ecobee says equipment running but it's not

Sometimes the Ecobee says the equipment is running, but it’s not. That certainly signals something is wrong. There are different possible culprits, and we will help you identify them correctly.

To address incorrect equipment status display on the Ecobee, check system configurations first. If the issue persists, inspect the drain pan and wires.

As you can see, there are different possible ways of fixing the issue you are running into. We will help you understand what is happening and suggest top-rated solutions accordingly.

Ecobee Says Equipment Running But It’s Not – Reasons

reason why ecobee says equipment running but it's not

The Ecobee is very convenient since it allows you to control the temperature of your house and all the equipment responsible for it.

However, a bad connection between devices can cause glitches. Perhaps the Ecobee says no equipment running, but the fan is on, or the opposite.

Let’s see why:

Wrong Fan Settings

Some settings on the Ecobee will make a huge difference in how the fan will work and when it will stop.

Heat Dissipation

It is possible that the heat dissipation setting is adjusted wrongly. That can cause the equipment to behave abnormally.

Water Build-Up

Ecobee can also fail to communicate correctly if there is water build-up on the drain pan.

Glitched Software

Lastly, it is not crazy to assume that Ecobee’s firmware might have an internal issue. That can require updating or resetting the device.

Fix The Ecobee Issues

fix the ecobee issues

On the one hand, the equipment is working when it shouldn’t, and the Ecobee is not notifying correctly.

On the other hand, the Ecobee says everything is working fine, but nothing truly is. Let’s check how to fix those.

1. Adjust The Fan Settings

Do you notice that the fan never turns off even though the Ecobee says otherwise?

That can result from adjusting the fan setting to “On” among the Ecobee’s configuration.

Alternatively, the setting is to “On” because that is the default on the Ecobee.

  1. Enter the thermostat’s menu screen;
  2. Enter the “Quick Settings” menu;
  3. Scroll until you find the “Fan” setting;
  4. The available options will be “Auto” and “On.”

The “On” option keeps the fan active all the time. Thus, it is necessary to change to “Auto.” That way, the device will only keep the fan on when the fan is necessary.

Adjust The Runtime

adjust runtime

You can set the fan to run for a minimum amount of time every hour, even after the heat or AC turns off, even if you have it set to auto.

The fan will only run if you adjust the minimum time to be longer than the duration of the hourly cooling/heating.

Here is how you adjust the runtime:

  1. Enter the thermostat’s Main Menu.
  2. Select the “System” option;
  3. Scroll until you find the “Fan” setting;
  4. Check the fan’s minimum run time when necessary and tweak it accordingly.

Don’t you need the fan active once the heat/AC shuts off? Then you must set the value to zero.

2. Correct The Heat Dissipation Timer

The Ecobee thermostat features a built-in heat dissipation timer that optimizes energy efficiency and comfort.

Such a timer allows the thermostat to pause heating cycles before reaching the target temperature. If the Ecobee is acting weird, something can be wrong with this feature.

correct the heat dissipation timer

Let’s check:

  1. Go to the thermostat’s main menu;
  2. Choose “Settings”;
  3. Locate the “Installation Settings”;
  4. Click on “Thresholds”;
  5. Select “Heat Dissipation Timer”;
  6. You can adjust the value between 0 to 900 seconds;
  7. You must adjust it to 0 if you don’t want the fan active after the heat dissipation.

3. Examine The Drain Pan

If the issue on your Ecobee is not telling the AC’s condition correctly, the problem might lie in the AC’s drain pan.

It is common for mold and dirt to build up in that part, and the AC will not work correctly. Much less will it send correct info to the thermostat.

How to identify if the issue lies in the drain pan:

  • The thermostat constantly turns off or restarts by itself;
  • There are water leaks or other moisture signs around the AC;
  • The pan is overflowing or full of condensate;
  • Water damage around the pan or on the drain line.

Fix The Problem

fix ecobee problem

Here is how you can deal with the issue and eliminate it:

  1. Locate the drain pan(s), evaporator coil, and condensate drain line
  2. Empty the pan with a vacuum (if available);
  3. Rinse away any mold and other build-ups;
  4. Clear the drain line;

Next, locating the float switch beside the drain pan is necessary. Depending on the model, it might also be on the furnace’s bottom.

Alternatively, it might be located on the furnace’s control board. Once you’ve located it, follow the wire until the switch and reset it.

4. Check The Wires

The issue can also be resultant from the wiring. It is possible that the wiring is defective or installed badly. Check the wires on the Ecobee (if you feel comfortable about doing it).

check ecobee wires

Here is a quick reminder about what each wire is supposed to do:

  • The G wire (green colored) is responsible for running the fan;
  • The R wire (red-colored) delivers power to the fan.

You must check if they are not crossed, loose, or installed incorrectly.

Note: If a Power Extender Kit is in place, the wires are connected to it and not to the HVAC control board. You must check the kit's G and R connections. Moreover, five white wires should be connected from the kit to the board.

5. Check The Equipment Configuration

Moreover, the issue that causes Ecobee to state false status about the connected equipment can be caused by the configuration between the devices.

It is possible to check the configuration on the thermostat and the Ecobee app.

Here are the steps:

  1. Go to the Main Menu;
  2. Select “Settings”;
  3. Choose “Installation Settings”;
  4. Tap on “Equipment”;
  5. Select “Wiring.”

On separate heating and cooling systems, both RC and RH are highlighted. In different situations, only RC is highlighted. In both cases, though, Y1 must be highlighted.

Fix Incorrect Settings

Perhaps something is not highlighted as it should be.

In that case, you will have to go the following route:

  1. Go to the Main Menu;
  2. Select “Settings”;
  3. Choose “Installation Settings”;
  4. Tap on “Equipment”;
  5. Select “Reconfigure Equipment.”

You must input information about how many R wires are connected, and the Ecobee thermostat will detect the connected wires. In case Y1 doesn’t show up, select “no.”

Lastly, you will be asked to modify the selected wires. You must add the Y1 manually and follow the screen prompts.

6. Update The Device

update the ecobee

If changing the necessary configurations and assessing the physical parts doesn’t solve the problem, we can assume that the problem lies in Ecobee’s software.

Here is how you can look for updates for your device:

  1. Access the device’s Menu;
  2. Go to “About”;
  3. Check the Ecobee’s firmware version;
  4. Go to the Ecobee site and check the latest version released.

Unfortunately, Ecobee is not the type of device that users can manually update. Instead, you will have to contact Ecobee support and ask for them to deploy an update.

7. Reset The Device

Finally, resetting your Ecobee thermostat might be a possibility. Its software might have glitched so that the only fix is erasing all of the settings.

reset ecobee

Here is how you can do that:

  1. Open the Ecobee’s Menu;
  2. Go to “Settings”;
  3. Click on “Reset”;
  4. Select “Reset All”;
Note: It might take between 20 and 30 minutes for the Ecobee to calibrate completely. Also, it might ask you for the access code before starting the reset procedure.

What We Learned

Now you know what to do when Ecobee says equipment is running but it’s not. The other way around is also covered in the guide above.

Ecobee can show some glitches, but it is not necessarily the thermostat’s fault!

Read Next: Ecobee Temperature Not Changing?

Nicole B