Are you using Nest Thermostat for more than 1 year? Did you ever get a “Delayed” message on your Nest Thermostat? Yes, I got it a few days back. It’s annoying as your thermostat stops working.

So, how to fix the Nest Thermostat Delayed Message? In short, there are 2 different ways to solve this “Delayed” message popping up on your thermostat. You need to charge your thermostat through a USB cable or you can just get an Ohmkat C-Wire adapter and connect that to your Nest thermostat.

The first way to solve the problem by charging the thermostat battery is an easy way but the delayed message can pop up again in future.

However, if you use a C-wire and connect that to your thermostat, you will never get the same delayed message displayed again on your Nest thermostat screen.

The choice is yours!

I have used the second one for myself. But I want you to know the easy method too as everyone could not be able to play with a C-wire themselves and might require a technician’s help.

What does it mean when my Nest thermostat says delayed?

A delayed message in the Nest thermostat indicates that your thermostat is not getting enough power to keep your HVAC system running properly.

The new Nest E learning thermostat comes with a rechargeable fixed battery which can’t be changed by just taking off the battery. For this thermostat, using a C-wire fixes the power distribution to all the components and fixes the delayed error.

However, if you are using an old thermostat where you can easily change the AAA alkaline batteries, just change your batteries and the problem will be solved instantly.

So, why did my nest thermostat say delayed? In short, a delayed message is just to notify you that your nest thermostat battery is low and you need to fix this issue to keep your thermostat running.

How do I fix a delayed Nest thermostat?

There are 2 ways to fix a “delayed” message on a Nest Thermostat. I will explain both the reasons so that if you are in hurry, you can use the easy method for a temporary fix and the other method will require some technical requirements so you can use the method to fix this “delayed” error permanently when you have enough time on weekends.

Method 1 – Temporary Fix

USB charging port for nest thermostat

The short-term fix is to charge your Nest thermostat as the “Delayed” message is displayed on the nest thermostat when the device has not enough charging capability to distribute power to all the HAVAC systems.

To charge your thermostat, take out your nest thermostat display and turn it back to see the USB port.

Plug the Nest thermostat batteries to charge by using a wall charger.

Make sure you are using the right USB cable (micro-USB or mini-USB), depending on what device model you are using. Check for compatibility here.

The Nest thermostat will blink red when it is charging. Remember to check this.

Your Nest thermostat takes around half an hour to charge when it is not fully drained, while when it is fully drained, it takes around 2 hours.

Once the Nest batteries are fully charged, put it back to the wall. This will resolve the issue for some time but it is not a permanent fix.

For a permanent fix, use the below guide on how to fix the next thermostat delayed message permanently.

Method 2 – Permanent Fix The “Delayed” Message error on Nest Thermostat

where to place C wire in nest thermostat

A C wire is a simple device that takes power from the mains to stop heavy load on an HVAC system.

Since it is directly connected to the mains, it protects the battery from draining fast as it distributes power from the mains to the system.

A C wire transformer has 2 wires, one needs to be connected to Power(RH) and the other to the C-terminals.

Once you connect the C wire to the terminals, connect the transformer to the wall power socket.

I am using this method and never faced the delayed message error again. Yeah! I faced it one time and then I did these changes but really made everything smooth.

Since I am using this method, I would recommend using Ohmkat C Wire Adapter. This adapter comes with a lifetime warranty and you get a new one delivered to you if the adapter has any issues.

What is a C Wire?

OHMkat C wire for Nest Thermostat

The Common wire, commonly known as C wire is a blue wire that connects to your Nest thermostat “C” port.

So, what does a C wire do and why you should use it? The C wire’s main job is to supply a constant 24V power to the HVAC system, to stop it from going offline.

It is connected from the C -terminal of the HVAC system to the thermostat C port.

While this is one of the great ways to keep your thermostat running, you might not want to do a rewiring when installing a thermostat. Here’s our quick guide on how to install a Nest thermostat without C-wire.

Don’t have a C wire – You can Get into These problems?

It really looks cool when you don’t have a C wire running but at the same time, it can lead to various problems due to irregular power supply.

A C wire makes it possible for your thermostat to get constant power and keep your thermostat working and safe from power cycling and other damages that an irregular power supply can cause.

Here are some of the issues that your thermostat can get without a C wire.

Battery Life Reduction

An irregular power supply leads to reduced battery life. Lithium-ion batteries get easily degraded with irregular charging.

You can replace your batteries as they don’t cost much but they are hazardous to the environment.

Disabled Motion Sensing

Nest thermostat comes with a motion sensing feature that turns on the HVAC system when a motion is detected.

When the nest thermostat battery is low, this feature is disabled automatically.

WIFI Getting Disconnected

A low battery also causes frequent disconnection from Wi-Fi. Once, the wifi is disconnected, remote functionality also stops.

Irregular Power Cycling

Irregular power cycling causes random features to get disabled and enabled. You may see the fan not working or your HVAC system not switching from heating to cooling.

All these irregular and random signals to the control panel affect the thermostat life

Problems That You Can Fix Using a C Wire?

I am not going to convince you to use a C wire as it requires running wires to your HVAC system. But here are a few benefits that I have seen myself.

  • When your HVAC system turns on and off, making sounds like, clicking, stuttering, chattering or thumping. You will never have to face these strange noises if you use a C wire.
  • Your HVAC system will never turn off.
  • Heating and cooling features always work.
  • You will never see an HVAC fan getting stopped.

Note – A consistent power keeps your nest thermostat running without any hindrance. A C-wire makes this possible for you.


There are no second thoughts on Nest thermostat being one of the best thermostats without a C-Wire but if your HVAC system is old and is not designed to work without a C-wire, you must use a C-wire to prevent damage to your HVAC system.

If your thermostat is showing a Delayed error message, it shows a low battery in your nest thermostat. Using a C-wire keeps your thermostat running without any failure.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is my Nest delayed for 2 hours?

If you are using a thermostat without a C-wire, it can get underpowered and lead to a delay in AC start-up. The delay in starting up your Nest thermostat causes your Nest thermostat to display a “delayed for 2 hours” message.

Why is my thermostat going to a delay mode?

Nest thermostat goes to delay mode to protect your thermostat from short cycling. The Nest thermostat comes with a built-in compressor that prevents it from restarting quickly after a shutdown.

Why does my AC compressor run after 2-3 minutes?

Most people have a tendency to switch on and off AC quickly. This causes your AC compressor to burn out and to protect this, there’s a delay time (simply put “time lock”) whenever you power it ON.

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