Nest Thermostat Delayed – How to Fix it

I’d recently relocated, and my new apartment had an old thermostat that used a compressor.

I decided to give it a little facelift by installing Smart Thermostat. I chose the Nest Smart Thermostat because I wanted to do as little rewiring as possible while still getting a lot of features.

Everything worked perfectly, and I loved being able to manage my thermostat from my phone.

However, after a few weeks, my air conditioner stopped working and my Nest thermostat has shown a “Delayed” notice.

This would not do, so I went online to discover out what was going on. I incorporated all I learnt into this detailed article. before that I was searching about what is Nest Thermostat Short Cycling Ac and compiled all related information.

Nest thermostat says the delayed message is due to underpowered is the most common cause of this thermostat delayed message. What to do?

  • Take off your nest thermostat from the wall and charge it using a USB port located at the back of the thermostat from a 24volt USB charger, it will fix your thermostat temporarily.
  • To fix permanently: Two types of nest thermostats, c-wire and without c-wire, you have to connect your c-wire with the nest and furnace to ensure no disruption of power occurs again.
  • Without a c-wire thermostat, you will need to attach a C- Wire charging adapter with the thermostat and plug into power to ensure no disruption of power.

Let’s get into detail about why the Nest thermostat delayed the message displaying

  1. Nest thermostat’s low power or empty battery
  2. Wiring circuit issue
  3. Newly installed
  4. Software Updates

1.   Nest Thermostat’s Low Power or Empty Battery

C-wire and without C-Wire Thermostat

Nest’s latest thermostat models (Learning and E) have rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. These are nothing more than backup batteries.

Contrary to popular belief, the Nest Thermostat does not operate without electricity.

If your power goes out for whatever reason, the Nest backup batteries will take over and store your Nest data and settings.

These rechargeable batteries are not replaceable (the original Nest had AAA alkaline batteries that you could just take out and put new ones in).

Excess power drain is caused due to the thermostat’s various functions like Wi-Fi, Motion detection, display, and many more.

The rest of the power is distributed to the connected systems like the furnace, air conditioner, heat pump, and fans.

When the power input is low, the power distribution is greatly affected. The Nest thermostat’s battery, as well as other components of the HVAC system, will be underpowered.

In such a situation, the HVAC system will operate erratically by turning on and off randomly or erroneously regulating temperatures.

Wiring circuit issue

Another reason your device is displaying the delayed message might be a missing wire or an incomplete circuit between the HVAC and the Nest thermostat.

Newly Installed

A newly installed Nest thermostat will not know how long it takes to heat or cool your house, so it will require some time to ‘settle in’ and get to know your home before functioning effectively.

Software Updates

Nest thermostats, like most smart devices, rely on frequent software upgrades to ensure they work as smoothly as possible. If your smartphone displays the ‘Delay’ message, it might be because it is updating and is unable to perform its normal activities.

Nest Thermostat Delayed – How to fix it?

1- Nest Thermostat’s Low Power or Empty Battery

Short-term fix: (C-wire and without C-Wire)

Untitled 1 5

Fortunately, there is a simple, short-term remedy that will restore your Nest thermostat’s functionality and eliminate the “Delayed” message.

You only need to charge your Nest.


Begin by turning off the Nest thermostat display. When you turn it around, you’ll notice a USB port on the upper rear of the device.

The type of USB power cord required (micro-USB or mini-USB) is determined by the model of Nest you own.

To begin charging your Nest, plug it into a power charger (or even a USB connection on your laptop).

Check that the Nest is flashing red, as this shows that it is charging correctly.

On average, your thermostat takes about half an hour to charge. If your battery is fully drained, it will take 2 hours to recharge

Thermostat Mini USB Micro USB Rechargeable Battery AAA Alkaline Batteries
Early Nest Thermostat   YES
1ST Gen Nest Thermostat Yes
2nd Gen, 3rd Gen, And The Nest Thermostat E Yes Yes


You have to keep charging your device regularly to fix this delayed message.

How to fix it?

2- Wiring Circuit Issue

Permanent Fix: (Without a C-Wire)

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A C-Wire Transformer is a simple and low-cost device that can supply consistent power to the thermostat.

It pulls electricity from the mains, which lessens the burden on the HVAC system. The installation procedure is quite straightforward.

Two wires are connected to the transformer. The wires must be connected to the thermostat’s Power(RH) and C-terminals. Then, using a wall outlet, connect the transformer unit to the mains.

One thing to keep in mind is that a wall outlet should be close to your thermostat.

Steps to install:

  1. Remove the front of your Nest Thermostat to reveal the wiring terminals.
  2. The adapter has two wires attached to it – connect one to the Power (RH) terminal and the other to the Common (C) terminal.
  3. You will then need to connect the C-wire adapter plug to the main’s electricity by plugging it into a nearby wall socket.


The main downside of this approach is that the adapter wires will emerge from the thermostat, destroying the clean appearance.

Permanent Fix: C-Wire

Before we begin, go to your Nest’s Settings and scroll down to Equipment.

Your Nest will show you the wires it detects in real-time. The yellow wire represents cooling, the white wire represents heat, the green wire represents the fan, and the red wire represents electricity.

The blue wire that plugs into “C” is the one you’re searching for. To power your Nest, the Common wire will draw a small quantity of low voltage electricity from your furnace.

You will need to attach the common wire to complete the circuit.

When the R wires are connected, the C wire completes the circuit between the HVAC and smart thermostat, providing a constant supply of power that keeps the Nest thermostat running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you don’t see a blue Common wire on the Nest display, continue reading.

Connect the C Wire to the Nest Thermostat

To begin, go to your circuit breaker and switch off the breaker that controls the Nest thermostat, as well as the breaker that controls your furnace (or just unplug it). You want all electricity turned off.

Remove the display casing from the Nest and take a quick look at the wiring. Except for one, all wires will be connected. You might have to dig a little to locate it, but I’m guessing there’s a blue Common wire somewhere in there.

Once you’ve located and confirmed the presence of the Common wire, go to the furnace.

Connect the C Wire to the HVAC System

  1. Remove the lid and turn off the HVAC system by disconnecting it or pushing the circuit breakers button.
  2. Locate the R, W, Y, G, and C thermostat terminals.
  3. Connect the C wire you pulled through from the Nest Thermostat to the HVAC board’s C connector.
  4. Reconnect the HVAC system at the mains and reinstall the front cover.
  5. Configure the Nest Thermostat’s Settings
  6. Finally, return to the Nest Thermostat and complete the setup steps to ensure the C wire is properly placed and connected.

With the C wire installed, your Nest thermostat should no longer display the ‘Delay’ notification because it will be receiving a constant flow of power from the HVAC system.

Use the Fan (G) Wire Instead of the C Wire

  1. The green cable that operates the fan is known as the G wire. You may use it to fool your thermostat into believing you have a C wire attached.
  2. Turn off the HVAC system and remove the front panel from your thermostat device, then disconnect and reconnect the G wire from the G terminal to the C terminal.
  3. Return to your HVAC system terminals and repeat the procedure. Then, restart the machine and return to your Nest thermostat to finish the configuration in the settings menu.

Note: Please keep in mind that if you choose this option, you will no longer be able to operate your fan independently to heat or cool your house.

3- Newly installed

If your device is new and displays the warning ‘Delayed for 2 Hours’ or another timeline, don’t worry. Instead, allow the device some time to settle in, and it will soon be functioning normally.

Similarly, if you recently reset your Nest thermostat, you will notice the delay notification. Again, the delay is caused by the device losing all of the recorded data it has learned about your house, so you’ll need to treat it like a new device and wait a few days to get back on track.

4- Software Updates

Nest Thermostat Delayed - How to Fix it

Any ‘Delay’ message is normal here, so don’t be concerned if you notice it on your device. Instead, give the device some time to finish the upgrades, and it should resume regular operation.


There are three fixes for this:

The first option is to simply remove the Nest display casing and put it into a USB charger. The Nest might take up to 2 hours to fully recharge.

However, after a time, your Nest battery will expire and you will need to recharge it.

Connect the blue Common wire to your Nest and your furnace for a more permanent solution.

Attach a C- Wire charging adapter with the thermostat and plug into power to ensure no disruption of power

This will continuously give low voltage power to your Nest and eliminate the Delayed problem.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Why was my Nest thermostat Delayed for 3 minutes?

This is referred to as the maintenance band, deadband, difference, or temperature swing. The delay is generally only a few minutes, but it serves to protect your system and conserve energy: Many heating and cooling systems include a delay to prevent overheating.

Why is my Nest thermostat delayed with a C wire?

The nest thermostat is showing a delayed message with c wire due to poor wiring or software pending update.

To check the wiring is connected properly:

  1. Go to setting menu
  2. Open the Equipment Menu
  3. See all connected wires and their position

To check Software pending Updates:

  1. Open the Nest app and Select Thermostat
  2. Tap the setting on the right top
  3. Select Technical info
  4. You will see the software version and any updates pending information as well

Why is my Nest thermostat stuck on temperature?

Restart your Nest thermostat. Press and hold the thermostat ring down until the display turns off. Release the ring and then press it once to begin startup again.

Then do this:

  1. Don’t use separate google accounts at home for a nest
  2. Set your temperature based on motion
  3. Reset the schedule.
  4. Create a household via getting a code and setting it up via the Nest app
  5. Set up google home and added your family members
  6. The one setting up google home will be the owner (source: google)
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About The Author

Hassan Zaka

I am an expert in accounting and possess diverse experience in technical writing. I have written for various industries on topics such as finance, business, and technology. My writing style is clear and simple, and I utilize infographics and diagrams to make my writing more engaging. I can be a valuable asset to any organization in need of technical writing services.

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