Honeywell thermostat waiting for equipment messages sometimes appear on Honeywell smart t-stats, like the Honeywell RTH9580WF in this example. These messages can show up when the t-stat has just turned off the cooling system. But then, sudden temp changes or changes to the temperature setting on the t-stat call for cooling to resume right away. But while this message shows, the t-stat will not turn on the cooling system.
A compressor in the cooling system can lock up and burn out if started too quickly after shutdown. So, Honeywell builds this delay feature into its t-stats. It safeguards the HVAC system from burnout due to too-rapid off-on short cycling.
To prevent “vapor lock” on HVAC compressors, it’s best not to start them up again right after they shut off. Waiting a time allows the pressures between the tail input and head output of the compressor to equalize.
If you start up the HVAC compressor before this happens, its motor cannot turn easily. It encounters heavy push-back when moving the pistons that circulate the refrigerant around inside. Sometimes, it cannot turn the pistons at all. We refer to this stoppage as the motor “locking up.” Motor lock-up can create much excess heat in the motor windings. If done too many times in too short a time, these windings can burn up. The compressor then shorts out. Hard to repair if shorting occurs.
How to Clear Honeywell Thermostat Waiting for Equipment Message
So, to guarantee max protection for your HVAC, Honeywell gives no way to clear the Waiting for Equipment message manually. Rebooting the t-stat does not clear it either. Each time the cooling system turns off, a count-down timer in the t-stat starts. The cooling compressor will not start again until this timer runs out — around three to five minutes.
In our tests, the only way to clear this message is to simply wait it out. We waited five minutes on our RTH9580WF t-stat to clear it and power up our cooling system once more. The message shortly went away, and our t-stat again ran our cooling system. It then showed its Cool On message — not flashing, but solid ON. Shown in the next picture.
Once the Waiting for Equipment message times out, normal heating and cooling resumes.
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- My thermostat display shows “wait” or “waiting for equipment” or has a flashing “cool on” in display. What does that mean? from Honeywell.com
- Waiting for Equipment Message Discussion, on HVAC-Talk
- 2018-05-28: First published.