My apartment has a central heating/cooling HVAC system consisting of a gas-fired hot water heater which feeds hot water to a First Co air handler for heating, and a rooftop compressor which feeds coolant for air conditioning. I'm wondering if I can hook up the Common wire to a Nest given the following detailed configuration.
There is already a similar question here but with less detail.
The details of my setup is as follows:
- First Co TAQ1824 Air Handler from 1996
- Rooftop AC compressor - uknown brand/model
- Johnson Controls cold weather shutoff for AC Compressor
- Honeywell L6006C1034 "Aquastat" Circulator on hot water output of hot water tank. I think this is a just a temperature-based shutoff for heat control so we're not trying to heat with cold water.
- Honeywell V804F1135 "Zone Valve" on hot water inlet to air handler
- Honeywell TH1110D1000 digital dumb Thermostat with batter power.
It originally had a mechanical thermostat. The bundled furnace wire to the thermostat includes a black common wire which is not connected on either end.
The following installation instructions and wiring diagram are taped to the side of the air handler and clearly indicate a Brown Common wire exiting the handler.
I took the time to trace out all the existing connections in my system and I've included them here:
I recently tried to connect a Nest E thermostat in the place of the existing Honeywell unit but it does not detect any power. It indicates about 2.5V at its inputs, and when I measure them with a multi-meter I see the same. This should be more like 25-37V. I'm not sure why the Nest is unable to do its normal power stealing in this system, but in any case, I want to hook up the common wire now.
I should be able to just connect the black wire in the bundled furnace wire between the thermostat's 'C' terminal and the air handler's Brown output wire, i.e. add the following dotted purple connection:
Is that safe to do in this scenario? The one point I'm unsure about is the note in the air handler instructions that says "Should any add-on equipment also have a Class 2 transformer furnished, care must be taken to prevent interconnecting outputs of the two transformers by using a thermostat with isolating contacts."
The only item in my system I can't easily inspect is the AC Compressor, so I don't know if this warning applies to my scenario. I also don't know if the Nest or my existing thermostat have isolating contacts. Google searches were not revealing.
Any suggestions on making this connection are appreciated.
PS: On a safety note, although the hot water heater is gas-fired, it appears to be independent of the air handler/ AC/ thermostat system I outlined above. None of the electrical devices I'm discussing here directly interact with, control, or ignite gas. The hot water heater does its own thing, and keeps itself heated as hot water is pulled out either by the air handler or other household usage.