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Ring Doorbell Pro and Nicor 18888 Chime/transformer issues

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New Neighbor

Ring Doorbell Pro and Nicor 18888 Chime/transformer issues

All, 

I'm close to returning  ~$1K worth of Ring products to Ring. This is beyond frustrating.

I just moved into a newer house (6 years old) and am trying to install the Ring doorbell pro. We currently have a Nicor 18888 doorbell chime, which is a chime and transformer combo. I have two, one upstairs and one downstairs. I learned that the Nicor 18888 is not compatible. Therefore, I purchased a transformer from Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GND8RMQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) and installed it.

As soon as i turned the power on, it continually chimed as if someone was laying on the doorbell. Then after speaking with Ring support (not helpful), they said that i have another transformer somewhere in the house because the Nicor 18888 is not a transformer. They are mistaken. I called the manufacturer that built my house and they confirmed that my house does not have any additional transformers anywhere. 

At this point, I am willing to bypass the entire chime and despite my frustration, purchase additional Ring chimes to use for sound. However, even with completely removing the Nicor 18888, i still can't get it to connect! I called Ring again and they said that i need to hire an electrician or purchase the plug in power supply. NOPE. Wife does not want me making holes in the house and I’m tired of buying more stuff to get this to work. The main reason i purchased Ring over competitors was due to their alleged ease of install.

Can someone please post a picture or provide instructions on how to get this thing to work (and please not the same diagrams from Ring that I’ve received each time I call them)? See pictures of what I’m working with. Any assistance is appreciated.

9 REPLIES 9
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New Neighbor

Re: Ring Doorbell Pro and Nicor 18888 Chime/transformer issues

I am in also having same issue. My new home has Nicor CAT 1888 chime which is not compatible with Ring Doorbell Pro. I read few post saying to have a different transformer replaced that can support this. But not comfortable as do not want to create any issues.
So wats the best approach to solve this?
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Community Manager

Re: Ring Doorbell Pro and Nicor 18888 Chime/transformer issues

Hey neighbors! These Nicor model chimes are not compatible with the Ring Pro. They will commonly have built in transformer, but it may not be rated for the required voltage, and the wiring does not match up with a uniformed Doorbell installation that is required for the Pro to operate. 

 

That being said, we have numerous solutions for this scenario. I recommend checking out our Chime Compatibility List to see what chime kits will work with the Pro. Another option is bypassing the chime kit with our Pro Power Kit, as explained in our help center article. If you still want in home chime sounds after bypassing, we offer Chime and Chime Pro devices here! Smiley Happy 



Like my answer? Accept it as a solution (click on the 'Accepted Solution' button next to reply). Learn more about the Community, here.
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New Neighbor

Re: Ring Doorbell Pro and Nicor 18888 Chime/transformer issues

I ended up removing the Nicor 18888 chime from both the downstairs and upstairs. Then i purchased a new transformer from Home Depot. I think it was this one - https://www.homedepot.com/p/Hampton-Bay-16VAC-30VA-Transformer-Compatible-with-All-Video-Door-Bells-... and replaced the downstairs chime with the new transformer.

Next, I disconnected the doorbell wires and connected the power wires to the new transformer. Basically I bypassed the entire Nicor doorbell system. 

Initially I had an issue with the transformer. I purchased one from Amazon and it didn't work. Then after numerous attempts, I got a new transformer from Home Depot, installed it and it worked. 

Regarding the chimes, well you can use your phone or you can purchase the external plugin chimes. We opted for the plugin chimes. They seem to work fine. Let me know if this helps or if you'd like me to upload a few pics. 

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New Neighbor

Re: Ring Doorbell Pro and Nicor 18888 Chime/transformer issues

Thank you for the info and link to home depot transformer. I too removed Nicor 18888 chime, installed new transformer and ring pro kit, and covered with blank plate. Works perfect with ring chime kit. Thank you!
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New Neighbor

Re: Ring Doorbell Pro and Nicor 18888 Chime/transformer issues

Here are couple pics.
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New Neighbor

Re: Ring Doorbell Pro and Nicor 18888 Chime/transformer issues

I have exactly same issue and I found out today. 

do you think I can purchase de-graded analog chime and install to house first then install doorbell Pro?  I still believe there is some say to work with Nicor chime, but since you tried many I will not chase.  

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New Neighbor

Re: Ring Doorbell Pro and Nicor 18888 Chime/transformer issues

I have exactly same issue and I found out this today. and thank you for your post so I an feel i am not the only one.

 

Do you think I can purchase de-graded analog chime and install to house first then install doorbell Pro?  I still believe there is some way to use RING PRO with Nicor chime, but since you tried many I will not chase much.

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New Neighbor

Re: Ring Doorbell Pro and Nicor 18888 Chime/transformer issues

Hey all, chiming in on this thread since I've spent the greater part of weekend figuring out how to install my d*mn Ring Doorbell Pro! Seems to be working alright now... Here's what I've got:


1) First and foremost, do yourself a favor and check your doorbell (Nicor 18888) compatability with the Ring Doorbell Pro. There's a link on the Ring website for this. The Nicor 18888 is NOT compatible. I've read the older versions are a little more compatible and do not require a full blown transformer replacement. If I had to do it over again, I would've returned the Pro for an older model and saved myself the headache, and probably been able to salvage my old chime. Unless you absolutely want the Pro, I wouldn't waste your time.


2) No matter what, you will need to rip out the Nicor and replace the transformer. The Nicor transformer is internal to its wall recessed device. That's the only way your Pro will get power since it needs AC, and not the DC output from the Nicor. I bought the 16VAC/30VA Hampton Bay from Home Depot ($20) discussed above and  linked above. It seems to be working well and I do not have the Power Pro Kit from Ring in use currently.


3) I didn't attempt to save my chime. Using the Nicor chime is a lost cause if you are replacing the transformer. I did read posts that some have successfully installed the Hampton Bay Contractor Kit at Home Depot, which includes a mechanical chime and transformer as part of the kit. However, some people on Reddit reported sporadic power issues with the smaller 16VAC/10VA transfer included with kit (even though Ring clearly states in their install manual that 16VAC/30VA is minimum power requirement). Although others on posts said everything worked fine once they put in the Pro Power Kit with the smaller transformer. Personally, I didn't care for the old school mechanical chime sound on the Hampton kit and for that reason, decided to stick with the larger transformer and not worry about power issues. Yes, I will need to buy a couple Ring Chimes to install around the house but I'm OK with that.


4) Code issues. The two major codes issues I saw with how people were Jerry rigging their transformers were 1) putting the transformer in the same Nicor gang box (after cutting out the divider) and 2) enclosing the transformer behind drywall or a permanent cover. Issue with #1 is per code (not that I'm a code guru, just want I've been reading) is that normal voltage (120 VAC) needs to be seperate from the low voltage (16VAC). This can either be accomplished by a divider plate within the double gang box (like Nicor did) or installing the transformer on the outside of the gang box. From what I learned low voltage connections don't need to be in gang box like what you'd normally see for traditional 120VAC, and the transformer and LV wiring can even be installed on the side of the gang box with the normal 120 VAC voltage connections inside. Issue with #2, is an enclosed transformer behind drywall is a fire safety concern. I even noticed myself that the 16VAC/30VA transformer warmed up pretty quickly after a short period of use. And also in older homes, you typically see the door bell transformer installed outside the wall in a variety of places (closets, attics, basements, etc.). Believe the code states that as long as the transformer is accessible (i.e. not behind drywall) and in the open you are good. I also didn't feel comfortable putting something generating heat behind drywall with insulation, low ventihilation, etc. I also had no interest in chopping out more drywall in a weird part of my house and fishing the small doorbell wires to a new location. So tried something else...


5) Want to reiterate here that I am attempting to be as clean/safe/code compliant as possible! That's just me though... if you want it fast and easy, the best solution is what is discussed above.... cutting the partion plate out of the middle of the Nicor gang box and dropping the 16VAC/30VA transformer in there, rewiring, and sealing everything back up.


6) I completely cut out the split gang box the Nicor was sitting in (after removing the Nicor of course). This was a bit challenging since this was a "New Work" gang box nailed on a nearby stud to the right. I read a post where a dude used a hacksaw blade to carefully cut the nails behind the drywall between the gang box and stud. I got bored and just used a sawzall and carefully cut along the perimeter of the gang box. If you go this route be sure you don't poke through the drywall behind the box and steer clear of the surrounding wiring!!


7) With the Nicor Gang box completely removed, I installed the new Hampton transformer to the stud to the right putting a couple screws on the outer "feet" holes. I also oriented the transformer with the leads pointing down and the low voltage connections pointing up. See Pic #1. Also while installing the transformer, I connected the little doorbell wires on top so I wouldn't be challenged with clearance issues after the face.


8) Next, I bought a basic plastic blue single Old Work gang box from Home Depot (~$3) and installed it to the left of the transformer, ensuring there was a little bit of space (~1/4") between the box and transformer. Important note, I did have to extend the size of the hole in the wall approximately "1/2 to the left. This is 1) to allow room to pull out the previously installed New Work gang box and 2) make sure there was enough space to install the Old Work gang box to the left of the transformer with a little space between. Just an FYI, they can probably touched, I just preferred they were not since the transformer was warm.


9) Rewired all the leads together in the new gang box (see Pic #2).


10) Turned power back on from breaker and validated power was good to the Ring Pro outside and got that set up. And to make sure the transformed was working.


11) Bought a 3 Gang Box Plate from HD ($3) and installed over the single gang box, transformer, and everything in the wall. Also, to help keep the transformer space better ventihilated as well as easier to monitor should there be an issue, I drilled small holes over the area of the plate next to the transfomer (see Pic #3). Should also note that only the two plate screws on the left attached to the single gang box. The other four I simply pushed for appearance purposed. They are not fastened to anything (since they are going into an open hole) but I found the two fastened to the left was enough to make the plate look good. I am hoping this arrangement with the transformer makes it "accessible" and easier to monitor.

 

That's it...


Total Jerry Rig cost: (~$25)
Time wasted: >1 day

Like I said before, I did this to basically pass a home inspection should that ever occur in future. I do not know if I am 100% compliant, but the separated transformer and vent holes help me sleep at night. If you want a quick fix, go with #5. Good luck, folks!!!

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New Neighbor

Re: Ring Doorbell Pro and Nicor 18888 Chime/transformer issues

 
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