Nest Power Connector

If your thermostat has power related issues, like the battery draining too quickly or Wi-Fi constantly disconnecting, you can typically fix them by connecting a common wire (C wire) or by installing the Nest Power Connector. Either one will provide a stable power source for your Nest thermostat when your system can’t deliver enough consistent power to it. 

If your system already has a C wire or a spare wire, you can simply connect it to your thermostat and HVAC system. But if there isn’t a C wire, you have two options: get a pro installer to run a new C wire from your system to your thermostat, which can be expensive, or you can install the Nest Power Connector, which is usually simpler and more affordable. 

If you don’t feel comfortable installing the Power Connector yourself, you can contact a pro to install it for you. 

Warning: Some 3rd party C wire adapters can cause problems or damage your Nest thermostat, even if they claim to be Nest compatible. We recommend using a Nest Power Connector to ensure compatibility and best performance with your thermostat.

The Nest Power Connector works with these Nest thermostats:

  • Nest Thermostat
  • Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd gen)
  • Nest Thermostat E

How to tell which Nest thermostat you have

How to tell if you need the Nest Power Connector

You can check if you need a Nest Power Connector before you purchase a Nest thermostat at g.co/nest/works.

You may also need the power connector or a C wire in these cases:

  • When you set up your thermostat, the Google Home app tells you that you need the Power Connector or a C wire.
  • Your thermostat screen shows a power-related help code, such as E1, E297, N260 or N261.
  • Your thermostat screen shows “Very low battery. Replace now and install stable power source.”
  • Your thermostat battery keeps draining.
  • Your thermostat keeps disconnecting from Wi-Fi. 

For a more extensive list of symptoms, go to Why your Nest thermostat may need a C wire.

How to install the Nest Power Connector

You can install the power connector yourself, or call a pro. For a brief video of the installation process, go to How to install the Nest Power Connector.

Note: If your system doesn’t have a C terminal, you’ll need to call a pro.

Before you start

  1. Finish installing your Nest thermostat before you install the power connector. 
  2. Update your thermostat if needed. 
    • If you have a Nest Thermostat E or Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd gen), you don’t need to update.
    • If you have a Nest Thermostat, select Settings and then Version. If the version is earlier than 1.1, you’ll need to update.
      1. To update, first make sure your thermostat is set to Off mode.
      2. On your thermostat, select Settings and then Version and then Update
      3. Get version 1.1 or later. 
  3. Turn off power to your system at the fuse box or system switch. This will help prevent damage to your system and help keep you safe. 
  4. Check to see if you’ve turned off the right breaker by changing the temperature with your thermostat. Wait a few minutes to make sure your HVAC system doesn’t turn on.

Where to install the Nest Power Connector

  • If your home has one thermostat, install the power connector at the furnace or air handler.
    • If there’s a control board, find the series of labeled terminals on it and install the power connector there.
    • If there’s no control board, which is common for heat-only systems, find the thermostat wiring and where it connects to the furnace. 
  • If you have a zoned system with more than one thermostat, install the power connector at the zone controller. If you can’t locate your zone controller, contact a pro.

Installation guides

Important: Installation will require access to wiring, and may require the use of ladders or working in locations with little space. Use a helper if possible and avoid installing the device when home alone.

Basic installation guide

The Nest Power Connector comes with instructions in the box. Follow those instructions to install the connector. You can find the same instructions in this Installation Guide.

Advanced/Pro installation guide

For more complex systems and for pro instructions, use this Pro Installation Guide.

Troubleshoot installation issues

Power status: “Not detected” or wires not detected (Nest Thermostat only)

If you’ve installed Nest Power Connector and your power status is “Not detected,” run a power test. The status should change to “Detected” after the power test. 

  1. Make sure your thermostat is set to Off mode. 
  2. On your Nest Thermostat, select Settings  and then Equipment
  3. Select Power Connector  and then Power test.
  4. Wait for the power test to finish, and then select Done.
  5. To confirm, select Settings  and then Equipment  and then Power Connector  and then Power Status. 
  6. The screen should now read “Nest Power Connector Detected.”

If some wires are still not detected, check the following:

  • The wires are in the right connectors.
  • The wires are fully inserted in the connectors. 
  • Try to turn on the function for the wire that’s not detected. For example, if the heating wire isn’t detected, try to turn on heating, and then check if the wire is now detected.
Power status: “Disabled” (Nest Thermostat only)

If you previously disabled the Nest Power Connector, you’ll need to re-enable it. 

  1. On your Nest Thermostat, select Settings  and then Equipment.
  2. Select Power Connector  and then Power status.
  3. Select Enable  and then Continue  and then Done.
Your thermostat won’t turn on (N260 error)
  • Check that the equipment cover is back on. Your system may have a safety latch that keeps it from turning on if the cover is not correctly reinstalled or fully closed.
  • Check that the circuit breaker switch is fully back on. You may need to switch it off and quickly switch it back on again. 
  • Check that the fuses at the fusebox and the control board are working.
  • Check and tighten all the wiring connections you worked on. 
Your system is behaving strangely
  • Check that the wires are connected in the right place. 
  • Tighten all the wiring connections. Make sure all connections are snug.

For more help, contact us or call a pro

Technical specifications

Nest Power Connector tech specs
Dimensions
  • Height: 2.89 in (73.44 mm)
  • Width:  2.1 in (53.70 mm)
  • Depth:  0.57 in (14.50 mm)
  • Wiring length: 7.48 in (190 mm)
Weight 2.17 oz (61.5 g)
Requirements
  • Requires a compatible Nest thermostat and HVAC system.
  • Works with 24 VAC systems only. Millivolt and high-voltage systems are incompatible.
  • Works with the Nest Thermostat, Nest Thermostat E, and 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostat.

How to tell which Nest thermostat you have

Note: For the Nest Learning Thermostat, 1st gen and 2nd gen, consult with a Nest Pro.

Operating Temperature –22° to 140℉ (–30° to 60℃)
Certification IP51 – Resistant to dust and water
Colors Snow
In the Box
  • Nest Power Connector
  • Wire connectors
  • Wire labels
  • Sticky pad
  • Installation guide
  • Safety, warranty, and regulatory guide
Materials Made with 46% post-consumer recycled materials (by weight).
Warranty 1-year limited warranty
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