Thermostats could cause fires

On January 12, 2011 the White-Rodgers Programmable Digital Thermostats (Model 1F88 and Model 1F85RF) has seen a Joint Recall with White-Rodgers, Health Canada, and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (US CPSC).

The recall involves White-Rodgers programmable digital thermostats with model number 1F85RF-27x or 1F88-xxx (where each x is a number), and date codes beginning with 05, 06, 07, 08, 09 and 1001 through 1039.

The model number can be found on the thermostat's front pull-down panel. The date code is located inside the removable front cover. "White-Rodgers" and/or the utility company's name and logo are printed on the front of the thermostat.

The Model 1F88-xxx thermostats are able to be controlled by utility companies in homes that took part in a utility's energy demand reduction program.

What is the danger?

The concern is that the batteries in the recalled thermostats can leak and short the circuit, posing a risk of overheating, smoke, flame, or fire. Failure of the thermostat can result in the furnace shutting off, which can pose a risk of property damage.

At time of the recall neither Health Canada nor White-Rodgers has received any reports of injuries. In the United States, White-Rodgers is aware of three instances of minor property damage.

You should immediately remove the batteries from the recalled thermostats but are advised against disconnecting or removing the unit. You are asked to contact White-Rodgers to receive a repair kit and a new owner's manual.

Be aware that in a small number of cases, removal of battery may cause the furnace to shut off. If the furnace stops functioning after removal of the batteries, you should replace the batteries in the thermostat and contact White-Rodgers toll-free at 1-888-624-1901 to schedule service. In the event of a furnace shutting off, consumers may also contact their utility providers.

If you want more information, you may visit White Rodgers' website or their utility company's website:

* Enwin Utilities
* Essex Powerlines
* Innisfil Hydro
* Newmarket Hydro
* Peterborough Utilities Group
* PowerStream
* St. Thomas Energy

You may contact White-Rodgers toll-free at 1-888-624-1901 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or visit the firm's website.

How many were sold and where?

Approximately 8,300 of the recalled 1F88 thermostats have been distributed to consumers primarily through seven utility companies in Ontario. Less than 1,000 1F85RF thermostats have been distributed by heating, ventilation and air conditioning companies.

In the United States, approximately 180,000 of the recalled thermostats were available to consumers.

The recalled products were sold from August 2005 to July 2010 in Canada and the United States.

These recalled thermostats were manufactured in China. The manufacturer is White-Rodgers of St. Louis, Missouri.

The distributors are:

  • Enwin Utilities of Windsor, Ontario ,
  • Essex Powerlines of Oldcastle, Ontario ,
  • Innisfil Hydro of Innisfil, Ontario ,
  • Newmarket Hydro of Newmarket, Ontario ,
  • Peterborough Utilities Group of Peterborough, Ontario ,
  • PowerStream of Vaughan, Ontario and
  • St. Thomas Energy of St. Thomas, Ontario