Jump to content

Has anyone here changed a thermostat themselves?


The last post in this topic was posted 4832 days ago. 

 

We strongly encourage you to start a new post instead of replying to this one.

Recommended Posts

my mom just called me freaking out and asked me if i know how to change a thermostat. i'm fairly certain i can do it... and i've got a wiring book to back me up on the wiring part if i start to panic (electrical stuff makes me nervous) but i was just wondering if there's anything i should know before i go out and buy a new one for her and hook it up. i have heard it's really easy but i just don't want to waste time and buy the wrong thing.

 

as far as what happened... she said that her thermostat will be turned on to a certain temp and will show that the house is at a much higher temp. she said she thought that one of her cats was either playing with or rubbing his face on the dial and accidentally turning it up but that last night it was set at 68 when she walked in her house and thought it was on fire because it was so hot inside... it was in the teens outside in her neighborhood. so i'm guessing the thermostat is getting stuck on "run".

 

so if anyone has any suggestions or helpful hints, please let me know. thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Admin

They're simple to change. There isn't a shock hazard (low voltage) unless they are controlling electric baseboard heaters. Some of those are line voltage units.

 

If it isn't level the calibration will be off. Has it been twisted somehow?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Step by step:

 

Turn off the power to the entire house at the breaker.

 

Verify there is no power to the house.

 

Use flashlight.

 

Unscrew thermostat from wall.

 

Transfer each wire over to the new thermostat, one at a time.

 

Screw new thermostat on to wall.

 

Turn power back on.

 

Laugh a little because it only took like 5 minutes and you were all worried about it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for the replies!

 

They're simple to change. There isn't a shock hazard (low voltage) unless they are controlling electric baseboard heaters. Some of those are line voltage units.

 

If it isn't level the calibration will be off. Has it been twisted somehow?

 

nope... not twisted at all. she said it looks perfectly fine.

 

i remember when we lived in an apartment the thermostat got stuck on the run setting and the maintenance guy said that an earwig got inside and got fried on something and messed it up. he replaced the unit. of course DH was there at the time and didn't watch what the guy was doing... DH isn't handy with anything other than a frying pan and kitchen knives. he can whip up an awesome meal but slap a hammer in his hand and he'll say "WTF is this?"

 

 

Step by step:

 

Turn off the power to the entire house at the breaker.

 

Verify there is no power to the house.

 

Use flashlight.

 

Unscrew thermostat from wall.

 

Transfer each wire over to the new thermostat, one at a time.

 

Screw new thermostat on to wall.

 

Turn power back on.

 

Laugh a little because it only took like 5 minutes and you were all worried about it.

 

:clapping: i'm sure i will be laughing about it... i tend to freak about stuff like that until it's over. but i'm just more paranoid because i think i'll be getting her an electric one to replace the old dial type she's got now. i'm just wondering if that's more involved or just as ridiculously simple.

Edited by invisible assistant
Link to post
Share on other sites

If she turns the heat-off-cool switch to "off", does the furnace shut down? If not it could be the furnace itself is stuck on or a short in the thermostat wiring, though both of those are rather rare.

 

Heat pump thermostats have a lot more wires and it can get complicated. One for a simple gas/oil/electric furnace with air conditioning is very simple to replace.

Link to post
Share on other sites
If she turns the heat-off-cool switch to "off", does the furnace shut down? If not it could be the furnace itself is stuck on or a short in the thermostat wiring, though both of those are rather rare.

 

Heat pump thermostats have a lot more wires and it can get complicated. One for a simple gas/oil/electric furnace with air conditioning is very simple to replace.

 

thanks, mk

 

she said that when she got home last night it had to be over 100 degrees inside and thought the house was on fire. she said she immediately turned off the thermostat, changed into summer clothing :P and went to bed... she said it was around 65 degrees when she woke up this morning so i'm guessing that it did shut down fine.

 

she does have an electric furnace with AC so, yeah, hopefully it is that simple to replace. paranoia seems to be my friend, i'm tellin ya!

Link to post
Share on other sites

If it's the old mechanical type she could pull the cover off and make sure that the mercury capsule moves freely. Maybe a bug got in it or something. Also if it is the mercury type, don't throw it in the trash, you should take it back to the store after replacing it so the mercury can be properly dealt with.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ernestb48104

I have done it twice along with ceiling fans.. Go into the breaker box and find the heating and or cooling, flip them both off regardless if your only using one or neither. then go to the thermostat and move the temp selector around, you should hear nothing which would verify there is no current in the system. take the front plate off normally its just grabbing it and pulling it off. then you have the guts with three or 4 wires and 3 screws that hold onto the wall..

 

look at the new thermostat and match the wires up get a mental Idea how your going to do it, then the rest should come to play..

 

Word of caution when taking the guts off the wall that has the little mercury thing, don't throw it, toss it... it might break it and will have a mercury spill!

 

after getting the new one, wired correctly, switch in off setting turn on both breakers and then select the desire temp and it should function

 

let us know how it goes

Link to post
Share on other sites
If it's the old mechanical type she could pull the cover off and make sure that the mercury capsule moves freely. Maybe a bug got in it or something. Also if it is the mercury type, don't throw it in the trash, you should take it back to the store after replacing it so the mercury can be properly dealt with.

 

The one that cat was playing with. :angry:

Link to post
Share on other sites
If it's the old mechanical type she could pull the cover off and make sure that the mercury capsule moves freely. Maybe a bug got in it or something. Also if it is the mercury type, don't throw it in the trash, you should take it back to the store after replacing it so the mercury can be properly dealt with.

 

The one that cat was playing with. :D

 

yup...lol! i know i won't be looking to see if a bug did get inside... otherwise if i do find one in there, yeah, mercury spill will be next on the agenda! i might get into home improvement stuff, but i'm still really girly when it comes to most bugs. *shiver*

 

 

If you are buying a digital one get a Honeywell. dont get a temp right they are crappy.

 

Honeywell it is... that's what i've got and prolly all i've ever seen. i'll be wanting to get best one but have to remember who will be operating it... my mom can barely work her answering machine! :rofl:

 

 

Yeah so I change the thermostat all the time. It's really simple. I hit the + or the _ button and it works!! :cry2:

 

now that's bad! :angry:

Edited by invisible assistant
Link to post
Share on other sites
If it's the old mechanical type she could pull the cover off and make sure that the mercury capsule moves freely. Maybe a bug got in it or something. Also if it is the mercury type, don't throw it in the trash, you should take it back to the store after replacing it so the mercury can be properly dealt with.

 

The one that cat was playing with. :D

 

yup...lol! i know i won't be looking to see if a bug did get inside... otherwise if i do find one in there, yeah, mercury spill will be next on the agenda! i might get into home improvement stuff, but i'm still really girly when it comes to most bugs. *shiver*

 

 

If you are buying a digital one get a Honeywell. dont get a temp right they are crappy.

 

Honeywell it is... that's what i've got and prolly all i've ever seen. i'll be wanting to get best one but have to remember who will be operating it... my mom can barely work her answering machine! :rofl:

 

 

Yeah so I change the thermostat all the time. It's really simple. I hit the + or the _ button and it works!! :cry2:

 

now that's bad! :angry:

 

After I posted that, I was really concerned that I offended you. I've been drinking.....I'm glad that I made you laugh. I won't be laughing after I wake up tomorrow and have to drive to Cleveland...

Link to post
Share on other sites
If it's the old mechanical type she could pull the cover off and make sure that the mercury capsule moves freely. Maybe a bug got in it or something. Also if it is the mercury type, don't throw it in the trash, you should take it back to the store after replacing it so the mercury can be properly dealt with.

 

The one that cat was playing with. :rofl:

 

yup...lol! i know i won't be looking to see if a bug did get inside... otherwise if i do find one in there, yeah, mercury spill will be next on the agenda! i might get into home improvement stuff, but i'm still really girly when it comes to most bugs. *shiver*

 

 

If you are buying a digital one get a Honeywell. dont get a temp right they are crappy.

 

Honeywell it is... that's what i've got and prolly all i've ever seen. i'll be wanting to get best one but have to remember who will be operating it... my mom can barely work her answering machine! :cry2:

 

 

Yeah so I change the thermostat all the time. It's really simple. I hit the + or the _ button and it works!! :rofl:

 

now that's bad! :angry:

 

After I posted that, I was really concerned that I offended you. I've been drinking.....I'm glad that I made you laugh. I won't be laughing after I wake up tomorrow and have to drive to Cleveland...

 

naw... i don't get offended that easily. it really was a good one. besides... i'm so tired that i'm prolly about as impaired as you so everything is that much funnier! :beee:

 

dunno how far your drive is, but be careful! ..........wow... now i sound like my mom. :D but, yeah, be careful... hope the trip goes well for ya!

Edited by invisible assistant
Link to post
Share on other sites

These days, most are more than 3-4 wires.

 

IIRC, the one I last changed had more than 10.

 

It was real easy, though. Unscrew wire, transfer to new one. Rinse, lather, repeat.

 

<ine took about 15 minutes to do, since there were so many wires... It was a digital/programmable unit that DW zapped when she was changing the temp (again, against my wishes) and a static discharge hit it. I put a new programmable 'stat in, and everything was fine.

 

I didn't even cut the power when I did it. That's how low the voltage is.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I didn't even cut the power when I did it. That's how low the voltage is.

 

that's totally the part i'm paranoid about... i don't want to get zapped and, of course, i don't wanna burn her house down either...lol! i'm sure it would take a lot more than that to cause a fire but sometimes my "worst case scenario" alarm goes off on some wild tangent. i'm just weird that way. :angry:

Link to post
Share on other sites
you should cut power. if you accidently short the wrong wires together you can fry a control board. then she will be without heat and maybe out several hundred bucks!

I agree, I'd flip the breaker for the furnace, not for the whole house. If ya cut power to the whole house, ya got a lot of clocks to reprogram. :D

Link to post
Share on other sites
you should cut power. if you accidently short the wrong wires together you can fry a control board. then she will be without heat and maybe out several hundred bucks!

I agree, I'd flip the breaker for the furnace, not for the whole house. If ya cut power to the whole house, ya got a lot of clocks to reprogram. :dance:

 

using the breaker switch for the furnace is definitely a must... but there have been cases of mislabeled breaker boxes and i don't want to have to worry about that being the case and getting fried. *that's* what i've been most paranoid about... not about whether or not to cut the power. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
you should cut power. if you accidently short the wrong wires together you can fry a control board. then she will be without heat and maybe out several hundred bucks!

I agree, I'd flip the breaker for the furnace, not for the whole house. If ya cut power to the whole house, ya got a lot of clocks to reprogram. :D

 

using the breaker switch for the furnace is definitely a must... but there have been cases of mislabeled breaker boxes and i don't want to have to worry about that being the case and getting fried. *that's* what i've been most paranoid about... not about whether or not to cut the power. :)

Understandable. The furnace should be 220volt, though, hence it'll be 2 breakers. It, the AC, the water heater, the electric dryer and the electric range are *typically* the 220 appliances. I agree, probably better safe than sorry if you're not sure 100% that breaker is for the furnace.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I swapped out mine five or six months ago...it was an older lever-style (the rectangle boxes) and I went with a 5-2 programmable. The instruction manuals cover all sorts of wiring possibilities and the new unit I had included a bunch of stickers to wrap around the wires so you remembered what was what.

 

Five minutes sounds about right...

 

The main reason I wanted to swap them out is that I would have a bad habit of bouncing the temps up or down in the AM as I got ready for work and then forget to change the setting back when I left...I would come home to a house chilled to 68 or warmed to 75 on too many days. With the programmable, I can still make the bump if necessary but I know that it will revert to some other setting soon after I leave for the office...

Link to post
Share on other sites

now my mom is freaking out about doing this ourselves... i totally knew she would and almost made mention of it last night in one of my responses. it sounds like she's not sure how to turn off the breakers... her houses before this one had fuses so that's what she's used to. and she's worried that if we shut off a breaker or two that they won't come back on. i tried to explain to her how they work and that the possibility of something going that wrong are next to none but i would be willing to bet she's going thru the phone book right now looking for someone to replace the thermostat just for the breaker issue alone! even i'm not *that* paranoid! :ph34r:

 

oh yeah... and i told her that the programmable thermostats require batteries and to remember to change them before calling out the HVAC guy when it stops working. she got really whiny which i'm hoping she was doing just as a joke... it was pretty funny! but i do have to remember that i had to teach her how to use her cell phone, answering machine, and digital camera. her BF had his hands full teaching her about the satellite box, DVD player and camcorder. she's only in her mid-50's so it's not like she's ancient... she's just got absolutely no patience at all. :lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites
i would be willing to bet she's going thru the phone book right now looking for someone to replace the thermostat just for the breaker issue alone!

 

boy did i call it right on the nose. that's exactly what she's done. her house, her money. no big deal. but at least i got some good info here... thanks to all who replied! :lol:

 

Don't feel bad, we are having 2 put in by the HVAC guy, because DH is thinking he'll screw it up somehow, we also have the square box kind with the bar lever running across the bottom. I don't feel like trying to coax him into it; if he messes up, I'll never hear the end of it. :yahoo:

Link to post
Share on other sites

The last post in this topic was posted 4832 days ago. 

 

We strongly encourage you to start a new post instead of replying to this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      180,551
    • Most Online
      2,046

    Newest Member
    meli1979
    Joined
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Guidelines