How to Replace a Thermostat By Yourself

How to replace your thermostat

The thermostat is the electric panel which you use to regulate the heating and the modes of your heater. You can control everything your heater does via your thermostat. There are many models for a thermostat, and one can be more efficient than another (usually what you got when you buy your heater should work best). However, if your thermostat is broken or if you want to install something else, this article will take you through the steps on how to replace a thermostat.

Read the manual and purchase

The very first part of my guide on how to replace a thermostat is that you need to read the manual and purchase a thermostat that is compatible for your heater. Usually, a replacement thermostat selling at the store will be consistent with the most system. However, it is still recommended to buy one from the same manufacturer of your heater. The new thermostat should be more advanced with more functions.

Here are a few basic options that a thermostat should have:

  • Needs to have separately heating and cooling mode
  • Should “Work with direct line voltage”. This means that it can be connected directly to your heater without the assist of an inverter.
  • Work with 24mV for fireplaces or furnaces
  • Should be able to use for different zones in your house separately. It means that you can have different options for different places.

Read the manual carefully before installing your thermostat. Reading the instructions with a clear picture can save you a lot of time prevent a lot of technical mistakes. Make sure that you read the whole instruction before starting the work. If you are not good with the technical work, it is best to call for help from a professional. Although you have to pay more money, it maybe save you, even more, money if you make a mistake while doing things on your own.

How to Replace a Thermostat

In details, my guide on how to replace a thermostat include 7 steps: preparation, shut off the thermostat, remove the old one, wire jobs, and attach the new one to the wall. Very easy, right? Now, let’s get started!

Prepare

  • Your new thermostat
  • Flathead screwdriver, appropriate bolts and nuts
  • A drill
  • A hammer
  • Some batteries (AA)
  • Gloves and goggles

Shut off the thermostat

Shut off your thermostat and turn off the power completely. Getting electricity shock is the last thing that should happen to you.

Remove the old thermostat

Remove your old thermostat from the wall by using your screwdriver to loosen the bolts that are attaching it to the wall. If there is no screw, only use your flathead screwdriver to peel out the thermostat. Be gentle for not to damage the wires attaching to your thermostat. Notice that there are many thermostats with a base and sub-base. You will need to remove them all.

Remove the old thermostat

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Right now, you should observe and take a picture of how the wires are connected to your thermostat because the new one might need to be wired the same way.

Detach the wires

If they are so hard to take out, you can use a knife or an electric scissor to cut the wires where they are connecting to the old thermostat. Then, use a utility knife to scrape the end of the wires, so that they look new and shiny. You can bind them together so that they will not fall back into the wall.

Use the new wall plate and a pencil to mark the holes that you need to drill for the screws. Be precise and balanced, your thermostat should stand straight. Remember to use a drill head that matches your screws.

Connect your thermostat to the wires

Detach the wires

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This is the time when you need to use your phone and memory for the work. You can read the manual as well, but the photo you have taken will save you a lot of time. Your thermostat should also have the code for the wires with correct color on the back, so the wiring should be simple. If you are not sure about something, you can call an electrician for help. Use your plier to twist the head of the wires tightly to your thermostat connectors.

After you finish the wiring, double check the order of the wires and test it before mounting it on the wall. Be careful not to touch the wires when you turn on the power.

If everything is working well with all modes functioning properly, place your thermostat back on the wall.

Use some tape to tight all the wires together

Using some tapes or wires to tight all the wires together will make them not mess with others. Put them back into the wall neatly. After that, place your thermostat on its base or on the appropriate position that you marked for the screws.

Attach your thermostat to the wall

Insert the batteries to your thermostat and turn the power back on. Pay attention to the operation. If you notice any problem while it is working, shut it down and call for help. You need to be able to read your new thermostat and know all the modes. If something is wrong or if your heater is working in a different way, trace back the steps to see if you have done anything wrong.

Attach your thermostat to the wall

Image source: DIY Network

Extra notes

Sometimes, you may want to relocate your thermostat because the old thermostat is not in a convenient spot for you. In this case, you will need to call an electrician to help you to transfer your wires.

Your thermostat should be high up the wall (unreachable by children or pets) and has a cover to prevent people from accidentally hitting the buttons.

Moreover, it should be in shared space in the living room or next to the house’s breaker. You should inform to all members of the family its position in case of emergency.

You can apply the similar method to replace the thermostat in your car or even directly on your heater.

Apply a layer of the crystal-clear plastic sheet on your thermostat to protect the surface. This layer will also safeguard the paint on the buttons of your thermostat from fading away.

This “how to replace a thermostat” article might take many words to descibe each step but when in reality, is not a hard thing to do. You just need to pay more concentration and precision in what you do. That’s the key!

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