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Using Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Gen with Natural Gas Heater/Fireplace?

Community Member

Hi there,


We are trying to install our new  Nest Learning 3rd Gen thermostat. When we attached the display, there was nothing. No screen lighting at all. Then we decided to try charging it using a USB cord.

It's blinking green. And now it has words: Please attach the display to its base.

Does this mean it's ready? We only had two wires, Rh and W1 on the old thermostat, which had a battery. It wasn't connected to house wiring. Just the  heating unit. 

Are we going to have to recharge this regularly? Will it even work?

We decided to trying plugging the display in. It said, "The thermostat is restarting. Be back in a bit."

But it never came back.

Will this even work with our unit?

We've plugged it in to charge again.

Heidi and John


Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hi HeidiVenture,


Thanks for posting. 


Has it not moved to a different screen since plugging it back to its template?




No. We've heard from a friend that we need to add power using wire C. But how?

Hi HeidiVenture,


Thanks for getting back to us. I suggest reaching out to a local pro to discuss your options about installing a C wire for your system.




Community Member

Hi all, we got in touch with OnTech.

It will cost  about $250 to have a technician come out and add a C wire. We are looking for other options, as this makes this "free" thermostat very expensive for us. They said the technician would install an adapter. What adapter? Can we buy and install one? There is a light switch a few inches from the thermostat.

We also wonder if a jump wire would work? Anybody know anything?

We are very handy, not just DIYers. My partner retired from being a licensed contractor doing remodeling.


Hi HeidiVenture,

We'd like to take a deeper look into this and help you out further — could you fill out this form and let us know once you're done?


I filled out the form. This is what I wrote:

We are trying to install our new Nest Learning 3rd Gen thermostat.

We only have only two wires, Rh and W1, on the old thermostat, which had a AA battery. It wasn't connected to house wiring. Just the heating unit, probably through the ceiling. There is no C wire. There is no possibility of a C wire on the gas heater. It is a Quadra Fire Gas stove, installed when the house was built in 2006.

This unit is not shown on the Quadra-Fire website.

It has been suggested that we may need to install a C-wire adapter like this one:

We are handy. John is a retired contractor.

Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey there,


We got your form — thanks for filling it out. Our team will reach out to you via email anytime soon. Please continue the conversation there as this thread will be locked after 24 hours.


Best regards,