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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 Recommended Answer

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 Recommended Answer in original post

606 REPLIES 606

In the app, I turned the chime off but it still rings. 

I like to see what happens if I remove the chime altogether if I get a better charge. 

D_A
Community Member

It seems as though the design problems inherent in lithium battery powered doorbells are not limited to Google products. The link below discusses the impact of cold weather on Ring battery powered doorbells.

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/############463-Cold-Weather-and-Battery-Powered-Ring-Doo...

 

 

D_A
Community Member

Here is the link to the Ring article about cold weather and battery operated doorbells.

https://bit.ly/3GppQGH

 

 

firmwaredev
Silver Product Expert
Silver Product Expert

Good article, and pretty much exactly in line with how this device performs.  There really isn't any way around the basic issue of how Li-Ion batteries perform in the cold.  They would have had to build this device to be able to run solely off of the incoming A/C power, but that is likely too limited being in series with the chime.  With onboard AI, it likely just draws too much current to do so.  That leaves you with a battery only design (with trickle charge) and dependence on a low duty cycle to ride through cold spells.

D_A
Community Member

The only option is to limp along with the existing Li-ion doorbell and replace it with the 2022 Nest Doorbell (wired) version when it becomes available. That is my plan.

Trooper9520
Community Member

Why give Google more money? 

As the saying goes:

fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice....

Rp2
Community Member

doorbell stop working at-15C :this device come back online once the temperature come back to normal. 

mpb65
Community Member

Google are you listening?  We should all be getting a free replacement should you release an updated doorbell this year.

dassub
Community Member

I've been keeping an eye on my doorbell battery level while plugged into a good transformer.

While it usually stays around 70%, it has dropped to 56% during this recent week-long cold spell in Toronto.

I hope Google has a solution that either involves giving us replacements when the new wired one releases, or coming up with something like a doorbell chime relay/connector to let the doorbell get more than a simple trickle charge.

mpb65
Community Member

Sadly, they have been completely silent on the issue.  Poor customer service!!!

mpb65
Community Member

In Toronto today it is 2C.  My doorbell has still not started to trick charge.  Completely dead.

D_A
Community Member

Unfortunately the only solution is to dismount the camera, bring it indoors, and charge it to 100%. It will take about 3 hours before it is fully charged.
I wouldn’t sell this doorbell camera to anyone who lives in a cold climate, however you can go out and find this product all over Canada. 

mpb65
Community Member

Thanks, I'm aware of that solution.  It's just not an acceptable one for such a product.

firmwaredev
Silver Product Expert
Silver Product Expert

Yeah, taking it down to charge when you have it wired is a real pain.  You technically need to power off the circuit before you do it (although  you could skip that if you're careful).  In my case, it happens to be on the same circuit as many other things in my garage, which is further pain.   If I was going to do that, I'd just skip hard wiring and do occasional battery charges.   At least then it's just a matter of popping it off and back on. Of course, it wouldn't be able to ring my chime then either.  Not good.

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.

jonen
Community Member

Brad,

 

Can you shed some light on whether Google is looking into offering a refund to existing customers who were not provided accurate operating limitations prior to purchase? I am speaking specifically to the points below, but there are possibly other issues that users have brought up in this thread as well.

  • Minimum charging temperature of 32°F (0°C) was not clearly explained at product launch
  • Minimum operating temperature of -4°F (-20°C) was not clearly explained at product launch
  • Wired installation not allowing always-on power when battery is depleted (due to cold weather or not)
  • Battery does not charge past 75%?

I've also opened up another thread to continue the conversation because I want to hear Google's response to its customers issues.

https://www.googlenestcommunity.com/t5/Cameras-and-Doorbells/Misleading-Product-Specifications-Batte...

hayesti
Community Member

Adding on to this, can Google explain how refunds will work when a contractor was paid for the device installation? It's not their fault that the device is poorly designed, but we'll need to recoup the costs of their labour as well unfortunately. 

CastenS
Community Member

I like to return my Doorbell Camera. I live in Alberta, Canada where we get below freezing temperatures for 5 month. The Doorbell Camera is not suitable for this climate yet Google willingly sells the product in this climate and continues to do so without any warnings to customers. I believe this is borderline FRAUD. 

What do I need to do to get my money back. The camera was purchased in November 2021 and I was made to believe If I hardwire the unit into the exiting wiring that it would work. Now I get told it's not. Best Buy us not accepting the return. 

 

Please advise. 

mpb65
Community Member

They will not accept a return.  Been there, done that.

Please post your negative feedback on the Google Nest Facebook Page.

Mikeriog
Community Member

Hi Brad,

 

Why is this reply being tagged as a "solution"? What is your solution exactly? Retroactively updating specs after many customers have purchases a product that doesn't exactly work as advertised doesn't come across as a solution.

Brad, you're making this process even more difficult for us than it has to be. I can't help but feel insulted by how this has been handled from the beginning and how it continues to be handled... It's almost as if the "solution" is that it's almost spring... 

How will INDIVIDUAL CUSTOMERS THAT FEEL WRONG BE COMPENSATED? Don't tell us we need to go on another facebook tirade to have a constructive conversation. This is borderline disgusting.

Refund us the money you owe us. Offer a simple return process so you get the item back and I get my money back. 

That continues to be the ONLY response you should be providing to this forum. 

Anything else is just more evidence for this group to file a class action lawsuit. 

I apologize for being curt but this is insulting to your customers.

To begin with, there is no solution to this issue. Google has placed an undue burden on consumers after the fact, with no means of identifying the burden prior to purchase.

Second, the Nest Doorbell Battery's tech specs page still does not list the charging limitations, so future consumers are still at significant risk of purchasing a product that does not perform as advertised in the Operating Temperature specification. I assume, but can't verify, that there is no insert with the packaging at this time that would advise consumers of this limitation, so many will first encounter it after their return period has elapsed.

I will be filing a Consumer Complaint with my state's Attorney General's office. Google's anti-consumer behavior is unacceptable and has become a troubling trend among a number of their product lines in different business segments.

I would suggest to anybody having trouble getting a remedy from Google in their individual case, to similarly file a complaint or contact their state's Attorney General's office and/or Consumer Protection Bureau.

mpb65
Community Member

So will Google be taking back our defective doorbells and issuing refunds????

darthrochon
Community Member

minus 35 in northen Canada !

Mikeriog
Community Member

Oufff! You might get a brief window of operation in July/August, maybe. Lol.

dassub
Community Member

Has anyone tried covering the doorbell in cold weather with a winter hat or towel or something to keep it warm?  I wonder if I did it overnight, if it would recover a few battery points since it might trickle charge better.  Hanging around 50% in -10 to -20 celcius temperatures.

mpb65
Community Member

Maybe Google could sell us some accessories to keep their non-functioning doorbells warm in colder weather!  ; )

FXL
Community Member

I was wondering if insulation layer can help the battery last longer, too.

 

Found something in amazon, but not sure if silicon can keep the battery warm enough.

elago Silicone Case Designed for Google Nest Hello Video Doorbell (2021 Battery Model) - Weather and UV Resistant, Perfect Color Match, Clean Finish, NOT Compatible with Wired Model [Black] https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B09LKBFFF8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_5M608S52BF849ZSK044V

I would like to consider ‘insulation’ if it can help battery last longer(hopefully keep it live during the cold nap for a few days). Not solving the fundamental problem, but can be a good workaround.

 

Of course, I don’t want to pay out of pocket for the potential workaround. I think Google should offer this kind of solution for FREE so that customers can give a second chance before returning the product. If not, I’m going to return it soon.

mpb65
Community Member

Don't wait.  Return it asap.

jpambrun
Community Member

Wow. Now mine won't even ring the electrical bell it's connected to. 

 

Nvm.. I broke a wire fiddling around because of this issue..

jb475
Community Member

Same here with the battery outdoor camera (that I have hardwired) - battery has been at zero and 1% for weeks on end now, it comes online once in awhile but is almost unusable.  Also the wireless signal has also dropped to barely usable when I check the signal strength on my router.  I even moved the router within 10' of it and the signal rate is still marginal (when it's not cutting out completely from being frozen solid)

What a useless product.  I can't "bring it in to warm it up to charge" easily as I'd need to get the step ladder and the stupid charging cable is attached and hard to remove.  I can't even use a different USB C or something as this thing has it's own terrible proprietary magnetic charging cable.    Having purchase this thing from a local seller for cash,  I'm stuck with it now as there are no returns for me 😞

@jb475 

Our experience is different.  We've had our Google Nest Battery Camera plugged in since Sept. 2021 with the optional 10-meter power cable (feeding towards the FRONT of the camera) and it stays at 100% battery charge even with temperatures as low as -18 degrees Fahrenheit. If we check the camera in the Google Home app, it always shows as "Live" and if we check Settings | Battery, it shows as "Plugged in" with an infinity symbol. (We have to turn off power to the outlet in order to check the battery level.)

(I share the frustration of many that we can't use the Google Nest app or home.nest.com to administer all of our cameras.)

firmwaredev
Silver Product Expert
Silver Product Expert

This is actually not typical for the Battery Outdoor cam.   I think I've seen one other case of them not charging, but that was likely due to a bad cable.  If you have some way to connect up the shorter charging cable that came with it temporarily, that might be worth trying.   Generally speaking, these have worked well down to very cold temperatures.  They don't exhibit the problems that the doorbell does.   Mine has seen temps down to -17C or so, and lot of time spent down around -10C, with lots of events and it's always topped up on battery.

@jb475 

Since it seems you're using the charging cable that came with the camera while we're using the optional power cable, I wonder whether there is a difference between the 7.5 USB-A power adapter that comes with the 3.3 foot (1 m) charging cable that comes with the camera and the power adapter that comes with the optional 5-meter and 10-meter power cables. I've been unable to find any specs for the power adapter that comes with the optional power cables.

2021ltd
Community Member

To illustrate the point many have been making about cold temperatures and the inability to charge the Doorbell Battery, my unit gained 9% today despite the fact it was -12C. What made the difference is sunshine. Hit it hard all afternoon. The issue really here is not that it can't trickle charge. It does. The problem is the impression created that once wired, the battery is out of the picture. Not the case below certain temps... With the ability to naturally get propped up by sunshine and my low usage settings, after 3 weeks, I think I can make this work. Would still want a solution to avoid all the workarounds, don't get me wrong, but manageable. I haven't recharged the battery inside in all that time and we've had a few very cold spells. What's saving me is direct, unobstructed sunshine while at its brightest. 

mpb65
Community Member

Thanks Google.  My sunshine today managed to charge up my cheap solar Christmas lights so that they are working tonight at minus 20.  Google doorbell?  Dead.  For the past 5 days, despite full on sun.  Crap product.

jomargon
Community Member

For wired setup, does the doorbell button still work (via mechanical chime) even though it's off because of sub-zero temperature?

CastenS
Community Member

Yes. 

mpb65
Community Member

Doorbell button works, but nothing else.  Horrible design.

Dbarrag
Community Member

Thanks everyone for the detailed responses. We have reached the point of no return (literal and metaphorical). I suggest we start making noise to force Google to fix this mess. Let's reach out to every tech media available: Marques, Ars, the Verge, IGN etc. Hit all their social media channels and hope they pick up the story. This is unacceptable, selling this product with such a flaw is borderline theft.