Multiple Bad Transformers?

I have the pro doorbell, powered off the official Ring transformer. About a week ago it just stopped working. I confirmed 120VAC on the primary leads, but there is zero output from the transformer on the secondary and obviously no power to the doorbell itself.

So I ordered a replacement transformer from Ring, and i’m still having the same problem. 120 V confirmed, but no power coming out. If it helps at all, the resistance on the primary side of the first unit is about 21 OHMs, haven’t checked the new one. So not sure how to proceed…seems like it has to be the transformer? Is there anything I’m missing that it could be, other than the first transformer failing and the second being bad out of the box?

Also wondering if the doorbell unit itself developed a short and is killing the transformers. Anyone know how to test the doorbell itself with a multi? I checked resistance across the terminals and it was ~.6, but I have no idea what one would expect it to be if functioning normally.

Hi @TheDyers. It might be worth contacting our support team or a qualified electrician regarding this concern, as it will help to narrow down if the concern lies within the Doorbell, the transformer, or the wiring itself. You can give our support team a call at one of the numbers available here. We’re taking additional steps to protect our team and help reduce the spread of COVID-19, so this has resulted in longer than normal wait times. If you are outside of the US, please read our response to COVID-19 here to see how to contact support.

Hi @Caitlyn_Ring , I actually did have an electrician look at it and the wiring is fine. It’s such a simple set up - we go from power to transformer to doorbell in the course of about three feet, all appropriately gauged. I’d call, but to be honest you don’t have an actual support team right now - I can’t commit the hour plus to sitting on hold to maybe get an answer.

So I’m hoping to get some help here. The problem is either that i received two bad transformers, or the Ring Pro unit itself has developed a short that is killing the transformers. I have a new, non-Ring-branded transformer now and I’m getting appropriate power at the secondary side and at the terminal ends of the wiring to the Ring Pro. I’m reluctant to hook the Pro up, though, until we troubleshoot this as I’m running up quite a tab on blown transformers.

In another message, one of the ring team @Marley_Ring mentioned that the Pro Power Kit was required for all setups, even if no powered chime was included. The instructions that came with it say otherwise, and I’m not sure how the absence of the Power Kit would lead to failure of the Pro unit as, if I’m not mistaken, the Power Kit is actually a capacitor which I think would increase the voltage, not reduce it as the resistors apparently used in previous generations would have done. Can either of you confirm the following for me?

1) Is it still correct to wire the Ring Pro directly to the Ring transformer, without a Pro Power Kit or resistor, for setups without a wired chime?
2) Is there any way to test a Ring Pro module for a possible short?

I’m hundreds of $ into this with hours lost on hold, so really do need someone to help me answer these questions online. Thanks in advance!!

@TheDyers I am not 100% however my understanding is that the pro power kit is required in all setups using the USA/120V electrical system.

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Hi @TheDyers. Definitely was a good call to have a qualified electrician check out the wiring and make sure everything looks good on that front. I did check with my team on this to verify the questions you were asking, and they did confirm it’s important to ensure that the Pro Power Kit is installed. If you’re not using a chime kit, you can use the Pro Power Kit in bypass mode. You’ll also have to select “no chime” when setting the Doorbell up in the Ring App.

If you are still running into issues with power or performance after making sure the Pro Power Kit is properly installed, you’ll want to follow up with support on the phone as it may require assistance from the advanced support team. You can reach out at one of the numbers available here. Feel free to let us know how that call goes if you do call into support.

@Caitlyn_Ring I think it might be good if Ring could post a guide around the pro power kit in a bit more detail as it does cause a lot of confusion for people and there are often forum questions about it. Something that says when to use it and when its not needed. For example its not even supplied in the UK with your devices but is recommended for devices on the 120vac system like the USA.

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Thanks @Caitlyn_Ring . Bummer, the instructions definitely made it seem that the Pro Power Kit was not needed if there was no wired chime, so I tossed it! Hopefully they can help me with a replacement and any returns using the chatbot.

One important question still - it really sounds like maybe the lack of the Pro Power kit exposed the Ring Pro to excessive current, fried it, and that’s why it’s now taking out transformers. Again, is there a way to test the Ring Pro unit for a possible short?

@bemak187 Thanks for that feedback, I talked to my team about it to see if we can get some more information documented regarding the Pro Power Kit for the Doorbell Pro so we neighbors have more access to that information. In the meantime, our Help Center Article here with wiring diagrams has one for One Ring Doorbell Pro Direct to Transformer that can be helpful for now.

@TheDyers Yes our support team should definitely be able to help you with getting a Pro Power Kit. I would also raise this concern of the power or a possible short on the Pro to our support team directly so they can advice you on what to do next. They may consider a replacement if the Doorbell Pro is under warranty and is possibly damaged.

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Boy has this ever turned into an unpleasant experience. Hours of time spent trying to get answers later, I tried hooking it up again, this time using a Pro Power Pack, and it fried another new transformer! What more evidence do we need that I have a Ring Pro with a short, and barring another miserable hour and a half on hold, is there no way i can get this thing waranteed? At this point I’ve spent much more of my time than the cost to replace it, but I’m so frustrated that I’m still fighting on principle.

Wanted to provide an update for posterity’s sake, as this has been a nightmare. Long story short, the problem was the doorbell all along, as i was insisting, and I wound up having to buy everything new again, our of pocket, because I never was able to get anyone to acknowledge the issue. They all were just certain i only needed to add the Pro Power Kit, which did nothing and in fact the instructions specifically say not to use if it’s a direct transformer to doorbell setup. So, due to the lack of support options, incorrect information, and a faulty product, in the end I’m out over $400 and who knows how many hours of my time.

Here’s the longer version of what I went through for anyone down the road who might be facing a similar issue, or just debating whether or not to buy a Ring:

I own a 100 year-old tudor-style home with no doorbell of any kind, so when Ring came along I was an early adopter.

I first had a rechargeable unit with a wifi chime, which never captured much more than people walking away. I was told by a friend who happens to be a professor of computer science specializing in WiFi technology that the problem was inherent in the rechargeable design, and that the only way to eliminate that lag issue is to wire it directly.

So, I happily spent the $169 dollars or whatever on a Pro unit and new chime to go with it. I also spent the money on a branded Ring transformer, because the documentation made it clear the Ring Pro needed more current than a typical doorbell.

The unit worked fine for months, then quit working abruptly. I was able to quickly determine that there was no voltage at the load side of the transformer, so ordered a new one. The new transformer worked until I connected it to the Ring Pro doorbell unit, at which time it immediately failed. Note that’s now two blown transformers.

I called your customer service line and was informed that the wait would be something like 45 minutes. Well they weren’t lying, it was well over an hour! I explained the whole situation and the customer service rep said that I must have just gotten a bad second unit and encouraged me to return it and order another. I explained that didn’t make a lot of sense to me, and I was fairly certain the problem was the Ring Pro Doorbell itself. He said no, probably just a bad transformer. He mentioned any 16-24V transformer should work.

I went on Amazon and bought another transformer, non-Ring branded this time, but of appropriate voltage. Predictably, it blew the moment it was connected to the doorbell. I knew this would happen, and had tried to explain that. So that’s now 3 blown transformers, the first working fine as configured for nearly year, and two blowing as soon as they connected to the Ring Pro doorbell. At this point there is little doubt the doorbell is shorted.

I tried calling customer service several times over the next few days, always getting that same message that it would be “45 minutes or more.” Now, as I would assume of nearly all your customers, I have a busy job. So I can’t really hang out on hold forever hoping someone takes my call and can actually help me this time. I did wait once - again over an hour, and the call was ultimately disconnected.

At this point I’ve spent many hours and hundreds of dollars on this, and I’m both frustrated and desperate for help to simply confirm the doorbell was bad and get a replacement out. I’m going online, asking wherever Ring doorbells are being discussed, and somewhere in the midst of this I started trying to get answers here in the Ring Community forums. Here I quickly learned that experiencing multiple blown transformers was a relatively common problem, and wound up in two separate message threads. I asked multiple times “how can I test the Ring Pro with a multimeter” and never got an answer. In this thread I was mentioned that in some parts of the world the Pro Power Kit is recommended, even when no external chime is present.

This begins the mystery of the Pro Power Kit, i.e., what is it, and what does it actually do? And is it required if you have no chime? The documentation all states that it “ensures that enough power gets sent to the Ring Video Doorbell Pro.” This would imply that it’s some sort of voltage regulator able to apply additional energy as needed to offset any parasitic loss to the chime, I’m guessing it’s just a capacitor or something. Note that nowhere in the installation does it say it’s required if you have no chime, and during the installation process the app very specifically states the opposite: "If you’re wiring directly to a transformer or a Ring Plug-in Adapter, you don’t need the Pro Power Kit."

The function and purpose of the Pro Power Kit aside, I was now completely stuck. I had set the doorbell up exactly as I was told to do, and it clearly has shorted out killing three transformers, one of which I was told to by Ring’s customer service team, and I needed someone to help me return it all for working units.

At this point I made a snarky comment on Ring’s Instagram feed that led to someone encouraging me to reach out to them for support. Heartened by this I took them up on it. I won’t go into the details, but long story short that too was a complete waste of time as they refused to acknowledge the obvious fact that the doorbell was shorted, insisting the problem was just the absence of the Pro Power Kit and that I was wrong to think anything else. This was not only frustrating, but infuriating, and represented another hour of my time wasted.

At my wit’s end, I bought everything new again, on my own dime, so I could physically record the setting up of everything as that Instagram person had told me to do, knowing full well what would happen, and share it with Ring in the hopes i could get someone to finally understand the problem and care enough to help. So, actually laughing at myself as i did it, i recorded myself (with the help of my 11 year old daughter):

    1. Adding the pro power kit to one leg of the power supply as instructed and (of 
      course) it didn’t work.
    2. Replacing the transformer, again confirming that I had power, again using
    the Pro Power Kit, despite nothing telling me it’s necessary.  Then I connected it to the 
     original Ring Pro at which time the transformer shorts out, exactly as I knew it would.
    3. Finally, I replaced the faulty Ring Pro with the new one I bought out of pocket, which 
    honestly anyone could see was the problem since step 6, and it’s all fine now.

Interestingly, when going through the set up again, I came to the step in the attached screenshot where it very plainly states “if you’re wiring directly to a transformer…you don’t need the Pro Power Kit.” Well gosh, look at that. I did share that with the Ring rep on Instagram who’d insisted that i’d not followed directions with the Pro Power kit, and they have not responded. Nice.

I still don’t know what that Power Kit really does - and t’s possible it does protect from voltage spikes like a resistor, rather than supplying constant current as stated, and that the doorbell failed in its absence. And it’s possible that the directions are incorrect when they state it’s not needed. I don’t believe that to be true, but it’s possible. Regardless, I followed the directions, the Ring Pro failed in a matter of months, and I’m out hundreds of dollars and countless hours rectifying it because Ring has no real product support. Not a great experience, and one I"ll do my best to share as broadly as I’m able - it’s all been pretty appalling really.

Had the same thing happen to me.

Ring Pro 2 no chime. Went through 4 (non-ring) transformers in 3 years. Then on the 5th it popped right away. 6th and 7th… It was the doorbell all along. The Ring powerpack didn’t even exist back then.

Got a good discount from Ring and bought the elite.