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Seeing a “Wait” or “Waiting for Equipment” alert on your Honeywell Thermostat could initially come off as puzzling or bewildering.

In most cases, it’s trying to connect to Wi-Fi or waiting for the HVAC system to kick in.

But if it doesn’t go away, it might need troubleshooting. In this guide, I’ll show you how.

What Does “Wait” or “Waiting for Equipment” Mean?

When you see “Wait” or “Waiting for Equipment” on your Honeywell thermostat, it's signaling that the system is currently in a safety delay.

This built-in safeguard pauses the operation of your HVAC equipment, specifically, the compressor, to allow for a proper cooldown and reduce the strain on the hardware.

Implementing this pause prevents the equipment from quickly cycling on and off, which could lead to premature wear and eventual damage, especially when the system is recovering from abrupt power failures.

In some models, this will also indicate Wi-Fi connectivity issues. I'll talk more about that later on.

Honeywell Thermostat "Wait"

Type 1: Troubleshooting Issues with the HVAC System

Apart from the compressor protection feature, the wait error message will stay on when the rest of your HVAC system doesn’t respond.

So if the blower doesn’t bring in cold/hot air, and the AC, furnace, or heat pumps don’t seem to kick in, It can indicate a hardware fault. 

So, let’s get into the troubleshooting process of fixing a Honeywell thermostat with this type of “wait” or “waiting for equipment” error message.

Also, in a similar fashion, learn how to fix the Honeywell thermostat flashing “Cool On” or “Heat On” issue here.

Step 1: Wait it Out!

If your Honeywell thermostat displays the “Wait” signal, allow it up to 5 minutes to clear.

It might clear out sooner or even take an extra couple of minutes, so I highly recommend giving it a solid 10 minutes so you can verify the issue is not the compressor protection feature.

Step 2: Change Batteries

If the “Wait” message persists for more than 5-10 minutes and your HVAC system remains inactive, you'll need to start troubleshooting the issue.

You can begin by replacing the thermostat batteries. Take out the thermostat from the mounting plate and take out the batteries at the rear panel.

Low battery power can prevent the thermostat from effectively communicating with your HVAC system, resulting in a lack of heat or cool air.

Battery Replace
Where the batteries on most Honeywell thermostat models are located

Step 3: Check the Wiring

At SmartHomePerfected we always advise readers not to undertake any work they are not competent in performing and if, in any doubt, it is best to seek the assistance of a professional.

For thermostats relying on 24 VAC power instead of batteries, the wiring may require inspection.

To do so, first, turn off your system's power to safeguard your equipment. Then, remove the thermostat and examine the C-wire for proper installation.

Step 4: Reset Breakers

If your thermostat is not working even after changing the batteries, resetting your HVAC equipment via the circuit breaker could be the solution.

  1. To do this, begin by turning off both the thermostat and the HVAC equipment.
  2. Next, find the breakers associated with your equipment and switch them off as well.
  3. Allow 10 to 30 seconds to pass 
  4. Then switch on the breakers and power switches on the HVAC equipment and the thermostat.

This can help address possible issues within your equipment's circuits and connections.

By resetting the breakers, you're essentially resetting the system and ensuring smooth communication between your thermostat and HVAC equipment.

Step 5: Check the Thermostat Voltage

If the issue persists, consider resetting the circuits connected to your thermostat for an extended period (30 minutes) before moving on to the next step.

The problem may lie in the fuses or wiring, such as a short circuit.

To determine this, use a multimeter to test voltage levels in the thermostat wires. Beyond that, you can also check the continuity in the different fuses, breakers, and switches in your HVAC system. 

Only diagnose electrical components yourself if you have the necessary expertise. If you're unsure or unequipped to handle the situation, it's best to call in a professional.

Final Step: Call in the Professionals!

If you’ve carried out all the steps above and the “wait” or “waiting for equipment” error message doesn’t seem to clear out, it’s best to call in an HVAC specialist.

A professional will be able to troubleshoot more complex issues within your HVAC system and fix it before the day is up. 

In certain models, the “wait” message can also pop up while your Honeywell thermostat is trying to establish a secure connection to your wireless network.

This typically occurs when the thermostat is verifying your home's Wi-Fi network or attempting to connect to Honeywell servers for updates.

The entire process should only last a few moments; however, connectivity issues can arise.


If you find yourself waiting for an extended period or notice an error message, it's a good idea to follow up with the following network troubleshooting steps:

Step 1: Restart the Wi-Fi Router

Restarting the router can be a simple yet efficient solution.

  1. To begin, disconnect your router from the power. If you have a separate modem, unplug it as well.
  2. Double-check if there is a power button that needs to be switched on for the modem
  3. Make sure to wait for a minute or so a minute before reconnecting it.
  4. Give the router a couple more minutes to restart and establish a connection.
  5. Once the router is fully operational, check whether you can connect to the internet using your smartphone
  6. Then, see if the thermostat’s issue has been resolved.

Step 2: Restart the Thermostat

Restarting your thermostat is another effective method to help clear out any glitches or software processes that are stuck.

  1. You can do this by simply removing the thermostat from its wall plate or taking out one of the batteries
  2. Then, give it a couple of minutes before reattaching it to the plate.

Keep in mind that the restart process may slightly differ between various thermostat models.

If you want to find the exact steps for your specific Honeywell thermostat, don’t forget to refer to our list of collated Honeywell user manuals.

Step 3: Reset Wi-Fi Settings on the Thermostat

Try resetting the Wi-Fi settings on your thermostat. This will clear the connection information.

There are different steps for different thermostat models. Here’s a helpful link on how to reset the Wi-Fi settings of your thermostat. Look for the Wi-Fi Reset instructions in your specific model’s section. You can also refer to your thermostat’s user manual as mentioned above.

After resetting the Wi-Fi settings, you’ll have to reconnect to your Wi-Fi network.

Wrapping Up

The “Wait” or “Waiting for Equipment” message usually shows up as a protection feature. It will usually go away after five minutes or so. 

However, if the message doesn’t clear out, you might be having an issue with the HVAC system not powering on. You can troubleshoot it yourself or get the help of an HVAC professional. 


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