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Suggestion for hiding doorbell low voltage wire

Plan on installing Ring doorbell on back door (covered porch) and thinking of just running the wire down the side along the trim, and then drilling hole at bottom, which would go into the basement. But not sure the best way to secure the wire to the inside of the trim so that it's hidden (and stays hidden over time). I was thinking of caulking, but the one I looked at said it shouldn't be used for plastic and vinyl, unless there's a better type that would work well. We do live in New England, so it does have to hold up to the cold and hot weather, although it is going to be 60+ this weekend (as I know Temps during application can come into play). 

PS - Existing doorbell is wireless with no existing run.

Thanks in advance! 

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Posted 2020-01-10T12:56:54+0000  by BriGrigg BriGrigg
Hello BriGrigg, and welcome to the Community!

I think your suggestion of hiding the bell wire behind trim and caulking is a fine idea. My concern is that if the access hole into the house is too close to the bottom, that the hole may cause moisture to seep in or absorb moisture causing rot or bug infestation. Ring does make a wireless version of their product, just in case you were looking to avoid the whole wiring senario. If you do decide to run the wires down to the floor then into the house, try to use a stiff piece of wire to fish the bell to inside and keep the hole as small as possible, and also obviously caulk on both sides. 

Posted 2020-01-10T13:38:54+0000  by Angelo_HD_CHI

Yeah, I got a great deal on the Pro version, plus the wireless versions have a recording delay on them to save battery. You can also create custom motion zones with the Pro as well.

And I was concerned with moisture as well, as regardless of how I secured the wire down the side, I'd still caulk the hole on both the outside and inside. The smallest installer drill bit (18") that both HD and Lowe's carried was 1/4", and I think the transformer wire is about 1/8". I was thinking of drilling the hole at the bottom of the porch stairs there, but after you comments, thinking maybe I should see if I can keep it 1-2" off the bottom to prevent moisture maybe (despite that'll still be caulked)? Also, is there a particular caulking that I should use that's better for plastic/vinyl? As the one or two I looked at said that they weren't designed for either. I just down want it to either not stick or let go over time, and then the wire becoming loose down the side (although I should still be tight/taught I would think).
Posted 2020-01-10T15:00:27+0000  by BriGrigg
Hello BriGrigg.

Check out OSI Quad for a sealant.  It comes in a variety of colors and seems perfect for what you need.


Posted 2020-01-10T17:31:53+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
Hey Brian, 

I have 2 of the Ring Pro doorbells, I've had them for 1-1/2 years. I originally had wired doorbells and decided to keep using the wired type but I ended up fishing through new bell wire because my old one was from 1950 and was wrapped on cloth. I also upgraded my transformer to a 16V / 30Va, this has allowed me to have 2 of the Ring Pros with no drop in voltage. I've had each of them go bad over time, but it looks like the new ones sent to me have better heat dispersion. I have 2 wifi signals, 2.4 Ghz & 5 Ghz, I keep both cameras on the 2.4 and the signal stays strong. My only complaint is that even if I'm home, the latency is horrible, by the time I answer the app, the person is already gone. I wish Ring gave the option to change the resolution from HD to SD, that might lower the latency. Please let me know if you have questions and good luck!

Posted 2020-01-10T20:23:29+0000  by Angelo_HD_CHI
I might suggest running the wire down along the inside of the J-channel.  Drill horizontally, parallel to the face of the brickmold and another hole into the face of the brickmold so that the two meet.  A the bottom drill on a angle through the sheathing and bottom plate so that you end up in the basement.  Seal all the holes.  You might have to top a course or two of siding to make drilling easier.
Posted 2020-01-11T00:01:56+0000  by Adam444

I thought about drilling two holes and having them meet, but wasn't sure I'd be able to line them up, because the original builder put vinyl siding on the underneath of the floorboards of the porch. So I'm pretty sure I'd have to rip those off (partially anyway) in order to have a decent chance of lining up the two drill holes. And I tried to once, but didn't think I was going to be able to without breaking the siding under the floorboards. And I don't want that wire exposed (as below the porch is fairly open), as then if someone wanted to neutralize the camera, they'd just need to cut the exposed wire (although pretty extreme scenario). Unless I'm not following you and you're talking about something else?
Posted 2020-01-11T16:58:13+0000  by BriGrigg
You are following me.  Yes, you would probably need to loosen the siding to drill the holes which is easy enough to do with what's called a "sliding ripper" tool (about $6).

Just carefully lay out the holes at the location of the Ring device.  Just tuck the wire into the J-channel - the siding will hold it in place and hide it.  As for drilling the hole at the bottom you want to do this:

Just use a long drill bit ($13):

Posted 2020-01-12T13:58:44+0000  by Adam444
Sorry for the late reply. I decided to not try to take off the siding underneath the porch floor and just drilled diagonally at the base of the door (~1" above the very bottom). Although the 1/4" installer drill bit I bought ended up snapping. It was working fine, although it appeared to be bending at a greater angle then what I thought I was drilling at. Not sure if that I was drilling at too great of an angle, or I was drilling too fast and it got hot, as I was careful to not bend the bit (as I knew it wouldn't hold up to too much pressure, with it being so long at 18". I ended up also buying the 5/16" bit as well, so I tried again at less of an angle and didn't have any issues.

I ended up picking up the suggested OSI Quad sealant as well as Gorilla adhesive, but I ended up not needing the latter as the J-channel held the wire in place just fine as Adam suggested (even got wife approval). I used the sealant to plug up the holes (both outside and inside), and the hole where the 1/4" drill bit tip is still today (of course it couldn't have broken outside so that I could pull it out).

Thanks for all your suggestions! Now I just need to paint the black wedges (that came with the doorbell) white. Not sure why Ring stopped selling the white ones separately (although can still purchase additional black ones). I ordered 3rd-party ones on Amazon, but they're for the original Doorbell Pro (and not the newer model that has a heatsink) so they don't fit as nice and flush.
Posted 2020-02-04T18:30:44+0000  by BriGrigg
Any tips on marking a "best answer"? I'm checking the box and clicking "Best Answer", but nothing is happening. Not sure if it's a browser issue or what, but I'm using latest version of Chrome.
Posted 2020-02-04T18:35:36+0000  by BriGrigg
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