Ideally, a hard-wired Ring Doorbell should never run out of juice. The doorbell transform should supply enough power to keep it charged for years.
If your Ring isn’t getting enough power, it will either shut off or record poor-quality audio and video. Fixing it and restoring the charging is paramount.
How Do I Know My Ring Doorbell is Charging?
The LED light or Circle on your Ring (depending on the generation) blinks blue when the battery is charging. If your model has the lighting up Circle, the circle will gradually fill up and turn solid blue when it is fully charged.
- This only happens for Ring doorbells with rechargeable batteries. First and Second generation Ring doorbells require a charging cable plugged into the port behind the doorbell to charge
- Battery-operated Ring doorbell models with removable batteries don’t have this feature. You have to remove and charge the battery externally.
Warning: Don’t do any wiring testings with a multimeter or any tool if you are not conversant with handling AC power. You can get electrocuted or have a nasty shock.
How to Diagnose Ring Doorbell Power Issues (Hard Wired Models)
Using Ring on its internal battery? Don’t worry, we will address this in the second part of the article. Just scroll down until you see ‘Running Ring on Battery Power’
If you have a wired Ring doorbell, it should receive 16V and above AC power at 20 Amps from the transformer to work efficiently.
Luckily, you don’t have to break out a multimeter to find out if it is supplying this power. You can check this in the Ring app.
- Launch the Ring app on your smartphone
- Tap the Ring Doorbell to launch its control menu
- Tap on the ‘Check Health’ menu to view its status
- The voltage reading should be ‘Good.’ A different reading indicates that you have a problem with the power supply
- Other states could be ‘Poor’ or ‘Very Poor.’
ProTip: Doorbell transformers are either in your junction box, subpanel, electrical circuit box, or in doorbell chime box.
First Things First: Ensure All Connections are Snug
Loose connections can wreak havoc in any electrical system. The first thing to check when you confirm your Ring isn’t getting enough power is whether all connections are clean, snug and making firm contact.
- Remove the Ring from the wall mount and confirm that all contacts are dust-free, not corroded and making a firm connection
- Confirm that the connectors on the wall are also clean and snugly fit into the base plate terminals
- Head over to the transformer and ensure that all the wiring into the transformer and out of the transformer is clean and snug
Is the Transformer Getting Power?
The transformer needs mains power from your breaker box. A tripped circuit breaker, disconnected power or damaged wiring to the power source means no power to the transformer. It won’t send any through to the doorbell.
- Confirm that the circuit breaker powering the doorbell hasn’t tripped
- If handy with a multimeter, confirm that there is 120 (or 240) V AC power at the input side of the transformer
Is the Wiring from the Transformer to the Doorbell Intact
Very old houses are susceptible to ruined wiring that no longer makes complete connections. The wire could be frayed somewhere, causing the circuit breaker to continuously trip or cut preventing power delivery.
You could also have wires accidentally damaged during remodelling. To check if there is power continuity from the transformer to the doorbell side:
- Confirm that the transformer is outputting 16V plus (or whatever power)
- Go to the corresponding power wires at the doorbell location and use a multimeter to test the power output
- You should get as close to 16V as possible
- Anything lest by a couple of volts means high resistance on the wires
- No power means the wires don’t have continuity from the transformer (or you are testing the wires for power. Try a different combination if there are more wires, maybe the person wiring it used different cables)
If there is no power at all, you will have to rewire the circuitry or opt for an alternative 16V power supply.
How to Resolve Poor or Very Poor Power Status
The Ring doorbell works from a standard 16V AC transformer. The transformer is either in your junction box or between the doorbell and the power supply.
You will have to do some detective work if you don’t have the wiring plans for your house and can’t see the transformer.
Read the Power Rating on the Transformer
If you installed your Ring doorbell on an older home with a traditional bell, chances could be that the old transformer isn’t producing enough power for your new smart bell.
The simplest way to find this is by reading out the specs on the transformer. You are looking for something that produces at least 16V AC. The Ring might need up to 20 Amps at 16V to work.
- If the transformer is rated to produce this, find a multimeter (and someone who knows how to use it if you don’t) to confirm that the transformer is working as designed or age has caught up with it.
- If the transformer is out of spec, consider installing a replacement that meets the minimum Ring doorbell voltage requirements.
Install the Pro Power Kit V2 Bypass
If you can’t find the doorbell transformer or it is too far to rewire, you should consider installing a bypass to your indoor bell. This frees up more power by bypassing the power-hungry chime bell giving the doorbell a chance to draw sufficient power from a weak transformer.
The official Pro Power Kit V2 from Ring is the best choice if you are going this way.
- Shut off power to the doorbell by flipping off the doorbell circuit breaker at your main breaker box
- If unsure which breaker to turn off, you can turn off all the power to the house or get a licensed electrician to handle things.
- Remove the cover on the cover from the internal doorbell
- Detached the wires marked ‘Front’ and ‘Transformer.’
- Removed any wires and stickers on the Pro Power Kit V2
- Attach the two wires you just detached above to the respective ports in the Power Kit and snug them down
- Reassemble everything placing the PowerKit in the best place for aesthetics
- Turn the power breaker on and wait for the doorbell to turn on
- In your smartphone app, Access the doorbell and navigate to device settings
- Select Doorbell Kit Settings and set Doorbell Type to ‘None.’
If all went well, you should get a note when you tap the doorbell button and text notification. The only difference is your indoor bell won’t chime.
You can get back indoor notifications by installing a Ring Chime or a Chime Pro.
Supply Alternative Power if You Have No Power At All
The above bypass won’t work if you have no power to your Doorbell. However, it will still work if:
- You will run your Ring Doorbell off the internal battery
- You have Ring Chime or a Chime Pro for in-house notifications
- You don’t care for audible in-house notifications
Otherwise, you need an electrician (or yourself if you are handy) to wire in a new 16V, 20Amp plus transformer.
- Replace an existing one and use its wiring if it is faulty
- Run a new circuit for the 16V power, install a new transformer and power it from the circuit breaker if there was no transformer circuit to the door or the existing one was ruined
Running Ring on Battery Power
All Ring doorbells can run for a while on battery power. You can tap into this feature to install and use the doorbell without bothering with the wiring.
However, you must remove it from the wall mount and charge it occasionally. Don’t worry. You will get multiple notifications when the battery starts dipping low.
- Please don’t ignore them, as you will lose all your settings when the battery dies.
- Keep your Ring screwdriver close. You will need it to loosen the security screw when unmounting the doorbell.
How to Charge Your Ring Doorbell
You must remove the Ring doorbell from the wall mount by loosening the security screws and detaching ti from the mounting bracket. Slide the doorbell up to remove it from the bracket.
- Get the USB cable that came with your Ring (or any other MicroUSB cable) and plug it into the USB port behind the doorbell.
- Plug the other end into a 2.1Amp USB charger brick to charge the doorbell faster (4-5 hours). You can still charge from a computer USB or a less powered brick, but it will take up to 12 hours.
- The Light ring around the button will start blinking blue. The size of the light on the Ring will determine the charge level and turn solid blue once the battery is full.
- The in-app battery percentage might lag because it only updates when someone rings or the doorbell detects motion. Don’t be worried if it doesn’t seem to change.
Unplug and reassemble the doorbell once the battery is full. Note that you will have to charge more often if you have motion detection ON and receive much traffic. You can set it to detect motion less or turn it off if unnecessary for longer battery life.
Ring Doorbell Not Charging but Flashing Blue
The mere act of the light on your Ring flashing blue means it is charging. Pay attention to the portion of the Ring that is lit. This should increase over time and eventually turn solid after up to 12 hours of charging, depending on the power output of your charger.
Don’t check the in-App battery level as this doesn’t update unless the Ring detects motion or you press the Ring button.
How Can You Tell if a Ring Battery is Bad?
The battery on your Ring will eventually wear out. After all, it is only good for a definite number of charge and discharge cycles.
Check this too: How to Remove a Ring Doorbell Without a Tool
When worn out, it will no longer hold a charge for as long as it used to. This will be easier to notice if you run your doorbell on battery power or use a solar charger on the 1st gen doorbell to keep the battery topped up.
Your battery is bad if your doorbell has been around for at least two years, and you have to charge it over twice as often as you used to. You can find a replacement battery or opt to hard wire the doorbell for a constant mains power supply.