Fuel for Thought

Reminder: Change Your Thermostat Batteries

Posted by Bob LaFlamme on Fri, Dec 06, 2013

We have had several no heat calls lately that ended up being caused by thermostats with dead batteries.  I blogged about this issue last year but it appears that it is a subject that must be mentioned annually like smoke detector batteries.

If you are wondering if your thermostat even has batteries here is some information that you will find helpful:

basic round honeywell thermostatRound Honeywell Thermostats

Round Honeywell thermostats (Model T87) do not require batteries whether they are the older gold models or the newer white models.  The old models worked by turning the dial which causes mercury in a tube to make a connection between the two wires and activate the burner.  Simple system with no extra frills that require no additional electricity.  You will see a picture of this type of thermostat here.  Please be aware that if you replace this type of thermostat yourself, you must dispose of it properly through a hazmat collection agency.  Crowley Fuel will collect and dispose of them for our customers.

digital honeywell thermostatDigital Honeywell Thermostats

The newer Honeywell thermostats are now digital and require additional electricity but they get it from the control on the burner and not from batteries.  It is not possible to use this type of themostat with all oil burner controls because some of them do not have a transformer for sending voltage back to the thermostat.  See the picture of a digital Honeywell T87 thermostat.

Digital Thermostats with Batteries

programmable thermostat - takes 2 AA batteriesThermostats that do require battery power such as the one shown here are usually rectangular and digital.  You can see that there would be room for usually two AA batteries within.  It is a simple matter to check for batteries by prying the cover off from the base.  Many digital thermostats will have a reading that shows what the life of the battery is on the screen.  If you don't know how to access this information read the paperwork provided with the thermostat.  If you do not have this paperwork, go to the manufacturer's website and they will have it there for the model of your thermostat.

Save the Cost of a Service Call!

I recommend that you pass along this information to friends and family and save them from having to pay for a service call.  I was called to the home of an elderly person recently by one of her children because they believed that she had run out of oil.  It turned out that her thermostat batteries needed replacing and that she was not out of oil.  So please help your elderly family, friends, neighbors and clients to stay warm by the simple act of checking and/or changing the batteries in their thermostats.

Stay Warm!
Bob LaFlamme

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Tags: Home Heating Tips