You walk up to your Honeywell thermostat ready to turn up the heat on this cold winter morning, but instead of changing the temperature you’re met with a message saying “Wait…” What gives? Dealing with any error message on your thermostat can be frustrating, but a “Wait” message may leave you feeling especially puzzled.
This article will explain the common causes behind a Honeywell thermostat displaying “Wait” and provide step-by-step troubleshooting to get your thermostat back up and running. We’ll also offer tips to prevent “Wait” errors in the future. By the end, you’ll understand why your thermostat says “Wait” and how to fix it quickly.
What Does “Wait” Mean on a Honeywell Thermostat?
A “Wait” message on your Honeywell thermostat typically means there is a temporary delay before you can adjust the temperature. This is normal behavior for Honeywell models like the RTH6580WF, RTH9585WF and VisionPro 8000.
The thermostat enters a “Wait” state for reasons like:
- Equipment Protection – The Wait message prevents damage from rapidly cycling your HVAC system on and off. It adds a brief delay after turning on heat or AC to protect the components.
- Temperature Reading – The thermostat needs time to sense the current room temperature before allowing further temperature changes. Rushing adjustments can lead to over- or under-heating.
- System Switchover – When switching from heat to cool (or vice versa), Wait allows the previous mode to fully shut off before activating the new one. This prevents heating and cooling from running simultaneously.
So in most cases, the “Wait” screen is completely normal and just tells you to hold off until the thermostat is ready for more input. The delay typically lasts 5-60 seconds depending on the model and situation.
However, if Wait persists for more than a couple minutes or keeps reappearing, then there may be an underlying issue.
Why Does My Honeywell Thermostat Say “Wait” Constantly?
While brief Wait messages are expected, having the screen stay in a permanent Wait state points to a problem needing attention. Here are the most common reasons for a Honeywell thermostat getting stuck on the Wait screen:
Battery or Wiring Issue
Like most smart thermostats, Honeywell models rely on batteries and proper wiring to function. Issues like low battery power, loose wire connections, or mixing up the wiring terminals can prevent the thermostat from reading temperatures or communicating with your HVAC system. This leads to indefinite waits as the thermostat struggles to operate correctly.
Poor Wi-Fi Connection
Many newer Honeywell thermostats like the T9 or T10 Pro connect to your home Wi-Fi network. Network outages and weak signals can sever the communication between the thermostat and your heating/cooling equipment. Without this connectivity, you may see a never-ending Wait message.
In rare cases, a bug in the thermostat’s software can cause freezing on the Wait screen even when everything is wired properly. Typically after a software update or power outage. Resetting the thermostat will usually clear any temporary programming issues.
HVAC System Malfunction
Problems with your heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment can also lead to unusual Wait states. Issues like a stuck relay, bad controller board, or failing component will require a professional repair. Your thermostat enters an indefinite Wait because it’s not receiving the expected feedback from the system.
The next natural question is how can you troubleshoot a Honeywell thermostat stuck on Wait? The following steps will guide you through the process.
How to Fix a Honeywell Thermostat Suck on “Wait”
If your Honeywell thermostat is constantly waiting and unresponsive, don’t panic. In most cases, you can resolve the issue in a few simple and straightforward steps:
1. Check the Batteries
The first thing to check is the condition of the batteries. Low batteries can mimic software glitches or connection problems.
Remove the thermostat body from the wall to access the battery compartment. What type of batteries does it use? Most Honeywell models take two fresh AA or AAA alkaline batteries.
Inspect the batteries and replace them if they seem corroded, damaged or dead. Even slightly drained batteries can make the thermostat unresponsive. Snap the thermostat back into place after inserting fresh batteries.
2. Verify Proper Wiring
Next, take a look behind the thermostat at the wiring terminals. Make sure all of the wires are pushed securely into the correct terminals for your HVAC system. The terminals will be labeled with letters like W, Y, G, R, etc.
Here are the standard wire terminal connections:
- R – Power from HVAC transformer
- W – Heating
- Y – Cooling
- G – Fan
- C – Common wire from transformer
The specific wires required depends on your system type and thermostat model. Consult the wiring diagrams in your Honeywell user manual if needed. Reseat any loose wires by removing and reinserting firmly.
3. Check Wi-Fi Connectivity
For Wi-Fi enabled Honeywell smart thermostats, the next step is ensuring proper wireless connectivity.
On the thermostat screen, go to the network status and run a connection test. Reconnect the Wi-Fi if the signal is weak or the thermostat is offline. Also try restarting your home Wi-Fi router and modem if connectivity issues persist.
Temporarily move the thermostat closer to the router when testing to rule out range issues. Contact your internet service provider if you can’t maintain a steady in-home signal.
4. Reset the Thermostat
If wires and connections check out okay, perform a reset of the thermostat. This clears any software bugs or glitches stopping normal operation.
The reset procedure varies a bit between Honeywell models:
- Touchscreen – Press the Menu button, then select Settings > Advanced Settings > Reset
- Button Controls – Remove thermostat body and locate small pinhole. Insert a paperclip and gently press for 1 second.
Resetting erases all custom settings, schedules and preferences. You’ll need to reprogram the thermostat afterward but it often resolves quirky software behavior.
5. Contact HVAC Technician
In the event resetting the thermostat and troubleshooting the connections doesn’t solve the Wait screen issue, contact an HVAC technician. Waiting indefinitely likely indicates a larger problem with your heating or cooling equipment in need of repair.
Some possibilities include:
- Faulty heating/cooling valve or actuator
- Bad control board
- Blown fuse
- Stuck component like a relay or contactor
- Refrigerant leak
Don’t continue forcing the system on through the frozen Wait screen as this can worsen mechanical problems. Have a professional inspect the equipment and identify any components in need of replacement.
Tips to Prevent “Wait” Errors
Once you’ve resolved an excessive Wait issue, keep it from recurring using these prevention tips:
- Maintain fresh batteries – Routinely change the thermostat batteries every 6-12 months before they become completely depleted. Use a reminder on your calendar.
- Check wire tightness – Gently tug test the wires inserted into the thermostat each season to confirm secure connections. Tighten any loose wires.
- Improve Wi-Fi signal – For smart thermostats, position your wireless router centrally in the home to optimize coverage. Install Wi-Fi range extenders if needed in far rooms.
- Update software – Download the latest software updates for your Honeywell model to fix bugs and improve performance.
- Have yearly HVAC tune-ups – Professional maintenance and cleaning will keep your system working reliably to communicate properly with the thermostat.
- Compare remote temperature – Place a separate thermometer in the room to double check the thermostat’s accuracy and promptness controlling temperatures.
By combining preventative steps with the troubleshooting guide above, you can get an unresponsive Honeywell thermostat back on track and stop ambiguous Wait screens going forward.
Honeywell Wait Error Fixed – Now Enjoy Consistent Comfort
Dealing with a confusing “Wait” message that won’t disappear is annoying, but hopefully this article gave you the insight needed to correct it. Now you know the common reasons a Honeywell thermostat gets stuck waiting, along with the troubleshooting steps to get yours back to normal.
In many cases, the issue stems from discharged batteries, wiring problems or Wi-Fi disconnects – all relatively easy fixes. For continued reliable operation, adopt preventative measures like updating software, checking wire tightness and having professional maintenance done yearly.
With a little diligence and patience, you’ll have your Honeywell thermostat controlling your home’s comfort year-round without any more perplexing Waits getting in your way.