Phantom Rings - Smoke Alarm Set Off

I have used a pair of Ring Video Doorbell Pro door bells for about three years with no problems. About two months ago I started getting occasional phantom dings from the mechanical (common electromagnet) chime. Sometimes these phantom dings would hold the electromagnet “on”, resulting in the chime coil buzzing. I ohmed out all the wiring and checked the transformer voltage, and everything was okay electrically.

A few days after these dings started, I got a call at work from my alarm company saying there was a smoke alarm event and the fire department was rolling. I high-tailed it back to the house. En-route I called up the Ring doorbell cameras and they were offline.

The fire department beat me to the house and looked in windows with flashlights and around the roof gables. No smoke was observed, so they didn’t force entry. When I got there, I took a couple firefighters inside and no smoke was evident. We went upstairs and noticed an electrical burning smell around the door chime, which was wall-mounted about 12" from a smoke detector, but no evidence of an active fire. The fire department left, and I got out my meter (I’m an electrical engineer). I checked the doorbell transformer and it was open on the secondary.

The current belief is a Ring doorbell or the electrical wiring shorted and held the chime coil on long enough for the varnish on the coil wiring to start smoking. This tripped the smoke alarm on the security system, and eventually caused the transformer to fail.

I replaced both the transformer and the chime. I then experimented with the doorbells, running each one for a few days at each of the two locations. With only one doorbell wired at either location, everything was stable. When a second doorbell was added, the phantom dings returned.

Thinking one doorbell was behaving a little better than the other, I bought and installed a replacement for the one I was scrutinizing more. The phantom dings persisted.

Exasperated, I bought a second new Pro doorbell. Now I have the two new doorbells installed, and the phantom dings still happen. With one doorbell installed at either location, the phantom dings do not happen.

I am now in possession of four doorbells with a total outlay of nearly $1,000, and I don’t want my chime to nearly catch fire again. My family is also sick and tired of the phantom dings.

I’ve read about “resetting” the doorbells by holding the side button down for 30 seconds, but I’m not buying it. Two brand new doorbells are exhibiting the same symptoms as my two three year old units.

Has anyone found the magic cure for this problem? Other than throwing these doorbells in the trash can?

Hi @SantaCruZin. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We want to assure you that we take all of our neighbors’ concerns very seriously. Our support team will be the best next step for support with this matter. Please 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.