The stat is a Braeburn Premier Series 5200.
The manual says that it is not required for battery only operation. I would assume that it could be a "power-stealing" type, or it can run without it.
How long do these batteries typically last in a thermostat? Can lithiums be used in it? I have had good luck with the Energizer Lithiums, they last forever in other devices around the house.
If they last around a year, then it really isn't an issue for me running it off of them. If I am going to have to replace the batteries every 3 months, then it is an issue for me.
The quote they gave me was for the complete end to end installation, including wiring if needed. Since they had 4 wires, they decided they didn't need the extra wires - Is that decision one that they should make or should I make that call? They were prepared to run new wires during the original install.
The Bareburn 5200 manual states "Transformer Common connection not required for battery-only operation of thermostat", but the manual also describes the batteries as "back-up". Also, it states, "This thermostat requires two (2) properly installed “AA” Alkaline batteries to maintain the system clock and to provide power for the thermostat if 24 volt AC power is not connected to the terminal block". This means the batteries ARE proeviding power when no AC is connected.
Originally Posted by ualr_jmjones
Note also this statement in troubleshooting, "Symptom: Thermostat display is blank.
Potential Solution: It is possible that AC power is not present at the thermostat and the batteries are drained. Check fuse, circuit breaker and thermostat wiring as appropriate to verify AC power is available. Replace batteries before reprogramming thermostat. (see section 6). If AC power is present, call a professional service technician to verify thermostat and system performance."
All this strongly implies that the stat runs on AC power to conserve battery life, and having no AC power to the stat WILL drain the batteries much faster. The batteries are also clearly stated "for back-up".
If the backlight is used a lot, or is on continuously, the batteries would surely die sooner. I see this stat has NVRAM, so the setting will not be lost when the batteries go dead.
Again, if this was me - if the contract included thermostat wiring, and my stat manual read like this one (I.E. the batteries will go dead sooner without the C connection), then I would ask them to put in the extra wire. You'd be surprized what you can get sometimes with a clear and concise argument.
Thanks everyone, my appointment was for 9 this morning, but then got moved to 11, now it is moved to 12:30. Something about taking a wrong turn or something.
I will let you know how it works out.
The conversation might go like this:
Repair Guy: I fixed the wires so your heat will work. Your thermostat can run on batteries so you don't need the C connection for AC power to the stat.
Me: The batteries are back-up, and will go dead much sooner if no AC power is wired. The contract states that you will install any necessary wiring, and you knew which thermostat I have.
Repair Guy: Sorry, they just told me to fix the heat and now it works. Your thermostat will work fine on batteries. The manual says it will.
Me: OK, have a nice day.
This is when I call Sears Customer Service.
They put this thermostat in, so they should know that it uses the battery as a backup. The manual does state
"This thermostat requires 2 AA batteries to maintain the system clock and to provide power for the thermostat if 24 volt AC power is not connected to the terminal block"
I suspect that they will use this as their argument, however; I feel that this is not the best way to install the unit. According to the contract, there are line items for the compressor, coils, fan, and "Installation". When I spoke with the salesperson, he indicated that any wiring would be covered by the "Installation" item.
I would hope that they just agree with me and run the wire without any incident, since they screwed up my install in the first place and took 4 days to do anything about it. It has snowed twice and it gets down to 50 degrees in my house. I have a pregnant wife, but she did not mind the cold temps.
I don't think that the wire run would be that difficult and I would be willing to help the guy. If he doesn't run the wire, I will more than likely get my fish tape out and run it my damn self. I am NOT going to call their customer support since they are s#@t.
It comes down to an OK installation vs. an ideal installation. I don't cut corners so the OK installation is not good enough for me when it just takes a little bit more effort to make it an ideal installation. When I sell the house, I don't want to tell the new buyers "you really have to watch the battery indicator or you will end up in a hot/cold house when you wake up" - that just seems kind of ghetto to me.
The guy coming to repair is the same guy that installed the system, so I may shame him in to doing it right. I have a work order that he signed off on that states that he checked furnace operation successfully twice before he left.
Hopefully this will be me by the end of the day --->
Not uncommon to use a battery operated thermostat.
Not aware of any battery operated thermostat, that is power stealing. Some may be confused on what power stealing is. And using incorrect terminology.
If they simply switch it to battery operated only. Just change the batteries every year.
If you read the manual for the Braeburn 5200, it's true that it doesn't explicitly state that it is using AC power to prolong battery life, but it's strongly implied IMO. The batteries are referred to as "back-up" on the first page.
Originally Posted by beenthere
While not relevant to the OPs problem, the White-Rodgers 1F95-1291 is one battery-powered stat that does use power stealing. The installation instructions for this stat are very clear on this (unlike the Braeburn 5200 instructions which are not).
This stat actually has 3 modes - battery powered (no 24V connected), hard-wired with battery back-up (24V with C connection), and battery powered with power stealing assist (24V but no C connection, runs an batteries AND 24V from Rh or Rc). The manual clearly states that the power stealing assist mode prolongs battery life.
Yes it does.
Since the OPs doesn't, I would not presume that it does.
Its also not a reliable operating method, as you can read in those instructions.
Power stealing stats came out a long time ago. And many problems cropped up from them. And many home owners got bills for service that they didn't like.
I agree with garya505 as the manual does state that is uses the batteries only if there is not a common connected. This strongly implies that the battery will last lots longer when it is connected to the house power.
I don't use lamps that run on batteries, why would I expect my heating and air to do it?
Oh, and still waiting for the guy to show up. He is now 4.5 hours late. How we doing?
Maybe he should call Braeburn and ask them for more details.
Originally Posted by beenthere
I am calling them now, I guess I should ask them if they recommend connecting to the 24 v common when it is available... And, if I am connected with the 24 v common could I expect the batteries to last longer. Also, if there stat is considered a "power stealing" type thermostat.
Bear in mind that I am only doing all of this research because I have time to spare since he is sooooo late.
I just got off the phone with Braeburn and he says that they should get about 2 years on the batteries, but if the batteries go completely dead, I lose all my programming. This is not the case if you have the common connected. He suggested that "if you have a system that has a common, then you should definitely use it"
He says that it will help the batteries last longer.
More than likely, I will change the batteries once a year (or at least test them) even with the 24 V power running the stat.
He didn't know whether it would be considered power-stealing since it runs solely on the 24 V when it is available. It only uses the batteries in the event of a power outage to keep the settings and the clock set.
I am going to ask if it is possible to get another wire run and then go from there. Hopefully the guy will be cool since he made me wait on him all day and I have been more than OK with it (at least on the phone)
The wiring diagram on page 16 (the last page) of the installation manual shows "Transformer Common (required)". While this diagram is for a 2 stage heat/cool system, it's the only wiring diagram in the manual, and I would think the 2 stage connections would just be omitted for single-stage system.
Originally Posted by ualr_jmjones
Maybe Braeburn can supply you with a wiring diagram for a single-stage system.