Question about Honeywell Programmable Thermostat Heater

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Premature thermostat battery failure, possibly due to corrosion

I installed 3 new Duracell Alkaline batteries in my Honeywell Programmable Thermostat on December 11, 2008. (The package the batteries came in indicated that they were best if used by 2015.) On February 10, 2009, the thermostat started flashing ''Replace Batteries.'' The batteries should not have to be replaced more than once a year. I called Honeywell customer support, and the technician told me that the area where the batteries touch the metal in the thermostat could be corroded so I should purchase electrical contact cleaner from Radio Shack. I tried to look at the area, and there appeared to be a slight discoloration where the batteries touched the metal although I couldn't tell for sure. I went to Radio Shack and purchased a 5.5 ounce can of Radio Shack Precision Electronics Cleaner for $ll.65 (including tax) which I can return if I don't use. Among the uses listed on the Cleaner can is battery contacts. (I will never use the Cleaner again for anything.) Instead of using the expensive Cleaner, can I safely apply rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip to the possibly corroded metal area where the battery touches? Would this fix any corrosion problem, and would the rubbing alcohol be safe to use and not damage the metal? If I should not use the rubbing alcohol, should I use the Radio Shack Precision Electronics Cleaner? Are there any special tips/warnings for applying the Radio Shack Cleaner? For example, although the Cleaner instructions say to spray directly on the area to be cleaned, should I instead spray the Cleaner on a Q-Tip and rub the wet Q-Tip on the metal area to limit the possibility of getting excess Cleaner on the Thermostat?

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  • Marilyn Martin Feb 17, 2009

    I agree that I probably should return the expensive Cleaner. However, I still need to clean the battery contact corrosion. What can I use to clean the battery contact corrosion that would be both safe and effective? The suggestion to change the batteries once a year regardless of whether or not I get a "Replace Battery" signal is a good one. I will do that in the future to prevent corrosion.


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I would not spend the money on the contact cleaner for one. i would just change the batteries once a year regardless of being good or bad. It is a practice I use in my own home thermostat. As with anything these days just because they are new does not mean they will last for a long period of time. Hope this helps and I would return the cleaner. If by chance you put the new batteries in and it happens again you may have a faulty battery sensor on the thermostat.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009

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