New wifi thermostat and wiring issues with C wire
I'm befuddled and have spent far too much time on this already so I'm hoping someone here can help. We recently bought a home in a very rural area so it's difficult to get vendors/technicians to head out here.
I want to replace an older (12 years?) battery-operated thermostat with a wifi thermostat (Honeywell's 7 day programmable wifi thermostat, model YRTH6580WF1007 purchased from Costco). The house has both heating (propane gas powered furnace) and AC.
The existing thermostat had Y, W, R, G wires connected and THREE extra wires (brown, orange and blue). There was a jumper cable from R to Rc.
I climbed up into our attic crawl space to get to the furnace. The former owner/builder put the Bryant furnace up there on its side under the eaves so it's a pain to get to. There is clearly a blue wire connected to the C wire on the circuit. See photo:
Note that I also saw a second bundle of wires on the circuit just above this set of wires that don't seem to be connected to anything. See the second brown bundle of wires directly above the existing set in the photo above. You can see that the wires are just wrapped around the brown bundle but aren't inserted anywhere. I have no idea what those are for.
Yet when I connect the blue wire to the C terminal on the thermostat, I'm not getting any power to the thermostat. I have disconnected every wire and re-connected in case I didn't seat them well. I even had my husband come and do it once as well. I also tried switching to the brown and orange extra wires to serve as the C wire but switched back to blue as it just didn't make sense. The electrical panel breaker was turned back on. I made sure the furnace was turned back on, too.
Help! Is there an easy solution I'm missing here or do I need to just bite the bullet and find an electrician willing to drive out here (for the right price, of course)?
Thanks in advance!