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NEST not holding a charge

Lindsay_Stevens
Community Member

I’ve had my nest for appx 3 years, I’ve never had a problem with it since installation. Of course now it’s 3am in the winter in Buffalo and it’s not working. My system apparently doesn’t have a C wire but my nest has worked faithfully without one the entire time. Now all of a sudden it’s not turning on until I pull it off the wall and it says the battery is low. I don’t understand why it’s doing this all of a sudden. The wires it uses are y1, g, w1 and Rh. If anyone can help I’d really appreciate it.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Lindsay_Stevens
Community Member

UPDATE:

I paid appx $300 to have a new wire run from my furnace to thermostat by a heating company in my area that I love. The new wire has a C-wire. Since it was done, appx 2 weeks ago the thermostat has worked perfectly. Fingers crossed it continues this way.

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40 REPLIES 40

Alona
Community Member

I'm having same problems with my thermostat. 

Greg_in_MI
Community Member

I'm having similar problems too. With is 4 wire without c-wire. Worked fine for 3 months then system lost power for several days while on vacation. HVAC guy fixed problem and then nest wouldn't hold a charge so he installed a new thermostat and all worked fine. I want my nest back so tried to reinstall but same issues. I recharge by USB and it seems to work but the fan won't go off when temp goes above set point (in heat mode). I read in another post that I could hook the fan wire up to the c terminal but I don't want to mess anything up. Would love to get this working again.

vch
Community Member

I just started having a similar problem.  The Nest Thermostat E does not seem to hold a charge.  My heating usage patterns have changed and this may be why I noticed the problem.  I am now relying on a remote sensor and the outside temps have been in the ############ degree F range.  (Oregon snow when we usually have rain).  I have charged it with the USB port but that seems to have stopped working as well.  I have verified the USB connection to a computer that shows a Technical Info.plist file.  All the support info that I have found don't mention this problem.  I may end up using an old manual, reliable thermostat.  The thermostat has been in operation for about one year.  

vch
Community Member

For what it's worth, I read in another thread that the thermostat seems to reset and start working when connected to a computer and is "mounted".  Mine seems to be working now.  But time will tell if this is a "fix" or a "fluke".

You mean connect it to a computer then plug it back into the wall??

Ishymae
Community Member

What does “connected to a .. & mounted” mean? 

vch
Community Member

Connect to your computer with a USB cable.  Mounted means that you can see the device in Windows File Explorer as a drive letter.  (Mounted is a Linux term.  Not sure what the Windows lingo is).  

vch
Community Member

Yes.  When I connected to a power only charger, I didn't get any flashing lights on the display.  Then I tried a computer USB connection.  When I did that, the file manager opened up and showed a .plist file.  I looked at that and it contained my device serial number and other info.  That indicated that I didn't have an USB cable problem.  I put the thermostat back on the wall and it worked all night like it usually does.  I discovered the other thread when I searched for USB charge in this forum. (

https://www.googlenestcommunity.com/t5/Nest-Thermostats/Nest-Learning-Thermostat-3rd-Gen-not-chargin...).  I'll keep monitoring my thermostat to see if the "fix" continues to work.  

vch
Community Member

Nest E was a free promo from my power company.  Installed in Sep 2020.  There is no C wire connected.  It operated with no problems up until our recent cold snap.  And the furnace was running more than normal.  The remote sensor was also being used more.  I started getting offline messages on my app and it was not finding the remote sensor.  The "fix" that I found in another post is a red herring.  I find that connecting my thermostat to a USB charger for a short while will allow it to function normally for a few hours.  I suspect that the battery is failing. Not sure of my next steps.  

Greg_in_MI
Community Member

I did a factory reset last Thursday 12/30 that didn't resolve the nest issues so I called Nest customer service. The guy seemed like he knew what he was doing and verified that the unit should work even without a C-wire. Then he walked me through some troubleshooting steps including switching the G and W1 wires in my 4-wire setup. He came to the conclusion that my thermostat is working properly and I need to get a nest certified technician out to check all the settings. I already spent $365 for a HVAC tech service call including the new old-style (not smart) thermostat. I won't pay for another service call. Nest was working fine for 3 months, then lost power for a few days and didn't work anymore with the Nest but works fine with a dumb thermostat. My logic says it's a thermostat problem. I'll try to charge the nest via the usb port on my computer and re-install one last time before sending my nest to the landfill. That would be a bummer.

vch
Community Member

Google seems to think that I don't need a C wire.  But all the reading that I have done suggests that I do need a C wire.  (My Nest has worked fine for over a year without a problem).  I ordered the Nest C wire device.  I should get it and install it in the next couple of days.  I will update with my results.  And for the record, I suspect a flaky battery on my Nest.  

Polno
Community Member

Mine has worked ok, not perfect. Get messages that my heater stops/starts a lot. It’s cold in KS, in the teens for days. Yesterday said it needed to shut down to chg. Didn’t work. I too suspect a dead nonrechargeable battery, but troubleshooting wants me to do all kinds of heater cks. The Nest is at least 3years old, going to replace it with a cheap thermostat today to get heater running, ordered Amazon Alexa compatible thermostat today to give that a try. From what I can tell, these smart thermostats need the c-wire, I sidestepped that on the Nest, but ordered the adaptor for the new Amazon.

Lindsay_Stevens
Community Member

UPDATE:

I paid appx $300 to have a new wire run from my furnace to thermostat by a heating company in my area that I love. The new wire has a C-wire. Since it was done, appx 2 weeks ago the thermostat has worked perfectly. Fingers crossed it continues this way.

I wish they told you the nest REQUIRES a c-wire when you buy it. Suggestion nest: ADD THIS to the box “works best with c-wire connection.” So people know and don’t run into a problem where their furnace stops working when it’s 0 degrees out.

Mine works great without C wire. 

Mine did too for the first 2 years-ish. Then it didn’t.

Same here - 2 years good, and then not.  And no way to troubleshoot with Nest involved.  I'm done with companies that don't offer support for their products.

Yeah why does it only happen when it’s freezing out??

vch
Community Member

As I understand it with my limited electrical knowledge, when the thermostat switch is open, the Next can draw power from the furnace control to charge the battery.  When it calls for heat, the switch closes and the Nest can no longer get power for charging.  When the battery charge drops too low, the Nest drops WiFi and bluetooth connections to conserve power and allow the thermostat to function as much as possible.  With a marginal battery, the extra furnace run time discharges the battery too much and the connections drop.  Eventually the battery regains enough charge to function normally.  

I suspect that this may be a problem in the summer with AC, but I don't use the app or remote sensor enough to know.

A big Nest problem for me is the lack of being able to get real time info on the actual status of the thermostat internals such as battery voltage.  

Ishymae
Community Member

Thanks. We hardly use it in the summer it’s only a Winter thing in the Northeast and I don’t know it’s on it’s off it’s on it’s off unpredictable and that’s not good. I’m going back to buying an old school thermometer

Lol cuz that’s when we need it most.

vch
Community Member

I received the C wire device.  But the wiring in my furnace does not match any of the installation diagrams exactly.  I have other things to do, so this project is on the back burner.  Our cold snap is  over and the thermostat seems to be working OK.  The furnace doesn't run as much and we are not using the remote sensor.  

When I have some spare time, I will try to figure out the C wire adapter and install it.  I don't want to run a physical C wire from my furnace.  If I can't get this to work, I will eventually replace the Nest thermostat with a more conventional model that doesn't need the C wire.  

I had a tech do it. He took the old wire out completely and ran a new wire. Striped the wire and connected it. That’s probably your best option.

Ishymae
Community Member

Yes I don’t want to have to do the C wire addition.  I’d rather not use the wifi system in that case 

It didn’t have to do with the Wi-Fi. It gives it power from what I understand. It has to do with it charging and staying on.

Jsiem
Community Member

My nest thermostat has an 8 wire connection WITH a C-wire and has been installed for 3+ years without an issue. The past couple of weeks it has been turning off by itself with a red flashing light and is unresponsive. The only way to get it working is to manually charge with a usb, but it only holds charge for about a day. I have checked the wire connections and used a multimeter to ensure that the wires have correct voltage and everything is good. Is it a possibility that the battery is shot and unable to recharge even though C-wire is connected? This nest has the lithium ion battery.

That would be my guess? 

vch
Community Member

That seems like a reasonable guess.  As I've said before, it is extremely difficult to get real time information about the state of the charge and other useful parameters.  I think you can find replacement batteries and instructions online.

Yeah so far the new wire with c connection has solved the problem. *knock on wood*

LisaPaez
Community Member

I have a Nest cam that is not even 6 months old says battery isn’t holding charge what can you do for me to fix this 

Polno
Community Member

Good luck getting Nest to respond. I finally bought a cheap thermostat to get heat back in my house.

Greg_in_MI
Community Member

I tried charging the next through the USB on my computer. It seems like it charges but I haven't reinstalled to test. I'm leary after reading all these posts and have lost my enthusiasm to try to get the Nest E thermostat working. The 30 day warranty tells me that Nest/Google doesn't think much of their product and the 1 hour call to tech support wasn't worth my time (or theirs). I may buy some other WIFI thermostat down the road but will not be a Nest product.

My bet is you’ll have the same problem with another Wi-Fi thermostat. Your best bet is to install the c-wire. Mine is still working like a charm! 

Greg_in_MI
Community Member

You are probably right Lindsay. My issue with that is I'm in a condo with thermostat wiring in the walls. Someone before me spliced the thermostat multi-wire cable in the wall somewhere (brown jacketed cable at the furnace and yellow jacket at the thermostat) and only connected the RWYG wires. I could install a C-wire adapter kit but I'm honestly irked with Nest support and 30 day warranty and don't want to invest any more time or money in getting the Nest to work. I could install the adapter and then it ends up being that my Nest battery is bad. Maybe I'll get my enthusiasm back in the Spring.

analogue_dsp
Community Member

I just started having an issue where my thermostat (which has worked well for ~4 years, if you forget about the fact it thinks it knows what I want) says it's power is low. I can press the button and it shows the temp, but turning it does nothing. Press again it shows the menu, but you can' t select anything, because turning does nothing. It says low power.  Am I right in assuming inside the nest there is a rechargeable battery that after charges over 4 years will no longer hold a charge; and the recommended solution to that is for me to crawl through the attic and run another wire? 
If that is the case, I'm going to chunk it. This all seemed to start right after a firmware update was pushed. Maybe the "auto-sense" wiring is busted and it selected the wrong wires.? is that even a possibility?

Update: added a C wire, just pulled a 4 wire strand through using the old 3 wire strand, and hooked it all up. Not rocket science. However, it still sometimes is unresponsive to touch (but not network commands) and sometimes it drops off network (using google mesh router, 10ft away from nest is the master, no RF interference nearby, closest device is another 10 feet the other way). I swear it seems like something must have changed in software. 

Yeah mine still won’t connect to the network. It works but I can’t use the app.

Thuneyluviso
Community Member

Just wanted to chime in.  There are a couple of other things that can drain the battery when your Nest does or doesn’t have a c-wire.  I learned these the hard way after six years of owning one.  Yes it “should” be able to run on the battery, however, it uses the battery power to connect to wifi and if the wifi signal is weak, the Nest will continually try to connect to your network if it the signal keeps dropping.  Mine runs of a Gryphon repeater and when it went kaput, so did the Nest battery.  The second thing that can cause battery drain, specifically if your Nest is wired, is your HVAC system.  For example, if your furnace shuts down due to say, a clogged air filter, then the Nest will also because that’s where it is drawing its power from if it is wired with a C wire

 

Hope this helps.

Thank you, this is insightful and probably what happened to me.  I joined this community board because I was desperate to get my Nest going again in frigid temps.  You can see some of my posts from the winter.  Ultimately, I decided the battery was fried, ordered another one along with a tool kit that is necessary, but after days of cold, I just got a $30 thermostat and it works.  The Nest/new battery/toolkit is in a bag that might as well be trash, I doubt I'll ever go back.  The fact that Nest has no customer support was the final nail in the coffin for me.