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Kevin, Master Electrician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  15 yrs field experience with 11 yrs as self-employed contractor specializing in home repair\upgrades
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my thermostat is chirping; batteries have been replaced.

Customer Question

my thermostat is chirping; batteries have been replaced. what now?  Thermostat is type no. 1f88-51

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Kevin replied 3 years ago.

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.


1) Can you provide me with the name of the thermostat manufacturer?


2) The model number is XXXXX correct?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

1. white rodgers

2. correct

Expert:  Kevin replied 3 years ago.

1) How old is the thermostat?


2) I am on the Emerson Climate website, the manufacturer of White Rodgers brand and the model number (1F88-51) does not come up with anything when doing a search.


3) Any chance that the chirping noise is not coming from a nearby smoke or carbon monoxide detector that has a low battery in it?



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

1. thermostat was installed with a new furnace, approx 1993
2. try 1f80-51

3. chirping is definately from the thermostat

Expert:  Kevin replied 3 years ago.

1) Check the display for the word BATTERY or BAT. (Flashing) on the display. Battery flashing or blinking on the digital display indicates low batteries. If the batteries have recently been changed and the thermostat continues to indicate low batteries, use a pencil eraser to polish each of the battery contacts inside the back of the thermostat. Do not bend them up and down when polishing or you might break them. When complete, they should all be as shiny as a mirror. This will assure proper battery back-up, allow the back light to work correctly and remove the flashing battery symbol from the screen. Battery (Solid) on Display The battery symbol (not blinking) indicates a loss of power (24 volts) from the heating and cooling equipment to the thermostat. Normally the heating and cooling do not operate when the battery indicator is on. If the battery indicator is on, check the fuses or breakers, make sure the furnace is switched on, and verify the blower compartment door is closed properly. The battery display is designed to indicate the thermostat is running on batteries, so replacing batteries has no effect on the indicator.

A beep often is provided as audible feedback when keys are depressed on many thermostats. You should check to make sure that no key is stuck in the "in" position or is otherwise activated.


2) Another possibility is that the inside compartment of the thermostat has dust. You can purchase an aerosol can of Endust for Electronics. This is a moisture free safe aerosol can of air specifically used to clean sensitive electronics such as computer keyboards, etc. These are sold at any local Walmart, KMart or Best Buy for around $5 per can.


3) 1F80-51 comes up as an obsolete model on their website and references a newer model number. Upon viewing the instruction sheet, there is no info regarding a chirping noise. The only explanation for the batteries is the types to use and how often to change them, etc.


Here is the link for the newer model that is referenced:

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No battery display showing. Contacts polished and insides shot with Radio Shack dust remover. Chirping continues in both heat and cool settings. Furnace circuit breaker is on. All keys cycled.

Expert:  Kevin replied 3 years ago.

1) Ok very good... thanks for the replies.


2) I will opt out of the question as we also have plenty of HVAC tech's here and maybe one of them is familiar with your particular model and can assist you.


Please stand by......Thanks........Kevin

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The thermostat shown in the hyperlink is not the same as mine. If my thermostat is completely obsolete, I will have to replace it, even though it was working as of this morning. Apparently White-Rodgers does not feel they have to maintain literature on obsolete products still in use.

Expert:  Kevin replied 3 years ago.

1) Yes, I understand your frustration regarding no user instructions or manuals on obsolete or end-of-life products. I run across this problem numerous times with many other electrical product manufacturers. Most manufacturers will label their products as end-of-life after a 10 yr period and many will not provide user guides or even tech support after the 10 yr time period. It is very frustrating for sure.

Expert:  Kevin replied 3 years ago.
I am going to side with "Your Electrician." I have never heard a thermostat chirp. Are you certain this is not a nearby smoke detector?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Expert:  Kevin replied 3 years ago.
Alright. I have recommended this be transfered to an HVAC technician. Thanks for using JA!!