If you're posting a request for installation help, please provide as much info about your system as possible. For example, for help regarding connecting a smart thermostat, please include details about your system including whether you have gas/electric, heat pump, number of heat stages, A/C condenser, etc.

ecobee 3 Install Help Thread

SteveSteve Seattle, WAAdministrator

This thread is for those looking for community support when installing an ecobee3. Please provide as much detail as possible can when asking questions, and please show as much patience as possible when answering. :)



  • Are the screw holes the same as the old SI? or do i need to drill more holes! lol...going to butcher the wall

  • SteveSteve Seattle, WAAdministrator

    I don't have an Si, but they're not the same screw holes as the original Smart.

  • Guys, I ran into a problem when installing my ecobee3 as it required a voltage on all wires to detect them, and apparently my W2 wire (for stage 2 heating), doesn't have a voltage (not sure why... maybe it only gets voltage after Stage 1 kicks on).

    Anyway, Ecobee support got me around this by jumping the R (24 volt thermostat power) wire to the W2 wire at the furnace long enough to trick the thermostat to get past the setup. Then I removed the wire jumper. So theoretically I am good now. Does anyone know if the display will indicate Stage 2 if Stage 2 is active as I probably should make sure it is actually working.

  • EFTCEFTC CanadaMember

    When the 1st and 2nd stage furnace is running, a small 1 or 2 will be shown beside the flame icon. You won't see it on the standby screen (I wish it shows that), but if you go into the quick change menu, you should see it.

    I would check your furnace manual and see if your furnace is wired for a 2 stage thermostat or 1 stage thermostat (jumper wire between W1 and W2).

    With my old setup, I have a 2 stage heating furnace and a 2 stage compatible furnace. The HVAC tech wired my stat and furnace so that it operates as a 1 stage furnace with stage 2 delay start. Long story short is I have to rewire my stat and furnace and changed some jumpers on the furnace circuit board to get it to work as a dual stage furnace.

  • Thanks for the feedback. I will assume it will work for now, and test it when it gets cooler. The system was installed by a competent company about 5 years ago and they did use a two stage compatible thermostat. It worked okay when I switched out the thermostat with an ecobee Smart Si a year ago (but that thermostat didn't actually check for voltage during setup so I never ran into an installation problem like I did with this one).

  • EFTCEFTC CanadaMember

    Sometimes it might be due to a dip switch setting found on the furnace control board.

  • BShuman13BShuman13 VermontMember

    It is a rainy Saturday in Vermont so a perfect day to install my just arrived Ecobee 3 with 3 remotes. When I removed my thermostat cover hoping to find 5 wires, I actually find 7 UGH
    Red, Yellow, Green, White, Orange, Blue and the jumper from RH to RC. I read that the jumper wire is not needed but does my Orange AND Blue go into the Ecobee O/B slot. Just do not want to mess it up trying top place 2 wires into one hole. Ecobee support is closed so thought I would try my luck with a post. Thanks

  • Given that installers may not have bothered to use the correct color wire as per typical standards, I would probably tell you to check at your actual control board on your air handler to see what color wire is run to each of the terminals and go from there.

  • SteveSteve Seattle, WAAdministrator

    I'm gonna agree with txfeinbergs. Don't trust the color of the wires. Trace them back to the control board on the furnace (I've even switched wires there sometimes to make them match).

  • VictordomicusVictordomicus Baton Rouge Member

    I just got my ecobee 3 and I'm unsure in my setup and don't want to break anything. On the old thermostat I have RC, W, Y, and G. On my control board I have R, W, (2 wires hooked to) Y, G, and C. I have no clue how to go about connecting the PEK correctly to this configuration. Let me know if you need more information.

  • EFTCEFTC CanadaMember

    To Victor: Contact Ecobee Tech support. They will be able to help you. I have a rough idea how to wire your system but I think the advice might be better coming from Ecobee support.

  • VictordomicusVictordomicus Baton Rouge Member

    Thanks! I'll give them call.

  • mhoek74mhoek74 Grand Rapids, MIMember

    My HVAC pro installed a humidifier and dehumidifier (I don’t run them at the same time :) ) to my existing Smart thermostat.

    Since the Control Panel is now to be removed, would I now have to wire the humidifier and dehumidifier all the way to the ecobee 3–which is located down the hallway and through a door in relation to the furnace? Or would they simply wire directly into the furnace?

    I’m game to get the 3 and try to install it, but I’m hesitant to if I have to run new wires through the walls/ceiling.


  • SteveSteve Seattle, WAAdministrator

    Hi, Mike. I believe the ecobee3 can only control a single auxiliary device. So if your furnace has the capability to operate the humidifier while heating, I’d recommend letting the furnace run the humidifier, and then let the ecobee3 control the dehumidifier (which I’d assume you’d run only during summer).

  • ecr72ecr72 Auburn, CAMember

    I’m reviewing the wiring of my HVAC equipment and come to find that I have single stage cooling and dual stage on my gas furnace. I have a five wire cable connecting my present thermostat to the control board with the blue wire connected to W2. So it appears I have two options. a) Jumper W1 & W2 on the control board, allowing the furnace to handle the dual stage firing through it’s logic & jumper settings, freeing up the blue wire for the C connection, or b) Connect W2 direct to the ecobee3 and use the PEK allowing the ecobee3 to control the firing of the two stages. Which of these options do you recommend and why is one better than the other?

    I sent the same message to ecobee support last night but have not heard back. I plan on doing the install this weekend when I have time to play with the settings and learn about the device.


  • EFTCEFTC CanadaMember

    To ECR72,

    If I am in your situation, I would look into running a new 8 wire cable from your stat to your furnace. It might be more challenging than you think, but the end results is well worth it.

    Letting your furnace determine whether to fire W1 or W2 is silly. Your furnace does not know the temperature of your house and who is inside. Like may GOOD 2 stage capable thermostats, the thermostat can be set such that it will fire 2nd stage when there is a temp difference of > 2C or leave it at 1st stage when there is no need. Your furnace will only know to count from 1 to 100 (or whatever timer you set) before it decides to fire 2nd stage regardless of what temperature you are in and then shuts off completely when the the set point is reached. The worst part is that when the temp difference is only 1 degree and your furnace can easily handle it using 1st stage if it was allowed to run for > 15 - 20 minutes; however, your furnace decides to kick to 2nd stage at 10 minutes (pre-set by dip switch), your thermostat tells it to turn off 2 minutes later because of sudden jump in temperature. You, as the occupant, will feel warm for 2 minutes and then you will feel cold again. Imagine going through this cycle for 3 -4 months straight.

    You might wonder why I seem so upset? Because the HVAC tech who setup my new 2 stage furnace (new house) as what you suggested (Jumper W1 and W2, tell the furnace to turn on W2 in 10 min). The worst part is that I have 8 wires between the stat and the furnace and the tech didn't border to double check if the system was wired correctly and as efficiently as possible. It wasn't until I starting reading the furnace and thermostat manual 3 years later (and wondering about 2 stage variable speed furnace) that I discovered the mistake.

    If running a new wire is next to impossible, I would suggest using the PEK to allow the E3 to control 2nd stage instead of your furnace.

    Don't let your furnace determine whether to fire 1st stage or 2nd stage. If you plan to go this route, you might as well return the E3 and go back to your original setup.

  • ecr72ecr72 Auburn, CAMember

    Thank you. I went through all that logic already in my head, I guess I just needed somebody to tell me it was right. The only thing I disagree with is even if all I had was a single stage furnace, I'd still install this product for all the other features it provides over my simple Honeywell.

    We bought the house last winter and after doing my research for the E3's wiring, I realized I disconnected the W2 wire when I installed my Honeywell programmable. The prior owner had W1 & W2 connected together at the thermostat, not at the control panel. Thinking back, it did take longer to warm up the house after I made the swap.

    I think I'll take your advice and run a new cable. I have some attic access where it is run now and easy under house access where I could run a new one if the attic doesn't pan out. Just another home project I wasn't planning on.

    Thanks for your help. You're right, why rely on "dumb" timer logic in the furnace when this thermostat offers so much more.


  • EFTCEFTC CanadaMember

    I am glad I was helpful.

    I agree with your comment regarding using E3 on a single stage furnace. I agree that one will enjoy the benefits E3 can offer on a single stage furnace.

    You have a 2 stage furnace (and possibly variable speed or 2 speed fan as well). If you wire a 2 stage furnace to behave like a single stage furnace on a timer, then you are not taking full advantage of your furnace's capabilities.

    Anyway, take the time and run the required number of wires from your stat to your furnace. If you want, you can probably get away with another 5 wire cable (if 8 wire cable is too expensive). That way, if you plan to add 2nd stage cooling (Y2), and accessories (ACC +/-) you have the means to do so with extra wires. Of course if you want the basic, you can probably get away with running only 3 wires.

    Good luck and enjoy your new toy.

  • ecr72ecr72 Auburn, CAMember

    I ran another 5 wire cable. It was more work than I expected. I'm getting too old for this. Anyway, I'm up and running and just wanted to say thanks.

  • EFTCEFTC CanadaMember

    Glad to hear everything works out for you.

  • trinitron79trinitron79 DenverMember

    Anyone have advice on how to hook up a Aprilaire 700 with the Ecobee3? I'm kinda thinking that following a Nest 2.0 setup w/ relay would be the way to go but not sure and sadly the docs / ecobee site are lacking in this department.

  • chrisyngchrisyng calgaryMember

    Trinitron, nest setup will work.
    Your Aprilaire 700 has it's own blower fan so using a relay will probably be better due to the current draw..
    I've got my honeywell evap humidifier setup the same way I had it on my nest. One side of the solenoid to the common "C" terminal on humidifier board and other side of solenoid to the aux + port on the ecobee (like the * terminal on the nest)

  • EFTCEFTC CanadaMember

    For those of you who use relay, what make/model of relay would you recommend?

    I was thinking of doing a relay setup myself

  • trinitron79trinitron79 DenverMember

    I'm using a 6AZU2 relay. The E3 isn't sending enough voltage to trip the water solenoid. In fact I'm only getting 14v reads. Going to work with Ecobee and my HVAC guy to figure out why it doesn't want to work.

  • ChrisD24ChrisD24 Salisbury, NCMember

    Question, my thermostat doesn't sit ALL the way flush in the white case it snaps onto. I pushed the wires in but one side still has a gap vs the other side. Is this normal? If you need a picture I can post one.

  • EFTCEFTC CanadaMember

    Is the left side sticking out yet the right side is perfectly flush?

    If your wall is not perfectly flat, you will see that. The problem lies on the left side black wire holder. For me, that side is sticking outwards and away from the wall but the right side is perfectly flat.

    The only way to fix it is to use the big faceplate, or have ecobee redesign the holder.

  • ChrisD24ChrisD24 Salisbury, NCMember

    Ok - because it is the left side doing that. So nothing to fear then...

    I'll tell you one thing - took me 15 minutes to figure out how to remove the ecobee after I set it in the base. I pull and pulled and wasn't sure what I should be pulling. LOL. They forgot that part in the manual. :)

  • ChrisD24ChrisD24 Salisbury, NCMember

    Could someone please send a screen shot of the default ecobee3 schedule? I joined my old stat into a group and it copied those settings to my ecobee3 (and I wanted it to do that vise versa). I was using the default setting for now until I figured out how I wanted it to work. Now I am messed up. :) I do not like the new interface!!! :(

  • EFTCEFTC CanadaMember

    If you don't want you wait, you can always reset your E3 to factory defaults and then go from there.

    I set up mine a while ago. If I remember correctly it should be:

    Sleep: 10:00 PM - 6:00 AM.
    Home: 6:00 AM - 8:00 AM.
    Away: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Home: 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM

  • ChrisD24ChrisD24 Salisbury, NCMember

    UGH This is frustrating...Guess I'll reset it.

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