This posting is intended to document the utter failure of Google Chat support to solve my problem, the deficiencies in the Google warranties, and ultimately how I solved the chiming issue. It's a too-long post, but here's the spoiler: You will need to install a new, more powerful doorbell transformer (cost is no more than $25) and if you can't do this yourself, you will need to hire an electrician and it will probably cost you $150 or more for a house call.
The too-long story: I purchased two 2nd Gen Wired Doorbells directly from Google Store. I had tested my existing transformer and it met the minimum 16V output requirements (in fact, it measured just over 20V). My existing chime was a NuTone, typical to a house constructed in 1958 when my house was built. It has 3 connections - Front, Back and Transformer. It was working fine with its simple push button switches.
I turned off the power and installed the new doorbell/cameras outside and the "chime connector" pucks in the chime box (please note that these are the newer model doorbells and that each chime connector has 2 wires, not 4 as with the prior generation of wired doorbells). The cameras and doorbells powered up and connected to my network just fine. But the interior chimes would not ring. I could get the chime ringing by disconnecting the chime pucks completely (as has been suggested in other chat threads), but the interior chime made a troubling buzzing sound and the chime strikers vibrated constantly. When I ran out of ideas and suggestions from the online community, I turned to Google Support.
Over the course of 3 chats with online support (total duration over two hours) I was walked through many, many troubleshooting steps - re-testing the voltage of the transformer, disconnecting and re-connecting the chime pucks, trying just one chime puck, trying just one doorbell camera, and resetting the doorbells to factory settings (which must be done by physically pressing a reset switch on the back of the doorbell and cannot be accomplished through the app). Early on in one of these sessions, the respondent suggested I check or charge the battery -- I had to remind her that this was a WIRED doorbell we were working with. Later, another respondent sent me a wiring diagram for how to wire the chime pucks with two doorbells, but the diagram she sent was for the old 4-wire model chime pucks. She finally sent a diagram for the newer style pucks which showed exactly the wiring you would expect and what I had in fact done.
At the conclusion of all of this, the respondent diagnosed the problem as faulty chime connectors. Having determined that my doorbells were still under warranty (they were less than a week old) she informed me that unfortunately, they had no replacement pucks to ship me, but that I should be able to find them online. Could I be reimbursed for the cost of purchasing replacement pucks? The answer was NO. Well it didn't matter because nobody sells the Google chime connector pucks and the things that are available look like they were designed to replace the old 4 connector pucks. I told the respondent I would be returning the doorbells and she connected me to the product returns department where I could either just return the doorbells or elect to have them replaced.
I made the decision to just return the doorbells to Google and go out to buy new ones from another retailer. I received the new doorbells, re-did the entire installation process, turned everything back on and of course the exact same problem persisted - no indoor chiming.
By this time, my research was starting to turn up articles that have been around for years (with other brands of doorbell cameras as well as earlier generation Google and Nest doorbells) that the problem was not with the chime connectors as I had suspected, but with the power supply coming from the transformer. While all of the Google doorbell literature tells you that you need 16V, there is no mention of a minimum amperage required. The problem is that where the old 10VA output of older transformers worked fine to make the chimes work, when you add the power drained by the doorbell CAMERA, the leftover voltage dropped below what the mechanical chimes need.
So the actual solution is to replace the old transformer with a new one still rated at 16V, but 30VA (3 times the power). You can buy these online for about $15, but I also found one at the local Ace Hardware for $25. It took about 15 minutes to install the transformer (mine happened to be mounted directly to one of my home circuit breaker boxes) and VOILÀ! the system works. Well it works with one issue that I can live with -- we used to hear "ding" for a back doorbell ring and "ding dong" for a front one. Now we get "ding dong" from both - I suspect the two chime connectors both being tied to the common transformer terminal causes the doorbell to see either doorbell push the same way.
So it's an easy fix if you can do it yourself but an expensive one if you need to hire an electrician or if you can't find your doorbell transformer (sometimes they have been buried under finished walls or ceilings). But whatever you do, I suggest you do not waste your time with Google's online support.
Sorry to hear that you haven't had the best experience with your new cameras. I would invite you to share your experience with us in the app. We’re always looking for ways to improve, and appreciate your feedback. You can send it at any time using your devices by saying, "Hey Google, send feedback," or by following the steps found here. Please let me know if you need further assistance.
We hear you — rest assured that we'll take note of it. We'll ensure that we'll learn from your experience as we continually improve our products and services. We appreciate your time in providing the Community the steps that resolved the issue of your indoor chime. It's a big help. Also, please be advised that this thread will be locked after 24 hours.
Thanks for the help here, Brad.
Just had the same thing happen to me. Gaslit for hours by this stupid puck. Fix your documentation to reflect the REAL power requirements. Google will tell you not to do this, but you can leave the puck out so your doorbell will ring, at least until you can get to the hardware store to replace your transformer.
I have heard several times from Google about the message that I originally posted saying things like they understood my concerns and would be working to resolve these issues, but as far as I can tell, they have not really done anything. The doorbell compatibility chart still says 16-24 AC and 10-40 VA of power, where clearly the power requirement is more like 30 VA. I have heard no apology for the failure of the warranty to cover faulty chime pucks, although there is the option to do as I did and just return the entire doorbell for full credit and re-purchase it. So I would like to see this thread remain open until all the issues are resolved.
@EdinaJeff It's us again. I'm bumping up this thread to ensure that everything is covered here. We truly appreciate you sharing with us what you've done and the solution to resolve this issue. We would suggest you send your feedback to the link shared above. Let us know if you have more questions in mind.
Thanks for answering, Brad, Abi and JT.