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Cold weather concerns with Nest Doorbell Battery

fernadno
Community Member

Hi,

Similar to some other posters here, I recently noticed that my Nest Doorbell battery (activated 2021-08-28), although wired, had lost much of its charge (down to 3%, indicated a 23 hour time to charge in Google Home app).

The 23 hour recharge estimate remained unchanged for 3 hours when kept wired to doorbell wiring.

From another recommendation on the forum, I decided to try unplugging from the doorbell wires and taking the doorbell indoors to charge via USB cable until 100%.

My doorbell remains plugged into a USB port, showing 2% charged, and an 18 hr 29 min time until full. It has been plugged in now for 1 hour, with no noticeable change in charge condition.

Outdoor temperatures have only recently dropped to below 0 degrees Celsius for longer than a few hours (max -7 degrees C).

Should I be concerned about the battery condition and how this doorbell is reacting to colder weather? Winter has yet to truly begin, and I am worried that this doorbell will not be functional as temperatures continue to drop. I know that ambient operating temperatures fall within -20 and +40 C (as indicated here).

 

 

 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Brad
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey folks,


We appreciate the feedback on our battery Cameras and Doorbells. Our team is looking closely into this behavior, and we will continue to pass along reports we see here in the Community. To learn more about cold weather battery charging behavior in Nest cameras and doorbells, please stop by our Help Center.

 

Best regards,

Brad.

View solution in original post

606 REPLIES 606

mcfarljw
Community Member

It's more the radio silence about the issue from Google that is the most frustrating. I can chat with support all day but they seem blissfully unaware of the issue. The 9to5Google article (linked below) seems to indicate Google quickly reach out and told them they are aware of the issue but without an official statement from Google they are just meaningless empty words.

https://9to5google.com/2022/01/21/nest-doorbell-camera-battery-cold-weather-reports/

mpb65
Community Member

Please post this feedback on the Google Nest Facebook Page

wataview
Community Member

Maybe they don't test to their own design specs. Answers are way overdue!!

 

@realjax 

Our Google Nest Camera (Battery) has been plugged in with the optional power cable since Sept. 2021 and is "Live" all the time and recording with the battery at 100% at temperatures as low as -18 degrees Fahrenheit (-28 degrees Celsius). That's just our experience. Too bad it doesn't work with the Google Nest app or the home.nest.com website.

That's because you are using the optional power cable.  Those of us who are using the hardwired battery doorbell do not have the same experience.  Soon as the temperature drops, the battery dies quickly.

firmwaredev
Silver Product Expert
Silver Product Expert

Are you talking about the Doorbell, or the  Outdoor Battery Camera?   I've not seen any other reports of cold weather issues with the Outdoor Battery Camera.    There have been reports of charging issues (regardless of temperature), but they appear to have been issues with bad charging cables (particularly the optional longer cables).     This thread is primarily discussing the Doorbell.  If you're having cold weather issues  with the outdoor battery camera that sounds like a new issue to me.  As  @MplsCustomer mentioned and on my own observation of my outdoor camera battery - no issues with cold weather.  I've had mine down to around -30C or so, and no problems with charge retention or performance.  I'm using the optional 5M cable.

BosGoogUser
Community Member

Given the number of these problems when will Google admit they have a fundamental problem and issue some kind of fix? 

 

I spent several hours on the phone multiple times now with google. They finally sent me a unit to replace the first one. It's now failing in the exactly the same way. There seems to be a systemic problem with the charging at low temperatures. I have observed failure starting at around 30°. I have two of these devices at two different locations both of them fell below 30 and work about 30. There seems to be a fundamental design problem with the battery charging circuit and or software. 

Please post your comments on the Google Nest Facebook Page. More people need to see this. 

Make sure to post these comments on the Google Next Facebook Page.  #nestdoorbell

 

wataview
Community Member

Clearly Google has a design or firmware problem with this doorbell. Mine worked fine for 2 1/2 months and is wired to the old doorbell wiring. When the temps dropped below 32F it quickly drained the battery to zero. When the temp got above freezing for a few days is came back on. First said it had a 3 day charge, then 7 day. Temp went back below freezing  and doorbell shut down and shows "0" charge, but plugged in. In my opinion it should show infinity all the time. "Hey Google" what are you doing about this!! Please give us a response.

mpb65
Community Member

Read this forum.   This is a major known issue.  Make sure you post your concerns on the Google Nest Facebook Page.  They don't seem to be doing a thing about this issue.  Nada!

Mine was doing the same thing until I bought it inside, charged it until it was 100%. Connected again outside with wires and it seems to be working. It's been 1 1/2 weeks and the Temps here have been in the low teens to upper 20's. Google still needs to fix this but this worked for me. 

Depending on your video recording activity, the battery will eventually run down because it does not sufficiently recharge from the house transformer when temperatures are below thirty five to thirty degrees F. This is an unfortunate electrical engineering issue for a device intended for use outdoors in a temperate climate.

realjax
Community Member

The problem is with *all* Google battery operated camera's. Sure, you can permanently connect the charging cable but that defeats the purpose. I have sent mine back to the website I bought it from and got a full refund. No more American crap product's for me now. Learned my lesson. I'll stick to  Chinese crap instead. Also problematic but at least a hell of a lot cheaper.

@realjax 

I agree; plugging the Google Nest Camera (Battery) into the optional power cable does defeat the purpose of having a battery camera. It's a work-around because, since September 2021 (when we bought it), it is the only outdoor camera Google Nest is now selling. Fortunately, with the power cable it operates in colder temperatures just like our previous Google Nest cameras and doorbells. Unfortunately, it works ONLY with the Google Home app so for 5 months we've been using 2 apps.

Google Nest does need to address the main concern of this thread, which is that the very design of the Google Nest Doorbell (Battery) does not allow its battery to remain charged in cooler weather.

blaste56
Community Member

My Nest Hello Doorbell (wired) works fine until it goes below 0 degrees Celcius.  Then it no longer will ring the indoor chime.  Whoever heard of a doorbell that won't ring the doorbell?  They should not be selling these things in places where the temperature is very likely to be below zero for a major portion of the year.  This was a gift from my sons, otherwise I would return it and either go back to my push-button doorbell or a better product.  

mpb65
Community Member

That's everyone's issue here.  Please make sure to post this feedback on the Google Nest Facebook page under one of their doorbell postings.  Use the hashtag #nestdoorbell in your post as well.

@blaste56 

This thread is about the Google Nest Doorbell (Battery) not staying charged in cooler weather. We have 3 Google Nest Hello Doorbells that are not yet affected by the separate problem where, once it is about 2 years old, many customers' Nest Hellos are going offline when the doorbell button is pressed: https://www.googlenestcommunity.com/t5/Cameras-and-Doorbells/Nest-Hello-Doorbell-cuts-out-when-butto....

I have not seen many reports in this forum of the Nest Hello failing due to cold weather, but these are 2 recent posts:

https://www.googlenestcommunity.com/t5/Cameras-and-Doorbells/Nest-Hello-Doorbell-Not-Working-during-...

https://www.googlenestcommunity.com/t5/Cameras-and-Doorbells/Hardwired-nest-doorbell-stopped-working...

nicholas247
Community Member

Not just a cold weather issue! I’m in South Florida and guy at home depot told me I’m the 3rd person returning the Nest Doorbell Battery for this reason. It does not charge  while hardwired. Something is defective on these units. Looks like the design is to power the camera only from the battery regardless if hardwired. And since the defect is battery charging it stops working when battery drains. 

**bleep**! Even in south Florida. Ok so this is worse than we anticipated... 

jonen
Community Member

Charged my doorbell to 100% last week and now I'm at "Empty battery" even though it's hard-wired. Cannot turn the unit back on to view a live feed.

Talked to someone in support on the phone and the only official recommendation was to do a factory reset, so I guess I'll be trying that when I have some free time. He also mentioned something about using a voltmeter, which I think is nonsense since the doorbell worked fine for over 3 months before winter.

Anyone have any good news or solutions yet?

chemgeek
Community Member

No amount of factory resets will help. It is a hardware, not a software issue. The units are incapable of maintaining charge below 35 to 40 F.

jonen
Community Member

That's what I figured, but it's also the only thing preventing me from getting a new replacement unit, so I'll hopefully spend that ############ mins so I can get the replacement process started. Still hoping that Google provides an actual fix or some way to return/upgrade to a Hello unit.

mpb65
Community Member

No good news....same old crap from Google.

Brad
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hi folks.

 

I am terribly sorry that we have been absent on this thread! We have taken your feedback seriously, and thank you for sharing your experience. Here is some information that has been provided for me to share with you all. 

  • Operating and charging temperature specs for Nest Cam (battery) and Nest Doorbell (battery):Charging temperature range (ambient air temperature): 32°F to 104°F (0°C to 40°C). The battery will not charge when the ambient air temperature is outside of this range.
  • Operating temperature range (ambient air temperature): -4°F to 104°F (-20°C to 40°C). The camera and doorbell are likely to shut down when the ambient air temperature is outside of this range.
  • Nest Doorbell (battery) and Nest Cam (battery) use lithium-ion batteries, and one characteristic of li-ion batteries is that they cannot be charged at temperatures below freezing (32F/0C) without causing permanent damage to the battery.

I do not currently have any information regarding a solution at this time. Thank you again for your patience, and your feedback on this issue. Please let me know if you need further assistance.

 

Best regards,

Brad.

CastenS
Community Member

How do I get my money back? 

I bought the doorbell camera while under the impression it will work most of the time during my 4 moth below 0°C. Now you change the specs. I want my money back. 

Mikeriog
Community Member

Brad,

Where are you getting this new spec info? Was it provided to you internally? Nowhere do I read officially about the fact Charging temperature range (ambient air temperature): 32°F to 104°F (0°C to 40°C). The battery will not charge when the ambient air temperature is outside of this range?

CastenS
Community Member

I can confirm this. I keep a daily log. Above 0°C it charges. Below 0° is not. 

They are trying to cover up their mistake. Rather than admit to it and fix it. 

mpb65
Community Member

Complete horse**bleep**. 

The weather was above zero today.  Absolutely no trickle charging. 

Just a slow trickle battery depletion.  Ridiculous.

Moved:

GarrettDS
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

mpb65
Community Member

Clearly not.  But Google, guess you get the gist of it.  Your product is c*r*a*p.

 

This is unacceptable.  Those specs are not  what was provided when the product was sold to me. You also cannot knowingly sell a product in markets where the weather is commonly under 32F that doesn’t function in those temperatures.  It’s a defective product. Period. 

I want my money back. 

chemgeek
Community Member

This is simply unacceptable. Nowhere in the operating conditions and promotional sales material was it stated this product cannot maintain charge below 32 F. Had this been communicated in the operating specs, no one living in a temperate climate would purchase this product. As it is, it is inoperable between 4-6 months per year in the Northern tier. Everyone who purchased this product without being provided in advance knowledge of this apparent deficiency should be offered a refund. But really, Li-ion batteries can and do operate and charge at lower temps. How do electric cars with Li-ion packs operate and charge in the winter?

firmwaredev
Silver Product Expert
Silver Product Expert

On Li-Ion batteries in electric vehicles, the do have this problem.  It's solved (to an extent) by employing insulation and actively heating the batteries using current from the batteries themselves.   This of course reduces range.   This can work for large batteries with a lot of thermal mass (which helps spread out temperature variation over time), but wouldn't be practical for a very small battery like the one used in this doorbell.   Insulation possibly could help, although that could present problems in the summer at the upper end of the temperature range where thermal runaway is a safety problem.

Mikeriog
Community Member

Agreed. Look, many of us here want to be Google proponents. We want competition to the apples and Amazons of the world, but this wasn't right.

 

Refund, or upgrade to the product being released this year which hopefully will run of the wired connection and not just the battery would be acceptable to many of us.

 

At least, I for one am happy Brad came back and shed some light on the matter and directly acknowledged the reality of the situation as a Google representative. Let's hope this is a first step in making us whole again.

Completely agree! There was no indication that these doorbells would only work for part of the year when we purchase them. Who designs a doorbell that can be hardwired but still relies on the the battery for power?  Kind of defeats the whole purpose doesn't it?

These doorbells should have never been sold in areas that frequently have weather below the freezing point. Google should just do the right thing and either replace these units with a model that function properly in cold weather or simply offer refunds to those of us affected.

I sense a class action lawsuit brewing the longer they let this drag on

Aloha_papa
Community Member

I want my money back too. The camera in the doorbell is useless 4 months a year in Canada. I already had a straight doorbell before. I want a doorbell with operating camera all year!

They have been slowly increasing the operating temperature!!   Uhm.  You cannot sell a doorbell that doesn't work below zero can you???   Imagine - you buy a car and later they tell you that it doesn't function below zero.  ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE.    I almost think that the Brad email is a fake post.  It is akin to an onion news article.

 

MplsCustomer
Bronze
Bronze

The post above by Google Nest Community Specialist @Brad is astonishing!

We purchased a Google Nest Camera (Battery) 5 months ago.  At the time--and still today, Feb. 16, 2022 at 6:30 PM  CST on the Google Store--the Operating Temperature is stated as "-4 F to 104 F (-20 C to 40 C)". There is no mention of a separate  "Charging Temperature range of 32 F to 104 F (0 C to 40 C)". The same is true of the Google Nest Doorbell (Battery).

Fortunately, the Google Nest Camera (Battery) is able to run on AC power when it is plugged in, so our plugged-in camera has functioned even with temperatures as low as -18 F and the battery has remained at 100%. However, if we had a power outage when the temperature was below 32 F and the battery depleted, the battery could not be re-charged. Therefore, the ACTUAL Operating Temperature of the battery camera in this case is only 32 F to 104 F (0 C to 40 C).

Things are far worse with the Google Nest Doorbell (Battery).  Because it runs off of its battery even when it is wired, a "Charging Temperature Range of 32 F to 104 F (0 C to 40 C) means that the ACTUAL Operating Temperature of the battery doorbell is also only 32 F to 104 F (0 C to 40 C) at all times.

This means the specifications of both the Google Nest Camera (Battery) and the Google Nest Doorbell (Battery) have been misrepresented for at least 5 months, and are continuing to be misrepresented on the Google Store and elsewhere at this very moment.

Wow!