nest smoke detector battery keeps draining

Does your Nest smoke detector battery keeps draining? We have got you covered!

Battery draining is one of the most common issues among Nest smoke detector users and fortunately, simple troubleshooting methods can address it very easily.

The Nest smoke detector battery drains due to different factors, including bad (short-life) batteries, heavy usage of smoke detectors, power issues, and many more.

To fix the smoke detector battery draining issue, you have to inspect all involved factors.

Why Does My Nest Smoke Detector Battery Keep Dying?

The following are the most frequent reasons why the battery of a Nest smoke drains fast:

nest smoke detector battery keep dying

Poor Quality Batteries: An incompatible or weak battery could cause your Nest smoke detector to keep dying out of power. 

Heavy Device Usage: Using a Nest smoke detector in an area with a lot of smoke can cause its battery to drain more quickly.

Dirty Detector Sensor: Dust or debris in the detector might interfere with the sensor constantly, leading to battery draining.

Detector Wiring Issues: Any issue with the smoke detector’s wiring can prevent the backup battery from charging, hence will drain fast.

These are the possible issues that might and will impact your Nest smoke detector in a negative way so stay with us to unwrap the solution in easy steps!

Important: Nest smoke detectors older than 10 years, needs to be replaced.

How To Fix When Nest Smoke Detector Battery Issues?

If your smoke detector battery keeps draining, then don’t worry, here are the ways to effectively optimize the battery life and reduce drainers. Let’s jump straight in!

1. Check Battery Compatibility

check battery compatibility

It is very important to only use the compatible battery, designed for Nest smoke detectors that is recommended by the manufacturer.

Using old and/or bad batteries will cause different issues with the detector, such as random alarms, and severe battery drainage

  • Nest recommends using the Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA (L91) batteries!
Tip: The battery-operated nest, requires 6 x AA batteries, while the wired one requires only 3 x AA (for backup purposes).

2. Replace The Smoke Detector Batteries

It might be possible that the currently installed batteries in smoke detectors are very weak or nearly dead and that’s why the Nest smoke detector battery keeps draining.

Therefore, replace the batteries in the smoke detector with the Energizer fresh batteries. 

replace the smoke detector batteries
  1. Turn off the Nest smoke detector.
  2. Hold the detect bottom panel in your hand.
  3. Rotate the smoke detector clockwise.
  4. Remove the battery compartment cover.
  5. Take out the old batteries from the smoke detector.
  6. Insert fresh Energizer AA (L91)batteries.
  7. Close the smoke detector base using the bottom part.
  8. Turn on the smoke detector and test…

Using high-quality batteries will maintain the device working for at least 6 guaranteed months, and also stop the battery from draining.

3. Clean The Smoke Detector

Cleaning the Nest smoke detector is very important not only for its proper functioning but also for maintaining the product’s life span.

Over time, dust or debris builds up on the smoke detector and its sensors leading to more power usage, false alarms, or worst, bad sensor workability.

Alert: Avoid using tissues, cleaning liquids, or towels to clean the smoke detectors!
clean the smoke detector

Here is how to clean the Nest smoke detector in easy steps:

  1. Turn off the Nest detector power from the outlet.
  2. Grab the bottom part and twist counterclockwise.
  3. Gently remove the detector from the base.
  4. Then clean the outside of the smoke detector 
  5. Tip: Use a soft dry brush and clean cloth.
  6. Use compressed air to clean the detector from the inside.
  7. Reinstall the detector onto its base by turning it clockwise.
  8. Turn on the smoke detector power and test the power.
Tip: When you’re ready press the TEST/HUSH button to check whether the alarm works and observe the device for battery drainage.

4. Check The Detector Wiring

When you’re using a hardwired Nest smoke detector, the wiring plays a vital role in how the backup battery is charged, or worse, not charged.

The wired smoke detectors are directly connected to the AC (main circuit), so you must inspect the wiring harness.

check the detector wiring

Here is how to check the smoke detector wiring:

  1. Flip the switch on the AC line fuse to turn off the power.
  2. Hold the Nest detector and twist it counterclockwise.
  3. Remove the bottom part and unscrew the device’s base.
  4. Check the detector’s wiring and note the orientation. 
  5. Acquire a Multimeter and flip the main circuit switch. 
  6. Connect the probes of the multimeter to each wire.
  7. The multimeter should show a voltage of 110-120 volts.
  8. If the meter shows less voltage, the wires are faulty.
  9. Turn off the circuit and reinstall the smoke detector.
  10. Press the Test Button on the detector to test the alarm.
Info: On the battery-operated Nest smoke detectors, check whether the device’s board wires are intact and connected. 

Check for burns, blown capacitors, and other visual defects.

5. Change The Detector Placement

The placement of the Nest smoke detector has a major influence on the performance and the battery.

If the smoke detector is placed somewhere near the kitchen or bathroom, it will probably trigger more often due to high humidity and cooking/shower steam.

change the detector placement
  • Set up the Nest smoke detector near the bedroom in your home! 

Also, try to place the detector in a clean place to prevent the device from being accumulated with debris built up. By doing this, the smoke detector will detect and work properly until it is getting sufficient power from the outlet and battery. 

Quick Fact: The best place for a smoke detector is in the hallway in front of the bedroom!

6. Check For Firmware Upgrades

The Nest smoke detector’s outdated firmware usually affects the overall effectiveness of the device and battery life.

Thus, see whether an update is available, then upgrade the detector firmware to see if the battery issue is fixed.

The Nest products automatically update their firmware when connected to the network!

check for firmware upgrades

Here is how to check for the smoke detector firmware upgrades:

  1. Open the Nest application on your mobile. 
  2. Navigate to the Home screen of the app.
  3. Click on the problematic Smoke Detector.
  4. Click on the Settings icon from the top right.
  5. Look for the “Technical Info” from the settings.
  6. Tap on the “Software Version” option.
  7. Check if there is an update available update.
  8. If the Update button is available, tap on it.
  9. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  10. Don’t exit the app until the update process completes.

When the update is over, feel free to allow your Nest smoke detector to work for a while, and don’t forget to test whether the alarm is working.

7. Use a Nest Detector Without WiFi

When your Nest smoke detector is wired to the AC line of your home, you don’t need to worry about the battery being drained because of the WiFi services.

In contrast, when you’re using wireless battery-operated Nest smoke detectors the constant WiFi bond might have an impact.

Important Info: The reason why the battery is being drained faster than usual might be due to internet drops that are making your detector constantly auto-reconnect.
use a nest detector without wifi

The Solution?

When your internet goes does or fluctuates (not stable), all smart devices including the Nest smoke detector, reconnect automatically when the WiFi is online.

You should either disconnect your Nest smoke detector from the WiFi and test whether the battery will drain or make sure that your internet is stable. 

We recommend performing a router restart to refresh the service and prevent your Nest detector from constantly reconnecting.

In fact, your Nest detector doesn’t need WiFi to function properly and you only lose notifications and view status.

Need More Help?

If you have already tried all the troubleshooting ways discussed in the guide but the battery draining issue is still there, then contact Google Nest Support for further help.

Describe the issue clearly and let them know what troubleshooting you have already done. Good luck!

Quick Recap:

Whenever your Nest smoke detector battery keeps draining, be sure that you are using a fresh Energizer lithium battery, and clean the smoke detector.

Also, inspect the detector wiring, move the device to another place, and update the Nest detector’s firmware.

Nicole B