Wondering why Honeywell thermostat says System Wait? Well, the answer is very simple!
Typically, the “System Wait” message should not be considered an issue straight away. It most often indicates a cooldown in the connection with the HVAC compressor.
This means that as long as the message stays displayed on the thermostat, the cooling will not yet be activated.
When the Honeywell thermostat says – “System Wait”, wait for 15 minutes. If the error persists, replace thermostat batteries, reset the main breaker, and inspect the compressor.”
Let’s uncover the details of the problem!
Why Honeywell Thermostat is Saying *System Wait*?
The “System Wait” message is related to a delay in relation to the HVAC system.
Typically, all thermostats tend to display a “Wait” message if there was a problem in communication or activating the HVAC system and this is there to prevent damaging the HVAN compressor.
Here are all of the reasons why Honeywell thermostat says “System Wait”:
- There’s a problem with the Honeywell thermostat’s batteries.
- You haven’t programmed the heating/cooling setting correctly.
- The thermostat is working on an outdated firmware version.
- There was an issue with activating the HVAC compressor.
This type of thermostat problem can typically be divided into two types – a power problem with the thermostat or an issue with the connection.
If the Honeywell thermostat has lost Wi-Fi coverage and cannot establish a connection with the router, the system will be put on hold.
Does “System Wait” Indicates a Fault?
Absolutely not. In fact, the “System Wait” message only occurs on operation thermostats that detect the HVAC system and can activate the compressor.
This might not even be considered an issue, given that the delay could last up to 5 minutes before the compressor activates.
Let’s next jump into the troubleshooting!
How to Fix When Honeywell Thermostat “System Wait”?
Tip: Follow the solution steps in chronological order!
1. Wait for Compressor Activation!
The “System Wait” message could last up to 5 minutes on the display of the thermostat before the compressor of the HVAC turns on.
Before any further troubleshooting steps are undertaken, it is highly recommended to wait out the delay.
Wait for ~10 minutes and determine if the “System Wait” message that you have encountered on the thermostat screen will go away by itself.
The thermostat will wait until the HVAC system is ready to be activated and the compressor will start working after those 5 up to 10 minutes.
Note: If the message is stuck indefinitely, continue with the next steps!
2. Re-Establish Wi-Fi Connection
If you own a Wi-Fi programmable Honeywell thermostat, the “System Wait” message may be related to a failed connectivity attempt.
To restore the functionality of the thermostat and re-launch the compressor, it is necessary to connect the thermostat to a working WiFi network.
Follow these instructions to connect a programmable Honeywell thermostat:
- Connect with the thermostat’s Wi-Fi through your mobile device.
- Open the internet browser (Safari or Google Chrome is recommended).
- Press on the “Register Thermostat” button below and follow the steps.
Tip: To view the exact steps on how to set up the thermostat’s WiFi, refer to the user manual.
Honeywell Thermostat Can’t Connect?
To correct the connectivity problem of the thermostat, there are a couple of suggested methods to undertake in terms of inspecting the Wi-Fi network and equipment.
Here’s exactly what to do:
- Unplug the Wi-Fi router from the electrical outlet and wait for 30 seconds.
- Bring the thermostat closer to the Wi-Fi router and re-establish the connection.
- Verify that your mobile is connected to the same WiFi as the thermostat.
Note: Contact your ISP if you’re also experiencing internet outages on other of your devices!
3. Replace the Thermostat Batteries
If it is taking longer than 10-15 minutes for the Honeywell thermostat to resolve the “System Wait” message, it is possible that you’re encountering a battery issue.
If the voltage of the thermostat has dropped dramatically, the thermostat could have frozen on that message.
Tip: The Honeywell thermostat’s compartment contains two AAA batteries!
Follow these instructions to replace the batteries of the thermostat:
- Remove the battery compartment cover on the side of the thermostat.
- Dispose of the old AAA batteries inside the thermostat’s compartment.
- Insert a fresh set of two AAA batteries into the compartment and close it.
- Turn on the Honeywell thermostat and check if “System Wait” will display.
Note: Use brand new batteries to insert in the Honeywell thermostat!
4. Reset the HVAC Breaker
A proven way to troubleshoot issues both with the thermostat and HVAC system (compressor included) is to reset the breaker of the system.
There’s a switch for the HVAC system in the installed breaker panel within your home, that will deactivate the power to the compressor.
Here’s how to reset the breaker of the HVAC system in easy instructions:
- Head to the circuit breaker panel installed in your household.
- Access the breaker switches and locate the “HVAC” switch.
- Pull the switch downwards and now wait for about 30 seconds.
- Slowly pull the switch back up until the power is restored.
Note: It’s important to keep the power deactivated for at least 30 seconds!
5. Turn the Flood Switch
The “Flood” switch, which is an optional installment to your HVAC system, can deactivate all HVAC devices when turned on.
It is set to automatically detect whenever there’s flooding in the furnace compartment to prevent any further damage to the equipment.
The flood switch is installed in the pipe coming out of the HVAC system’s furnace so try to locate the component. It usually has a small water icon imprinted on it and if it has been installed by specialized Honeywell technicians.
How to Deactivate Flood Switch?
If the Flood switch has been triggered, it will point towards the “OFF” side, thus, downwards.
To allow the water flow and allow the compressor and furnace to function, push the flood switch upwards until it comes out from the furnace pipe.
Note: If there really is a flooding issue in your compartment, contact Honeywell technicians!
6. Factory Reset the Honeywell Thermostat
Fortunately, it is possible to reset a Honeywell thermostat without accessing the settings.
It is enough to put the batteries in an incorrect position. This method will restore the default state and settings of the thermostat, also called a “factory restoration” process.
Here are the specific factory reset instructions for Honeywell thermostat devices:
- Remove the battery compartment cover of the thermostat.
- Eject both of the AAA batteries from the battery compartment.
- Place the batteries facing the wrong way in the compartment.
- Once 30 seconds have passed, embed the batteries correctly.
- Close the latch of the battery compartment and turn on the device.
Note: The “System Wait” message should disappear after the factory reset is complete!
Honeywell Thermostat Says System Wait After Changing Batteries?
If you have just replaced the batteries of the Honeywell thermostat and the “System Wait” message occurs, the thermostat may have an issue withdrawing power.
Placing old batteries within the thermostat or placing them incorrectly is another cause for the issue.
Here are multiple ways to correct this problem:
- Re-Insert the Batteries!
Take out the batteries of the thermostat and place them back in. This should refresh the power flow and resolve the persistent “System Wait” message.
Also, double-check if the batteries are inserted in the correct way and face the electrical poles the correct way!
- Use a Fresh Set of Batteries
You could have installed worn-out batteries inside the thermostat by accident. Insert another set of fresh AAA batteries into the Honeywell thermostat to test the device.
If the “system wait” message is still there, verify that there are no visual defects in the battery compartment.
- Clean the Battery Compartment!
Any debris within the battery compartment may prevent the batteries from contacting the electrical poles properly.
So, eject the batteries and thoroughly clean the compartment to remove any dust accumulation and debris.
Tip: If you’re still encountering issues, it’s best to Contact Honeywell for more assistance!
Thus, the most efficient solution when Honeywell thermostat says system wait is to replace the batteries and check if the thermostat is connected to Wi-Fi. If the problem is still there, perform a factory reset on the device and inspect the HVAC compressor unit!
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Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.