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Nest Thermostat Delayed? Here’s What It Means & How To Fix It!

Nest Thermostat Delayed? Here’s What It Means & How To Fix It!

The wonders Nest thermostat provides you with are unmatchable. However, more often than not, it pops up with a message or two that you don’t understand. Seeing the “delayed” sign may be one of them.

Simply put, this “delayed” message means that your Nest Thermostat’s power is low and is not something that indicates a significant problem.

There are two main fixes to this problem:

  1. Either you go for the short-term fix and charge it for 2 hours using the handy USB port, or 
  2. Go for the long-term fix by using a C wire to attach your Nest thermometer to your furnace

So regardless of the pathway you decide to choose, let us look at both of them in detail!

What Causes This Message To Pop Up?

Now before we go into the details, let’s understand why exactly this message pops up on your thermostat.

The latest models of Nest Thermostats, particularly the E and Learning ones, are equipped with lithium-ion batteries which are rechargeable. 

However, they act as backups rather than the main power sources. So, these batteries will start up and store your Nest data and settings if your power goes out for any reason.

Unlike the original versions of Nest, which had AAA alkaline batteries, these rechargeable lithium-ion batteries cannot be replaced with newer ones.

While most obviously these batteries are made to be rechargeable, another reason why you can’t replace them is the fact that they are not easily accessible. 

To obtain access, you’ll have to start disassembling your Nest inch by inch.

That being said, when these Nest rechargeable batteries run low, your Nest will probably start acting up. And your current display of the “Delayed” notification is one of the earliest indications of this.

How To Fix the “Delayed” Message?

As mentioned above, there are two ways of fixing this problem. While one is temporary and will require effort time and time again, the other albeit requires a huge effort, is simply for one time

The Short-Term Solution

For all those who want an urgent solution to this problem, the quick fix is to simply charge your thermostat! All you need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Firstly, you need to remove your thermostat’s display.
  2. Next, flip it over. A USB port will be located on the upper rear of the thermostat.
  3. You would either need a mini or micro USB charging cord depending upon the type of Nest Thermostat you have. (Check the list below)
  4. To begin charging your Nest, plug it into a power outlet or a USB connection on your laptop.
  5. Check to see whether the Nest is flashing red; this signifies a successful charge.
  6. Once charged fully, you can now reattach your Nest to your wall. But soon, the battery will run out, and you’ll have to recharge it once more.

Your thermostat charges in roughly 30 minutes on average. It will take two hours to fully recharge your battery if it was completely dead.

To know your Nest Thermostats’ compatibility with USB charging, review the list below.

Micro Port

  • Second-generation Nest Learning Thermostat
  • Third-generation Nest Learning Thermostat
  • Nest Thermostat E

Mini Port

  • First-generation Nest Learning Thermostat

Without any USB port

  • Nest Thermostat
Man adjusting thermostat at home

The Long-Term Solution

Most of the Nest Thermostats’ systems work by getting a small amount of power from the heating or cooling cables. With this, just enough electricity is available to keep the Nest always switched on.

The problem arises when these cables do not provide the minimum electricity for the Nest thermostat to stay switched on. It is during this time that you require a Common wire or C wire.

To begin with this long-term solution, on your Nest, navigate to “settings” and scroll to “equipment.” Your Nest will show you in real-time which cables it is picking up power from.

The cooling wire is yellow, the heating wire is white, the fan wire is green, and the power line is red.

The blue common wire that plugs into “C” is the wire you’re looking for. To power your Nest, a modest quantity of low voltage energy will be drawn from your furnace via the common wire.

And in case you do not see one, follow the following steps.

  1. Start by going to your circuit breaker and turning off the breaker that manages your heater and the Nest thermostat, respectively or simply unplug it. You want all of the electricity turned off.
  2. Next, remove the Nest’s display casing and have a quick look at the cables that are attached. You will notice that all but one wire is connected. There must be a blue common wire concealed someplace, however, you might need to look around a little to locate it.
  3. It’s time to head to the furnace once you’ve located the common wire and verified that it is there.
  4. You need to find a motherboard with all of the low voltage connections attached inside the furnace. To access the motherboard, you might need to detach a metal screen from the furnace. Several screws will also require removing so be ready for that as well.
  5. There are likely two main wires that branch off when you locate the low voltage cables within your furnace. There are 2 off-shooting wires coming from one main wire, and there are 5 off-shooting wires coming from the other main wire.
  6. Ignore the main cable and its two branching wires. This one is not what we want because it links to your exterior air conditioning unit.
  7. The Nest Thermostat cable is the other mainline with 5 branching wires. Five of the off-shooting lines have a blue wire that is disconnected. That is the common wire. That common wire has to be connected to the motherboard’s “Com” port.
  8. Also, a wire may already be attached to “Comm” but that’s not a problem as it can manage two cables without any issues.
  9. Return to your Nest Thermostat and disconnect the blue common wire from the “C” port while keeping the furnace and Nest off.
  10. Reconnect the Nest and the furnace’s electricity now. Go to “settings,” slide back over to “equipment,” and replace the Nest display cover. Check to see whether your Nest is now displaying the blue C wire.
And that concludes the matter. You should no longer get the "delayed" error, and your Nest should now receive a constant supply of electricity.

Final Words on Nest Thermostat Showing a “Delayed” Message

While all the above steps may seem too tricky or technical, these efforts serve as a great long-term solution.

However, in case you are still not up for the long job, you can simply recharge your thermostat every time it shows the “delayed” message!

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Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.