My wifi network is through a set of Eero Pro 6s that have a single SSID for all of the frequencies they run on, in this case 2.4 and 5Ghz.
The Nest Thermostat v2 is listed as being compatible with 2.4Ghz, but not 5Ghz. Yet, it always defaults to connecting at 5Ghz which then results in the connection between the Thermostat and the Heatlink failing - causing havoc with my heating.
I can temporarily force it to 2.4GHz by switching off the 5GHz band for a few mins, but after some time it will reconnect on 5GHz and things start failing once more.
Is there any way to stop the Nest from connecting at 5GHz, which is obviously completely unstable for it?
Note: I cannot get the EEros to only allow it to connect at 2.4 - no option for that.
Thanks for the prompt reply I thought that might be the case.
Just wondering why it bothers to connect on 5Ghz in the first place, if it is not recommended and does not work properly!
Looks like I may have to setup a dedicated network for it, as the eero does not have the option of splitting SSIDs 😞
Why do you think the link between the stat and heatlink has anything to do with the user's normal wifi network? Have I missed something in my reading on how the system is supposed to operate? I appreciate that you're a Gold Product Expert, so hopefully you can clarify please...
You say that the conneciton beween the thermostat and the heatlink fails, but this shouldn't be due to which wifi network your thermostat is set to use. The thermostat and heatlink communicate over the Thread protocol entirely separately from your normal wifi setup. The wifi connection that your thermostat uses is just for remote access (phone app, etc.) and obviously for your usage data to be profiled on the server side.
My own experience is that the whole system is extremely fragile and I really wish I hadn't had it installed. I write this as someone whose thermostat to heatlink connection went down for unknown reasons, and the boiler was run for most of a month in my absence.
The wifi connection is also pretty unreliable, so sometimes I can't control the thermostat (when it's even able to control the hearlink). The thermostat just seems like shiny junk. The heatlink part seems to fail on, which is expensive and massively annoying.
No other issues in my house network - excellent coverage, nothing blitzing the 2.4GHz spectrum, all other devices working fine. Going back to an old Honeywell - just not worth the bother... and I'll get my +1 hour boost back 🙂
@alirob - thanks for the message.
As you predict, I have moved the Thermostat back to a dedicated 2.4Ghz network and it is still losing the connection to the heatlink. It's strange as this connection dropping thing has only started in the last couple of weeks. Before that it was actually rock solid.
No idea what can be causing the issue, now 😞
Hi there @bellbrie
The Nest Thermostat communicates with the Heat Link via the Nest Weave protocol, which resembles more Bluetooth than WiFi. The WiFi connection of the thermostat is strictly to communicate with the Nest Servers and with the Nest app. The fact that it frequently disconnects from the Heat Link might come from wireless interference, the distance between them, the objects in between them. You can learn more about that from the following article: Troubleshoot wireless interference
Let me know if you still need help.
@Vladut - hi and thanks for taking the time to respond to my post.
Following all the disconnection issues (which have only started in the last couple of weeks, following a rock solid connection for the last 9 months), I moved the thermostat up to within 3m of the heatlink. The drop outs are still happening, however, not as frequently.
There are no other electronic devices close to either the heatlink or the thermostat, so not sure how it could be an interference issue. There is now nothing between the thermostat and the heatlink apart from a thin, hollow, wooden door.
It's weird and annoying that there are basic diagnostics for the smart thermostat's internet connection (ping latency and signal strength I think), but no means of diagnosing issues with the connection to the heatlink, without which the whole system is completely worthless. Obviously everyone's home environment is different, so being able to test in situ would be very helpful. Can I ask if you have neighbours who might have recently bought Nest devices? Wondering if nearby systems using the same protocol might have an impact. My next door neighbour seems to have a bunch of Nest kit now.
You've done all you can short of lead screening and duct taping it to the heatlink. It's just not fit for purpose.
Could someone in support explain what the heatlink failure state is supposed to be on the boiler side? Basic Honeywell systems can be configured to run 80 off/20 on if contact with thermostat is lost. My Nest heatlink seems to have just kept running the boiler constantly when the link failed.
Thank you for the suggestions @alirob . It can certainly be difficult in some cases to figure out what may be causing interference since these days there are so many electronic devices at most locations and often they can disturb each other. You are also correct that even other Nest systems can cause interference. That is why we recommend a minimum of 30 cm between the Heat link and other devices such as other Heat Links, boilers, big metal piles, etc. .
The thermostat connects to the Heat Link and the Heat Link is what controls the state of the boiler. Depending on the command from the thermostats it moves the internal relays. If the communication to the display is lost or the Heat Link is completely off it will remain in the last state it was set to generally. But the thermostat will no longer have any influence over the boiler at that point. Just to check do you need assistance with your device or is this something that occurred some time ago and is now resolved?
My heatlink didn't stay in the state it was in before the thermostat lost link with it. The thermostat was set to a very low temperature that would not have been hit at the time.
The Nest product needs to be better-engineered to cope with busy radio environments and other transient failure conditions. Once stat to heatlink connection is lost, it is never automatically re-established in my experience (for the full month I was away). Re-establishing the link from the thermostat worked (when done manually) but the system doesn't handle that itself, and despite remote access to the smart thermostat via the Nest app, there's no means of requesting re-attempt of the link from the app.
The device appears faulty by design.
Thank you for your feedback. We're always looking to improve both our products and and services.
I am happy to hear that you did manage to get them connected back once at the location.
The thermostat will attempt to establish connection with the Heat Link but depending on what causes the disconnection, let's say for example a long period of power being off, it might not be able to do so. At that point it may time out and the connection needs to be reestablished and this can currently only be done from the location where the device is.
There's nothing much to be happy about when I have a thermostat that can't be left unattended without running up a £500 bill in a month.
Is the failure to automatically reconnect or provide a means of provoking it from the Nest app a conscious design choice? Presumably the engineers that implemented the communications link between the Nest Protect smoke alarms were a lot more careful, otherwise it's a corporate manslaughter case waiting to happen. How can people have faith in those?
Again - there's nothing I can read to determine why the link has failed. Is any debug available at all for this, I wonder? Why wouldn't the devices try harder to re-establish the link? Is there any documentation surrounding this behaviour even?
I know the power wasn't off for any length of time as I have other devices that would report in that instance (burglar alarm, etc.)
Honestly these things shouldn't be sold without a massive list of caveats. This would include that they might not be usable in a convenient location (not even a few metres through wood and plasterboard), might decide to drop the link and just keep your boiler burning until you run out of money or are able to access it to fix it. Might not play well with other random devices you or others nearby may own, despite your having had no problems at all with other equipment.
I understand it can be frustrating. Interference can be very hard to pin down with the number of devices that exist these days. Interference can occur between any devices and we can't anticipate such behavior as each location is unique in its combination of construction and equipment present at the location.
And it can be especially frustrating if you go to the location and just manage to reconnect them back as you can't be sure what caused them to disconnect or if you receive an email notification they disconnected but everything is ok when you check. There is no log that can be checked, though you can set to receive notifications from the Nest app over email. If the connection to the Heat Link is lost it will generally alert you. But you will still need to be at the location to try and reconnect them.
We have some general recommendations for installations in our installation guide here.
We also have this article which advises on some steps to help with information on wireless interference and how to try and reduce it here.
While you will certainly see similar behaviors from other users, as interference sources are everywhere keep in mind that this is a small percentage of the total user base.
Sometimes it can be the devices at the location, sometimes it can be a fluctuating power supply to the Heat Link, sometimes it may be installed too close to the boiler or other pipes at the location or sometimes there could be something going on with the thermostat. That is why we are here to troubleshoot and try to determine what may be going on that is causing a particular behavior.
I don't have any information that I can provide regarding how long the thermostat and Heat Link try to reconnect.
The Nest thermostat to heatlink connection needs to be a lot more robust given the number of variables you note that are beyond anyone's control in the home environment. The thermostat doesn't need to be in contact with the heatlink very much at all, so how it has been implemented in such a fragile manner beggars belief. Other device vendors manage these cases better.
If I can walk up to the thermostat after a month, tell it to re-link and it succeeds, that tells you that the system is not fit for purpose. It's not a Tamagotchi - it should be possible to leave it to do the very minimum it needs to.
Do you think the Nest Protect smoke alarms, installed in the same house (with even more space between them than the thermostat and heatlink) are subject to such lousy connectivity? You'd really hope not. But don't they use the same protocol and frequencies?
The more people buy and install these things, the potentially greater risk of interference from neighbouring properties (along with all the 2.4GHz cameras, doorbells, etc. that people install now too). That's not on the customer to resolve, but the device manufacturers.
The number of complaints regarding these issues is only a small percentage of the number of issues people will have encountered in their homes. If some people have to hit 're-link' every now and then on their thermostat, they're probably not that likely to raise it as a major issue.
Is telemetry regarding the fault codes held on the server side? I'd be surprised if it wasn't, so presumably someone knows the number of discrete H71 errors for example. Would be interesting to see.
I do not have any access to any kind of such registry of logs of occurrences that I could access or share.
Rest assured that we always want the devices to communicate and our engineers did everything they could to try and provide the best connection possible between them.
Yes, the thermostat communicates with the Protect units using the same communication protocol. You can read more about how Google Nest products work together here.
In the majority of installations the thermostat runs smoothly and even if there are some disturbances it maintains the connection or manages to reconnect. But there are cases when disconnections can occur and require the devices to be reconnected or some troubleshooting done to figure out what's going on. I understand it can be very inconvenient if it is not something obvious like the power being out for a long time as there are so many connected devices that may or may not be the culprit. Even other Nest devices could be the cause of the behavior, let's say for example multiple Heat Link units right next to each other.
Our colleagues will continue to listen to all the feedback and work on improving our devices both in the hardware and software department.
Thanks for keeping us posted here. Have a look at things such as the Heat Link connectivity, you will have a percentage in Settings> Technical information> Heat Link. Also have a peek at the power under Settings> Technical info> Power. We want to see the power stay around 3.8-3.9 V generally. Do you need to take any action, like a restart or reset in order for them to establish the connection back?
@george_t - well, I still have it positioned very close to my heatlink and the connection seems to have been stable over the last week or so (although I have been out and about a lot, so have not been monitoring it closely).
I will probably move it back to its original location nest week and see what happens, until then, I am happy just to have the heating and water working as it should.
Hey there, I haven't heard from you in a while so I'll be locking this thread. If you have any new issues, updates or just a discussion topic, feel free to start a new thread in the community. Thanks, AlexD.