Nest Thermostat Wiring Guide

Installation Steps


December 11, 2020

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Nest tries to make its thermostat installation process as easy as possible, but not everyone has experience installing appliances directly into a home’s electric system. But before you hire a professional electrician, as long as you make sure to turn off the proper breaker to your thermostat, it should be reasonably safe to try to install your Nest products.

1) Switch off the thermostat power

Locate your circuit breaker and the switch that turns the power to your thermostat off. Each switch may be labeled with the area it controls. If not, turn each switch off one at a time. When your thermostat turns off, you’ll know that’s the correct switch. Don’t move on to the next step without turning off the power to your thermostat.

2) Remove your old thermostat

Before removing your old thermostat from the wall, you’ll want first to remove only the faceplate. Underneath, you’ll see wires going into different ports. These ports should be labeled with additional letters or numbers. Take a picture of these wires and the ports to which they are connected. It’s probably a good idea to take it a step farther and label each wire with its respective port using either the provided Nest labels or a piece of tape and a marker.

Once you have everything labeled, you can remove all the wires from their ports and the old thermostat. You should be able to remove your old thermostat’s mount by unscrewing the two mounting screws.

3) Mount your Nest

Now it’s time to start installing your Nest thermostat. The first thing you’ll want to do is level and mark your base plate. To do this, run the wires through the base plate’s center, so it’s centered flush against the wall. Use the tiny bubble level embedded inside, and turn the base plate until the bubble is in the center. Once you find the center, trace the top and bottom mounting holes with a pencil.

Since the Nest thermostat is smaller than most thermostats, it comes with an optional Nest wall plate that goes under the base plate to hide the holes made by the old thermostat. Simply attach the trim plate to the base plate.

Now you can align your Nest wall plate to the pencil marks you made earlier and start screwing it in. Start with the top screw, but don’t tighten it until you make sure it’s completely level.

4) Connect the wires

Now that you have the base plate level and screwed into the wall, you can start connecting the wires into their labeled connector. Each section of the exposed wire end should be straight. If not, simply trim and re-strip the wire so that 3/8ths of an inch, or 10 millimeters, are exposed.

Holding down the connector button, simply push the wire all the way in. Make sure the connector button stays down after you’ve inserted each wire. Otherwise, your Nest thermostat may not get enough power, and you won’t be able to finish setup. Only connect one wire to each port, and don’t connect any wires that weren’t connected to your old thermostat. Once you have all of the wires connected, push the wires in so they are flush with the wall.

5) Connect and set up faceplate

Hold the faceplate so the Nest logo is at the top, and push it onto the base until you hear a click. Now you can turn the breaker back on, and your Nest thermostat should power on. Connect your Nest to your Wi-Fi network, and follow the on-screen instructions to finalize the setup.

For more information regarding the latest home security equipment and how it works, contact Brinks Home™.

Jason Stevens is a senior writer for Brinks Home. He is a "tech guy" who enjoys sharing home security and automation tips with others.

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