Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Do You Miss the T87?

Options
HeatingHelp
HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 653
edited April 2023 in THE MAIN WALL
imageDo You Miss the T87?

Dan Holohan shares a history of thermostats, as well as memories of the old Honeywell T87.

Read the full story here

LilcoGascustserviceAnthony Menafro

Comments

  • Voyager
    Voyager Member Posts: 395
    Options
    I appreciate the simplicity (no power required) and reliability (I’ve never seen one fail), but I have to admit that I am hooked on my Honeywell programmable thermostats with WiFi that I can monitor and adjust from anywhere in the world. It is really nice to wake up when the room gets warm when the temp automatically steps up in the morning rather than from a clanging alarm clock or smart phone.
    pipers
  • Positive Solution
    Positive Solution Member Posts: 21
    Options
    Let's not forget the T8090. I remember about 10 years ago when NYC banned mercury thermostats, these babies were selling on the black market for more than double the price. I hoarded a few of them like I was going to retire one day off of my T8090 investment. Long live the days of simplicity and reliability - RIP T87 and T8090.
    ttekushan_3pipers
  • AlfredRose
    AlfredRose Member Posts: 14
    Options
    Still have and use the mercury replacements. Also have some of the mercury models as well. Lived in an apartment in the seventies that had the clear acrylic tamper proof covers over them. Hung bags of ice, ( being careful not to get the wall wet ), over the covers so we could get more heat. Landlord never caught us and never did figure out what we were doing.
    BradHotNCold
  • Adk1guy
    Adk1guy Member Posts: 68
    Options
    the heat anticipator is what I miss the most, especially with standing radiation. I have never been happy with the digital heat anticipator. My daughters room has a giant radiator, we keep the room cold, when she comes home to visit during heating season we have to start with a setting 10 degrees below desired. One of these days I will dig a t87 out of my piles of old tech shop stuff grown by m ymain tech who would go out and buy new materials for every job and leave the left overs in his van. Once a year when his van was filled to the roof he would empty everything out into boxes. I still have thousands of dollars in shop worn controls, pumps, nozzles, and slightly rusty fittings.
    ttekushan_3
  • Labenaqui
    Labenaqui Member Posts: 72
    Options
    When I began with my Dad back in 1955 the T86A was predominant and we migrated to the T87 upon inception. Set the anticipator @ .35 to .40 for all except start @ .20 for steam and tweak it in. Finitely adjustable and bulletproof. Can't beat them and still can't pass one by when available.
    Don't know if true but heard that Honeywell had 5 million units in the distribution pipeline when the feds pulled the plug. ???
    ttekushan_3
  • Roger
    Roger Member Posts: 344
    Options
    The T87 reminds me of the quote often attributed to Einstein "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." Not a bad guiding principle in product design...
    President
    Energy Kinetics, Inc.
    MikeAmann
  • BillyB
    BillyB Member Posts: 1
    Options
    I still have the flat adjustment wrench for calibrating the spring to the numbers. It was amazing how many heating guys returned the 87f thermostat to the supply house because the (numbers) were off.
    plumb1pa
  • BradHotNCold
    BradHotNCold Member Posts: 70
    Options
    Still have T87 on one zone in our Maine house. Two other zones are controlled by setback gizmos, only one of which I understand how to use! Not sure what to do if we convert to heat pump this spring? Keep the oil fired baseboard heat as backup? Any recommendations from Walleys?
    exqheat
  • numbawunfela
    numbawunfela Member Posts: 7
    Options
    I had a job site in a multi-million dollar residence in Manhattan around 2010. They had 2 requirements. 1) no digital anything. 2)They like gold. So we installed gold plated T87s. Not kidding. 14k gold on the bezel. I got pictures.
    exqheat
  • Steamfighter49
    Steamfighter49 Member Posts: 21
    Options
    Wish I had a nickel for every T87 I’ve come across in my working life, most all needing only a minor adjustment (leveled) I could have retired earlier.
    As an aside I used the same Analog vs Digital phrase to describe myself last week when I had to call Service to fix my motherboard controlled scorched air furnace.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 17,003
    Options

    Still have T87 on one zone in our Maine house. Two other zones are controlled by setback gizmos, only one of which I understand how to use! Not sure what to do if we convert to heat pump this spring? Keep the oil fired baseboard heat as backup? Any recommendations from Walleys?

    Keep the baseboard and boiler. A heat pump will never provide the same comfort. And, you can run the boiler off a smallish generator- but not the heat pump.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,635
    Options
    Keep the T87, too. They just plain work...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 1,388
    Options
    I do not miss it, since I use one every day during the heating season. 50 years reliable. No issues. And it does not need a C wire.
    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
    MikeAmann
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,915
    Options
    Had one.
    Don't miss it.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • scott w.
    scott w. Member Posts: 209
    Options
    Inherited the family homestead built in 1966 that had one of these beautiful Honeywell T87's. It lasted through thru 3 new furnaces which each time I asked that it be retained. The heating contractor on the 4th furnace replacement insisted the Honeywell be replaced. I was not a happy camper and really was not able to get and answer out of him as to why it had to go. It was late fall in Pa. so I did not argue. Now I have to change batteries in the new thermostat every so often or I get no heat. All these batteries can't be good for mother earth. Just a pain as well as the yearly 95 dollar air filter. Used to have an electronic filter that I could wash with a water bath once a month.
  • LilcoGascustservice
    Options
    t87 was simple & ez use & dont forget ts86 for millivolt steam & especially if no electric! 👍👍
  • Stet
    Stet Member Posts: 42
    Options
    I have one customer who has electronic thermostats who goes back and fourth to Florida in the winter. Of course, they forgot to change those batteries. So how do you fix this problem of forgetting. You install a backup T*& in a closet. Set it to 5 degrees below the others. If they fail, the old reliable T87 saves the day.
  • Anthony Menafro
    Anthony Menafro Member Posts: 198
    Options
    The old mercury T87 was the best, especially for steam boilers and hydronic boilers with more electricity draw through zone valves, dampers, etc. Just adjust the anticipator and walk away!! The newer T87 stats can not be used on steam.
  • al_s
    al_s Member Posts: 2
    Options
    That was a great article on the old T87!!
  • FStephenMasek
    FStephenMasek Member Posts: 88
    Options
    I see all kinds of thermostats in commercial buildings in California with two or four mercury switches. There is no good reason not to use them. If they made disposing of the mercury switches easier, people would do so. Drug addicts may have some use for mercury, as I have seen the mercury switches ripped out of enough of them in vacant buildings that there must be some motivation. When buildings are renovated, the demolition contractors need to collect the mercury switches in a jar, then take it for recycling or proper disposal, but that is much more difficult than it should be. My company counts those and other mercury switches when we inspect buildings slated for renovation or demolition.
    Author of Illustrated Practical Asbestos: For Consultants, Contractors, Property Managers & Regulators
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
    Options
    Yes I do.  I Still haven't found a better T Stat for steam than a Mercury T-87.  I horde them...Mercury P Trols & Vaporstats.  Mad Dog
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 998
    Options
    My T87 is still doing the job.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,887
    Options
    The thermostat itself is fine, it's the skinny slotted screws for the sub base that strip too easily and are too small for plastic anchors. And if it's plaster walls, ugh.
  • FStephenMasek
    FStephenMasek Member Posts: 88
    Options
    Mad Dog_2 said:

    Yes I do.  I Still haven't found a better T Stat for steam than a Mercury T-87.  I horde them...Mercury P Trols & Vaporstats.  Mad Dog

    If you wat more of them, contact remediation / abatement contractors, and you will be able to get them from buildings being renovated.
    Author of Illustrated Practical Asbestos: For Consultants, Contractors, Property Managers & Regulators
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,887
    Options
    Yes I do.  I Still haven't found a better T Stat for steam than a Mercury T-87.  I horde them...Mercury P Trols & Vaporstats.  Mad Dog
    If you wat more of them, contact remediation / abatement contractors, and you will be able to get them from buildings being renovated.
    Most supply houses have a bin when you walk in for mercury control recycling, or whatever they do with mercury. I picture a bunch of pointy heads rolling it around on their desks. Taking from the bin might be frowned upon however. 
    neilc
  • exqheat
    exqheat Member Posts: 188
    Options
    When we find one we love them. Set back does not work with reset control.
    John Cockerill Exquisite Heat www.exqheat.com Precisions boiler control from indoor reset.