Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, displaying its -Waiting for Equipment- message, highlighted.

Honeywell Thermostat Waiting for Equipment Message

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 HVAC .  But then, sudden temp changes call for HVAC to come back on right away.  These changes happen due to…

  • Someone changing the set temp  on the thermostat.
  • The room temp changing a lot because someone opens a door or window.

This  Waiting for Equipment  message shows, the t-stat will not turn on the the AC / furnace until it goes away.

So why do they have this message?  It’s to protect your HVAC.  A compressor in the compressor in these systems can lock up and burn out if started too quickly after shutdown.  So, Honeywell builds this delay into its t-stats.  This safeguards the HVAC from burnout due to too-rapid off-on shifts.

To prevent “vapor lock” in the HVAC, 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 before this happens, its motor cannot turn easily.  It sees heavy push-back when moving the pistons that move the Freon around inside.  Sometimes, it cannot turn the pistons at all.  We refer to this stoppage as the motor “locking up”.  Motor lock-up makes excess heat in the motor windings.  So if done too many times in too short a time, this motor can burn up.  The compressor then shorts out.  Costly to repair if shorting occurs.

How to Clear Honeywell Thermostat Waiting for Equipment Message

So, for max protection for your HVAC, Honeywell gives no way to clear the   Waiting for Equipment   message.  Indeed booting the t-stat does not clear it either.  What happens is that each time the HVAC turns off, a count-down timer starts.  Then, the HVAC does not come on again until this timer runs out — around three to five minutes.

In our tests, the only way to get past this message is to simply wait it out.  We waited five minutes on our RTH9580WF t-stat to clear it and power up our HVAC once more.  Then the message shortly went away.  And finally,k our t-stat again turned on our system.  It then showed its  Cool On   message — not flashing, but solid ON.  Shown in the next picture.

Picture of the RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Cool On- message highlighted after the Honeywell thermostat Waiting for Equipment message disappeared.
RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Cool On- message highlighted after the Honeywell thermostat Waiting for Equipment message disappeared.

Again, once the  Waiting for Equipment   message times out, normal heating and cooling resumes.

Other Posts About the Honeywell RTH9580WF Thermostat

  1. Honeywell RTH9580WF WiFi Setup Instructions
  2. Change WiFi Network on Honeywell Smart Thermostat RTH9580WF
  3. How to Change Honeywell Thermostat Temperature Setting
  4. Change Time and Day on Honeywell RTH9580WF Thermostat, How To
  5. Connecting Amazon Echo Dot To Honeywell Thermostats 

References for Honeywell Thermostat Waiting for Equipment Message

  1. My thermostat display shows “wait” or “waiting for equipment” or has a flashing “cool on” in display. What does that mean?   from Honeywell.com
  2. Waiting for Equipment Message Discussion, on HVAC-Talk

Revision History

  • 2019-03-25: Removed stop words from post URL. Added tags. Shortened sentences.
  • 2018-05-28: First published.