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Do You Need a Base Station for Ring Contact Sensor?

Last Updated Sep 7, 2021
ring alarm base station installed on the wall with the keypad on the table.

Having your doors, windows, and other entry points protected with Ring Contact Sensors is a secure way to monitor your home and property. However, since Ring sensors typically automatically come with the Ring Alarm system, you may be wondering whether the alarm’s Base Station is required to use them.

A Ring Base Station is required to connect all Ring Contact Sensors in your home. The sensors rely on a Z-Wave connection offered through the Base Station to communicate with the alarm system and send notifications through the Ring app.

Although the Ring Alarm requires either a 2.4 or 5 GHz Wi-Fi connection, the sensors require a connection through a Base Station. Keep reading to learn how this connection works and what you need to do to ensure your system is connected properly.

Why Ring Contact Sensors Require a Base Station

With Z-Wave technology, Ring utilizes the advantages of this mesh system to deliver a reliable connection for the Ring Contact Sensors in your home.

Traditionally, alarm systems are connected through one central hub that limits the distance sensors can be placed from the main panel. With Z-Wave, communication is done through a mesh network, allowing for a greater distance from the main hub. This technology can benefit when a connection is lost, as the mesh network allows for communication between the sensors, compensating for signal loss.

This communication extension is possible with range extenders that act as conduits for range-extending benefits, allowing for a greater distance from the main hub.

How to Connect the Ring Contact Sensor and the Base Station

Ensuring that your Ring Contact Sensors are properly connected to the Base Station is essential for proper operation and notifications. Follow these steps to connect the two so monitoring will begin properly:

  1. To set up a Ring Contact Sensor after installing to your door or window location, ensure that your Ring Alarm is unarmed before beginning the setup procedure.
  2. Open the Ring app on your smartphone, choose Menu, Set Up a Device, Security Devices, Sensors, and Contact Sensor.
  3. The Ring app will walk you through all the steps to complete the process.

Why Won’t My Ring Sensor Connect to Ring Base Station?

There are times when the Ring Base Station may not connect to your Ring Contact Sensors; possible reasons this may be the case include the following:

The Base Station or Sensor is Too Far Away

Your sensor may be placed too far away from the base station to receive an adequate signal. In this case, you will need to consider adding a Ring Alarm Range Extender. This plug-in device will extend the available distance between the base station and your sensors, allowing proper communication throughout the Z-Wave connection.

The Battery is Not Working

Checking to verify that the battery is properly connected inside the sensor can help troubleshoot a lost connection.

  1. Remove the cover from the device and then the battery.
  2. After a few seconds, reinsert the battery.
  3. If you see fast LED flashing, this indicates that the sensor is connected to your network. If the sensor blinks three times, the sensor is not connected to your network. When seeing no lights at all, this could mean the battery is dead. Replace the battery and try these steps again.

The Sensor Needs to Be Reset

When the above steps do not rectify your issue, you can remove the device from the Z-Wave network and reinstall it. The following steps can help reset the sensor and fix the issue between the sensor and the base station.

  1. After removing the cover and battery from the sensor, enter the Ring app.
  2. Choose Menu, Devices, Alarm Base Station and Base Station.
  3. Next, select the gear icon and then Advanced Options, Z-Wave, and Remove Z-Wave Device.
  4. After choosing the sensor you are troubleshooting, select Remove.
  5. After removing the sensor from the system, you can reinsert the battery and add it to the base station.

If this does not resolve your problem, you may need a factory reset on the sensor. Be aware that factory resetting your contact sensor will remove customized settings such as volume settings.

  1. To factory reset your Ring Contact Sensor, remove the cover and battery from the device.
  2. Press and hold the tamper button, which can be located near the antenna.
  3. While holding the tamper button, reinsert the battery. The LED light will flash, and you must continue to hold the button until the LED stops flashing or remains solid.
  4. Put the cover back onto the device and complete the setup to add it to your base station.


The Ring Contact Sensor works with the Ring Base Station to provide a strong, reliable connection for home security. By allowing a wider range of sensor placement and the convenience of a Z-Wave connection, you will enjoy peace of mind from the Ring Alarm system.