I tried to install a programmable thermostat over the weekend. It is a
one thermostat household with an air & gas furnace set-up (the wires to
the thermostat were W, R, G, Y--I think).
I took the old mercury thermostat off. When I tried to place the new
wires on, after a couple of bad insulation strip jobs, a wire or was to
short to connect. Since this was attached to the heating unit, I
thought I could at least turn it on and get AC until I can get a
professional out to fix the job. When I switched the breakers, nothing
happened. So I tried to put on the old thermostat, but now of a couple
of the wires are too short.
Can the professional solder or extend the copper wires to make them
long enough to attach a new thermostat? I ran this by a HVAC tech that
comes well recommended, and he thought he might have to run new wires
from the HVAC units to the thermostat--is this necessary, or can these
wires just be extended from their existing location?
Who is the professional you are talking about to do the soldering?
Obviously it won't be the ficticious HVAC tech you made up, so it will
probably be you.
Yes, it can be done, depending on how much wire there is to work with,
if you know how to solder, and insulate a connection. There are also
other ways to extend wires without solder that are equally if not more
FYI, there is a more than fair chance you have damaged your furnace by
powering up with bare wires not connected to a thermostat, and
therefore, more than likely connected to each other.
I'd recommend you call a real tech, and have him do the work, and then
be done with it. You are well over your head here.
Would you mind explaining? Most systems don't have a "common" (neutral)
wire at the 'stat, so shorting any wires out wouldn't do anything more
harmful than what the t-stat does when it calls for heat. About the worst
thing you could do is have the heat and AC running at the same time, but
that would be pretty unlikely.
Lot of factors, we can't answer from here. Might be possible to splice on.
But, also depending on your house layout, it might make more sense to pull
Got to consider how old is the wire, and how easy it would be to pull a new
wire. I've pulled a lot of thermostat wire, and sometimes it's a lot easier
to pull new wire. The problem with splicing is that sometiems the splices
work loose, adn it's a nightmare to trouble shoot later. besides, you'll be
without heat or AC, and that's not good.
If it's even a close decision, pull new wire.
Knock a hole in the wall under the stat and wire nut some longer stat wires
on to the short wires. Call a drywall man out to fix the hole and a painter
to paint the repaired drywall. Drywallers and painters are cheaper than
hvac companies and most of them will work for beer money. Dont pay them
ahead of time. :)
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