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How to Remove a Nest Thermostat



The process of removing a Nest learning thermostat from the wall, or detaching it from the wall, is a simple and painless one that takes only a few minutes. The Nest unit and base plate should be removed before installing a second thermostat using the low-voltage wires that are already in place.


Instructions on how to disassemble a Nest Thermostat


Follow the steps below in other to remove a nest thermostat:


1st Step: Reset the Thermostat


Whether you're relocating the thermostat, storing it, or ceasing to use it, make sure to deactivate it from your Nest account using the Nest mobile app first. After that, you can use the All Settings function to reset the thermostat to its default settings. Simply leave the Nest in your account and reset it using the Away function if you are simply relocating the Nest.


  1. To bring up the Quick View menu, press the Nest ring on your keyboard.
  2. Click the ring after it has been rotated to the Settings position.
  3. Select Reset and press the button a second time.
  4. From the drop-down menu, select the appropriate reset option: All Settings or Away from the list.
  5. To activate the reset function, press the ring on the ringer button. It is possible that you will need to turn the Nest ring and click again in order to reset the All Settings function.


2nd Step: Disconnect the Power



When it comes to power, Nest and the vast majority of other thermostats rely on low-voltage wiring that is connected to a standard 120-volt household circuit through the use of transformers. Electric furnaces operate on 240-volt power, so this could be the same circuit that supplies power to a gas furnace, or it could be a completely separate circuit.


The thermostat, as well as the furnace or air conditioner (or other heating/cooling equipment) should be turned off using the circuit breakers on the wall. Normally, circuit breakers are found in the main service panel of a house (breaker box). For central air conditioning units installed outside, you should also turn off the power to the unit at the exterior disconnect switch, which is typically located in a weatherproof box near where you installed the unit.


3rd  Step: Remove the Nest Unit


It will continue to function even if the power is turned off, thanks to the internal battery in the Nest unit (for power outages). As a result, you'll need to use a voltage tester to determine whether or not there is power in the low-voltage wiring.


  1. To dislodge the Nest unit from its base plate, pull it straight back from the unit. Remove the unit from the room.
  2. The voltage of the thermostat wires should be checked with a non-contact voltage tester. Each wire should have a tester probe attached to the end of each wire.
  3. Return to the service panel and turn off the appropriate breaker for the thermostat wiring if the voltage tester indicates that any of the wires have voltage in them. It is possible that some trial and error will be required during this process. Check the wires again to make sure the power has been turned off completely.



4th  Step: Label the wires that connect to the thermostat


In some cases, the Nest labels on your thermostat wires indicate the symbol for each connection point of each wire to the thermostat. If this is the case, you can skip this step (Y1, Y2, G, Rc, W1, etc.). If there are no labels, you can make your own out of masking tape if necessary. When the subsequent thermostat is installed, these will serve as a guide for doing so.


Each wire that connects to a terminal on the Nest thermostat should be labeled with the terminal number. Inscribe the terminal's symbol on the label in the appropriate location. Some wires are color-coded (for example, the yellow wire connects to the Y terminal), but this is not always the case (for example, the red wire connects to the Y terminal). Instead of following the color of the wire, follow the symbol of the terminal.




5th Step: You will remove the Base Plate


If your thermostat has a rectangular trim plate in addition to a small, round base plate, remove the base plate first, followed by the trim plate to ensure that the thermostat is completely disassembled.


  1. Disconnect each of the labeled wires from the thermostat by inserting the terminal tab and pulling the wire out of the terminal tab. The wires are shielded by a small piece of cable. No wires should be allowed to enter the wall cavity.
  2. Gently pull the thermostat wire cable away from the wall, if at all possible, to prevent the cable from slipping into the cavity behind the thermostat. If you are unable to remove the cable, hold the wires in one hand until the cable can be removed.
  3. Disconnect the Nest base plate from the wall with a screwdriver by unscrewing the screws that hold the base plate to the wall.
  4. Remove the trim plate from the wall by unscrewing any screws that may be attached to the trim plate.
  5. Use masking tape to secure the thermostat wires to the wall until you're ready to replace the old thermostat with a brand new model.

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