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White Rodgers Thermostat How-to & Troubleshooting Guide

White Rodgers Thermostat How-to & Troubleshooting Guide

White Rodgers thermostats are the most common line of home thermostats. Their programmable series are affordable and also user-friendly. In addition, they are easy to program and troubleshoot when necessary. White Rodgers thermostats are also popular since they are compatible with most basic heating and cooling systems.

The most commonly reported issue with the White Rodgers thermostats is related to no heating and cooling. Since they have various models, finding the correct resetting procedure can be challenging without a manual. This article provides step-by-step instructions on resetting all White Rodgers thermostats and troubleshooting the most common issues.

Is there a reset button on my White Rodgers thermostat?

The White Rodgers thermostat has no specific reset button. Still, most models can reset by pressing the Up or Down arrow and the Time buttons simultaneously until the screen goes blank and restarts with all the default settings restored. The reset procedure for the White Rodgers thermostat will depend on the model you have. First, look for the model number on the back of the thermostat cover plate and then find the corresponding reset procedure below.

Classic 80 & 70 Series White Rodgers Thermostat

Over eight thermostat models fall under the classic 80 and 70 series; here are the steps to reset all these thermostats.

  • Press and hold the time and Up or Down buttons at the same time.
  • The display screen will blank then reappear. The reset was successful.
  • Alternatively;
  • Press and hold the Up or Down arrow button and move the power switch from Off to Heat simultaneously.
  • The screen will go blank and then reappear. The reset is now successful.

Emerson Thermostat 80 Series

  • Hold the Menu and Backlight buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  • After about 10 seconds, the thermostat screen will go off and then reappear to indicate a successful reset.

Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat

  • Press Menu
  • Press About Thermostat
  • Press “Factory Reset”
  • All settings are back to default except the HVAC unit configuration.

Sensi Smart Thermostat

  • Press Schedule and follow the instructions on the screen or use the Sensi app to make the changes and then save the changes.

Blue Series 12” Emerson Touchscreen Thermostat

This series has programmable and non-programmable models. If yours is on permanent hold, press “Run Schedule” to get it back on the program. But if the display is blank and non-responsive, here is how to perform a hard reset.

  • Remove the faceplate from the wall plate.
  • Remove the batteries for about two to three minutes to let the device reset.
  • Reinsert the batteries and replace the faceplate. The screen should be functioning.
  • If that procedure does not work for your thermostat, some models in this series require you to disconnect the power supply, remove the R and C wires from the terminals, wait about two minutes, then reconnect both wires.

Blue Series 6” Emerson Touchscreen Thermostat

  • Press and hold the Up or Down arrow and the System or Fan buttons at the same time.
  • The screen will go black and then reappear to indicate a successful reset of the schedule, clock, and settings.

If you want to perform a hard reset to restore factory settings;

  • Disconnect the circuit to avoid electrocution.
  • Remove the faceplate from the wall plate.
  • Disconnect the wires R and C or RH and RC from the terminals, carefully not to connect them and cause a short.
  • Remove the batteries for two minutes, and the device will reset.
  • Replace the wires, batteries, and faceplate.

Blue Series 4″ Emerson Thermostat

To reset the schedule and configuration;

  • Press and hold the Up or Down arrow button together with the Fan button.
  • The screen will go black and then reappear.

To perform a hard reset;

  • Switch off the power supply to the thermostat.
  • Remove the faceplate.
  • Disconnect the R and C wires from their terminals, making sure they don’t touch.
  • Remove the batteries for about two minutes, and the device will reset.
  • Replace the wires, batteries, and faceplate.

Blue Series 2″ Emerson Thermostat

The thermostat in this series has two different reset procedures depending on the model.

Method 1

  • Press and hold the Up and Down arrow and the Time or PRGM buttons simultaneously.
  • The screen will go blank and then reappear.
  • The settings, clock, and schedule are back to default.

Method 2

  • Move the power switch to Heat, Cool, or Emer.
  • Press and hold the Up or Down arrow and the Time buttons at the same time for about 10 seconds.
  • The screen will go blank and then reappear, and the thermostat resets successfully.

CT101 White Rodgers Thermostat

  • Remove the faceplate.
  • Hold the Reset button for about five seconds.
  • The screen will show flashing icons and then stop to indicate a successful reset.
  • Replace the front plate.

Comfort-Set 90 Series White Rodgers Thermostat

  • Hold the Program button for a few seconds, and the screen will reset.
  • If this does not work, disconnect the faceplate and remove the batteries for about five minutes.
  • Replace the batteries and the faceplate, and the display should reset.

All White Rodgers thermostat error codes: meaning and fixes

The errors codes displayed on the screen, which could be numbers or letters, on your thermostat’s screen indicates a problem either with the thermostat or the HVAC unit. Below are all the error codes that your White Rodgers thermostat might display and their meaning.

Error codeSolution
The display screen is blankCheck if the thermostat is connected correctly.If your thermostat gets power from the HVAC unit from a 120 Volt outlet, contact a professional technician.
Incorrect timeGive the thermostat time to reset after power interruption. If the problem persists after several minutes, reset the time manually.
Screen is flashingIf the temperature and time setpoints are flashing, the thermostat is functioning normally.
 Flashing “COMM ERR”; contact authorized White Rodgers service.
 Flashing “AUX” and “+2”; normal operation.If the thermostat connects to a heat pump, the resistance strip heat(Aux) operates with the heat pump compressor.
 Flashing +2 on the lower right of the display; normal operation.With a two-speed compressor, it means the compressor is running at high speed.
 Flashing “HOLD”; normal operation. It means there is a temporary hold; reset the thermostat. 
Steady green lightNormal operation. A critical event is in effect.
Steady green light, Up and Down arrow buttons do not work.The thermostat needs service.
E1 or E2 on the screenFaulty thermal sensor, call in a professional technician.
The screen goes off for a few minutes and then turns on again.The heating unit’s thermal protection has opened due to overheating. Ensure the heating unit is in good condition and that clearance around the unit is as per the manufacturer’s specifications.
The thermostat screen has low contrast when heating is on.The load is less than the minimum load. Install a heating unit that is within the thermostat’s load limits.
The temperature on the screen is incorrect.Check for the presence of an airstream or a heat source near the thermostat and remove it.
Low luminosity of the screen.Check the thermostat wiring for bad contact.

Why does a White Rodgers thermostat reset itself?

The most likely reason why your thermostat keeps resetting itself is the device is in program mode. The best way to fix this issue is to put your thermostat on “Hold’ or “Permanent Hold.”  

If your thermostat is a programmable model, look for the ‘Hold’ button, manually adjust the temperature using the Up or Down arrow button to your desired setting, and then press the “Hold” button once. The word “Hold” or “Permanent Hold” will appear on the screen and disappear after a while. The thermostat now will not change the temperature settings unless you do it yourself.

If your non-programmable thermostat is resetting itself, there is usually a problem with power. If your device runs on batteries, they are probably depleting and require changing, or they are loosely touching the contacts are require fixing. If your thermostat wires to your home’s wiring, there is perhaps a broken wire or loose connection.

White Rodgers thermostat is stuck on hold.

You lock the set temperature by putting the thermostat on hold mode until you manually change it again. When you want to go back to your previous schedule and reset the permanent hold, press the Run button once.

How to turn off the program on White Rodgers thermostat

To disable the White Rogers thermostat program, you should press the Hold button and then adjust the temperature using the Up and Down arrow buttons to your desired temperature for an indefinite period. The thermostat will remain at this set temperature until you press the Run button to return to program mode.

Does my White Rodgers thermostat have a battery? 

Not all White Rodgers thermostats operate on battery power. Most modern models directly connect to the home’s electrical system; others use electrical hardwire with a battery backup, and some run on batteries only. Here is a list showing all the White Rodgers thermostats and their power options.

  1. Sensi touch smart thermostat – Electrical hardwire
  2. Blue series 12″ touchscreen thermostats –  Electrical hardwire with battery backup
  3. Blue series 6″ touchscreen thermostats – Electrical hardwire with battery backup
  4. Blue series 2″ touchscreen thermostats – Electrical hardwire with battery backup
  5. 80 series thermostats – Electrical hardwire with battery backup
  6. Class 80 series thermostats – Electrical hardwire with battery backup
  7. 70 series thermostats – Some models are hardwired, while others use batteries only

How do you change the battery on a White Rodgers thermostat?

Most models will give an alert when the batteries are dead; usually, you will see four bars on the screen to show the batteries are in good condition. If there are no four bars or the screen is blank, the batteries are dead. Follow the steps below when replacing batteries in a White Rodger’s thermostat.

  • Turn off the thermostat and disconnect it from the wall.
  • Remove the back cover to the battery compartment.
  • Remove the old batteries and dispose of them correctly.
  • Insert the new two AA batteries, making sure the negative(-) terminal on the battery is in contact with the thermostat’s positive(+) terminal.
  • Replace the back cover.
  • Check the thermostat’s screen and make sure four bars are showing.
  • Return the thermostat to the wall holder.

White Rodgers thermostat troubleshooting; no display

If your thermostat screen goes blank, you will not be able to view the current temperature or program the thermostat. There are about four reasons why the display will stop working, here is not to fix it.

Dead batteries

The first thing to check when your White Rodgers thermostat goes blank is dead batteries. Suppose it’s been a while since you replaced them; it’s time to change them again. Try to change the batteries once every year to avoid power issues with your HVAC unit.

Tripped circuit breaker

Some models are hardwired directly to your home’s electrical system, and if the breaker switch trips, the thermostat shuts off. If you have replaced the batteries, check the breaker and reset any tripped switches. If the breaker keeps tripping, call an electrician to fix your home’s power issues.

HVAC unit issues may have tripped the safety switch

Sometimes when your heating or cooling systems have problems, it can prevent the transformer from sending voltage which runs the thermostat. Check the safety switch and call an HVAC technician to fix any possible underlying issues.

Faulty thermostat

Sometimes, your thermostat will expire either due to damage from poor maintenance or typical wear and tear from aging. After about ten years, the thermostat starts to slowly malfunction and requires replacing.

White Rodgers thermostat troubleshooting; blinking snowflake

If the snowflake icon is flashing on the thermostat’s screen, the thermostat is in delay mode. The thermostat’s lockout feature is running to prevent the compressor from cycling too quickly. The blinking snowflake means the thermostat is on cool, but it is not cooling. This delay mode should last about five minutes; if the problem persists, here is how to fix it.

  • Check the heater’s door and make sure it is securely closed. Heater doors have a safety trigger that allows the heater to run only if the trigger switch is depressed fully. Therefore, if the door is closed, verify it is tightly closed.
  • Check the power supply to the heater and make sure that it is on. Ensure the wall socket is working and replace it if it is damaged.
  • Check the circuit breaker, look for any tripped switches, and reset them to allow the furnace to receive power.
  • If the thermostat is a new installation, make sure the thermostat is configured correctly to your heating and cooling system.

How do I fix an unresponsive thermostat?

When a thermostat is unresponsive or suddenly stops working, it is generally a no cooling or no heat issue. Perform the troubleshooting steps below to identify the source of the problem and fix it.

  • Check your home’s main power supply for problems. Go to the circuit breaker and look for tripped switches or blown fuses. Reset any tripped switches and replace blown fuses. Next, check the HVAC unit and make sure it is receiving power and the unit is on. If there is no heat from your heater, manually light the pilot to start it, and the thermostat will respond.
  • Turn the system switch to Heat to test the heat function of the thermostat. Increase the thermostat’s temperature above the room temperature, and you should hear a click. If there is no click sound, reset the thermostat. Increase the temperature again above room temperature and listen for a click. If there is no click, replace the thermostat. If you hear a click, but there is no heat, call a technician to service your HVAC system.
  • Turn the system switch to Cool and test the cooling function. Reduce the thermostat’s temperature below the room temperature, and you should hear a click. If you don’t, reset the thermostat, lower the temperature again, and listen for a click. If you don’t hear a click, replace the thermostat. If you hear a click, but there is no cooling, call an HVAC technician to service the AC system.
  • Remove the thermostat faceplate and look for shorts if the HVAC system runs throughout. Look for broken wires and loose connections. Check the Fan switch and make sure it is on Auto.

Check this too: York Furnace Troubleshooting & How to Guide


White Rodgers thermostats are of excellent quality and dependable for home thermostats. If it starts developing issues, you should refer to our article above for possible causes and solutions. For any complicated issues, you should always call a professional HVAC technician to help fix the problem.