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Thermostat Story

Big-Al_2 Member Posts: 263
A thermostat thread in another section of the forum reminded me of an experience I had that I thought you folks might appreciate . . .

A few years back, my wife and I rented a house. It had forced air heat, with the typical round Honeywell thermostat one might find in an older home.  One night during our first winter there, we had a raging blizzard going on outside . . . with high winds and near-zero temperatures.  I woke up at about 2 AM drenched in sweat.  It got out of bed and went to look at the thermostat.  It was set at 68, and the onboard thermometer read about 62 degrees.  Wow, I thought, I must be getting sick or something. It's cold in here, but I'm still sweating like a pig. 

Then I reached for the stat, and it felt cold . . . very cold.  Even though it was on an interior wall, there was a definite breeze blowing out of it.  The raging arctic wind must have been blowing in through the attic vents, down some opening at the top of the wall, and out the hole where the wires entered the thermostat.  The furnace was running constantly, and it REALLY was about 90 degrees in the house.  The thermostat was getting fooled.  I went into the basement, grabbed a tube of  RTV silicone from my toolbox, and sealed off the hole in the drywall behind the thermostat.  Problem solved.

This can't be the only time this has happened.  I wonder how many comfort issues are caused by air entering the thermostat from behind?  Has anybody else encountered this?  How many of you caulk behind the stat to prevent air from coming in that way?


  • MikeyB
    MikeyB Member Posts: 696

    When I worked w/my old boss we always put a dab of plumbers putty in the hole whenever we installed a new t-stat, just in case of a draft problem
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,837
    Short cycling thermostat...

    I walked into a customers house for a boiler replacement estimate, and the first thing that caught my eye was a 5 foot piece of baseboard, directly below the centrally located single zone thermostat for the home... I asked her if the heating system short cycled, and she said "No, you just have to turn it up to 90 degrees F to get heat to the outside bedrooms..."

    When I told her that the thermostat would have to be moved, she said "None of the other contractors said anything about the thermostat. I think you're just trying to get more money out of me!!"

    I didn't get the job....

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Thermostate

    I hired a electrician last summer to run a new line . These guys are better and faster at snaking wire than I'll ever be . As soon as he puttied up the hole behind the thermostat , the light went on . I've never seen it done before , I've used it ever since.
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