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Wireless thermostat and c-wires?

4,485 1,041 November 6, 2017 at 12:58 PM
Anyone know of a brand of wireless thermostats that truly works without a c-wire (as opposed to having to go and futz with your furnace wiring to install some sort of power extender)? Do not think such an animal exists because of the wireless power requirements, but I thought I would ask. I am not ambitious enough to go anywhere near the wiring on my furnace and I am certainly not going to pay an electrician for such a thing.

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#2
You can get an external power adapter in place of the c wire power for your T-stat in most cases.
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#3
Just spent the morning dealing with this and my Ecobee3 thermostats. Downstairs, no C wire. Upstairs did have a C wire. Upstairs took about 20 minutes to hook up and configure. Downstairs, they're coming out later this week and will hook up a C wire for me while they're under the house changing the air filter. I'd do it myself, but it's REALLY tight under the house in the crawlspace, and I'm not a small guy.
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#4
Quote from VorlonFrog
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Just spent the morning dealing with this and my Ecobee3 thermostats. Downstairs, no C wire. Upstairs did have a C wire. Upstairs took about 20 minutes to hook up and configure. Downstairs, they're coming out later this week and will hook up a C wire for me while they're under the house changing the air filter. I'd do it myself, but it's REALLY tight under the house in the crawlspace, and I'm not a small guy.

Neither of my two zones has them despite it being a fairly new house. I suspect the builder just did not put them in because they were not needed for the basic programmable thermostats that came with the place. Maybe the wire is there already and just not hooked up (I would have to pull the cord further out of the wall to see), but either way, I am not going to futz with furnace wiring myself and I have no intention of spending money to have someone do it for me. It just is not worth it to me. I can live with the thermostats I have now. I was just thinking of doing it if I could do it on the cheap.
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Ye wacky olde frogge
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#5
Quote from YanksIn2009
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Neither of my two zones has them despite it being a fairly new house. I suspect the builder just did not put them in because they were not needed for the basic programmable thermostats that came with the place. Maybe the wire is there already and just not hooked up (I would have to pull the cord further out of the wall to see), but either way, I am not going to futz with furnace wiring myself and I have no intention of spending money to have someone do it for me. It just is not worth it to me. I can live with the thermostats I have now. I was just thinking of doing it if I could do it on the cheap.
FYI, my regular local HVAC company told me it shouldn't require more than ten to fifteen minutes to hook up one of the three spare wires in my thermostat cable. For that, they'll charge me about $75, which is completely fair in my experience.
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#6
Quote from VorlonFrog
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FYI, my regular local HVAC company told me it shouldn't require more than ten to fifteen minutes to hook up one of the three spare wires in my thermostat cable. For that, they'll charge me about $75, which is completely fair in my experience.

Maybe, but I do not know for sure whether the wires are there or not and even if they are, I am not spending $150 to have someone do it for both units. Just not worth it to me. Plus I am sure they will charge more since I would be calling them just for this as I change the filters myself. I look at this as if I can get a new thermostat on the cheap and connect it on the cheap, great...else leave well enough alone.
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#7
Quote from YanksIn2009
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Neither of my two zones has them despite it being a fairly new house. I suspect the builder just did not put them in because they were not needed for the basic programmable thermostats that came with the place. Maybe the wire is there already and just not hooked up (I would have to pull the cord further out of the wall to see), but either way, I am not going to futz with furnace wiring myself and I have no intention of spending money to have someone do it for me. It just is not worth it to me. I can live with the thermostats I have now. I was just thinking of doing it if I could do it on the cheap.
Check the cable that's there to see if any extra wires may have been cut back. Builders did that in my house, so what appeared to be a 4-wire t-stat cable was actually a 6-wire cable. If you don't have to pull new wire, hooking it up to the furnace should be much easier.
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#8
Quote from YanksIn2009
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Anyone know of a brand of wireless thermostats that truly works without a c-wire (as opposed to having to go and futz with your furnace wiring to install some sort of power extender)? Do not think such an animal exists because of the wireless power requirements, but I thought I would ask. I am not ambitious enough to go anywhere near the wiring on my furnace and I am certainly not going to pay an electrician for such a thing.
The wiring for a thermostat at the furnace isn't that complicated only marginally more involved than the thermostat connection itself. Make sure you pull the the wire out of the wall to see if you have an extra wire.

If you don't have an extra wire you can hook up a device that lets you share a couple wires

The wall wart option DC mentioned is also an option if you really don't want to mess with it.

Watch a few youtube videos to boost your confidence. Post some pictures of the t-stat wiring and inside the furnace and ask lots of questions. Make sure you turn off the power to the furnace before you mess with its innards (should have a safety interlock switch that cuts power when you open it) and a shutoff switch within 5'.
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#9
Quote from YanksIn2009
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Anyone know of a brand of wireless thermostats that truly works without a c-wire (as opposed to having to go and futz with your furnace wiring to install some sort of power extender)? Do not think such an animal exists because of the wireless power requirements, but I thought I would ask. I am not ambitious enough to go anywhere near the wiring on my furnace and I am certainly not going to pay an electrician for such a thing.
IF your thermostat controls both heat and ac, then this will not require a C wire. I use it for both home and office...works well...often on sale for 100...note their newer model always requires a C wire, so you need this one...
https://www.amazon.com/Emerson-Se...ords=sensi
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Quote from fenderman
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IF your thermostat controls both heat and ac, then this will not require a C wire. I use it for both home and office...works well...often on sale for 100...note their newer model always requires a C wire, so you need this one...
https://www.amazon.com/Emerson-Se...ords=sensi

Thanks. How long do the batteries last on avg?
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#11
Quote from YanksIn2009
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Thanks. How long do the batteries last on avg?
I have mine since june of 15...i think I changed the batteries once or twice....so at least a year...the app or website let you see the exact voltage...
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#12
Quote from mmathis
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Check the cable that's there to see if any extra wires may have been cut back. Builders did that in my house, so what appeared to be a 4-wire t-stat cable was actually a 6-wire cable. If you don't have to pull new wire, hooking it up to the furnace should be much easier.
This...my house had 3 wire in most places but for some unknown reason they ran the last 3 feet with 2 wire. For the runs that were 2 wire all the way up to the thermostat I used a T-stat common maker. It works great, but requires some knowledge in wiring. I created a busbar/terminal block downstairs that ran to the common then wired in the common from the T-stat into that.
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#13
Recently got an Emerson Sensi...WiFi and NO C WIRE Needed. Works great.
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#14
To be honest putting in power for the C wire is not a big deal, here should be an extra wire already there.
Putting in a transformer where the furnace is should be simple if your furnace is easy to get to, otherwise go with the battery powered.
But the Emerson seems pretty nice too.
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