How to Put a Battery in a White-Rodgers Thermostat

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The White-Rodgers company boasts the creation of the first digital, programmable, and user-friendly residential thermostat. That was back in the 1980s, and today, you can still purchase a White-Rodgers digital, programmable thermostat that runs on batteries.


Many smart thermostats use Wi-Fi and are wired to your home's electrical system, so they only need batteries as a backup in case of power failure. However, if you're the owner of an older-generation White-Rodgers thermostat or an affordable battery-operated model, it will be necessary to change the batteries so you can continue to regulate your home's temperature.

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When to Change the Batteries

You installed and programmed a White-Rodgers thermostat to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Eventually, the day will come when instead of being greeted by the temperature and time on your thermostat's digital display, you see either the word BATTERY or a completely blank screen.


Dying batteries in some White-Rodgers thermostats means that they'll stop commanding the heating and cooling units in your home. Check your user manual for the specifics of your model. If needed, switch the old batteries out for new ones quickly before the temperature changes too drastically.

Removing Old Batteries

A series of grooves and notches attach the faceplate to the thermostat base. No tools are needed, and you won't have to keep up with any small screws. With your hands on the cover, pull out gently but firmly. You'll hear the faceplate pop out and loosen from the base of the thermostat.


The thermostat's wires and circuit board will be exposed, but you'll want to pay attention to the slots that run at the top of the thermostat base. This is where you'll see the dead batteries. A tiny cloth tab should be nestled behind one of the batteries and protruding slightly. Pull this and one of the batteries should pop out, making it easy to access the second and third batteries, if applicable. Pop the other batteries out with your finger.


Replacing the Batteries

As you can see from the batteries you just removed, your White-Rodgers thermostat takes three AA batteries if you have the 1F80-51 model or two AAA batteries if you have the 1F72 model. Place the new batteries into the slots, aligning the battery with the positive and negative terminals. Make sure the tiny cloth piece is behind one of the batteries, making it easy to change out these batteries when their lifespan has reached an end.



As soon as you put the new batteries in, the digital screen should blink to life. Give it a few seconds, and the ambient temperature of the room will register. However, you'll have to manually set the accurate time and day.

Replacing the Cover

Replacing the cover is as simple as its removal was. Line the notches and grooves on the cover to the base. Gently press the cover in place, and you'll hear a snap as the cover attaches.


If for some reason your White-Rodgers thermostat doesn't activate once new batteries are in place, you may need to investigate further and troubleshoot for deeper issues.

Contacting Customer Support

You may have stashed your user manual in the back of your junk drawer ages ago, but now it's nowhere to be found. The good news is you can access any White-Rodgers manual on Emerson's website. You can also contact the Emerson customer support team through their online portal.



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