What Does It Mean When Honeywell Thermostat Says Waiting For Equipment?

When a honeywell thermostat says waiting for equipment, it is an indication that the thermostat is in delay mode. Delay mode is a built-in feature on a  HVAC system that works with your thermostat to prevent your compressor from starting too soon after a shut off, thereby preventing your HVAC equipment from damage.

When you switch your thermostat between cooling and heating or when you turn it off and then  right on again, the cooling or heating system wont come on immediately. The built in minimum off timer also. known as delay period activates when the system turns off.

There are few other different ‘ delay time’  messages that will be displayed  by a honeywell thermostat depending on the model. Some of the most common  delay time messages that a honeywell thermostat will display include


“Wait” (flashing)

“Waiting for System (flashing)

“Cool On” (flashing)

Snowflake Icon (flashing)

Snowflake Icon with “Cooling will Begin” message

Flashing or blinking ‘heat on’

See also: Trane thermostat says waiting for equipment

What does it mean when a honeywell thermostat continuously says waiting for equipment?

However there could be other times when your thermostat continuously says waiting for equipment even after the 5 minutes normal delay time elapses. This could be due to problems that could range from thermostat issues to wiring and equipment issues. Below are the most common problems outlined.

Issues with voltage to the thermostat

So you should only be concerned if your thermostat continues to say waiting for equipment after the 5 minutes time delay passes. A common cause for the issues is a problem with the battery.

 You have to make sure that batteries are not low or about to die. If you have a low thermostat battery, you might  need to replace the batteries.

 But  if your thermostat doesn’t use batteries and  is connected to the c- wire, then you might have to take a look at the whirring which could have a short

See also: Honeywell Thermostat Low Battery Symptoms And How to Replace Batteries

Outdoor AC condenser unit is not powered up

When your Honeywell thermostat is displaying a “Waiting for Equipment” message, it means that the thermostat is not receiving any information from the HVAC equipment it’s connected to. If the outside condenser unit of your HVAC system does not have power, it can cause a prolonged delay message on your Honeywell thermostat.

The outside condenser unit is responsible for releasing heat that has been absorbed by the refrigerant in your HVAC system. It works by compressing and circulating the refrigerant between the indoor evaporator coil and the outdoor condenser coil. If the outside condenser unit is not receiving power, it cannot complete this process, and your HVAC system will not be able to cool your home or business.

When your Honeywell thermostat detects that the outside condenser unit is not receiving power, it will display a “Waiting for Equipment” message. This message may continue to display for an extended period of time until the issue is resolved. Depending on your thermostat settings, the delay between cooling cycles may also.

Read also: Can You Run AC Without The Condenser Fan Running?

A short within a thermostat wiring

Another issue that could prolong the delay  time  is a bad thermostat wiring that includes a short between the wires. After you have ruled out that  batteries are not an issue and the thermostat is getting consistent voltage, you might want to remove the thermostat from the wall plate and take a good look at the thermostat wiring.

If you are more  of a DIYer person,  you can try to bypass the thermostat. Be sure that the thermostat is not the culprit for the problem.

 To  bypass the wiring and test cooling, put a jumper  R wire and the Y or twist them together, wait for at least 5 minutes to beat the time off delay. If that doesn’t work then the problem is definitely not with the thermostat but is within the HVAC system.

Read also: AC not working thermstat says wait

Tripped float  switch.

If the bypass wont turn on the system you might want to take a look at the drain float switch.

A drain float switch is a safety device that is typically installed on HVAC systems to prevent water damage caused by a clogged or blocked condensate drain line. When the drain line becomes blocked, water can accumulate in the drain pan and potentially overflow, causing water damage to your home or business.

The drain float switch works by monitoring the water level in the drain pan. When the water level rises above a certain point, the float switch will trip and cut off power to the HVAC system. This prevents the AC or furnace from turning on and causing further water damage.

Read also: Honeywell thermoat low battery symptoms


Can a lack of power to the outdoor condenser unit cause a “Waiting for Equipment” message on a Honeywell thermostat?

Yes, if the outdoor condenser unit isn’t receiving power, it won’t be able to circulate refrigerant and release heat. If the thermostat detects no signal from the outdoor unit, it can potentially  trigger this message.

How long can the “Waiting for Equipment” message persist on a Honeywell thermostat?

Under normal circumstances, the delay time message does not exceed 5 minutes. If 5 minutes elapses there could indicate other problems with any part of your HVAC system.

Read also: Thermostat Turned Off But Still Blowing Air [Solved]

What should you do if your honeywell thermostat blinks or flashes cool on?

Wait for 5 minutes. But if the problem continues,  check the circuit breaker to ensure it hasn’t tripped, and make sure the condenser unit is receiving power. If the breakers for the outdoor unit are not tripped,, follow the troubleshooting guide we have provided in this guide..

Is a lack of cooling due to a power issue dangerous?

Yes, a lack of cooling can be uncomfortable and even dangerous, particularly in extreme temperatures. It’s important to address any issues with your HVAC system promptly to ensure your comfort and safety.

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