The doorbell part of the doorbell equation seems like an immutable part of the experience, but video doorbells are mixing things up. Here’s what you need to know about using a video doorbell without a doorbell.
Why use a video intercom without a bell?
When most people replace their simple button-based doorbell with a more advanced video doorbell, they want to keep their existing doorbell doorbell. I especially like the huge Westminister brass doorbell system in my old house, and keeping it in good working order with the proper transformer upgrade for a video doorbell was important to me.
But not everyone wants or needs a discreet digital or mechanical doorbell for their doorbell. If you’re in an apartment, there may not even be any doorbell wiring to speak to, or perhaps your house is older and the doorbell system is in disrepair.
Or maybe the timbre you have is unpleasant and you wouldn’t mind not hearing it again anytime soon. Even if you love the doorbell, your sleeping baby or anxious dog might not. Whatever your motivation, the doorbell is optional.
How to use a video intercom without a doorbell
There are two ways to use a video intercom without a doorbell. The first is the simplest, and the second depends on the customization options included with the video door phone of your choice.
Battery Powered Video Doorbells – Skip adding a doorbell
If you own (or plan to buy) a battery-powered video door phone like the Ring 4, then you’re already ahead of the game without a doorbell. While some video doorbells offer a hybrid experience in that they can be powered by their battery backup or the low voltage supplied by the doorbell’s wiring, wiring is optional.
Doorbell Video Doorbell 4
Wireless? No problem. The Ring Video Doorbell 4 has a large and efficient internal battery.
To use them without a doorbell, simply mount them to the wall by drilling, taping or using a no-drill doorbell bracket and sync them to your phone. You will get a buzz on your phone when someone knocks on the door, but there will be no internal chime.
While you can buy discrete plug-in doorbells for various platforms, like the Ring line of doorbells, you don’t have to. You also don’t need to enable the ringer on your smart home equipment, like speakers or smart displays.
Wired video doorbells: you can turn off the doorbell
If you have a wired video doorbell, you can still live a life without a doorbell if you want, with a greater or lesser degree of ease depending on which model you have.
Many video doorbell platforms, such as Google’s Nest doorbells and Amazon’s Ring doorbells, include a convenient feature in the Video Doorbell app where you can turn off the doorbell.
The doorbell still works and the circuit is still complete, so the doorbell keeps power, but when the button is pressed, the digital or mechanical doorbell does not sound. That’s a great solution because it allows you to turn your doorbell on and off without worrying about wiring.
The second option, and one that is a bit more practical and DIY, is to adjust your doorbell wiring to disconnect the doorbell, bypass the doorbell circuit, and with the help of an in-line resistor, complete the circuit between the transformer of the doorbell and ringing.
However, this is a bit more advanced than using the kit provided with your video doorbell, and we recommend that you contact your doorbell manufacturer for guidance and study the wiring schematic to ensure you are connecting the correct wires. .
Ring has a support page detailing how to use a transformer directly with the doorbell module and without the doorbell. Your instructions can be for a no-ring present setup, but can also be used as a template for omitting your ring.
All you need is a high quality 25 ohm 50W wire wound resistor to replace the part of the circuit that previously completed the doorbell wiring. But again, check with your doorbell manufacturer for their recommendation to use the doorbell with a transformer and no doorbell (or bypass the doorbell) to make sure you’re wiring things in a way that will protect your doorbell.