If your Ecobee Thermostat only works for short periods, it doesn’t necessarily mean something is broken. The issue can often be fixed by adjusting the settings. Sometimes, however, it can signal that your thermostat needs repair.
Ecobee thermostat can run for 5 minutes and then shut off due to the low heat differential set by default. You can change this setting to lengthen the cycles. The reason can also be that your thermostat loses power due to an old furnace filter, improper condensation draining, or incorrect wiring.
If you’re having issues with an Ecobee thermostat, this article will provide you with detailed information on why that might be and how it can be fixed.
The Settings Need To Be Adjusted
Let’s start with the case where everything is okay. If your Ecobee thermostat runs for five to ten minutes and then shuts off for some time, it can be due to the heating and cooling cycle settings.
Ecobee thermostat monitors conditions in your home and detects temperature changes. It then regulates the temperature and humidity so that they match your set preferred values.
The issue in question is when detectors trigger the system. There is a setting in Ecobee thermostat controls called the Heat Differential that determines the minimum difference between the current and desired temperatures at which heat gets engaged.
If you haven’t tried to change the thermostat’s settings before, your heat and cool differentials are set to 0.5 °F (0.3 °C). It means that whenever the temperature rises or decreases by this value, Ecobee takes action, and once enough heat is released, it shuts off.
So, if your house or building doesn’t hold heat for long, the Ecobee thermostat is going to be triggered very often if set to the default differential.
How To Fix?
Nothing is damaging to the system in Ecobee thermostat cycling for five to ten minutes. If you’re worried about short cycling, you can rest assured that such working periods are normal.
Still, if you would like your thermostat to run longer cycles with more resting time in between them, you can simply increase your differentials by one degree or so. You can try various values to determine at which ones you feel most comfortable with the thermostat’s work.
Your Thermostat Loses Power During Cooling or Heating Cycles
However, a more severe problem can be involved. If your thermostat shuts off completely, the screen goes black or shows the ‘Calibrating’ message, and it takes a few minutes for it to start working again, it might be that your Ecobee often loses power.
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Your Furnace Filter Has To Be Replaced
If the filter is not changed regularly, it gathers dust and gets dirty, eventually becoming unsuitable for the Ecobee thermostat to work properly. A dirty filter causes overheating in the system, which leads to it shutting off automatically.
This issue usually results in the thermostat running for a short time, typically five to ten minutes, with constant interruptions. However, the problem can be easily fixed.
How To Fix?
Your best bet would be to replace the filter with a new and clean one. Most of the time, it’s enough to get your system back to normal. Here’s how you should approach this:
- Power off your furnace and check the filter. The filter panel can be located in the furnace itself or your wall or ceiling.
- Remove the filter if it appears dirty.
- Insert the new filter. Make sure the arrow on it is pointing to your duck.
- Turn the system back on and check if everything works properly.
The Transformer Can’t Support Your System
If there are multiple smart thermostats powered by one transformer, the issue may be that it cannot simultaneously support several calls for heat. Where more than one thermostat operates, there are usually zone valves installed as well.
Smart thermostats require a constant power supply, and if you have an old boiler system, it likely isn’t able to provide the VA rates needed for the proper work of two or more thermostats at once.
If that’s the issue in question, you might notice all the thermostats shutting off at the same time as the call for heat comes.
How To Fix?
The problem can be solved by using a different transformer for your Ecobee thermostat. The best way to do it would be to contact the support team and discuss possible options. Here are the important factors to consider:
- the number of thermostats that control your system
- the wiring, both for the thermostats and zone valves
- the models of your zone valves.
The Float Switch Shuts the System off Due to Improper Draining
This can be the issue if your Ecobee thermostat shuts off during the cooling cycle. As you may know, condensation is an essential part of the air cooling process. Any air conditioning system has drain lines to remove the liquid and work safely.
The drain lines, however, can gather dirt and eventually become less efficient. As it becomes harder for water to escape, it starts accumulating and triggers the float switch. The float switch then cuts the power off until the liquid is drained.
Float switches are installed for safety, and when the condensation level in the drip pan rises too high, your Ecobee thermostat will shut off.
How To Fix?
To deal with this problem, you need to ensure proper draining. Check your drip pan and remove the water from it. This will help your float switch to stop panicking, and power in the system will be restored.
If you have a condensate pump, it can act the same as a float switch and power the system off when condensation doesn’t drain properly. You can use the manual for your condensate pump model to determine how the issue can be solved.
Problems With the Wiring
Finally, some mistake could have happened during installation that caused your system to act abnormally.
Sometimes, if the old system had four wires (W, Y, G, R), a PEK (Power Extender Kit) is involved. It is installed to create the missing fifth C.
Often where PEK is present, some wiring issues can occur, causing interruptions in the work of your system.
How To Fix?
If you have a PEK, you want to make sure all wiring is connected correctly. Here’s what you should look for:
- Wiring should directly connect the thermostat to the PEK. It is highly recommended to install direct connections, as splices can cause malfunction.
- The Y wire from the thermostat wiring should be connected to the PEK. Sometimes, the Y wire from the compressor can be connected instead by mistake.
- Each of the five white wires should be attached to the correct terminals. You can check that by ensuring the letter indicators on wires and terminals match.
In case you notice something is off, contact Ecobee support and provide them with good-quality photos of your wiring, in which all important points mentioned above can be seen. The specialists will determine whether the wiring is at fault and instruct you on what must be done.
The possible causes listed above are the most common reasons an Ecobee thermostat can shut off frequently after running for short periods.
If none of them seem to match your situation, and the provided advice didn’t help, a more serious issue can be involved.
It is best to contact your HVAC contractor to determine what causes your Ecobee thermostat to work improperly and receive professional help.
Typically, an Ecobee thermostat running for five to ten minutes and starting a new cycle shortly after is normal. If it’s bothering you, you can increase your heat or cooling differentials to make the cycles and rest periods longer.
There are, however, more serious issues that could be potentially causing the problem. These include:
- a furnace filter requires replacement
- your transformer is not able to handle more than one smart thermostat
- condensation is not draining properly
- incorrect wiring.