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  1. #1
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    Angry Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    hi I never thought I would do or know HVAC so here goes, after many searches pictures videos and more taken and finding something disturbing inside my Thermostat. The Wiring is not to HVAC codes and well also the Thermostat is using some odd connections, making me think its shorted but then finds that wire is a Product installed Wire not an HVAC wire. If i can post some pictures here now then you will all see what I am wondering. Three or 4 of these have so much wrong it's disturbing. has anyone else seen this? I live in an Apartment complex and my AC stopped working correctly last year June 16th at 6:45PM, new Filters installed and the other day i smelled something not right and found these wires burnt and or discolored.

    Please help i am at odds with these people and this is fully unacceptable in any house apartment or Dwelling.

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    Default Re: Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    I'm not following your "not to HVAC codes" comments.

    Thermostats are listed units, no HVAC code applies to them.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    I have no idea whats going on with your HVAC. However, you are barking up the wrong tree as far as the stat and wires. There are no burnt wires there or burnt components. Those are normal looking wires. Beyond that if there had been a short or surge of some kind you wouldn't have to worry about seeing it on the wires. You would see some sort of brown or black discoloration on the yellow board.
    Beyond that those are low voltage wires, i.e. 24 volts. The likelihood of you smelling something burning related to those is pretty unlikely. If by chance there was some sort of cross connection at the furnace introducing line voltage, i.e. 120v to the thermostat or lines it would be really obvious. The stat, the wires and the transformer at the furnace board would be fried.
    Your comment says your AC stopped working last year, 2016? You haven't had to use it since then? Could be dirty return ductwork, moldy or a critter corpse.
    You might want to consider hiring a licensed HVAC technician to come out to do an evaluation so that you have objective data to confront property management with.
    You may also want to see if your community has a tenants rights ordinance. If it does, follow the requirements under that for notification so that you can properly recoup any costs. if this is subsidized housing contact the appropriate authorizing agency.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    I have no idea whats going on with your HVAC. However, you are barking up the wrong tree as far as the stat and wires. There are no burnt wires there or burnt components. Those are normal looking wires. Beyond that if there had been a short or surge of some kind you wouldn't have to worry about seeing it on the wires. You would see some sort of brown or black discoloration on the yellow board.
    Beyond that those are low voltage wires, i.e. 24 volts. The likelihood of you smelling something burning related to those is pretty unlikely. If by chance there was some sort of cross connection at the furnace introducing line voltage, i.e. 120v to the thermostat or lines it would be really obvious. The stat, the wires and the transformer at the furnace board would be fried.
    Your comment says your AC stopped working last year, 2016? You haven't had to use it since then? Could be dirty return ductwork, moldy or a critter corpse.
    You might want to consider hiring a licensed HVAC technician to come out to do an evaluation so that you have objective data to confront property management with.
    You may also want to see if your community has a tenants rights ordinance. If it does, follow the requirements under that for notification so that you can properly recoup any costs. if this is subsidized housing contact the appropriate authorizing agency.
    they are Burnt look carefully, also the one wire that looks liek 2 is only one wire, and that one is discolored, the red is not right either, and the Miswiring is from a Mexican that has a 4 quesyion license. No exp required here in Texas it appears. As for getting someone to come here well that's near impossible as the ones i have called do not do apartments.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    I'm pretty sure those are low voltage wires, so maybe 12 volts on those connections. Some tarnish on the copper, is that what you are seeing as burnt?
    You haven't described your heating system so we don't know if this T-stat switches from heating to cooling.

    You could buy another thermostat and find a handyman to install it or follow the instructions in the box and do it yourself. Make sure power is off before doing anything. Get a programmable thermostat that is correct for your system.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    I'm pretty sure those are low voltage wires, so maybe 12 volts on those connections. Some tarnish on the copper, is that what you are seeing as burnt?
    You haven't described your heating system so we don't know if this T-stat switches from heating to cooling.

    You could buy another thermostat and find a handyman to install it or follow the instructions in the box and do it yourself. Make sure power is off before doing anything. Get a programmable thermostat that is correct for your system.
    Look if you have any HVAC wires in a box or some work bench, take the time to compare them, I am very sure you would see exactly what I do, but then I have to say I have a formal Education, over my lifetime. I am still learning, but in my Education I had Electrical wiring and other things also some Board level education. What I want to know is why it is here in Texas the Licensing only requires 5 questions, and 110.00 and you get a License. In my time HVAC required 2 years of Schooling, as for getting a new Thermostat that's not going to fix it. Wires are very delicate and these are what 24G or something around there, Very small, and the picture enlarged it some. Now Look carefully at what looks like 2 wires, one light, and then the other a little darker, in reality that's one wire not two, its supposed to be the Heat Strip or W wire. Then that Red Jumper is the actual Temp Limiter. But Wiring correctly to the Standards of HVAC the real one not this trimmed down low quality . Here is a GIF of how it should be hooked up.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer Case View Post
    Look if you have any HVAC wires in a box or some work bench, take the time to compare them, I am very sure you would see exactly what I do, but then I have to say I have a formal Education, over my lifetime. I am still learning, but in my Education I had Electrical wiring and other things also some Board level education.
    Seems to me that you know a lot more than most of use here do ... at least you think so ... so ... what is the meaning of life?

    Is it to end up in a nice fancy box dressed to kill (pardon the pun) where the onlookers say 'he/she looks so real', or ... or is it to end up in a pine box looking all beat up where the onlookers say 'he/she sure must have enjoyed one heck of a ride through life'

    What I want to know is why it is here in Texas the Licensing only requires 5 questions, and 110.00 and you get a License.
    I know the answer to that question: look at your politicians in your state government.

    Ready for the next question.

    In my time HVAC required 2 years of Schooling, as for getting a new Thermostat that's not going to fix it. Wires are very delicate and these are what 24G or something around there, Very small, and the picture enlarged it some.
    Oh, oh, another one I know the answer to: most thermostat wiring is 18 AWG, at least it was back when I worked with it.

    And most air conditioning equipment and thermostats had a 24 volt transformer and used 24 volts as the control circuit voltage.

    Now Look carefully at what looks like 2 wires, one light, and then the other a little darker, in reality that's one wire not two, its supposed to be the Heat Strip or W wire. Then that Red Jumper is the actual Temp Limiter. But Wiring correctly to the Standards of HVAC the real one not this trimmed down low quality . Here is a GIF of how it should be hooked up.
    Ummm ... apparently you have never worked in the field ... otherwise you would know that it is not "the color of the wire" that matters, it is "what the wire is connected to" that matters.

    I have seen some thermostat cables with various numbers of wires, i.e., 18-4, 18-5, 18-6, even 18-8 (with 18-5 and 18-6 being the most popular when I worked with them), and the wires are not always the same color in all the cables ... close, but not always the same ... and if a contractor uses 'yellow' for 'red' ... as long as they know what they are connecting to what, that is what matters, and, as for the next technician who comes along ... if they rely on "color" ... they do so at their own risk as they should be verifying what is connected to what.

    Ready for the next question.

    Oh, the "burnt" wires ... I don't see any burnt wires either, if the wires were "burnt" from having been overheated, the insulation would be discolored and melted looking ... and even zooming in 500% does not show any melted look to the insulation.

    Ready for the next question.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    Are you saying the blue wire (red arrow) has been overheated? The red wire(green arrow) is simply a jumper wire to select a feature of this thermostat and it is not an issue that the wire gauge is different than other wires.
    The blue wire (red arrow) connected to the terminal strip does appear to have been overheated at some point. The information that others here have attempted to relay to you is that this wiring is low voltage, usually 24 volts. If low voltage wiring was placed under enough of a load to heat up the insulation to the point of melting there are most likely other components of the system that are damaged, namely low voltage transformer and other circuit boards.
    You mentioned that your unit stopped working correctly in June of last year? Did the heat work last winter? Is the unit not working or do you feel the operation of the equipment is incorrect? If so, how?
    While there are a number of people with extensive HVAC experience who frequent this forum, it is extremely difficult to diagnose an issue from a couple of photos. Someone must be able to physically access the entire system to be able to troubleshoot the issues and make any repairs. Your best bet is to get someone local to take a look at the equipment and go from there...


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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    The two wire look that is one is common methodology for this type of use as it passes through one point going another.

    The "burnt" wiring is not really "burnt". What you are seeing is is an Ozone Oxidation on the wire, which gives it that discoloration. Will will find the same discoloration over a wall outlet, no burning just an ozone effect from the energized wire.

    If there was any "burning" taking place you would see it on the circuit board, and you don'Tt

    The problem with the system not working requires a meter and knowledge to trouble shoot.

    Not working to some is a relative term. As you stated "...AC stopped working correctly...".
    -Some expect more that what the system capable of.
    -Other times it is a matter of not producing specifications as a result of faulty part , poor maintenance or just a system with low Freon.
    -Then there is the dead system = nothing working.

    I had a 71 Mustang with 130K+ miles that topped out at 120mph, I thought it should do better, not working correctly. I could get 105 out of my 67 six cylinder.

    Since you do not own the property you do not have the right to mess with it without the owners permission. You need to do what ever it takes to get the owner to correct what ever is wrong with the system. If you mess with the system you must accept total liability for what ever is wrong. The argument can be made that by you messing with things you were the cause of the system failure.

    Now being a little harsh with you. You just do not have the experience and knowledge of what it takes to trouble shoot the problems that you are persevering. One under performing resistor, capacitor or transistor that is part of some chip can reek havoc You are looking at only one part of the control system to the AC, there are others. Again this is a property management issue.


    PS. The heat strips can produce a burning odor at times due to dirty air moving past the elements. If the heat strips are kicking on at the same time the AC is trying to cool. You can get poor delta temp since the strips are heating up the cooled air... Just another possibility.

    Last edited by Garry Sorrells; 08-22-2017 at 06:45 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    I had a 71 Mustang with 130K+ miles that topped out at 120mph, I thought it should do better, not working correctly. I could get 105 out of my 67 six cylinder.
    I could do 105 (did do) in my 1954 Jaguar Mk VII I had in high school - also a six cylinder.

    I could do 150 (did do) in my 1967 Jaguar E-Type when I had it (from 1985 to 1993) - also a six cylinder.

    I can do 150 (but never have) in my 1983 Jaguar XJ-S that I've had since 2008 - okay, it's not a six cylinder (but it probably weighs twice what your Mustang weighed ).

    How did we get to talking about cars from thermostats ... it doesn't matter because it's more fun to talk about cars anyway ... ... and I thought I'd change the subject to something more lighthearted.

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    Default Re: Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    I always wanted an older XKE V12, but I knew it would be hard getting parts and keeping it on the road. Just like a MGTD. Aaaaaaaaaaah the memories...

    My obtuse connection to the cars and speed was that we often want/expect something that is not realistic.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    I always wanted an older XKE V12, but I knew it would be hard getting parts and keeping it on the road. Just like a MGTD. Aaaaaaaaaaah the memories...

    My obtuse connection to the cars and speed was that we often want/expect something that is not realistic.
    I knew what you referring to ...

    ... I just took the opportunity for some thread drift.

    Yeppers, the old MG T series, TA, TB, TC, TD, TF ... hmmm ... was there a TE? The most common ones being the TC and TD, followed by the TF.

    The Jaguar 'equivalent' in style were the SS 100, SS, and SS II (before they were "Jaguar", they were "Swallow Sidecars", i.e., "SS" as the company started out making sidecars for motorcycles, but after "The War", the "SS" took on a very sinister meaning, so the name was changed ... to Jaguar.

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    Default Re: Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    This thread has been HIJACKED ! LOL!


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    Default Re: Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Lewis View Post
    This thread has been HIJACKED ! LOL!
    Hijacked? You mean LoJacked?

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    Default Re: Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    This is a 5 wire 18 gauge thermostat wire.
    This is not a heat pump and just a regular condensing unit and probably a gas fired furnace.
    The red jumper comes from factory and jumps between RH & RC (normal) RH = Heat, RC = Cooling

    red goes to the R terminal 26 volt power to the stat
    white goes to the W terminal (Heat)
    green goes to the G terminal (Fan)
    yellow goes to the Y terminal (Cooling)
    Blue is an extra wire that does nothing, some HVAC contractors will use the blue instead of the yellow.

    There is nothing wrong or wired wrong on this stat base.
    Licensed HVAC Professional turned Home Inspector

    Dan Hagman
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    Default Re: Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    The OP picture and that used in another thread are the same except for the hiding of the burnt board and the notation to the left side. Bait and switch or are we in test mode ?

    Jennifer states in OP "hi I never thought I would do or know HVAC so here goes, after many searches pictures videos and more taken and finding something disturbing inside my Thermostat." then in a another thread claims to be a "Test Teck" .

    Dejavue all over again....or am I missing something. Not the same since the Sonar Eclips ...


    Last edited by Garry Sorrells; 08-25-2017 at 12:06 PM.

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    Default Re: Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hagman View Post
    This is a 5 wire 18 gauge thermostat wire.
    This is not a heat pump and just a regular condensing unit and probably a gas fired furnace.
    The red jumper comes from factory and jumps between RH & RC (normal) RH = Heat, RC = Cooling

    red goes to the R terminal 26 volt power to the stat
    white goes to the W terminal (Heat)
    green goes to the G terminal (Fan)
    yellow goes to the Y terminal (Cooling)
    Blue is an extra wire that does nothing, some HVAC contractors will use the blue instead of the yellow.

    There is nothing wrong or wired wrong on this stat base.
    Licensed HVAC Professional turned Home Inspector
    mm what a huh, 26V when the standard is 24V, well here take a look this is the board side of the same Thermostat, look closely this is why a C- or Common is needed where its part of the Electrical Path, and with out it this is what happens.

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    I have had a lot of tenants try to break leases for whatever reason but none have put this much effort into it lol

    - - - Updated - - -

    I have had a lot of tenants try to break leases for whatever reason but none have put this much effort into it lol

    Mike Pagozalski- Florida Home Inspector #HI9519, Radon Measurement Technician R2530, Exterior Design Institute #FL131, ITC Level II Thermographer #150761
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    Default Re: Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Pagozalski View Post
    I have had a lot of tenants try to break leases for whatever reason but none have put this much effort into it lol

    - - - Updated - - -

    I have had a lot of tenants try to break leases for whatever reason but none have put this much effort into it lol
    Not trying to break anything this is the result of lack of action on tthe managers part, after it broke spent 3 months documenting it sending Work Orders and getting some odd responses of it's working just fine there's nothing wrong, oh and when i entered these premises the Thermostat was set to 70 and they told me I set it that way when it was already that way, so you hopefully see or read what i have had to deal with, oddly though the AC seems to work right with this damage, so that tells me it toasted the external control circuits.


  20. #20

    Lightbulb Re: Wiring HVAC Thermostats

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hagman View Post
    This is a 5 wire 18 gauge thermostat wire.
    This is not a heat pump and just a regular condensing unit and probably a gas fired furnace.
    The red jumper comes from factory and jumps between RH & RC (normal) RH = Heat, RC = Cooling

    red goes to the R terminal 26 volt power to the stat
    white goes to the W terminal (Heat)
    green goes to the G terminal (Fan)
    yellow goes to the Y terminal (Cooling)
    Blue is an extra wire that does nothing, some HVAC contractors will use the blue instead of the yellow.

    There is nothing wrong or wired wrong on this stat base.
    Licensed HVAC Professional turned Home Inspector

    Great info right here


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