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This album has the basic details and pictures of the relevant connections and components.
Here's the story:
I have heat pump system split into two zones, with a auxilliary electric heat strips. This is a bog standard system where I live, in South Carolina. 95%+ of the year, the heat pump is the only thing that runs.
After moving in a couple of years ago, I installed two Ecobee3 units, one for each zone. They've worked beautifully in almost every regard, controlling cooling and heat from the heat pump without issue.
However, during the first winter after installing them I discovered a big problem - they don't properly call for the auxiliary heat strips when the temperature drops enough to need them. This is only a few weeks a year, but of course they're some of the weeks when you need your HVAC the most.
What typically happens is that on a cold night I'll get an error message on the ecobee (or in my email) that it is calling for aux heat, but the temp is not rising. In fact aux heat never comes on. Even worse, when the ecobee calls for aux heat it seems to "crash" my HVAC system, or at least the heat pump. I have to power cycle the heat pump and air handler (and therefore the ecobee also) at the breaker to get regular heat back.
I called ecobee tech support, and they walked me through some tests and settings before concluding that there was a problem on my end, most likely with the heat pump. So I called a local HVAC tech. Unfortunately he knew nothing about Ecobee setup. He did, however, successfully reconnect my original Honeywell dumb thermostat, and with it connected I can successfully call for aux heat. That proves that the HVAC side of my system is working, so there must be some problem with how the ecobee is connected or configured.
He suggested I just keep the Honeywell, or get one of their wifi thermostats. I don't want to do that - I love the ecobees otherwise. His other suggestion was that the white aux/E wire should be connected to W2, not W1 on the ecobee. But this doesn't work - W2 can only be connected if W1 already is (W2 is for second stage heating, which I don't have). His other suggestion was to jumper Y1 and W1. I could try this, but I fear that even if it works, it'll mean my expensive aux heat comes on any time heat is called for.
Any advice here? Have I connected everything correctly, or is there another way to do so I'm missing? The attached imgur album shows the original Honeywell connections, my ecobee connections, the connections at the air handler, and some other details.