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Heat Anticipator Setting?

I've moved in to an apartment with a forced air heating system controlled by a basic round Honeywell thermostat. The thermostat does not have the "Auto/On/Off" switches, just the dial.

The problem is, the heat never turns on and I think it has to do with the heat anticipator. For example, yesterday my landlord turned the thermostat up to 68. The heat clicked on, warmed up the apartment to 68 and then clicked off. However, when I woke up this morning, the temp had dropped to 62. The themometer on the thermostat was reading 62, and the control was still set to 68. So why didn't it come on?

My landlord insists that there is no problem with the thermostat, that he had it installed by an electrician only a year ago. So its up to me to figure this out. I looked at the heat anticipator setting and it was set to .4, the standard setting correct? I tried swinging it up, counter clockwise, and that made the heat come on for about 10 minutes and the thermometer now thinks its 66 in the apartment when my independant thermometer still reads 62. I feel like this is a relatively simple adjustment once I know what to do!


  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232

    it may not be all that real of a tstat. if you have a screwdriver remove the front cover and then the t stat from the wall. connect the red and white wires and call me back in an hour. if the temp hasnt changed 7 to 10 degrees warmer it is a slave to another stradgey.
  • joe c_3
    joe c_3 Member Posts: 5
    cheap landlord

    most apartments today have a timer hidden somewhere that bypasses your t,stat. they do it to save money!!!!
    good luck. joe c.
  • John MacGregor
    John MacGregor Member Posts: 41
    Definately a real thermostat

    I had thought about the fact that it could be a dummy stat but my apartment is on the first floor of a house, the thermostat is on the second floor and my landlord's 90 yr old dad lives on the third floor so i believe its pretty legit as it is the only thermostat I can find, and its outside my unit. Its the same thermostat i see my landlord turning up and down every day -- he can't see too well so I intially believed that the reason it was so cold was because he said he set it to 70 for me, but really, he was turning it "up"to 60...

    The only way i can get the heat to turn on is to turn it all the way off, to the left, and then all the way back up to the desired degree - that triggers a call for heat. but once that cycle is over, i got nothing.

    i've been able to verify that it is level too. I just can't figure out why no call is being made if left to its own devices...should i check out the wiring? When I've "reset" the heat by turning it all the way off first, I've definately seen a spark as I turn it back up...
  • Worlds simplest T stat...

    Take the ring off the stat so you can watch the internal workings. See the mercury bulb? If it's not tilted such that the mercury is making the contacts, its out of calibration. The anticipator circuit only comes into play when the stat is calling for heat.

    The anticipator is usually set for the amperage draw of the device to which it is connected. Turning it to the "LONGER" cycle should result in a longer on cycle.

    What are the chances the stat is seeing false heat? Like heating pipes ran in the wall behind the stat, or a light dimmer switch directly below the thermostat, or a pole lamp in the near proximity of the stat...

    Also, is there one furnace serving the whole house (all 3 floors) of individual furnaces for each floor. Are there other thermostats within the house on other floors?

  • WPH2205
    WPH2205 Member Posts: 52

    Jenny, you have to make sure the thermostat is level. There are 3 small screws which hold the thermostat to the backer plate. Loosen these screws, remove the thermostat, and you will see the backer plate, with a flat area on top to put a small level on. Put a level across the top and if necessary, loosen the screws which hold the backer plate to the wall, and rotate the backer plate until level. Tighten the screws, put the thermostat back in place and try it.
  • John MacGregor
    John MacGregor Member Posts: 41
    Before I begin...

    When you say to check that the "mercury is making the contacts" I'm not sure how to verify that...This morning when it was 62, I turned the anticipator up in the "shorter" direction thinking that would make the calls come for heat more often. Once I moved it in the shorter direction, it did make the heat click on, but only for 10 minutes and then shut off, again, nowhere near 68.

    As for the location of the stat, its right above a light switch and two plugs. the switch itself has been broken off but I think it is left in the "on" position. would that be affecting things?

    And yes, I've investigated in the basement and this furnace services the whole house or at least, the first and second floors. I haven't been up to his dad's apartment to check it out.
  • John MacGregor
    John MacGregor Member Posts: 41

    I have to be somewhat covert when taking apart the stat as my landlord insists it is working fine (again, the poor eyesight doesn't help my case when I'm trying to show him that its set to 68 but is only 62 in the house) and probably doesn't want me messing with it...he's here all the time taking care of his dad so its hard to go about this unnoticed!
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    well jenny :)

    > I have to be somewhat covert when taking apart

    > the stat as my landlord insists it is working

    > fine (again, the poor eyesight doesn't help my

    > case when I'm trying to show him that its set to

    > 68 but is only 62 in the house) and probably

    > doesn't want me messing with it...he's here all

    > the time taking care of his dad so its hard to go

    > about this unnoticed!

  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    well jenny :)

    what about going and get a real simple brand new t stat put it on the same wall,inside your apartment run the wires into the thing and leave the other one there for the dude to dial on :)
  • Glenn Harrison_2
    Glenn Harrison_2 Member Posts: 845
    Sounds like the furnace is going into lockout.

    If you turn the thermostat all the way down, then back up, and the furnace magically comes on, then the furnace is detecting some kind of fault, and locking itself out.

    Do you know anything about the furnace at the property. What brand, how old it is, a model number maybe??? If you have access to the furnace, check and see if there is a little glass window in the lower front panel with a small light behind it. The next time it shuts down, look inside the window, and see what the light is doing. It most likely will flash a sequence that is used to tell you why it shut down. You can then give this info to your landlord so he can get it fixed. I will bet if this does not get resolved soon, you wil get up one morning and no matter what you do you will have no heat at all.
  • Jason_15
    Jason_15 Member Posts: 124

    ...That is a great idea, and exactly what I would do in that situation!!!
  • Kris_2
    Kris_2 Member Posts: 5
    Bad tenants

    If your heat is supplied to you by your landlord odd are that there is anouther t-stat hidden somewhere. I own several apartment buildings and if I supply heat I only supply it up to 65. If they want it warmer they have to use electric oil filled radiators that have tip over safty on them. Landlords have bills too, and kids, and need to eat. Unfortunatly when heat is provided most tenants abuse it. I started using hidden t-stats one winter when my fuel bill on one building was way more then it ever was. I went to check and found the t-stats set to 75 and 2 windows open because the lady wanted "fresh" air. I immediatly put an eviction in the works. On that note he should be upfront with you and tell you that you are on your own after 62 if that is the case.
  • John MacGregor
    John MacGregor Member Posts: 41

    Thanks for your advice everyone. I've verified that it is level and also figured out that the reason it feels as though the heat never comes on is because the temp swing is too wide (aka 6 degrees). The landlord sets it to 68, but it doesn't click on again until it gets down to 62...Am I correct in taking the face plate off the T87 and nudging the anticipator up counter-clockwise to reduce the temp swing?

    I know that technically, this needs to be calibrated by checking the gas valve in the basement (which is locked with a padlock, against code) or by using an amperage meter (which I don't have) but as long as I'm only moving it slightly and observing the results, will trial an error work as well?

    As for tenants and heat control, I live in MA where there are laws protecting the tenant in this situation. The landlord has to keep it at 68 between 7am-11pm and 64 between 11pm and 7am. Last winter, I paid for my own heat and as a result, was on this board everyday, reading Dan's book, trying to make my steam heat system more efficient. After having $300 heating bills because the apartment *was not insulated* (landlord said he only had to make sure the furnace came on and wasn't responsible for ensuring that the heat would actually stay in the apartment), I got smart and moved. I've told my landlord that I could install a digi-thermostat which would save him money but he just doesn't want to bother. I'm trying here!
  • Simple fix....

    Go to your local Big Box store and purchase the same thermostat. Take the old one off, put the new one in. They look the same.

    You are correct in your assesments regarding amperage draw.

    Good Luck

  • paul_48
    paul_48 Member Posts: 1
    furnace themostate

    what should the settings be on the furnace thermostate. It is currently set at a high of 200 and the low settings at fan on at 130 and off at 110.
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