I want a programmable thermostat that will last

moejavaMarch 21, 2011


I have basic forced-hot water heating (no AC, no heat pumps, etc), with two zones that have independent, battery-powered thermostats.

The battery-powered Honeywell programmable thermostats I purchased about 9 years ago worked fine until this year. This winter, one of them has been going through a set of batteries every few weeks. If I don't notice the "Replace Battery" warning, the "symptom" is a cold house. Fortunately it hasn't happened yet during a trip, so no disasters (yet).

But it seems to be time for new thermostats.

Are there some battery-powered programmable thermostats that will reliably work for more than 10 years??

Is that too much to ask? ... Is a 5 - 10 year lifespan normal?

At one point, the alkaline batteries did leak and I cleaned up the gunk until the leads were nice and shiny again. Is some residual corrosion likely what caused the current problem?

Thanks in advance!


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The problem with a lot of electronics today is the life span of the electrolytic capacitors in the equipment.

They are NOT hermetically sealed and eventually fail.

Ten years is actually pretty good.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 10:32AM
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So what's your recommendation for an electronic programmable thermostat for a forced hot water system ? Honeywell systems? Trane? Lux?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 8:33AM
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Wow.. sounds like I need to stick to analog and remember to back it off at night. Planned obsolescence.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 8:13AM
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"Planned obsolescence."

More like cheap components.

Hermetically sealed tantalum capacitors cost about ten times as much.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 11:00AM
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Who wants to replace a $150 stat every 5 years? Iv heard many reviews stating less than 2 years which kind of throws the saving of a set-back programmable right out of the window.
Any suggestions on a good 2 stage analog which will be as dependable as my old trusty T87 from 1971 Brickeyee. Which still works by the way..


    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 12:01AM
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I had a honeywell stat I installed in 1995 and moved once to a new place in 97 that sold with the house and was still working in 2006. It is a luck of the draw type of deal. I would think 10 years wouldn't be a problem.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 7:34PM
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Hoenywell had a model t8600 which often lasted ten years or more. white Rogers had an IF90 or 91 that was equally as good. In their never ending quest to lower costs that has all gone by the wayside.
I have been in the biz 30 years and have a pretty good handle on the stuff.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 8:29PM
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