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Is my thermostat bad?

Updated on June 15, 2015

Old style thermostat

Old thermostats contain mercury

If this is the type thermostat you have in your home, I suggest changing it anyway. These old stats contain mercury and aren't as accurate as a digital one. Don't worry because it still works on the same principal, using the same colored wires.

How to tell if you have a bad thermostat

If you think that your a/c system is not working due to a faulty thermostat, I can tell you how to check it. Being very careful remove the cover. Unless you have one of those old types, most thermostats have batteries. In cases where you do not see batteries, more than likely whoever installed it is using blue connected to common. By connecting the blue wire to common, the thermostat uses power from the system, eliminating the need for batteries.

Digital thermostat

Wire colors and what they do

  • RED..............................................Power and should be hooked up to RC
  • YELLOW.......................................Calls for cool and should be hooked up to Y
  • GREEN.........................................Calls for the fan and is hooked up to G
  • WHITE...........................................Calls for heat and is hooked up to W

What if I have eight wires?

If you remove the cover to your thermostat and see eight wires, you probably have a heat pump system. These are much more complicated and I suggest calling a professional.

*NOTE* If for some reason the wires aren't the traditional colors mark them with tape and label so you know where they go.

Which wires to connect

Now that you have the wires free from the thermostat, it's time to find out if that stat is bad or not.

Twist red, green and yellow together. This should make your system come on in cool mode.

OR

Twist red, green and white together. This should make your system come on in heat mode.

IF THE SYSTEM WORKS FINE NOW YOU HAVE A BAD THERMOSTAT.

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