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What is C Wire on Thermostat?

A lot of people are not aware of what is a C-wire in a thermostat. C-wire is the name given to an important wire which is present in all the smart thermostats present in the market and is called a “common wire”.

Knowledge about the C-wire or common wire is important for people who are looking forward to incorporating a smart thermostat in their temperature controlling system. For this, they should also know if their temperature controlling system is compatible with a smart thermostat. Still, wondering what actually this wire does? Let’s know!

FUNCTION OF A C-WIRE

The basic function of a C-wire is to carry continuous power to the thermostat. It forms the connection between the low voltage heating system i.e., 24V heating system, and the thermostat. In the modern-day electronic market, temperature controlling systems come equipped with a C-wire which makes them compatible with a smart thermostat.
Since the C-wire forms the connection between the low voltage heating system and the thermostat therefore the absence of a low voltage heating system means your temperature control does not have a C-wire and therefore it is not compatible with a smart thermostat.

However, you still have options left which are discussed below.

HOW TO FIND THE C-WIRE

If the users already have a low voltage heating system installed at their homes, then they can easily locate the C-wire present at the back of the low voltage heating system.

The C-wire can be located very easily, once the cover of the thermostat is removed a user would find five wires present. A C-wire is usually of blue color, but the correct method to locate the wire is to find the wire connected to the terminal marked as ‘C’ or the ‘C Terminal’.

If the users come upon a situation where they cannot find the C-wire, then the wires must be placed inside the wall. Now the users should follow the following steps or methods.

LOCATING THE C-WIRE

If the users find that the C-wire is present in the wall, then they can either locate it by themselves or seek the help of professionals.

– When doing it by themselves the users must carefully pull out the bundle of wires placed inside the wall and locate the C-wire.

– If they seek a professional, then they must always look for experts who are well aware of what they are doing and carry the right tools for the job.

HOW TO INSTALL A SMART THERMOSTAT

If the users are able to locate the C-wire then that means they are on the right path to install a smart thermostat, all they have to figure out now is what functionality do they require from their thermostats.

  • Automated temperature changes
  • Application controlled temperature changes
  • Touch screen platforms
  • Scheduled temperature changes
  • And many more

INSTALLING A THERMOSTAT WITHOUT A C-WIRE

If the users cannot find a C-wire in their temperature controlling system, then that means that they have to look for other solutions.

These solutions are listed below,

  1. The first solution is the simplest yet quite a hassle, the solution is to simply find a thermostat that does not require a C-wire. These types of thermostats are available in the market. However, they might not operate as smoothly as the ones that come with C-wires.
  2. If the users find a wire that connects the heating system and thermostat then they should remove that wire and install a C-wire which would make the system compatible with a smart thermostat.
  3. This solution is a bit more technical then the last two. It requires a splitter module or a jumper module, splitter module is basically a small bundle of wires that borrows its power from the other wires that are present. In this case the splitter module would borrow its power from the Rh wire which is used for powering the furnace of the thermostat. You can always speak to a professional who can help you in installing these modules.

Voila, now you know quite a lot about the C wire on a thermostat and can enjoy the most benefits of it by fully utilizing its functions.

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