I’ve had the Ring Video Doorbell Pro for over 2 years and it has worked flawlessly over the years until it finally died a couple of weeks ago. First, I chose the Pro version instead of the battery-operated versions due to pre-buffering and many other features that you get from a fully wired unit.
So, when I first started to research dead Ring Doorbell Pro’s, I was surprised to find that these units actually had an internal battery that’s at the core of all the failures out there. But, when I started to think about how the unit gets its power, it all makes sense.
The wired Doorbell Pro mainly gets its power from a transformer that’s routed through the doorbell chime unit. The two wires at the door are part of a circuit where when you press the doorbell, it closes the loop (connects the two wires), which then energizes the doorbell chime to sound off.
(With the wires exposed at the door, you can touch the two wires together and you’ll hear your doorbell chime. You won’t short circuit or blow anything by connecting these wires together.)
With the understanding of the above, when the two wires at the doorbell button are open and not touching, they provide low-voltage AC power. For most people, it should read about 20V AC, which is enough voltage to power a Ring Doorbell Pro and the Nest Hello unit as well.
However, once someone presses the doorbell button and closes the circuit, the 20V AC disappears and so where does your Ring Doorbell Pro get power to continue recording? From an internal battery that’s large enough to keep the unit going until the main power is restored, which should only be needed for a few seconds.
The main problem is that the internal battery doesn’t seem to do well depending on weather and temperature conditions, so for us, it lasted for over 2 years in Southern California. I’ve seen reports where others live in warmer climates and their units did not last as long, unfortunately.
Have you ever noticed when looking at the Device Health screen for the doorbell that the Voltage reading is usually around 4000mV? I always thought this was an AC to DC converted and stepped down voltage. But, as it turns out, this is the voltage reading of the internal battery.
Ring would consider these units dead and buried and may offer to sell you a refurbished unit or you can purchase a brand new unit on your own. But, these aren’t the only options so I’ll tell you how I fixed mine.
Step 1: Contact Ring
Depending on how long you’ve had your unit, even if it’s already passed the 1-year warranty mark, contact Ring. Have them troubleshoot your unit. I’ve read some reports that if it is the battery and it’s within 3 years, they may replace the unit for you. But, this is not always the case. I could not find this anywhere in writing by Ring, only hearsay.
But, it’s always good to first reach out to the company to get their “expert” opinion. If this option doesn’t work, go on to the next step.
Step 2: Recharge through Hidden USB Port
When you take off the faceplate of the Doorbell, you’ll see on the side of the unit a rectangular plastic sticker covering a micro-USB port.
Plug in a phone charger to the micro-USB port and leave it overnight. Some people have had luck in charging the internal battery to get the unit working again. If this trick worked, your unit will power back on one once you reinstall it at the front door.
This issue may have occurred because of the voltage from the transformer that powers the doorbell chime. It may have been too low and so the internal battery wasn’t able to maintain a high-enough charge and dipped too low.
For me, this did not solve my issue and so I continued onto the next step, which is more difficult and maybe beyond many people’s skills.
Step 3: Replace the Internal Battery
Following the guide at iFixit, I opened up my unit and measured the voltage of the battery. It was completely dead and reading 0V.
I ordered a new 3.7v 200mah battery from Amazon, changed out the battery circuit board & connectors and popped it in. This worked perfectly and my Ring Doorbell Pro has now been working flawlessly again.
When I was searching for the battery on Amazon, many of the reviews I saw for the battery I ordered had reviews from people who also purchased it to replace the battery in these units so I knew I was ordering the correct one. The guide at iFixit also links to a battery on Amazon so you can’t go wrong.
One word of caution though. If you’re not familiar or experienced enough with soldering, I’d advise you to find someone who is or do not attempt this at all. If done improperly, you risk damaging the battery circuit board and the new battery itself.
Final Thoughts and Nest Hello Comparison
While doing the research on this and comparing it to the Nest Hello unit, which is also a wired unit, I found that both units basically use similar 3.7V internal batteries to keep the unit running when the doorbell is pressed.
As the Nest Hello unit is fairly new compared to the Ring Doorbell Pro unit, I have not seen reports of Nest Hello units dying yet. But only time will tell and those batteries don’t last forever.
I am only stating this last part because I have seen many people switch over to the Nest Hello when their Ring Doorbell Pro units died.
If only these companies can implement a better power backup solution instead of batteries. Some have mentioned supercapacitors but size may be a concern.
With these internal batteries, it almost appears that these units were designed to die off sooner or later, which is, in my opinion, a bad design. But for now, I at least know that I can fix it with a low-cost battery and a bit of soldering skill.