Pissed off at th thermostat

Page 1 of 3  
Recently, one day before we had to go on vacation, our house thermostat quietly stopped telling the furnace to turn on and quietly displayed a LOW BATTERY warning. We noticed it because it started getting cold. A change of battery took care of it.
I am mad as hell. What if such a thing happened while we were on vacation? The house would freeze! (we are in northern IL) And then pipes would burst!
So.
My question is, are there replacement thermostats that are more reliable than that POS. Perhaps a thermostat with a solar battery built in (like my watch), or some such thing.
I want my house to be more proofed for things like temporary power outages, etc, in case we are not around.
Any ideas will be appreciated.
i
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Lighten up and change your thermostat's battery once a year.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<< I want my house to be more proofed for things like temporary power outages, etc, in case we are not around. >>
Do what everyone else does with these thermostats - put in new batteries when Daylight Saving time rolls around. Why get all worked up about something that is your own responsibility? You can get control systems that are fail-safe and fool proof, but unless you have a seven figure income they may be priced beyond your budget. Odds are your batteries had gone way beyond their stated effective life, so if you tend to be forgetful, get the highest quality replacements on the market. Maybe a warning tag on your furnace filter compartment would be helpful for next year. HTH
Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
How would a power outage affect you , No Heat right, So get an automatic backup generator, And if you are on vacation and your furnace breaks down , then what. I guess you shouldnt go on vacation in winter unless someone can check on your house. But they sell freeze alarms that will call a # if it gets below 42, and dont forget the smoke alarm batteries
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

for
Oh Shit!!
You mean there is a filter, to be changed??
LOL
-- kjpro _-~-_>_-~-_>_-~-_>_-~-_>_-~-_>_-~-_>_-~-_>_-~-_>_-~-_>_-~-_>_-~-_>
( kjpro @ starband . net ) remove spaces to e-mail
Want it done yesterday? Or done right today, to save money tomorrow!!
_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>_>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Work for a battery manufacturer do you. I just replaced my thermostat battery when a problem with my furnace appeared. The battery had no affect on the problem and was still functioning. But it was 28 months old. Replaced the battery in my battery operated smoke dector last week thinking the tweet came from it. Nope it was a CO monitor I forgot about, but left the new battery in the smoke detctor anyway. The old battery was dated 01/24/01. The previous battery last well over 2 years also. Several years ago I started putting a piece of masking tape on all batteries with the replacement date, so I would have some idea how long they lasted. Well, know I know. Changing ever year is a waste of time, and changing every 6 months is a waste of resources.
If the guy is worried, he should change the batteries in critical equipment before he leaves. I don't, but then I check the date on the battery and the operation of the item.
Joe Bobst wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've had the same batteries in my 3 thermostats for 6 years with no problem. Pretty amazing when I think about it. I know they still work because usually once every year, the float gets stuck in the condensation pump on one of them and that causes the safety to cut power to the furnace and the thermostat goes on battery till I fix it (clean out the algae). I have 3 separate HVAC systems. Wouldn't screw around if I only had 1.

power outages,

batteries when

something that

fail-safe and

priced beyond

stated effective

replacements on

helpful for

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Wow! I thought my 34 month battery (9 V) was pretty good.
Art Begun wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'm constantly amazed by the battery life of a reproduction "Regulator" pendlum clock on my kitchen wall.
The darn thing has a regular geared clockwork mechanism timed by an honest to G-d working pendulum The mainspring is wound up by a little 1.5v dc motor which gets kicked on when the spring runs down. (You can hear the motor whir for a few seconds while it's doing that.)
It's been going strong on one alkaline C cell for at least three years now.
Happy New Year,
Jeff
-- Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
"If you can keep smiling when things go wrong, you've thought of someone to place the blame on."
"George E. Cawthon" wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Then you take the older batteries and use them in something that isn't critical and more likely to use the remaining charge, like a radio, or a R/C toy, etc.

outages,
when
that
fail-safe and

beyond
effective
replacements on

for
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sorry that doesn't work. Do you ever check the voltage of your batteries and know when they quit working in an appliance? Do you even know what the voltage of a fresh battery is? Well I do. Batteries that still work in some of the critical appliances will not operate many other appliances. A battery that is low but operates my smoke alarm or thermostat backup for another several months will die almost immediately in an R/C transmitter and won't even start the tape in my walkman type machine.
David Babcock wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"George E. Cawthon" wrote:

There are plenty of things which do not have such high current requirements. Also, my suggestion was not directed toward people who leave the batteries in until they are low, as you suggested, it was for people who want to change them out way before failure.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
C G wrote:

Yeah, I understood your suggestion. YOU didn't understand that I am saying that most things require a higher current to operate properly than a smoke detector or a backup battery for the thermostat.
It isn't really relevant, since changing batteries every 6 months is just plain paranoid. My vehicle manufacture suggest oil changes every 5 months, the dealer says the oil should be changed every 3 months. I suggest that if your vehicle is similar that you not believe the dealer but have it changed every month. Better get that gas furnace inspected and maintained twice a year also.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"George E. Cawthon" wrote:

I did understand that. I was making a suggestion to the compulsive people who insist on changing the batteries way earlier than necessary. From what you have said, I doubt you are in that category.

We agree on this.

Interesting, my manufacturer says every 7,500 miles. The dealer agrees.

Huh?
Only twice?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There are thermostats that are "power stealing". They get their power from the furnace. Honeywell T8600, for example:
http://content.honeywell.com/yourhome/ptc-thermostats/T8600.htm
It also looks like they have a T8601 that can be wired directly to an AC power source. There may also be other options out there.
Changing the batteries regularly is probably a less expensive and just as reliable option.

You're going to need an automatic standby generator and a reliable fuel source (or one amazing UPS and a huge bank of batteries). The generators start at around $3000 + installation and go up from there.
Doug
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks. I am not looking to buy a standby generator, at this point, as I already have a generator-like solution that works for me (a truck with a big alternator and a UPS that's wired to convert 12V to 125V).
What I meant is, apparently some devices that are essential for proper functioning of the home are not really as reliable as they should be. (and most could be made much more reliable by making a few inexpensive alterations).
The thermostat that can fail without warning where in fact a few $$ would get it a small solar recharger, or one like you mentioned with a power stealing mode, is one such example.
It could ruin my house during our absence.
i
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

now if the thing beep'd to tell you it was low/dead you would be posting here telling us this damn thermostat won't shut up ........
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

And that still doesn't help when it starts beeping the day after you've left, when the rechargable battery fails because it has never been replaced, or the thermostat just plain fails.
All of the programmable/setback thermostats I've seen were powered from the furnace control 24V power, with a 9V battery to save the clock and settings through a power outage. I'd never buy (or keep) one that was battery only, for just the situation the OP described.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"David W." wrote:

I'm sure that someone from the alt.hvac could respond to this, but I have been in over 300 houses as a buyer of distressed property and also as a property manager, and I have yet to see a thermostat with a 9v battery. The only "power stealing" electronic ones I have seen are the Honeywell Chronotherm III (and now IV) which cost upwards of $150.
That said, a decent set of batteries usually lasts me 2-3 years in the thermostats in my rentals.
JK
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
and so could any component on your heating system fail and " ruin " your place.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.