About Thermostat Wire
A thermostat is a vital part of any temperature system because it controls the temperature to keep it in the desired range. However, the thermostat would never be able to function properly without the help of a thermostat wire and cable. These wires and cables connect the thermostat to the device whose temperature it controls and regulates, as well as joining heating and cooling devices to each other. The wires are generally cables with multi conductors and low voltages with numbers or colors that indicate the proper installation of the device. It is important that the wires on each thermostat are connected to all the correct terminals or the device would not function correctly. The different colors on a thermostat’s wires can be:
- Blue for the wire that connects the compressor between the air handler and the thermostat
- Green for the wire connecting the thermostat to the air handler
- Red indicates the wire that runs from the air handler directly to the thermostat
Thermostat cables are often made of solid copper conductors which are uncovered with an unfiltered Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) insulation. The PVC insulation is made specifically to resist the harsh effects of sunlight and fire. Thermostat wire and cable products are generally sold in a variety of sizes; these would range from 18/2 AWG to 18/7 AWG and everything in between.
Aside from the colors on each of the thermostat wires, there are also specific letter codes for each wire:
- R is the wire that connects the thermostat directly to the main transformer and runs on low voltage
- Y is the wire that connects the compressor to its other side G is connected to the fan relay and another wire
- W is the wire that connects the strip heat
Manufacturers are not strictly required to make the wire coding and coloring to be exactly the same with each thermostat that they make. However, as was already mentioned, the thermostat wire must only be connected to the terminal that it is supposed to be connected to and nowhere else. Thermostat wires and cables are also sold in varying lengths by different stores. Some stores sell a 500-foot, 18/2 AWG thermostat wire for a little over fifty dollars, while others can sell a different size for the same price. Many of these products are also sold exclusively on certain stores, you would have to know exactly the kind of wire that you need before you go out and find a thermostat cable replacement.
Almost all of the thermostat wires as well as cables sold on the internet have approval from relevant approval-giving bodies, such as UL and CSA. And although a thermostat wire and cable are designed to endure a temperature range of between negative 20°C up to 105°C, there are still some instances when unforeseen damage can occur to the wires. In this case, it would be best that you call a professional electrician to replace the wires and avoid additional damage to the thermostat unless you are proficient in electrical wiring yourself.