How To Install Ecobee Smart Thermostat Without C-Wire

When preparing to install a smart thermostat, did you notice that there was no common or c-wire? If so, you’ve found the ideal article to help you. Learn how to install Ecobee Smart Thermostat without a C-wire below.

The Ecobee SmartThermostats with Voice Control is probably one of the first things on your list if you are a smart home addict like me. There is nothing like the feeling of replacing an old thermostat.

Especially when it is with a smart thermostat, and as a homeowner, I’m sure you do not want to be burdened by excessive utility expenses. Furthermore, the Ecobee Thermostat is also one of the best smart thermostats that work with Alexa.

Using a smart thermostat instead of a digital one can help you use less energy, which would lower your energy cost and enable you to live in a more environmentally friendly house. 

Additionally, having a smart thermostat allows users to modify the temperature even while they are not at home by using a phone to control the heating and cooling system. 

Nevertheless, if you live in an older home, you might run into a problem. Unfortunately, a C-wire is not installed in most older homes, and the older thermostat models didn’t require one either.

Though this could be an installation issue after removing the old thermostat, worry not. It is possible to install Ecobee Smart Thermostat without a C-wire.

A C-wire? What is that? 

Before we start, let’s clarify what a C-wire is commonly referred to as a common wire. Your Wi-Fi thermostats, which are connected to your heating and cooling system, receive a constant supply of energy through a C-wire. 

For 24-volt electricity to the thermostat, C-wire is often blue or black. Since most older thermostat models ran on two or three AA batteries, the previous thermostat didn’t need a C-wire. 

The little screen display that was located in front of the previous thermostat was all that was required of it in terms of electricity. 

Geolocation, a backlit display, and Wi-Fi require electricity in today’s thermostats. Unfortunately, you cannot utilize a smart thermostat without a C-wire attached to a terminal with a label.

You are performing this installation at your own risk. The steps below are what worked for me, and I am not a licensed electrician. However, if you feel uneasy for any reason, you should ask Ecobee for instructions or work with a local, professional and licensed electrician. 

Always remember to turn off the breaker, so you don’t get hurt or electrocuted in case there are loose wires. Only turn them on once you have finished the installation.

Install Ecobee Smart Thermostat without a C-wire

Without a C-wire, you might be wondering how you can install a smart thermostat. First and foremost, turn off the HVAC system’s electricity. 

The master switch on your circuit box can also be turned off to accomplish this. Circuit boxes are usually found in basements, garages, closets, or attics.

Growing up, my dad always taught me to turn off every breaker to ensure no electricity was running through the house. Just to be extra safe.

The next step is to remove your current thermostat and inspect the wires attached to it to look for a C-Wire. 

If you find a terminal with the letter “C” on it, you have a C-wire; otherwise, verify the source by going to your furnace or HVAC system. The HVAC control board may include a common wire that wasn’t required for the installation of your old thermostat, and that the wire is buried in the wall. 

According to Ecobee guidelines, you must utilize their PEK, also known as the Power Extender Kit, if the control board lacks a C-wire. 

Only the Ecobee Smart Thermostat, Ecobee 4, Ecobee 3, and Ecobee 3 Lite thermostats are compatible with the PEK adapter, which is used to replace the C-wire.

Keep that in mind when purchasing a smart thermostat if you are aware your house does not have a C-Wire.

Step-by-step instructions

Get your tools ready. 

Use a voltage tester to confirm the power is off before removing the wires from the backplate. If you don’t already have one, you may get an electric tester tool set at your neighborhood Home Depot or even purchase one online.

Before you begin, check off these potential tools you might need on this list: 

  1. Flashlight
  2. Voltage tester
  3. Drill
  4. Screwdriver
  5. Wire cutter
  6. Paint to touch up

Locate the outdated wiring 

Finding the old wires from the present thermostat is the next step once you’ve made sure the power is off.

Once the wires have been located, start removing them and labeling each one with the stickers provided by Ecobee. 

Moreover, take a quick photo of the wires on the old thermostat’s back for quick reference if needed.

Remove the current backplate.

From the wall, gently remove the backplate. Two to four screws into the wall are often used to secure it in place. Use the screwdriver, and remember to keep the screws if you need to place the old thermostat back again.

Place the new smart thermostat.

Now you can install Ecobee Smart Thermostat without a C-wire, but you must pay close attention and utilize the Power Extender Kit (PEK) adapter Ecobee gives you to connect to your furnace or HAVC system. 

Note: Specific wires are needed for the PEK to function properly.

4 Wires 

y/y1, R, G, W/W1  

3 Wires

R, y/y1, and G 

Take a photo of the wires and the control board after removing the HVAC or furnace cover. 

Disconnect the cables from the control board

As we did with the thermostat wires, you can now identify each wire individually for guidance. 

The R, Y, G, and W wires should then be unplugged from the control board and reconnected to the corresponding white terminal blocks on the PEK. 

Installing the PEK adapter

After labeling the wires, you can attach the five white wires that come out of the Power Extender Kit to the control board’s terminals. 

Verify the cable connections 

Close your HVAC system after making sure all the cables are firmly attached, then go back to the Ecobee. 

Wiring your new thermostat

The simple part is about to begin. Install the Ecobee’s bigger trim plate. 

The backplate’s center hole is where you pull the wires through. 

Next, connect each wire with the corresponding label to the Ecobee’s terminal. 

As follows:

  • G wire – C terminal 
  • R or RC wire – RC terminal 
  • W wire – W1 terminal 
  • Y wire – PEK terminal 

Restart your HVAC system. 

Restore electricity to your HVAC system by pressing and clicking the Ecobee thermostat on the wall mount. And now you are all done!

Troubleshooting the thermostat 

Below you will find a couple of ways to resolve your issue if your Ecobee thermostat is not functioning properly.

The air conditioner won’t turn on. 

After you install Ecobee Smart Thermostat without a C-wire, you must put everything back and switch it on.

If you have done so and your air conditioner does not turn on, check if the air is coming out of the vents. It could be that the air is circulating, but your home is not getting colder. 

It is also essential to check the connections of each wire from the thermostat to the furnace and ensure that nothing is loose. If you still have issues the following day, contact Ecoobee.

Contact Ecobee support staff. 

You can call ecobee at 877-932-6233 or look for more information on the Ecoobee website. 

The ecobee support staff might ask you to submit pictures of the cabling from the Ecobee thermostat, HVAC control board, and PEK to aid them in identifying any potential problems. 

They might be able to identify what is wrong with the wiring. But it could mean your wires are breaking, old, needing replacement, or having other issues. 

It is an excellent time to contact Ecobee and see if a representative can come down to your home and fix the situation, or you can contact a local electrician who is up to date on smart home gadgets.

So remember to carefully install Ecobee Smart Thermostat without a C-wire to avoid any possible future issues that can come up.

What should you do if your Ecobee Smart Thermostat is malfunctioning? 

One of a few factors might cause any problems you are having with your smart thermostat. Make sure that everything is operating correctly; you should make sure to follow the instructions below. 

  1. Examine the smart thermostat’s wiring. 
  2. Verify the wiring at your heater and AC is connecting adequately. 
  3. Check the setup of the equipment. 

For more help, get in touch with the Ecobee by calling 877-932-6233.

How can I use an external transformer to power a smart thermostat? 

You can connect a smart thermostat with an external transformer, which is a simple fix that wouldn’t require an electrician. 

Installing a new thermostat wire in the wall to your boiler or furnace may run you, on average, between $200 and $400. 

Final Thoughts

In this article, you learned how to install Ecobee Smart Thermostat without a C-wire

And I hope you are thrilled to know that you can successfully install an Ecobee smart thermostat without a licensed electrician’s assistance, even if your house does not have a common wire. 

Furthermore, by downloading the app, seeing the YouTube videos, or using the setup instructions that are included with the product, Ecobee or any other smart thermostat makes installation simple. 

Now you can regulate your home’s temperature and save money using Ecobee Smart Thermostat from the comfort of your bed.

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