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ecobee 3 Install Help Thread

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Comments

  • ChrisHChrisH New Orleans, LAMember
    edited December 2017

    [SOLVED] After looking at the wiring on the furnace, I discovered that my system was wired as a conventional A/C and two stage furnace system. What I assumed was the O/B wire (since the Honeywell thermostat said O/B for heat pump) was in fact the W1 wire. Moved the O/B to W1 and Aux wire to W2 and now everything works. Keeping this here in case someone else runs across this problem.

    Having issues with Ecobee consistently turning on the furnace. I have a heat pump with a natural gas furnace. My current thermostat is a Honeywell VisionPro 8000 series. The furnace is used as the primary means for heating. When I installed the Ecobee3 and had it set to Aux, the furnace blower wasn’t on and only the fan. However in test mode, the furnace burners would be on and blowing hot air. I messed with the set points and changing from Heat to Aux and twice I was able to get hot air from the furnace but then the furnace wouldn’t turn off once the set point was reached even though the Ecobee said nothing was running. Only way to turn it off was to kill the power. Ecobee support was confused and keep saying that if the furnace worked in test mode it should work when the program is running. I have the old thermostat back on now and it’s working.

  • lsbrodskylsbrodsky New Bern, NCMember

    I am confused. I do not know anything about your wiring configuration, but the whole concept of AUX heat is to provide a method of assuring warmth when the main system cannot do so. I think the most common application is a heat pump with electric strip heaters for AUX. Certainly the settings for the E3, as well as Honeywell and NEST, give you the ability to determine when the main heat is not heating enough and thereby turn on AUX. I cannot understand why you would use a heat pump as AUX heat and, if you wired and defined it that way, you would have to be sure you get all of the settings correct. Why have any AUX heat connected if you are using a gas furnace for your main heat?
    I have a GT heat pump as my main source and a NG furnace as my AUX. I have my lockout set to 50 degrees because when it is colder than that, we like the comfort of gas heat. For some reason, I believe that it costs me less to heat with my heat pump above 50 or I would just run the gas all of the time. I can always just select Emergency Heat if I only want the gas furnace to run. For a normal heat pump, you can get cold enough outside where it couldn't even function as an AUX source, if you chose to connect it that way.

  • ChrisHChrisH New Orleans, LAMember

    I have created an album with some of the wiring on my old thermostat and furnace for clarification. While I do have a heat pump, it is wired as a conventional system (AC/Heat). The only reason I can think of why it was wired that way is because electricity is more expensive than natural gas.

    https://imgur.com/a/1kENy

  • kevinmcckevinmcc Macomb, ILMember
    edited December 2017

    Apples and Orange. Heatpump can be 350% efficient, but drops with temperature vs new furnace is 96% efficient.

    If natural gas is $1.20 per therm, or roughly 4.1 cents per kwh.

    Takes 4.2% more energy to equal 1 kwh, so cost is 4.27 cents per kwh.

    Electricity may cost double at 8.2 cents per kwh.

    Since a heat pump maybe 350% efficient, the cost is 2.34 cents per kwh for same heat the furnace produces.

    What you should do is lookup the heat pump information, get documentation from manufacture for the COP vs temperature chart. From this chart you can find the balance point where gas becomes cheaper. This will vary with gas and electricity rate changes, but you can set the compressor lockout so the heat pump does not run below the balance point. You will save money doing this.

  • lsbrodskylsbrodsky New Bern, NCMember

    For grins I decided to get quantitative with my system. There is temp vs COP data but the incoming water temp remain fairly constant and I have a COP right around 4.4 within the temp band. Even including the well pump, natural gas at 90+% efficiency never becomes cheaper. Natural gas today is only about 10% more costly for me, even at our high electric rates here. Regardless, outside air temp is not much of a determining factor. It is strictly a comfort issue for us. Current heat pumps put out warmer air than the units did 20 years ago, but nothing beats the warm air coming out of a gas furnace system.

  • kevinmcckevinmcc Macomb, ILMember

    How much is your gas and electricity? Geothermal should be way cheaper.

  • lsbrodskylsbrodsky New Bern, NCMember

    Gas is 1.10 a therm and electricity is 13 cents per kwhr. Geothermal is cheaper, but not way cheaper.

  • kevinmcckevinmcc Macomb, ILMember

    Your gas furnace is 4.16 cents per 1 kwh eqv and geothermal is 2.95 cents per 1 kwh eqv.

    Geothermal is about 30% cheaper than the gas furnace. I would say that is significant, but I do understand you don't like the drafty feel of the geothermal.

  • lsbrodskylsbrodsky New Bern, NCMember

    Kevin, thanks. Your numbers are certainly correct, as is, except that you did not account for running the well pump in the GT system. The dollar per therm equivalent to running the heat pump is 0.87 before adding in the well pump. I just rounded up to a dollar rather than calculating the energy use of the pump motor...hence 10%. My point is really that natural gas never gets cheaper, but I like it anyhow.

  • I've been through Ecobee support and according to them, my settings and wiring are correct but after seeing my first electric bill with heat, i'd say otherwise. My ecobee's worked perfectly in the summer with the AC, but now that it's winter, not so much. I tried installing the thermostat to the wiring per the manual and that turned out to be incorrect. My neighbor showed me my wiring and told me what to wire and so I did. Now it seems like we have heat, but not great heat. And from the looks of it, it's mostly Aux heat. My system is Lennox and the heat pump model# is 14HPX-030-230. After the first install, I ran through the Ecobee setup wizard again and I don't have an option to change the equipment, it's locked at 1 stage heat pump with 2 stage heat. Am I missing a step? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Wiring from Zone Control Unit
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/D7S6PWLQUAsgjTEA2

    Original Thermostat wiring
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/3uAlKYzBYWFyMcWa2

    Ecobee Wiring
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/GGkyKNZQX4MW5tGJ3

  • kevinmcckevinmcc Macomb, ILMember
    edited December 2017

    @spawn026 said:

    Can you verify on the Zone Controller that the blue C wire and the Brown W1/E wire are not both connected to the C terminal on Zone 1?

    I also noticed your Zone Controller says EM Heat, is the EM Heat button pressed?

  • HaliganHaligan North CarolinaMember
    edited December 2017

    (https://photos.app.goo.gl/ORphZziwSjJZyNSr1)
    Is it normal for the fan to cut off during auxiliary heat?
    Heat pump, simultaneous on.

  • kevinmcckevinmcc Macomb, ILMember

    Fan is running during AUX is important part. Is the fan running then? AUX is fan based? Not a boiler? Ecobee may not be controlling fan at that point, but the HVAC system should be controlling the fan. You can try the Ecobee to control fan during heating setting, although this can cause issues with certain setups. Switch back if you do have issues.

  • spawn026spawn026 Member
    edited December 2017

    @kevinmcc said:
    I also noticed your Zone Controller says EM Heat, is the EM Heat button pressed?

    The blue c wire and brown w1 wire are not both connected to c. I can see in the picture though how they appear to be. Ok so the emergency heat led is my main concern. Its not a button pressed and when i spoke to ecobee support, they said not to worry because they said aux and em are the same thing. I told them that i was concerned that the w1 to w2 jumper was actually an e to w2 jumper but they insisted my wiring was right

  • kevinmcckevinmcc Macomb, ILMember
    edited December 2017

    Wiring is correct. My thought was your your zone controller is showing EM Heat and there is a EM Heat button on the Zone Controller. If that was pressed the zone controller will only use EM Heat.

    My next step would be to set thresholds for staging on the Ecobee. Set stage 1 to 1 degree F and stage 2 to 3 degrees F. Lets see if you use the heat pump more that way.

  • Thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to set those right now. I had the heating guy out today and he said that my dual zone system was missing a jumper wire so only one of my coils was turning on. He also said that he had to add 2lbs of refrigerant to the pump outside. I'm still not getting great heat but atleast now i know everything should be working right once i figure out the settings.

    I turned both of my ecobees min threshold temp to 0degrees and raised the runtime to 60minutes at his suggestion but I'm also seeing a lot of people saying to enable Aux Heat Simultanous operation. I wonder if that's the key to success.

  • kevinmcckevinmcc Macomb, ILMember

    You do not need max run time with a heat pump in winter. They are designed to run 24/7 in the winter. Max run time is really for AC when the weather is hot and the compress has no way to cool down. Mine runs weeks on end in really cold weather.

  • dopeydopey Member

    I just picked up an ecobee3 and tried to install it and am running into some unusual beahvior and i don't at all understand the wiring that we have going on. I have a newer carrier furnace and a pretty old goodman central A/C unit)
    The furnace has the usual R C W Y G blocks and I have R W Y G running to an existing digital thermostat. The C block is connected to something but I don't know exactly what (I have my suspicions but we'll get there). There's no additional C wire where the thermostat currently is and running one is not currently feasible.

    So ecobee3 has a handy dandy PEK :)
    I wire that up with the R W Y G cables and connect it to the furnace on the R C W Y G blocks leaving the existing C wire still connected.

    On the ecobee3 itself, R is connected to Rc as per instructions and everything else is connected right.

    Heating, fan control, everything works with one exception. When the fan or heat turns on the A/C outside turns on. Not so necessary when it's -3F outside right now :)

    I don't understand how this could happen. Does anyone understand why this might be? If I pull the existing C wire out, heat and fan works but the A/C control doesn't work. It also doesn't turn on when the heat is on, so I guess that's sort of good :)

    But I don't get how that works. There's no Y line running into the furnace just the single C wire. Does this make sense? What would cause this to fire up the A/C whenever the heat/fan runs? Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

  • kevinmcckevinmcc Macomb, ILMember
    edited January 5

    @dopey said:

    The AC unit should connect to C on the furnace and Y on the furnace.

    The PEK should connect to R, C, W, Y and G on the furnace.

    The the thermostat should connect to R, W, Y and G on the PEK.

    At the furnace there should two wires on Y and C, one set for AC unit and one set for PEK.

    Do you have pictures of the wiring at furnace and thermostat?

  • dopeydopey Member
    edited January 5

    @kevinmcc said:
    The AC unit should connect to C on the furnace and Y on the furnace.

    Yeah, that's my understanding but the best I can tell there is no Y connected to the furnace. I've put the old thermostat back in because I wanted to make sure I got this right before running it long term.

    My house is built in 1946 and the AC is circa 1980s. I have no idea when any of the thermostat wiring was run into the wall.

    Here's at the thermostat. Ignore the disconnected redline. It doesn't go anywhere and the other end is lost in the wall somewhere:

    https://www.moonteeth.com/public/furnace/thermostat.jpg

    This is at the furnace:
    https://www.moonteeth.com/public/furnace/furnace.jpg

    The colors don't match because the thermostat wiring doesn't make it to the furnace so whoever did this used twist on caps to extend the in-wall wiring to the thermostat with a completely different wire.

    I traced each line back and have confirmed that they match. the additional white line off the C block is what confuses me. There's no second Y line. If that C line is disconnected the AC doesn't come on at all (even if i trigger a cool cycle). So it must somehow go to the AC contactor block right?

  • SneakXSneakX MontrealMember

    The two wires black cable with the twist-on cap on the red one could not be the key to the problem ? Any way to trace back that cable ?

  • dopeydopey Member

    So the red doesn't go anywhere. That cable (it's really brown but looks black in the picture) runs out of the furnace a couple of feet above it and then the white line is twist-on capped to another cable that runs into a conduit maze and I lose it there (the existing wiring in this house is a complete mess)

    The red is simply cut there and not connected.

    If I disconnect the white line from that cable from the C terminal the A/C simply doesn't function at all.

  • SneakXSneakX MontrealMember
    edited January 5

    Curious.

    There should really be two wires going to your AC unit. You have a multimeter ? You could measure the AC voltage between R - C, G - C, Y - C and W - C (the last three on call for heat). Finally from C to chassis/ground. That would be a start.

  • dopeydopey Member

    Yeah, I think I need to buy one. So this is a dumb question. so in an all off scenario
    R-C circuit is complete right? Without C, there's no complete circuit for the 24v power which is why a C is "necessary" for smart thermostats?
    When a call is made for heat, or cool, R-Y or R-W are connected right? This is continuous until the thermostat shuts down? How about G ? If the thermostat isn't explicitly turning on the fan, is that up to the furnace to do it, or is it connecting R-W|Y and R-G?

    And at the furnace, G Y W eventually terminate at C right?

  • SneakXSneakX MontrealMember

    Exactly, C is needed in order to prevent « power stealing » from tstat, which Ecobee cannot do (some other brand does), so basically to get it working.

    On cool R closes to Y in AC mode,
    On heat R closes to Y in HP mode or to W on AUX (or furnace) mode.

    R closes to G if fan recirculation is needed or if the tstat is configured to manage the fan.
    In your case the fan should be called internally by the furnace.

    Of course, after demand is met, the circuit opens back until next call for cool/heat.

    And yes, internally the circuit is always going back to C.

  • kevinmcckevinmcc Macomb, ILMember
    edited January 6

    Here is the issue I am struggling with.

    At the thermostat there are two reds, two whites, single blue, but no green?

    I wonder if the AC and furnace are wired together at the thermostat.

    I wonder if the white Y at the thermostat goes to the AC and the other white at the furnace is the common for the AC. The thermostat is turning the AC on and running the blower by sending the Blue G at thermostat to the Blue Y at the furnace.

    Check in the wall at the thermostat and see if there is an loose green wire.

  • dopeydopey Member

    @kevinmcc said:
    Here is the issue I am struggling with.

    At the thermostat there are two reds, two whites, single blue, but no green?

    So you need to ignore the colors. This wiring was done who knows when and was not using what would normally be color conforming now :)

    There's two bundles running up the wall to the thermostat, a 4 wire and a 2 wire bundle. between the two bundles, 4 of the cables (red, two white, single blue) are connected to the thermostat. The other two wires are lost in the wall. If I had to guess, whoever tried to do this simply lost some of the wires and made up for it by pulling another bundle

    I wonder if the AC and furnace are wired together at the thermostat.

    I can guarantee 100% they are not. I've traced the wires and they are directly wired to the furnace.

    I wonder if the white Y at the thermostat goes to the AC and the other white at the furnace is the common for the AC. The thermostat is turning the AC on and running the blower by sending the Blue G at thermostat to the Blue Y at the furnace.

    I've checked this and no, then wires go straight to the furnace. There are multiple different wire bundle lengths that are spliced together. I can only guess that either the original wiring deteriorated and they cut it back and spliced it together, or they were crazy.

    So I brought in a guy to take a look at it and he's pretty sure that what I've discovered is about right. The white wire from the C terminal appears to go to a "saver switch" installed by my power company (xcel energy). Neither of us can explain how that would work with a single wire to trigger it without a wire coming back but we're thinking that we might just run a new pair of wires and replace the current wiring to the A/C contactor block (and while we're at it, pull a new set of 5 wires from the thermostat and redo that).

    Hopefully that'll solve it. But that said, is anyone familiar with the saver switches from the utility company? Any thoughts on how those switches are activated by the furnace? If running a new 2 wires to the A/C doesn't solve it, my next step is to contact Xcel and have them remove the saver switch (it's unnecessary with a smart thermostat as they have a similar saver program to override the A/C control via the thermostat) and then the wiring should be standard then.

  • kevinmcckevinmcc Macomb, ILMember
    edited January 7

    @dopey said:

    Making more sense that there is a power saver device in the middle we are not accounting for. That device likely just a relay to cut the AC, but the PEK will not work right with that. Better to rewire and consider a wire with more conductors than you currently need so you do not have to run again.

    I would get 18/8 Thermostat Wire at a minimum and run from the furnace to the thermostat. For the furnace to the AC consider 18/6 or 18/8 Thermostat Wire, so if you do get a two stage heat pump in future the wire is ready.

  • mjokan1661mjokan1661 Ontario, CanadaMember

    I had an HVAC technician install a Honeywell HE150 humidifier to my KeepRite furnace and hooked it up to be controlled by the humidistat that came with it instead of my ecobee3. I would like to disconnect the humidistat and connect the humidifier to be controlled by my ecobee3.

    The wiring is currently as follows:
    Furnace C to both C and Power in 24vac (left) on humidifier
    Furnace R to humidifier Power in 24 vac (right)
    Furnace HUM 24vac to humidifier Gt or W
    (There are also 4 wires running from the humidifier hum control and power out terminals to the humidistat).

    In order to connect to ecobee3 and have the humidifier run in heat mode I think I need to do the following:
    Keep the furnace C and R terminals connected as is to humidifier C and Power in (both left and right).
    Disconnect furnace HUM 24vac from humidifier Gf or W.
    Connect humidifier Gf or W to ecobee3 ACC+.
    Disconnect all 4 wires from humidifier to humidistat.

    Is this correct or is there something else I should do? I also read about running two wires from HUM control to ACC+/- but I wasn’t sure if this would work or what to do with the Gt or W that’s currently connected to HUM 24vac on the furnace. Any help I can get would be appreciated.

    Note: my ecobee is currently connected to furnace with 4 wires with the PEK and I would run a new wire to the thermostat to give me that 5th wire for ACC+.

  • kevinmcckevinmcc Macomb, ILMember
    edited January 8

    @mjokan1661 said:

    You only need move the HUM terminals wires over to ACC+ and ACC- on the Ecobee.

    If you are going to run wire, run 18/8 Thermostat Wire and get rid of the PEK. You should have extra wire available for later use as well.

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