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Learn about thermostat jumper wires

  • Unlike most thermostats, the Google Nest thermostats do not use jumper wires.
  • If your current thermostat has jumper wires, do not connect them to your Nest thermostat.
  • Always follow the wiring diagram the Nest app gives you during setup to connect your Nest thermostat.

Jumper wire basics

Most of your current thermostat's wires will be connected to your thermostat and go through the wall to connect to your HVAC system.

However, some thermostats will have a jumper wire that doesn't go back through the wall to connect to your system. Instead, a short jumper wire connects two thermostat terminals together. This is fairly common on the Rh and Rc terminals.

.A jumper wire connecting the Rh and Rc terminals

Nest thermostats don't use jumper wires

Nest thermostat connectors are built so that only one wire can be inserted into each connector. Putting more than one wire into a Nest thermostat connector can damage your system and your thermostat.

Instead of using jumper wires, Nest Learning Thermostats use an internal jumper between the Rh and Rc connectors. A Nest Learning Thermostat will automatically use this internal jumper if your system needs it.

Important: Never put more than one wire into a Nest thermostat connector. If your current thermostat has a jumper wire, do not enter it in the Nest app to get a wiring diagram or o​connect it to your Nest thermostat.


Important: Always follow the wiring diagram the Nest app gives you during setup to connect your Nest thermostat.
Here are some general guidelines:

  • An R wire can go into a Nest Learning Thermostat's Rc or Rh connector. 
  • The Nest Thermostat E only has an R connector, which is typically where an R wire would go.
  • If you have separate heating and air conditioning systems, you might have separate Rh and Rc wires that come out of the wall and are connected to your system. These are not jumper wires, and you can insert the Rc wire into the Rc connector and the Rh wire into the Rh connector.
  • Tip: Keep your old thermostat, any jumper wires and a picture of how the wires were originally connected.

 Learn more about other wire labels

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