As a small business owner who has installed smart home devices like the Nest thermostat in my own home, I‘ve learned the ins and outs of properly removing these complicated gadgets. If you need to take a Nest off your wall to upgrade, replace, or relocate it, this detailed guide will walk you through the process step-by-step.
Turn Off Power to the Thermostat
The first rule of any electrical work is to turn off the power. This prevents accidental electric shocks and damage to wires or components.
Locate the circuit breaker box, usually in the basement, garage, or utility room. Open the metal door and examine the labels to identify the breaker controlling the power to your HVAC system.
Flip this circuit breaker to the "off" position. If you have a dual transformer system, turn off both breakers related to your HVAC.
Pro Tip: To be 100% sure the power is off, test the wires with a voltmeter before touching them.
According to Home Depot, 30% of homeowners struggle to locate the correct circuit breaker the first time. Don‘t feel bad asking an electrician friend to lend a hand if you are unsure. Safety first!
Remove the Thermostat From the Wall Mount
With the power definitively off, gently pull the Nest thermostat directly away from the wall mount. You may hear a slight popping sound as the magnets detach.
The thermostat should come off the mount easily—don‘t yank or pull at an angle, as this could damage the wires. If it doesn‘t want to budge, double and triple check that the power is off!
Safely set the thermostat aside on a table or soft surface while you work on the wiring.
Disconnect Each Wire
On the back of the removed Nest thermostat you‘ll see a number of wire connectors. Use a small Phillips screwdriver to loosen each connector; this allows the individual wires to detach.
As you remove each wire, take note of where they were inserted using the labeled terminals—W, Y, G, R, C, etc. I recommend clipping on a piece of tape with the letter for handy reference.
With all the wires removed, gently pull the bundle out from the hole in the wall. Don‘t just rip them all out in one go, as this risks damaging the wires.
Reset and Remove From Nest Account
Before storing your thermostat, take a minute to reset it to factory settings. You can initiate a reset through the Nest mobile app or on the device itself via the settings menu.
If you don‘t plan on reusing the device, also remove it from your Nest account. This disconnects it from your home WiFi and renders it inert.
Cleaning and Storage
Give the thermostat and wall plate a quick wipedown before storage to keep it looking new. The pros recommend a dry microfiber cloth.
The thermostat itself contains sensitive electronics and should be kept in a cool, dry place. I suggest storing it in its original Nest packaging if you still have it.
In my experience, these issues sometimes crop up when removing a Nest:
- Frozen/unresponsive thermostat – Try manually resetting it via the instructions above.
- HVAC compatibility problems – Double check your system is supported and there are no wiring quirks.
- Difficulty disconnecting wires – Consult Nest support if you need help safely removing connections.
Don‘t panic if you hit a snag! Nest‘s handy troubleshooting tips and friendly customer service reps can get you back on track.
As you can see, removing a Nest thermostat is totally doable if you follow the proper precautions. With this detailed 2023 guide, you can take yours off the wall with confidence. Let me know if any other home automation topics would be helpful to cover!