Your Vivint thermostat has stopped working or is not executing all the commands you’re giving it, and now you wonder whether you can troubleshoot the thermostat yourself. If you are subscribed to Vivint, you might also wonder whether you are “allowed” to troubleshoot and try to fix the issues yourself.
It is easy to troubleshoot your Vivint thermostat yourself, and if you’re a subscriber, you can still do basic troubleshooting because the problem might be as simple as a tripped circuit breaker, poor batteries, or a grime-filled thermostat. You can rectify most of these problems yourself. If you are a Vivint subscriber, you just have to call Vivint Customer Care when a qualified technician is needed.
In this article, I’ll discuss the most common reasons why your Vivint thermostat might not be working and also recommend steps to take to rectify the issues.
Two important aspects regarding Vivint thermostats to take note of
1. Role of Vivint Customer Care if you are a Vivint subscriber
Although Vivint thermostats are usually bought and used with a service subscription, you can also purchase them without a subscription. If you are subscribed, you can still troubleshoot on your own, but when an electrician or HVAC technician is needed, it is recommended that you contact Vivint Customer Care and not call any other professional without Vivint’s permission.
2. Meaning of “not working”
When your Vivint thermostat is not working, “not working” can refer to a thermostat that is not working or responding at all. But “not working” can also refer to a specific function, such as the cooling or heating functions, which are not turned on by the thermostat. In this article, I’ll discuss both scenarios.
Problem 1: Vivint Thermostat not working and display screen not responsive
If your Vivint thermostat is not working at all and the display screen is blank, it might be because it is not receiving power. This might be caused by an interrupted power supply to your home, a tripped circuit breaker, poor thermostat batteries, loose wires, incorrect wiring or a dirty thermostat.
Possible solution A: Wait for the power to your home to be restored
This may sound simple, but it often happens that when a homeowner discovers that the HVAC thermostat is not working he or she gets so involved with troubleshooting the thermostat that it is never noticed that the whole home is without power. If it is an outage in the whole neighborhood, you have to wait for the power to be turned on again and then have a look at whether your Vivint thermostat is working. The changes are good that your Vivint thermostat is only not working because there is no power.
Possible solution B: Turn on the tripped circuit breaker
If your HVAC’s or thermostat’s circuit breaker has tripped, your Vivint thermostat will stop working. Therefore, if you detect that your thermostat is not working one of the first troubleshooting steps you should take is to check for tripped circuit breakers.
Usually, a house is wired in such a way that only one circuit breaker services all the HVAC devices, including your Vivint thermostat. Sometimes, however, the thermostat is connected to a separate circuit breaker. Thus, when you check for tripped circuit breakers, ensure that you check all of them. When the circuit breaker’s switch is in a position between “Off” and “On” you know that the circuit breaker has tripped. The circuit breaker might have tripped because of a power surge.
If you find that the circuit breaker has tripped, turn it on again. Remember, to turn on a circuit breaker correctly, you first have to press the switch completely down and then up until you hear it clicks into the “On” position. Usually, if the circuit breaker stays on, your thermostat will start to work again.
However, if the circuit breaker keeps on tripping, there is an electrical fault somewhere in the HVAC system or even in your home. You’ll have to call out an HVAC technician or electrician to find and fix the problem. Or if you are a Vivint subscriber, you have to contact Vivint Customer Care.
Possible solution C: Replace the thermostat’s batteries
When your Vivint thermostat’s batteries are low it could cause the thermostat to stop working. If the circuit breaker is on and the thermostat is still not working, your next step is to replace the thermostat’s batteries, especially if you haven’t replaced them during the last 12 months.
Vivint thermostats use four non-chargeable alkaline AA batteries. After you’ve purchased new batteries, you have to remove the thermostat from the mounting plate on the wall. But before you remove the thermostat, put the HVAC’s circuit breaker off (and the thermostat’s breaker if it has a separate one).
Remove the thermostat from the magnetic mounting plate by gently pulling it toward you. Remove the batteries at the back of the thermostat and insert the 4 new ones. Ensure that the polarity is correct. The polarity is indicated on the battery holders. When you replace the batteries you have to replace all four. Never replace less than all four.
After you’ve replaced the batteries, mount the thermostat again onto the mounting plate and put on the circuit breaker. Remember, to turn a circuit breaker on, you first have to press the switch down completely and then up until it clicks into position.
If your Vivint thermostat starts to work, you’ve solved the problem.
Possible solution D: Check for loose wires or incorrect wiring
If your thermostat is still not working after you’ve replaced the batteries, you have to check the wiring. To get to the wiring you have to remove the thermostat again from the mounting plate. Follow the procedure described above in “Solution C” on how to put off the power and remove the thermostat.
You’ll find the wires at the back of the thermostat. If there are disconnected wires, look in your Vivint manual for the wiring diagram (or view a video showing the wiring), and insert the wires into the correct Vivint terminals. Ensure that all wires are tightly connected. Mount the thermostat again on the wall and turn on the circuit breaker. You might have solved the problem.
Possible solution E: Clean the thermostat
Dust and grime on the thermostat’s wiring can also cause the thermostat to stop working. If the Vivint thermostat is still not working after you’ve checked the wiring, you have to remove the thermostat again and clean the thermostat with canned air or a soft artist brush.
TIP: You can save time if you combine Solutions C, D and E and check the wiring and clean the thermostat when you’ve already opened the thermostat to replace the batteries.
Problem 2: Despite all the previous steps, Vivint’s screen stays blank
If your Vivint thermostat’s screen stays blank after all the previous troubleshooting steps have been taken and it doesn’t display a menu after you’ve pressed the side button down and held it for three to four seconds, you might be able to rectify it by resetting your thermostat manually.
You only need to take two easy steps to reset your unresponding thermostat manually:
- Turn off the circuit breaker servicing your HVAC system. Sometimes the thermostat will be wired to a separate circuit breaker and then you have to turn off that as well. (I’ve discussed the correct way to turn circuit breakers on and off in “Solution B” of “Problem 1” above.)
- If the thermostat has any batteries, remove them as well.
- Wait 30 seconds and turn the breaker back on.
If the thermostat starts to work, you’ve been successful.
Problem 3. Vivint thermostat not reading temperature correctly
If your Vivint thermostat is, for instance, displaying a temperature of 76°, but it feels more like 74° to you, you can calibrate your Vivint thermostat by following the next steps:
- Step 1: To get to the settings menu press the side button down and hold it for three to four seconds.
- Step 2: By using the “Up” and “Down” arrows highlight the “Installer” option and tap the button on the right to select it.
- Step 3: Use the “Up” and “Down” arrows again to highlight the “Calibrate” option. Select it by tapping the button on the right.
- Step 4: Adjust your thermostat to the required temperature by using the “Up” and “Down” arrows.
- Step 5: To complete the calibration process, hold the button on the right side of the thermostat for two seconds to return to the home screen.
Your Vivint thermostat should now be able to read the temperature correctly.
Problem 4: Heating or cooling problem
When it feels as if your Vivint Thermostat is not heating or cooling, you can use the self-testing feature of the Vivint thermostat.
To execute the self-testing, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Press the side button down and hold it for 6 to 10 seconds. The settings menu will then be displayed on the screen.
- Step 2: Use the “Up” and “Down” arrows and highlight the “User” option. Select it by tapping the button on the right.
- Step 3: By using the “Up” and “Down” arrows again highlight the “Testing” option. Select it by tapping the button on the right.
- Step 4: Highlight either “Heat” or “Cool” by using the arrows and tap the button on the right to select it.
- Step 5: Select “Start” by pressing the button on the right.
The Vivint Thermostat will now run a test to make sure that your HVAC’s heating or cooling system is working with the thermostat’s commands. The thermostat will display on its screen the time that the test has been running, the active wires, and the temperature changes. You can stop the testing process by selecting “Done.”
If the test is successful, your thermostat is functioning correctly. If you are not satisfied with the temperature in your home, you can adjust the temperature settings via the app or you can calibrate your thermostat. (Calibration is discussed in “Problem 3.”
If the test fails, there is an issue with your HVAC system, and you’ll have to contact an HVAC technician, or if you are a Vivint subscriber, you have to contact Vivint Customer Care.
Last resort – factory reset
If the problem with your Vivint thermostat is still not resolved but the display screen is working, you might solve all issues by resetting the thermostat to its factory settings. Just remember, after you’ve done a factory resetting, you’ll have to reprogram your thermostat again.
Follow these steps to reset your thermostat back to the factory settings:
- Step 1: Go to the home screen and hold the slide button for about 3 seconds.
- Step 2: Highlight the “Installer” option and press the side button.
- Step 3: Now highlight the “Reset” option and press the side button again.
- Step 4: To proceed, you have to repeat Step 3. So, highlight the “Reset” option again and press the side button.
- Step 5: The “Reset” option will appear for a third time on the screen for confirmation that you want to execute a factory reset. To confirm, press down the button and keep pressing until the “Reset” option is highlighted.
- Step 6: Wait a few minutes and your thermostat will be reset and start to work.
If the thermostat is still not working, you’ll have to call an HVAC technician to assist you. If you are a Vivint subscriber, call Vivint Customer Care. They will either advise you on what to do next or send a technician to your home.
It is relatively easy to troubleshoot your Vivint thermostat, and there are many basic issues that can be rectified by yourself.
Although many Vivint thermostat users are Vivint subscribers, there are basic troubleshooting steps even you can take to fix some of the “small” problems yourself. The bottom line for subscribers is that if you need a technician, first contact Vivint Customer Care.
If you use a Vivint thermostat and are not a subscriber, you can save money by troubleshooting and fixing elementary problems yourself.