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Nest Sensor Not Connecting: 8 Causes & Fixes (2023)

Nest Sensor Not Connecting

Ah, the Nest Sensor. An excellent little round thing.

Perfect for couch potatoes, gamers, remote workers, sleepyheads… Basically, anyone who stays in one room the whole day.

No need to press the thermostat. Convenient, right?

But sometimes this handy dandy gadget just won’t connect to your Nest Thermostat.

What could be the problem? 

Keep on reading to find out:

  • Why your Nest Sensor won’t connect.
  • 8 easy fixes to get your Nest Sensor to connect.
  • Where in your home should you put your Nest Sensor.
  • What house items interfere with your Sensor’s Bluetooth.
  • And much, much more…

Why is my Nest sensor not connecting?

Your Nest Sensor isn’t connecting to your Thermostat because of its location. It can also be due to interference or the Bluetooth turned off. Or your Thermostat is connected to many devices. And it’s incompatible. The Sensor’s battery may have run out. Also, the software or the device has worn down.

Nest sensor not connecting – 8 causes & fixes

#1: Too far away from the Nest Thermostat

Having a Nest Sensor feels like a warm blanket. The temptation to just stay in bed all day.

You don’t have to stand up for the Thermostat. The Nest app lets you adjust it from another room.

But what if the Sensor stops working? It may be too far away from the Thermostat.

These devices need Bluetooth to communicate. The Sensor constantly transfers data to your Thermostat. With this, you can control the Thermostat anywhere in the house.

Bluetooth can only work within 98 ft (30 m). As compared to Wi-Fi, which can go over 325 ft (100m).

Also, concrete walls or floors can make Bluetooth slower. Or anything made of dense materials.

Thus, distance can definitely throw off the Nest Sensor’s signal. Think about that next time you put the Sensor down the basement.

A Nest Sensor can either be mounted or set anywhere.

If your Nest Sensor is on a flat surface, move it closer to the Thermostat.

Is your Nest Sensor screwed on a wall? Carefully remove the screws. Choose a location nearer your Thermostat. Then, attach it to the wall.

Wood and glass cause fewer connection problems. Or any other thinner material.

Items that can get in the way are:

  • Closets.
  • Tall lamps.
  • Bookshelves.
  • Refrigerators.
  • Any large furniture.
  • Washing machines.
  • Any tall decorative pieces.

The shorter the distance, the fewer things in between, the smoother the connection will be.

#2: Too much interference

“Please turn off all electronic devices for the duration of the flight.”

Does this ring a bell? Your phone or laptop can actually put off a plane’s radar.

The same goes for your Nest Sensor. Gadgets that use Wi-Fi can interfere with its Bluetooth.

You may have also noticed your Wi-Fi slows down when you’re near your Sensor.

“So, how do I know if there’s interference?”

Your Sensor not connecting is already a huge red flag. 

Other signs of interference include:

  • Missing data.
  • The device going offline.
  • Slow response on the app.

Nothing shall keep my Nest Sensor and Thermometer apart!

You can put your Nest Sensor closer to your Thermostat. Less distance means fewer items affecting it.

Your Nest Sensor is sensitive not just to Wi-Fi. But also other things that produce radio waves.

Keep your Nest Sensor away from:

  • Stoves.
  • Tablets.
  • Laptops.
  • Smart TVs.
  • Smartphones.
  • Baby monitors.
  • Cordless phones.
  • Microwave ovens.
  • Portable speakers.
  • Any Bluetooth device.
  • Wireless video equipment.

“So, where is the best place to put my Nest Sensor?”

Place the Nest Sensor in a room where you spend the most time in. This will help keep you comfortable. Mount or set it at chest height. This way, it accurately tells the room’s temperature.

Note: One room may have different temperatures. The space on a tall shelf can be colder than on a short table. Also, windows and ceiling heights can affect temperatures.

Your Nest Sensor should be within 50 ft (15m) from your Thermostat. Putting them closer strengthens the connection.

#3: Low or dead battery

The Nest Sensor doesn’t have an internal battery. Instead, it needs a CR2 3V lithium battery. 

How can you tell it’s about to run out? Your Nest Sensor would send a push notification to your app.

But with connection issues, the message may not come through.

Also, an almost dead battery can affect the strength of the Bluetooth.

Though Bluetooth uses less power than Wi-Fi. It still needs the energy to work.

Low battery causes the Sensor to go offline. It also stops reporting data to the Thermostat.

“I’ve had this Nest Sensor since…FOREVER!”

You should check the age of your Nest Sensor. Or the last time you changed its battery. Its lithium battery can last up to two years. If it’s more than that, get a new one.

Look for the silver slot on the back of the sensor. Use a screwdriver to twist it. Turn it counterclockwise until loose. Take out the old battery and insert the new one. Repeat the instructions when closing.

Note: The battery is the Nest Sensor’s only power source. It doesn’t allow external USB charging.

Reading tip: Nest Thermostat Low Battery: 7 Easy Ways To Fix It

#4: Software slowing down

Bringing your entire closet for a two-day sightseeing trip is a bad idea.

Your backpacking friends are walking light. While you carry two luggage. Lagging behind them.

For a device, a heavy load can be too much data. Too much activity. A full cache.

That’s why the restart/refresh button exists. Even you secretly wish you had one in your most awkward moments.

Just like your phone, your Nest Sensor could have this problem too.

Give it a break. And it the meantime, you can give yourself that popular chocolate bar we all love.

It probably needs a hand or two. Or even a quick reboot.

“How do I restart my Nest Sensor?”

Turn your Nest Sensor Off. Then, take out the batteries. Wait for 30 seconds to a minute. Put it back in and check the connection.

“It still didn’t work! Maybe it’s something else?”

If this fails, it might be your Thermostat not working. You should try resetting it.

Though this takes more effort, it may help.

Note: Before doing this, take note of all your preferred settings. This makes it easier to set it up again. You can also go to Settings and select Equipment. Here, you can record your chosen heating types and temperature settings.

Press your thermostat ring. Go to Quick View Menu and select Settings. Turn the ring to Reset and press.

Resetting will unlink your Nest Sensor from your Thermostat.

“How do I re-link my Nest Sensor?”

  1. Open your Nest App. 
  2. Select the Settings icon on your Home Screen. 
  3. Choose Add Product. 
  4. Then, scan the QR code on your Sensor’s battery pull tab. Or on your Sensor’s backplate.
  5. Put your Sensor near your Thermostat. Stay away from the items that affect its connection.
  6. On the app, pair your Thermostat. It will automatically test the connection.
  7. Then add a new name for your Sensor.

Re-linking your Sensor may help it recognize the other device.

You may also wonder: Can Google Home / Nest be hacked? 

#5: Incompatible Thermostat

Fun fact: Google released the first Thermostat in 2011. This was the Nest Learning Thermostat 1st Generation. The Nest Sensor was added 7 years later.

This means not all Nest Thermostats can pair with the Sensor.

“I’m no Cupid, so I have no idea if they’re a match!”

Check which Nest Thermostat you have.

The Nest Thermostat works with:

  • The Nest Thermostat E.
  • The Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation.

This applies to Nest Thermostats bought from:

  • Mexico.
  • Canada.
  • The United States.

Is your device not on the list? It may be incompatible with your Sensor. Thus, causing connection issues.

Thermostats bought in those countries should work with your Sensor.

Currently, Thermostats made for use in other countries don’t work with the Sensor.

Continue reading: Are Smart Thermostats Universal? 3 Things You Need To Know

#6: Too many sensors linked to the Thermostat

Multi-tasking can be a sport in itself. Trying to juggle a full-time job, a side-hustle, studying, looking after the kids, while also meeting friends and going to the gym.

Of course, we have our limits. Your Nest Thermostat has them too.

The Nest Thermostat can be connected to up to 6 Sensors.

But you may have one too many. This can slow down your Sensor’s performance. Including its connectivity.

Your Nest Thermostat works with only one Sensor at a time. Your Nest Sensors must be placed in different rooms.

“How do I unlink one of my Sensors?”

First, open the Nest app. Choose Settings on the home screen. Select your Thermostat’s name. Tap Manage Sensors. Then, go to Temperature Sensors.

You’ll see a list of all the sensors in your home. The ones connected to your Thermostat have a blue checkmark.

Choose the Sensor you want to unlink. Tap the blue checkmark to disconnect. An empty checkbox means it’s unlinked. 

#7: Worn-out Thermostat

Time flies so fast. You may haven’t noticed. But your Nest devices may be on its way to retirement.

It takes two to tango. Your Sensor can’t operate if your Thermostat is over the hill.

The Nest Thermostat is built to last for 10 years. Though it is a fairly new device. And no research has been done to test this. But this is possible. As long as it’s well taken care of.

Is your Thermostat almost a decade old? Consider replacing it.

“Is getting a new Thermostat worth it?”

With that lifespan? Definitely.

Your comfort is the top priority for Nest products. And that’s what they’ll surely give you.

#8: Your phone’s Bluetooth is off

Phone's Bluetooth Is Off

Your Sensor: Hey! Over here!

Your Thermostat: …

Your Sensor: Can’t you see me? Helloooo.

Your Thermostat: …

No, your Thermostat isn’t giving your Sensor the cold shoulder.

Remember that these devices need Bluetooth to share data. Or in this case, to connect.

To link your Sensor and Thermostat, you need your phone. You can do this with your Nest app. Also, your phone’s Bluetooth must be turned on.

Bluetooth settings differ among phones. Check your phone’s manual for instructions.

You should see the Bluetooth symbol on your phone screen.

Surprise! More stuff you need to know!

So you’ve reached the end. And none of the tips did the trick.

Getting a new Nest Sensor might be on your radar.

“My Nest Sensor is fairly new. Can I get a free replacement?”

Your Nest Sensor has a one-year warranty. Provided that it was purchased from Google’s official store. 

Note: This information applies to the US and Canada. It may differ in other countries. You may check the warranty in the Nest Sensor’s box.

If you’re having connection issues, even after following all steps, you can file a warranty claim here. Google will then check the validity of your claim.

As stated, your Nest Sensor’s issue should exclude:

  • Misuse.
  • Neglect.
  • Liquid damage.
  • Extreme temperature.
  • Normal wear and tear.
  • Damage from sharp objects.
  • Exposure to excessive force.
  • Damage caused by electricity.
  • Removal or disarrangement parts.
  • Changing of parts done by you or a non-Google-authorized technician.

Once Google approves your claim, expect one of the 3 options.

Option 1: They can accept the broken product. They will also give you a refund. And cover the shipping costs. Given that your claim is valid.

Option 2: They can repair your broken product. They may use brand new or refurbished parts.

Option 3:  they can give you a replacement. Or another Google product with the same value.

The repaired and replacement products are still covered by your original warranty. Depending on the months left in the one-year period.

“Can I put my Nest Sensor outside?”

The Nest Sensor does look like a hockey puck. Despite that, it’s not meant to be outdoors!

And yes, even if it’s within the minimum range of your Thermostat… Connection problems can still arise.

Also, your Sensor isn’t waterproof! It’s not built to withstand rain nor heat.

Be sure to keep your Nest Sensor indoors. Where it’s comfortable and safe.

“Can I use my Nest Sensor for other thermostats?”

Your Nest Sensor won’t work with third-party thermostats. The same goes with your Nest Thermostat. As it can only operate with Nest Sensors.