6580WF1007 purchased from Costco). The house has both heating (propane gas powered furnace) and AC.

The existing thermostat had Y, W, R, G wires connected and THREE extra wires (brown, orange and blue). There was a jumper cable from R to Rc.

I climbed up into our attic crawl space to get to the furnace. The former owner/builder put the Bryant furnace up there on its side under the eaves so it's a pain to get to. There is clearly a blue wire connected to the C wire on the circuit. See photo:

Note that I also saw a second bundle of wires on the circuit just above this set of wires that don't seem...

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UPDATE: 3/22/2017:
I just noticed that Keypad Lockout is now an option on the app, so if you have kids or roommates that you need to prevent from messing with the air, you will be happy about this option! (Original review below).
UPDATE: 3/4/2016:
Now works with Amazon Echo! So you can control your thermostat with your voice by speaking to your Echo device! Very glad to see this addition. However, still lacking more features for the app (see original review below).
I had been wanting to get a WiFi Thermostat for a long time now, but I held off because I was worried that I would buy one that wouldn't be compatible with my home or that I wouldn't be able to figure out how to install it. I finally gave in and purchased this Sensi thermostat, and I am extremely happy with the purchase.

Set up could not have been easier. The app walks you through the installation. You select the wires that your current thermostat has, and then the app tells you...

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Update Oct. 24, 2016

After further research and discussion with Honeywell, we’re revising our stance on smart thermostats.

We no longer recommend that you attempt to install a smart thermostat to use with our products.

In the past few weeks we’ve been in discussions with Honeywell to get more solidified recommendations on specific relays and thermostats that can be made to work with line voltage heaters. We even began the process of bringing new parts and products into our system so we could sell the solution directly.

Somewhere along the way we learned that the relays Honeywell was recommending for this install don’t actually provide enough power to support smart and wifi thermostats for the long term. Even though we have performed successful testing with the Lyric and Nest thermostats in our engineering lab, we have concerns about the ongoing reliability and durability of this work around. We suspect running a smart thermostat with one of these...

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