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Nest doorbell chime doesn't ring or sounds weak

Wire-free installations

Use these instructions if your doorbell runs only on battery power and isn't connected to wires or a plug-in power adapter.

1. Check the battery charge

The app sends multiple notifications to let you know that your doorbell's battery charge is low and that you should charge it. If you didn't have a chance to charge it before the battery got too low, simply take it off the backplate and charge it with the included USB-C cable.

2. Check chime settings in the app

Your current settings may prevent the chime from ringing. For example, someone who shares access to your Nest home may have turned the chime off or changed the chime duration in the app.

Doorbell chime settings

Home app

  1. Open the Google Home app.
  2. Tap and hold your device's tile.
  3. Tap Settings  Doorbell   Check that Ring indoor chime is set to On.
  4. Tap More Quiet Time, then tap Cancel if it's active.

3. Check Wi-Fi connection

Check that your doorbell isn't listed as offline in the app. If it is, use the articles linked below to troubleshoot.

Wireless doorbell installations typically use a Google or a compatible speaker or display to sound the chime. Make sure that the device you use for the chime is connected to Wi-Fi and correctly set up in the app.

4. Extremely hot weather

If it's extremely hot outside, or if your doorbell is installed in direct sunlight, the chime (and video or Wi-Fi) may turn off automatically to help protect its internal circuitry. The chime automatically turns on again when your doorbell's internal temperature returns to its normal operating range.

As long as your doorbell isn't disconnected from Wi-Fi and offline in the app, you can still get a notification on your phone when someone rings the doorbell.

Wired installations

1. Check the breaker or power outlet

  • Make sure that the fuse or breaker switch that supplies power to your doorbell is on.
  • If you have the Indoor Power Adapter (available in the US only), check that the outlet receives power by plugging in another electronic device like a lamp.
  • Plug the power adapter into another outlet that you know is working. If the adapter doesn't work, you'll need to replace it.
  • If the outlet is controlled by a switch, make sure that it's set to on as well.

2. Low battery at install

If your doorbell doesn't chime immediately after it has been installed, the internal battery may have lost its charge before it was purchased. 

The battery will recharge after the doorbell is connected to power. Wait about 30 minutes and try again.

3. Check chime settings in the app

Your current settings may prevent the chime from ringing. For example:

  • Someone who shares access to your Nest home with the app may have turned the chime off, or changed the chime duration.
  • If you have a mechanical chime (moving parts that make the sound), the chime duration option should be turned off. This setting is for electronic or digital chimes only.

How to tell if you have a mechanical chime or an electronic chime

  • Mechanical chimes have moving parts that make the classic “ding dong” noise when the doorbell is rung.
  • Electronic chimes have a speaker that plays a sound or melody when rung.

Try to lift the front cover off the chime box. 

  • If you can't remove it you probably have an electronic chime.
  • If you can take it off and you see two metal pistons aimed at a strike plate, you have a mechanical doorbell.

Home app

  1. Open the Google Home app.
  2. Tap and hold your device's tile.
  3. Tap Settings  Doorbell  Check that Ring indoor chime is set to On.
  4. Tap More Quiet Time, then tap Cancel if it's active.

Nest app

  1. Open the Nest app.
  2. Select your doorbell.
  3. Tap Settings Nest settings icon Indoor chime On/Off Quiet Time.
  4. If Quiet Time is on, tap it to reveal the switch. Tap the switch to turn it off.
  5. Next, check the chime duration. Tap Chime duration in the settings menu.
    • If you have a mechanical chime with moving parts that ring the bell, this option should be set to Off.
    • If you have a digital chime (with internal speaker and no moving parts), and the chime duration is set too short, the chime may not make any sound or only make part of the chime sound. Try to set it to a longer duration.

4. Check the Chime Connector

Open the chime box and make sure that the Chime Connector isn't touching any of the moving parts inside the chime. If the connector or the wires are in the way of any of the chime parts, they could muffle the sound.

Check that you're using the right Chime Connector

Note: If you didn't upgrade from a Nest Doorbell (wired) to a Nest Doorbell 2nd gen (wired), go to step 5.

When you uninstalled your Nest Doorbell (wired), you should have also removed the Chime Connector that came with it. The 1st gen Chime Connector is not compatible with the 2nd gen doorbell. If you're not sure which is currently installed, check the wire connectors wires to tell the difference.

  • Nest Doorbell 2nd gen (wired) only has two wires.
  • Nest Doorbell (wired) has 4 wires, 
If you still have the 1st gen chime connector, follow the instructions in Uninstall wired Nest doorbells and chime connector to remove just your chime connector. Make sure you turn off power to your chime box before making any changes.

5. Check the chime wires

Mechanical chimes

If you have a mechanical chime that has moving parts to make the "ding dong" sound, the connector may interfere with the movement of the striker or the sounding bar that the striker hits.

First, test with the chime cover off:

  1. Remove your chime's cover.
  2. To ring the chime, press your doorbell's button.

If the chime sounds good with the cover off, the cover may be pressing on some wires or the connector and interfering with the moving parts.

  1. Bend the wires or use some tape to hold them out of the way.
  2. Retest with the cover on.
  3. If it still sounds bad, mount the connector outside of your chime box with some double-sided tape.
  4. Retest with the cover on.

If the chime sounds bad or doesn't sound with the cover off:

  1. Have someone else press the doorbell button while you look at the chime. You might notice something that interferes with the movement.
  2. Bend the wires or use some tape to hold them out of the way if needed. You can also mount the connector outside of your chime box with some double-sided tape.
  3. Retest with the cover off.
  4. If the cover off test sounded good, retest with the cover on to make sure nothing moved when you put the chime cover back on.
  5. Double-check that the wires are fully inserted into the chime connector and have a solid connection to your chime. Retighten any screws that hold wires with a screwdriver.
  6. Corrosion and grime can affect the wire contact. Check each wire end to make sure they're all clean and aren't corroded. If not, trim off the corroded end and strip the casing to expose fresh wire.
  7. Make sure that any exposed wires, where the bare metal shows, don't touch each other.
  8. Make sure you've installed the wires correctly according to the app instructions.

Electronic or digital chimes

If you have an electronic or digital chime that doesn't have moving parts.

Make sure the connector is properly installed:

  1. Double-check that the wires are fully inserted into the chime connector and have a solid connection to your chime. Retighten any screws that hold wires with a screwdriver.
  2. Make sure that any exposed wires, where the bare metal shows, don't touch each other.
  3. Make sure you've installed the wires correctly according to the app instructions.
  4. If your chime has more than 3 wires, you should contact a Nest Pro for installation help.

6. Check the doorbell wires

It's possible that a wire came loose when you put your doorbell on the backplate, or that the wires aren't tight enough. Make sure that the wires are securely connected.

  1. Turn off the power to your doorbell at the breaker box.
  2. Remove your doorbell from the backplate.
  3. Retighten the screws that hold the wires with a screwdriver.
  4. Make sure the ends of the wires don't touch each other or the base plate. Trim the wire ends and bend them if needed.
  5. To test the chime, press the doorbell's button.

7. Check the battery charge on Nest Doorbell (battery)

Nest Doorbell (battery) always runs off battery power, even if you've connected it to another power source. The power source uses low voltage to gradually charge the battery.

  • The battery won't charge at temperatures below 32°F (0°C). In cold weather, bring the battery indoors and charge it with the included charging cable.
  • The doorbell's settings can affect battery life. Change the settings to help save the battery.

8. Check transformer compatibility

Your transformer needs to meet specific power requirements to be compatible. If you're not sure about your transformer's power rating, contact a Nest Pro installer or an electrician or follow the instructions in How to check your transformer's voltage

Some doorbell systems may not be able to deliver enough power to the chime after Nest doorbell installation, even if the transformer is rated between 8 to 24 V AC and 10 VA in North America or 8 to 24 V AC and 10 VA in Europe. 

The Nest doorbell 2nd gen (wired) must be connected to a transformer rated to 16-24V AC and 10-40 VA to receive enough power.

If you have completed the other troubleshooting steps in this article, your transformer may need to be upgraded or replaced. Contact a local Nest Pro to do it for you.

9. Extreme weather

Cold weather

Nest Doorbell (wired, 2nd gen)

If it's extremely cold outside (below –4°F/-20°C), your doorbell will shut down and the chime won't ring.

The chime should automatically turn on again when your doorbell's internal temperature returns to the normal operating range.

Nest doorbell (battery)

If the outside temperature drops below freezing, your doorbell will stop charging the battery to protect it from damage.

Hot weather

If it's extremely hot outside, or if your doorbell is installed in direct sunlight, the chime (and video or Wi-Fi) may turn off automatically to help protect the doorbell's internal circuitry from excessive heat. The chime automatically turns on again when your doorbell's internal temperature returns to the normal operating range.

As long as the doorbell isn't disconnected from Wi-Fi and offline in the app, you can still get a notification on your phone when someone rings the doorbell.

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