Installing Programmable Thermostat

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by Super_19, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. Super_19

    Super_19 New Member

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    Jun 2, 2013
    Location:
    Florida
    I am currently renting a house. It is about 1,500 sq ft and two floors. It currently has a regular non-programmable thermostat. I would like to install a programmable one but I am not sure if the current setup in the house will support one. Or am I wrong in thinking that programmable thermostats can only be installed in certain setups? Also, is it as simple as it looks to install one? Removing current and installing new one? I consider myself pretty handy, would it be something I can do on my own? Also, should I first confirm with the landlord that I can in fact install one or it should matter as it’ll be sort of an upgrade to their house?
     
  2. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    For Florida you probably have an AC air handler with electric heating elements and any thermostat will work. The main issue is you need five wires. What is called the "C" wire (common) must be brought to the new digital thermostats that are WIFI . More simpler digital units that are programable only works off batteries so the c wire is not needed but some optioned to work with or without batteries. if the c wire or a fifth wire is in the wall. There are thousands of website and youtubes explaining the C wire.

    C wire.png
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
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    New England
    If the thermostat has batteries, pretty much any one will work. If it doesn't, as said, it needs the 'C' or common wire from the hvac system. There are other ways to make it work, but if you're lucky, you have that wire in the cable, or a spare.

    In my place, the cable they used had an extra wire so I was able to connect it to a new thermostat and the other end to the C terminal at the air handler.

    Digital thermostats need power to run...they get it either from on-board batteries, or from (usually) the thing they're controlling.
     
  5. Super_19

    Super_19 New Member

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    61E8882F-F9F2-4DF8-B97A-C01126DFF54E.jpeg 32376403-CB15-4575-92BF-8099A2470574.jpeg 4A610D8C-9318-441E-8D15-0E61BFC8969D.jpeg C4643BD0-AC29-4A85-8284-E2382B212661.jpeg Thank you for the replies. I took a few pictures of the current thermostat. I guess I would just wire it up the exact same way on the new programmable one? I was looking at the Nest E. It’s got some nice features and looks very simple to install/wire.
     
  6. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
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    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    You have a heat pump. When setting up a smart WiFi thermostats you must correctly select the correct system type, “heat pump” with aux or emergency heat (both are the same). The “O” lead is what controls the reversing valve for heat pumps. For heat pump mode no power is on it, to cool power is applied to it. If you accidentally program for cool only with aux heat power will not be applied and then you’re in heat mode. It took me about five minutes to find this mistake when I first set up my Honeywell. The short questions from thermostat programs can be a little confusing.
     
  7. Super_19

    Super_19 New Member

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    Jun 2, 2013
    Location:
    Florida
    Thanks again for the reply. After comparing prices and features, decided to go with the Honeywell T5 RTH8560D. Home Depot has it for $89.99. Looks like it's compatible with my current system/wiring. WiFi is not a must so I can do without it. Being programmable is the main feature I'm looking for so I don't have to keep changing it manually. I like how this one is touchscreen, and also has smart response learning where it learns your heating/cooling cycle times to deliver the right temperature when you want it.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Honeywe...T5-Touch-Screen-Thermostat-RTH8560D/304826299

    RTH8560D1002-c3-6.jpg
     
  8. Dana

    Dana In the trades

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    Location:
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    Any time you're making changes to the equipment it's good to have the landlord sign off on it. If something you do damages the equipment it could severely compromise your relationship. That may or may not be covered in the lease agreement, or perhaps by Florida statute.

    I've violated that advice multiple times when dealing with slumlords. I even swapped out a failing 40-year old oil burner on a hot air oil furnace once rather than deal with the truly vile landlord. This landlord had a history of blaming tenants for "destroying" things that were normal maintenance issues, and never passed up an opportunity to do an sub-code patch on something and use it as an excuse to raise the rent. A neighbor in the same building spent a lot of her own time and money fixing the windows patching & painting the walls, refinished the floors and really spruced it up, only to have her rent raised by more than 50% when the lease was renewed since she was now living in such a nice apartment. That convinced me to only do "home improvements" that were less obvious, and deal with my own maintenance issues (which were many.) YMMV

    If you have a civilized landlord and a decent relationship it's worth maintaining the quality of that relationship for when you might actually need something from the landlord.
     
  9. Super_19

    Super_19 New Member

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    Jun 2, 2013
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    Florida
    Been living in the property now for almost a year and a half. When the property manager did the inspection of the house before renewing our lease, she commented on how great we are keeping it and had no negative comments. I had replaced the kitchen faucet for a nicer one that my wife wanted. They agreed and had no problem with it. Only thing is that whatever I replace or “upgrade” has to stay whenever we move. So I don’t expect them to say no to me changing the thermostat especially since it’ll be an upgrade I’m making to their house. Haven’t bought the new thermostat yet. I will reach out to them and confirm just to be on the safe side.
     
  10. MichaelSK

    MichaelSK Member

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    Oct 1, 2016
    Occupation:
    nurse
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    Does the reversing valve stay energized, as evidenced by feeling hot, even when the thermostat is set to OFF? I’m going to go out and get some VAC readings so you folks can comment.
     
  11. MichaelSK

    MichaelSK Member

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    Oct 1, 2016
    Occupation:
    nurse
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    The unit is a Bosch (Florida Heat-pump) SM036 without any heat strips. The vac readings at the pcb thermostat connector are as follows:
    R-B 25v, R-frame 25v, B-frame 0v, O-B 25v, O-frame 25v, G-B 0v.
    One question, should the frame be part of the 24vac circuit?
    The common (C) is the blue wire. There is no voltage between common(C) the blue wire(B) Br-0v.
    B-blue, O-orange, R-red, G-green, Br-brown

    These voltages are obtained with the thermostat set to OFF. The reversing is energized, even though the thermostat should not be calling for “cool”.
     
  12. MichaelSK

    MichaelSK Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2016
    Occupation:
    nurse
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    Update: I verified that the wiring had not been compromised by a staple, screw, etc. (the wiring is nominal). I suspect that it is not uncommon that the 24vac circuit is “grounded” to the chassis. The problem is the new thermostat. I just got off the phone with Honeywell, they will replace the defective thermostat.
     
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