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The previous owner of my home installed a Ring Video Doorbell (generation 1). I'd be perfectly happy with a regular doorbell.

There are lots of tutorials for replacing a regular doorbell with a Ring, but I can't find any for going in the opposite direction!

It looks like under the attachment plate is a big hole that no doorbell button at my local hardware store is wide enough to cover. There are four anchors in the wall that the plate is screwed into that seem proprietary to this specific device, and I can't find any other kind of cover plate with screw holes that would align with these four anchors. I'm not sure what I could do to cover up this mess, or whether it's even possible to reconnect a regular doorbell.

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This answer is specific to the Ring Video Doorbell generation 1, and does not apply to other generations or models of Ring doorbell.

Downgrading from a Ring to a regular doorbell can seem daunting if you didn't install the Ring and don't know how the wiring works. Luckily, if the home originally had a regular doorbell and the Ring was installed per the manufacturer's directions, it's very easy to wire back in a regular doorbell. The tricky part is just figuring out what to do with the hole.

Rather than trying to find some other plate to cover the area where the Ring was located, we'll re-use the Ring plate to mount our new doorbell! Installing our new doorbell should take 15 minutes or so.

Tools Needed

  • A regular doorbell button
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Star-head screwdriver (for removing the Ring; probably has a bright orange handle)
  • Electric drill with 1/16th inch bit (or similar)
  • Heavy duty wire cutter or small bolt cutter
  • (Optional) Paintbrush, primer, and paint

Steps

If the Ring Video Doorbell was installed per spec, it is simply wired into the original doorbell wiring. Power to the doorbell wires normally runs through a transformer that converts down from the standard voltage (e.g. 120 volts in the U.S.) to something much lower (roughly 16 volts).

  1. Remove the Ring Video Doorbell from its mounting plate (you will need to unscrew the two star-head screws on the underside of the doorbell with a specialty screwdriver. Ring screwdrivers typically have a bright orange handle).
  2. Locate the two wires that are screwed to the mounting plate. Use a multimeter to check the voltage and verify it's somewhere around 16 volts. If the voltage is low, it's probably safe to rewire without shutting off the power. If the voltage is much higher than 16 volts (e.g. 120 volts), these wires may not be running through the original transformer, and you should stop and call an electrician.
  3. Unscrew the two wires. Make sure not to stuff them into the wall; we'll be using them again shortly!
  4. Unscrew and remove the mounting plate.
  5. Connect the wires to the regular doorbell button; make sure to check the manufacturer's instructions that came with the button to see how the wires should be connected. The button can hang from the wires for now; at this stage we're just testing to make sure that the original chime still works. A regular doorbell button connected to the wires
  6. Press the button and listen for a ring. I couldn't hear my chime from outside and needed a partner inside the house to tell me that the doorbell was ringing. If the chime sounds, your original doorbell components are all intact and you can proceed.
  7. Disconnect the button from the wires.
  8. Rotate the mounting plate so that the Ring logo is upside down, then flip it over. We're going to use the back side of the plate (the side that was originally facing the wall) as the new front.
  9. Using a bit around 1/16th of an inch, drill a hole in the mounting plate just above the cutout: Mounting plate with drilled hole indicated
  10. (Optional, not pictured) Prime and paint the mounting plate in your desired color.
  11. Screw the top hole of your doorbell button into the hole we drilled in step 9. Note that the bottom hole cannot be screwed in because it would go straight through the cutout. However, the doorbell should be fairly stable with just the 1 screw. Button attached to mounting plate.
  12. Use the wire/bolt cutter to cut the plastic tabs off of what is now the back side of the mounting plate. You may also need to cut off the end of the screw that is holding the doorbell button in place if it would otherwise stick into the wall. Keep in mind that once you cut the plastic tabs, there's no going back to the Ring Video Doorbell unless you buy a new mounting plate
  13. Reconnect the button to the two wires. Test the chime again to make sure your wires are connected correctly.
  14. Screw the mounting plate back into the 4 wall anchors, and you're done!
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    you could put a piece of wood behind the plate to catch the second screw.
    – Jasen
    Sep 9, 2021 at 11:18
  • Really nice answer! Just a note in case the OP has to go buy a driver - "star drive" screws/drivers are also called "Torx". Having a full set on hand will be most useful - there are a lot of Torx drive screws in various appliances these days. (Also, there's no need for the handle to be orange - that's totally optional. :)
    – FreeMan
    Sep 9, 2021 at 16:01
  • @FreeMan Thanks! Just mentioned the orange handle since if the reader inherited the doorbell from the previous owner of the home, the screwdriver is hopefully lying around somewhere and that will make it easier to locate.
    – Kevin
    Sep 9, 2021 at 17:12

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