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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).

 

 

 

485 REPLIES 485

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.

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

mpb65
Bronze
Bronze

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. 

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

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.

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.

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.

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.)

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. 

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. 

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.

JeepKid
Community Member

UPDATE: While I finally wanted to give an update to what we ended up doing.  Sorry it took so long my Birthday was this past week and later I came down with a stomach bug.  So, I've been busy with life and sickness; if it wasn't for this, I would have updated you all earlier.

First things first we did get a Brand-New Doorbell from Google as a replacement instead of a possible refurbished model.  I got it charged up via USB and set it up after factory refreshing the old one and boxing it up for return.  The new one this time had a Manufacture Date of 11/21 and I had noticed that before it updated it had firmware 1.57 on it not the 1.59 that some (including me) had thought might be the original factory firmware.  Next, I set it up outside just like the old one; events, battery, video, audio, etc. setting all the same.  We gave it about 2 weeks to drain (we had a lot less events this time triggering the camera) to this time 66% instead of the 63% I had last time.  It never charged in 30-degree Fahrenheit or below weather still while plugged in, just like the other one.  For the next 48 hours after that I shut off the events and let it set to see if it would charge then; still no charging.  So, I removed it and brought it inside and let it set for 4 hours to warm up, then I charged it via the plug-in transformer.  I checked the charge before I removed it (66%), right when I brought it inside to warm up (65%), and just before I plugged it back in after warming up (back to 66%).  I think it was right on the edge of ############%, but I started charging it inside now with the plug-in transformer and after a 4 hour warm up in 70-degree Fahrenheit heat.  For the next 12 hours it only went up to 69% and stopped, it wouldn't go up anymore.  I gave it another 12 hours and according to the App/Assistant it still had 69%, but right after I unplugged it and was to box it up for return, I checked it once more and it was at 73%.  So, in 24 hours in warm enough temperatures the battery went up 8% with no events. But with this poor of battery performance in the cold and since we were in still within the return window to get a full refund, we just decided to return it and hope that the rumors are true that they are coming out with a new improved wired model.  We aren't too bummed as this was our first Smart Camera/Doorbell and we live in the country.  We mainly bought it to see when we received packages, keep an eye on some outdoor cats that we want to protect from predators that eat their food, make sure no one slips on the ice during the winter coming in from the garage (house and garage are two separate buildings), and know when one of our relatives comes over (they never knock or use the doorbell, they just walk-in unannounced).

DemonI81
Community Member

My Nest Doorbell went offline today at -1 F.   Who makes an outdoor security device that goes offline when it's barely winter in NY?  Google apparently.   Between the video feed not being available in the Nest app or the Nest webpage, the fact that I can only save events and not any slice in the recording I want, and now this,  regretting this purchase more than Battlefield 2042.  This is just plain unacceptable Google.  Why is it always 1 step forward, 5 steps back with you?  When did you become Microsoft?

 

Also, why is the battery draining when it's wired in?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've had to unwire mine, bring in to charge, and will then have to rewire.  Minus 20C here in Toronto.  We'll see how long this lasts.  Obviously, the battery is crap.  My cheap outdoor solar Christmas lights somehow manage to charge up everyday and stay lit all night!  Google should be ashamed for releasing this product.  If you are Twitter, please make sure to post your thread on their product feed.  I think it's madebygoogle.

Make a Warranty Claim

mpb65
Bronze
Bronze

You should be concerned.  Mine has been dead for the past 5 days when the temperature dipped below 0.  Pathetic product design.  I finally had to unwire it, bring it in to charge via USB, and re-wire.  We'll see how long it lasts.

dassub
Community Member

So for those who unmounted the doorbell to charge it inside, did you disconnect power from the transformer first? Or is it relatively safe to leave 16V30VA wiring as-is outside for the few hours it will be unmounted?

Well, it's not really that dangerous, but you could get a mild shock if you touch across the wires.   If you short them, it likely will trip the breaker on the circuit (although that depends a bit on the transformer rating and other things connected to the low voltage side of the transformer.  It's best to turn off the breaker proactively.  Granted, if you have other things on that circuit that are important, you're going to be without them.  You could turn off the breaker, disconnect the doorbell, then tape up one (or both) of the wires with electrical tape to keep them from shorting, then turn it back on until you're ready to re-install.

If you touch the wires your doorbell will ring, not trip the breaker 😛 

It's low voltage, not really risky keeping the circuit live while doing it. But as any good electrician will tell you, always disconnect power before working on anything. The same good electrician that will always work on live circuits 🤣

Sorry, yes I was talking to the general case which could include just a transformer without a chime. Even then it won't always trip (as I mentioned).   Indeed, if a chime is connected it won't trip the breaker.  There is a risk of burning up the chime solenoid if you keep it shorted for  a long time, however.   Some chimes have protection against that, some don't.   Agreed that in general, best to turn off the power.    I do often work on live circuits myself, in full disclosure - even full 120v ones :).  

staceybassoon
Community Member

I just wanted to add myself to this list of people with problems. I'm in Michigan, and started recently to get the low charge message. Today it's 30 degrees F. I plugged it into an adapter, but I'm getting the message that it can't charge due to extreme temperatures. I'm incredibly disappointed. I actually had mine installed by an electrician.

 If you are outside the Return window, make a Warranty Claim:

 

What does this warranty cover and how long does it last? Google warrants that a new Google Product (including any ancillary parts that may be packaged with it) will be free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal use in accordance with Google’s published user documentation for one year from the date of original retail purchase in its original packaging by you. If a Google Product has been refurbished by Google or a third party authorized by Google  (“Refurbished”), Google warrants that the Refurbished Google Product (including any ancillary parts that may be packaged with it) will be free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal use in accordance with Google's published user documentation for ninety days from the original date of retail purchase by you (these warranties are collectively referred to as our “Limited Warranty”).


What will Google do? (THIS IS YOUR EXCLUSIVE REMEDY) If a defect covered by this Limited Warranty arises and you return your Google Product as directed by Google during the Limited Warranty period (which is one year for new Google Products and ninety days for Refurbished Google Products), Google will elect in its sole discretion and to the extent permitted by law to repair your Google Product using new or refurbished parts, replace your Google Product with a new or refurbished Google Product functionally at least equivalent to yours, or accept the return of your Google Product in exchange for a refund of the purchase price you paid for your Google Product. If Google repairs or replaces your Google Product, the repaired or replaced Google Product will continue to be warranted for the remaining time of the original warranty period. All returned parts for which you have received a replacement will become the property of Google. Repair or replacement may result in loss of data. Nothing in this Limited Warranty will reduce or otherwise affect your statutory rights in relation to your Google Product.

 

Please post your concerns on the Google Nest Facebook Page.  

jonen
Community Member

Has anyone tried the defective/warranty route? I'll need to take a look tonight because their "Contact Us" section is just a huge wall of text. I bought my doorbell right when it came out in August (silly me), so I'm out of the standard return window. There I was thinking newer would be better than the Nest Hello, now I'm stuck in this cold mess.

VERY GOOD IDEA!  I think it's time for everyone to start Warranty Claims for this doorbell as a defective product. 

Here is the warranty information from Google's web page.

If you are within the one year window, make the claim.  This will get their attention.

What does this warranty cover and how long does it last? Google warrants that a new Google Product (including any ancillary parts that may be packaged with it) will be free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal use in accordance with Google’s published user documentation for one year from the date of original retail purchase in its original packaging by you. If a Google Product has been refurbished by Google or a third party authorized by Google  (“Refurbished”), Google warrants that the Refurbished Google Product (including any ancillary parts that may be packaged with it) will be free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal use in accordance with Google's published user documentation for ninety days from the original date of retail purchase by you (these warranties are collectively referred to as our “Limited Warranty”).


What will Google do? (THIS IS YOUR EXCLUSIVE REMEDY) If a defect covered by this Limited Warranty arises and you return your Google Product as directed by Google during the Limited Warranty period (which is one year for new Google Products and ninety days for Refurbished Google Products), Google will elect in its sole discretion and to the extent permitted by law to repair your Google Product using new or refurbished parts, replace your Google Product with a new or refurbished Google Product functionally at least equivalent to yours, or accept the return of your Google Product in exchange for a refund of the purchase price you paid for your Google Product. If Google repairs or replaces your Google Product, the repaired or replaced Google Product will continue to be warranted for the remaining time of the original warranty period. All returned parts for which you have received a replacement will become the property of Google. Repair or replacement may result in loss of data. Nothing in this Limited Warranty will reduce or otherwise affect your statutory rights in relation to your Google Product.

I did today.  Got the following response:  "Sorry for the inconvenience, but no refund".  In complete violation of their published warranty.

 

mpb65
Bronze
Bronze

Ok everyone.   Enough is enough.  Time for everyone to start making Warranty Claims (within one year of purchase) if you are outside your return window.  

Here is the info from Google's web page:

What does this warranty cover and how long does it last? Google warrants that a new Google Product (including any ancillary parts that may be packaged with it) will be free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal use in accordance with Google’s published user documentation for one year from the date of original retail purchase in its original packaging by you. If a Google Product has been refurbished by Google or a third party authorized by Google  (“Refurbished”), Google warrants that the Refurbished Google Product (including any ancillary parts that may be packaged with it) will be free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal use in accordance with Google's published user documentation for ninety days from the original date of retail purchase by you (these warranties are collectively referred to as our “Limited Warranty”).


What will Google do? (THIS IS YOUR EXCLUSIVE REMEDY) If a defect covered by this Limited Warranty arises and you return your Google Product as directed by Google during the Limited Warranty period (which is one year for new Google Products and ninety days for Refurbished Google Products), Google will elect in its sole discretion and to the extent permitted by law to repair your Google Product using new or refurbished parts, replace your Google Product with a new or refurbished Google Product functionally at least equivalent to yours, or accept the return of your Google Product in exchange for a refund of the purchase price you paid for your Google Product. If Google repairs or replaces your Google Product, the repaired or replaced Google Product will continue to be warranted for the remaining time of the original warranty period. All returned parts for which you have received a replacement will become the property of Google. Repair or replacement may result in loss of data. Nothing in this Limited Warranty will reduce or otherwise affect your statutory rights in relation to your Google Product.