Monday, February 8, 2021

Adding Home Security is Easy - Intercom-to-Video Doorbell Installation Guide

If you want to install a video doorbell to add more security to your home but you have old, large intercom system (such as NuTone), read our tips below to get started.

This post is to provide you with all the information you need to cover an intercom speaker hole that's much larger than the Ring doorbell (or other video doorbell you would like to install).


  • Steps are provided as a courtesy to help you understand how to mount a video doorbell to a back plate (sold by Kyle Switch Plates) that covers a larger opening from an old doorbell intercom speaker).
  • Always adhere to the installation instructions provided with the video doorbell itself.
  • Simply modify installation by attaching the video doorbell unit to the cover plate instead of the side of your house. 
  • The cover plate will be what attaches the doorbell to your old, empty intercom box.
  • See photo example here:


Select and purchase a video doorbell unit (examples: Ring Video Doorbell, Ring Video Doorbell 3, Ring Video Doorbell Elite, etc.).

Open the box & read all of the provided installation instructions thoroughly.

Make sure you understand clearly how the doorbell unit is installed.

Note whether it is external (older models) or recessed (newer models) when mounted. And, determine whether you'll be wiring it in or using it wirelessly.

Note how the different video doorbell models will be mounted to different types of back plates:


Now, remove the intercom speaker completely from the box. If your new doorbell is a wireless version, cap off any wires.

You may have a NutTone, TekTone or another vintage brand. It doesn't matter which you have so long as you note where the screw holes are on the box once the cover has been removed.

If your particular model has an extra mounting ring (like the one shown below), remove that as well.


You'll need to cover the old box & install the smart doorbell onto the new box cover.

There are many different sizes of covers, with different screw hole spacings.

In order to select the correct cover on our website, you'll need to get some specific measurements from the box.

Read through all the steps we've provided below before purchasing a cover plate!

First, measure the height and width necessary to cover up the box (without leaving any of it exposed).

Note if there are any obstructions that would prevent a full-size cover from fitting, such as elevated brick or stone siding.

If this is the case, measure the largest area in which a cover will actually fit.

Find the 2 openings for the screw holes where the new cover will be attached to the box. They may be on the sides (horizontal mount) or at the top & bottom (vertical mount).

Measure from the center of one screw hole straight across to the center of the other screw hole. The distance should be one of these:
3.281" (3-9/32")
4.5" (popular spacing)
5.25" (popular spacing)
6.625" (6-5/8")

You should now have these important dimensions:

  1. Empty Box: width and height.
  2. Obstruction: width and height (if any).
  3. Screw Holes: orientation & spacing apart.


Now, you can narrow down which cover is right for your situation (based on the key information gathered in Steps 1-3 above).

Again, review the installation instructions for your doorbell model.

You will select from 3 types of covers (keep in mind, each type comes in a variety of sizes and varying screw spacing options):

  • (A) surface mount wireless model (most popular style)
  • (B) surface mount hard-wired model
  • (C) recessed video doorbell model
A - If the Doorbell is Surface Mount & Wireless:

Popular examples: Ring Video Doorbell, Ring Elite, Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, Ring Doorbell Pro.

Get a blank intercom cover that has 2 screw holes (to align with your box) and no other cutouts. You will drill holes into the cover that align with the camera's bracket. (Just as you would drill holes to install into the side of a house. See Step 6).

We have 2 sizes with many screw spacing options available:
6.4" x 4.5"
7.5" x 5.5"

Available blank plate for wireless units:

Smaller Covers (6.4 x 4.5):

6-3/8" x 4.5" Wireless with 4" Vertical Screws

6-3/8" x 4.5" Wireless with 4.5" Vertical Screws

6-3/8" x 4.5" Wireless with 5.25" Vertical Screws

Larger Covers (7.5 x 5.5):

7.5" x 5.5" Wireless with 3.75" Horizontal Screws

7.5" x 5.5" Wireless with 4.5" Vertical Screws

7.5" x 5.5" Wireless with 5.25" Vertical Screws

7.5 x 5.5 Wireless with 6-5/8" Vertical Screws

B - If the Doorbell is Surface-Mount & Hard-Wired:

These plates have a centered, small round opening for the wires to pass through.

You will be drilling holes into the plate to align with the mounting bracket that comes packaged with your video doorbell (see Step 6).

Available sizes are:

Smaller Covers (6.4 x 4.5):

6-3/8" H x 4-1/2" W with Doorbell Wire Opening - 4.5" Vertical Screws

6-3/8" H x 4-1/2" W with Doorbell Wire Opening - 5.25 Vertical Screws

Larger Covers (7.5 x 5.5):

7.5" H x 5.5" W with Doorbell Wire Opening - 4.5" Vertical Screws

7.5" H x 5.5" W with Doorbell Wire Opening 5.25" Vertical Screws

A - If the Doorbell Recesses Into the Wall (Older Video Doorbell Models):

Recessed units need a cover with a large center opening.

These covers are 4-1/2" wide by 6-3/8" high.

Screw spacings are vertical and spaced 4.5" apart or 5.25" apart.

If your box is larger than 6-3/8" X 4.5", see step 5 below.

Order covers here:

Recessed Video Doorbell Cover with 4.5" Screw Spacing

Recessed Video Doorbell Plates with 5.25" Screw Spacing


If the new cover isn't large enough in size to completely hide the old box, add gaskets underneath the cover to seal the box.

Here, two our our triple-gang gaskets have been stacked underneath the plate. Cut as necessary to match the size of the box underneath the plate

Again, moisture gaskets are only necessary if the plate isn't large enough to cover the box opening. This is rare. Double-check your dimensions against our cover plates.

To review, note these 4 important things about our covers prior to ordering:

  1. height and width (to cover box without hitting any nearby obstructions)
  2. placement of screw mounting holes (vertical vs. horizontal; distance between them)
  3. any cutouts needed (for recessed or hard-wired doorbell units)
  4. are any gaskets necessary (if cover is smaller than edges of the box)

Use the links above to purchase the cover you need or shop all intercom doorbell speaker covers here.

We do all new sizes regularly which may mot have been listed above.

Once your order is received, continue with Step 6.


You will need to drill holes into the back-plate to align with the mounting bracket that was included with your video doorbell.

Drilling the back-plate to attach the doorbell's mounting bracket is the same installation process as if you were mounting directly to the side of your house.

It's just that instead of drilling into the stucco or paneling on your home (as you would if you didn't need the back-plate to cover the large intercom box), you will instead drill and mount the doorbell's bracket to the cover plate. It's easy!

Note the size of your new doorbell unit and locate the placement of the cover plate's screw holes. Depending on your situation, you may need to mount the doorbell off-center on the plate.

Snap the doorbell unit into the mounting bracket it came with and place it centered on our cover plate prior to drilling any holes. If the screw holes on the plate are blocked by the doorbell and bracket, look for a better spot on the plate to position the doorbell bracket.

When ready, drill holes into the plate and attach the bracket.

You will need to add hex nuts to the back of the plate to secure the screws that attach the bracket to the plate. These are not included because different brackets may have different sizes of installation screw,. Be sure to buy nuts that fit the screws included with your video doorbell's hardware.


Use the provided switch plate screws to mount our cover (with the installed video doorbell bracket) to your box.

Pull any wires through the plate's center opening (if you are hard-wiring the doorbell). Otherwise, properly cap off any old wires.


Once the cover is securely installed to the box, continue to follow the doorbell's manufacturer instructions to attach the unit to the bracket.


These instructions are for modifying the installation process in order to retrofit the smaller doorbell unit to a larger intercom box.

They are provided as a guide and a courtesy and do not cover every brand, size or type of doorbell unit.

Follow proper instructions for wiring + setting up your video doorbell.


We'd love to see the finished product! Send us a photo of your smart video doorbell unit installed on one of our custom-made intercom covers.

We also enjoy to see your "before" photos too. Here are a couple we've received so far:

Submit pictures to
Or tag us with a post or story on Instagram @kyleswitchplates

Enjoy your upgraded video surveillance and the security it provide when someone approaches your door.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Switch Plate Problems People Are Fixing During COVID

Many people are using the COVID shelter-in-place to get projects done around the house. If there was ever a time to get some new projects going or some lingering ones completed, quarantine is sure the time.

You may be looking for a tricky, hard-to-find switch plate which we most likely carry. Check out our many wall plate configurations here. But we also carry tons of electrical devices and a variety of odds and ends like replacement dimmer knobs.

One thing we also sell a lot of are our handy gap-fillers. They sit behind any plates that have gaps between the cover and the wall - an easy fix for an annoying problem. They come in 1-6 gangs in sizes to fit standard and oversized wall plates.

Speaking of oversized plates - they are a fix for another very common problem. If you have too large an opening in your wall around a light switch or outlet, oversized covers - which are slightly bigger than standard size - are an easy solution for covering up that mishap.

Many of our customers have low voltage lighting systems - such as GE or Touch Plate - and can't find the switches or covers in their local hardware store.

Your problem may be a sunken outlet, which is caused when any thicker surface is added to the wall. So, if you've added a plank wall or wainscot and the outlet is sitting back in your outlet cover, use electrical box spacers to lift your electrical device up to meet your plate.

If you've added tile, board and batten or any trim that runs too close to a light switch, we also carry narrow cover plates. The half narrow covers are standard covers with the cutouts shifted to one side and are a great solution anytime a raised surface on your wall runs too close to your electrical box.

Is it finally time to install a Ring doorbell in place of your old intercom system? Some of our best selling plates are these intercom conversion covers for video doorbells. There are a lot of options (sizes and screw spacings) and the plate you'll need for covering up your old speaker and adding a video doorbell will depend entirely on your old intercom box.

These are the most common cover plate issues homeowners are dealing with during coronavirus.

If you are having trouble with which item to order to fix your problems, please email us at or reach out on our Facebook or Instagram accounts and we'll be happy to help you find what you need. We apologize we're not taking phone calls during COVID-19 as we have a very limited staff to remain compliant with our local regulations.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Uses for Smaller Light Switch Cover Plates

Many of our customers call us regarding tight spaces in which a standard light switch cover just won't fit.

Today, we're sharing how several of them have used small switch plates from our online wall plate store to fix an eye sore or complete a home renovation.

One of the most common problems is tile that runs too close to the electrical box, as two customers describe here:

But switches can also end up too close to door frames, wall trim or other mouldings including high baseboards or board and batten walls that run up too close to electrical boxes.

We've helped several customers fix an unattractive uncovered switch or one covered by a poorly cut cover, and the results have been these 5-Star reviews:

Otherwise, the trim may need to be modified after board and batten has already gone up. which as you can see here, doesn't look very good:

Here, a narrow plate was the perfect fit:

Skinny plates can also work on narrow door frames.

We've even had a customer with a switch between cabinet doors that left too little space after a bathroom remodel:

Other DIY home renovations that raise the surface of your wall and come too close to an electrical box can create an eye sore.

As you can see, narrow switch plates have a lot of great applications and get be a great solution to get you out of a pinch with an obstructions of any kind is blocking your standard cover from going back up.

At Kyle Switch plates we carry over 50 sizes of narrow plates and plates with shifted openings to help you find a good solution. Shop narrow plates or short plates to find a plate that meets your specific needs.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

New Replacement Parts for Residential GE Low Voltage Lighting

If your home was built in the U.S. between the 1940s and 1980s and you have odd retro light switches that look like these, you most likely have a General Electric (GE) low voltage lighting system.

This style of GE low voltage switch and cover is extremely common in homes with a GE brand system.

Here are 2 switches without the cover:

 Other styles and configurations exist as well. Here are some other examples.

You may have switches like the ones above, or some like the ones below:

See our full list of vintage styles of GE switches with images and part numbers. Use provided links to buy direct GE replacements at Kyle Switch Plates.

Replace Missing Covers for Original Vintage GE Low Voltage Switches

If your old switches are working and you need to replace missing or broken covers, we have Old Style GE Cover Plates that fit the original switches.

To cover original switches, keep the switches mounted in the original brackets and order replacement covers only.

The replacement covers for original GE low voltage switches come with matching screws and attach to the old metal bracket that has always held the switches in the wall box.

Available in classic ivory, crisp white or industrial-looking stainless steel.

Replacing GE Low Voltage Switches in Your Home

GE still manufactures switches to replace old ones that have gone bad.

If you think a switch is broken, the first step is to verify it is the switch and not the relay (or transformer) that's causing problems.

If a light in your home isn't working, use this GE Troubleshooting Guide for Low Voltage Lighting to determine which parts in your system are causing problems.

You are typically dealing with a broken switch if there is a single light that isn't working, the problem is intermittent (switch sometimes works, sometimes doesn't), and the same light works fine from another switch in the home.

The easiest way to confirm a switch is broken is to turn off the power to the switch. Take a working switch from another location in your home and use it as a temporary replacement for the switch that isn't functioning. If, when the power is restored, this fixes the problem, the switch is indeed broken.

Many homeowners decide to replace working switches in order to achieve a more modern look.

New switches are available in white, ivory and gray. New covers can be purchased in white, ivory and stainless steel.

For whatever reason you decide to replace a vintage switch, the following information will guide you through the replacement process.

GE's new replacement low voltage switches are not the same size as the older ones. This means that all switches that share a cover plate need to be replaced at the same time. The new switches are not compatible with the old covers or the old mounting straps/brackets.

Replace one switch = replace all switches + the cover they share.

It is very important not to put new switches into the old brackets! The slots on the old brackets are too small for the new switches. If jammed into the old bracket, the new switch will get pinched and eventually burn out the connected relay.

The good news is that the new style GE covers at Kyle Switch Plates eliminate the need for a mounting bracket.

Snap each switch into the plate from the front side, then wire them in (remember to turn off the power first) and attach the cover to the wall box.

Many homeowners install these new switches themselves using our GE Low Voltage Wiring Guide.

If you have any hesitation, hire an electrician.

Note that many electricians have not encountered residential low voltage systems before, so be sure to add this wiring guide to your order (free with purchase of any GE part) to assist whoever installs the replacement parts.

Shop New GE Low Voltage Switches.

Shop New Style Bracket-less GE Switch Covers.

Fixing Broken Relays in a GE Low Voltage System

The relay is likely the culprit if a single light isn't working, the failure is consistent (light stuck in ON or OFF position and won't change), and the light won't respond from any other switches that control it.

If some lights work and some don't, the failure is intermittent, and it sometimes takes pushing a switch multiple times to get the light ON or OFF, check the output on the system's transformer. In this situation, an output above 0 VDC indicates a broken relay.

As with diagnosing a broken switch, a working relay can be wired in place of the one in question. If the problem is fixed, it is the relay that needs to be replaced.

New GE relays can be purchased here. Don't forget to add a GE wiring guide to help with installation.

The 2 most popular selling GE relays are the RR7 and the RR9. The difference is the type of light switch each controls.

Look at your old relay and locate the part number.

Replacement relays are as follows:

Old Relay Part Numbers:

  • RR2
  • RR3
  • RR5


Old Pilot Relay Part Numbers:

  • RR4
  • RR6
  • RR8


New Transformers for GE Low Voltage Lighting

The transformer needs to be replaced if no lights in your system are working and the transformer output reads 0 VDC. Or, if some lights work and others don't and lights remain stuck in their last position (ON or OFF) and can't be controlled from any switch location.

The RT1-RT2 GE Transformer replaces the following discontinued models:

  • RT1
  • RT2
  • RT3
  • RT7

Wiring Tips for a GE System

You need one relay for every switch, unless you are wiring the switches in a 3-way setup to control the same lights from different locations. For example, if you have a switch at the top of a staircase and a switch in the family room which both control the family room's lights, they may be wired together so that the lights can be turned on or off from either location (but only need one relay).

You don't need "3-way" low voltage switches since GE switches can be wired in parallel to achieve 3-way functionality.

You can wire up to five relays to one transformer, depending on your setup. Consult an electrician to confirm how many relays per transformer is safe for your home.

To connect a new GE switch, turn off power to the switch, pull off or snip the wires (if soldered to the switch) and strip some of the casing from the end of each wire.

Once removed from old switches, insert wires into the red quick-connector terminals and crimp.

Snap new switches into front of new covers.

Then slide the quick connectors onto the flat connection terminals on the back of the switch.

Switch terminals are labeled  "BLK OFF" for the black wire, "RED ON" for the red wire, and "COMMON" (the center terminal) for the white wire.

Attach cover to box and restore power.

To wire a single relay, disconnect power and locate the large brass screws on the relay's base. Next, locate the four small holes on the bottom of the relay (two holes per screw, not labeled on relay; labeled 1-4 in image below). For a standard application, you will put the wire coming from the breaker into hole 1 or 2. The wire going to the fixture goes into hole 3 or 4.

For a 2-relay setup (example: same breaker powers multiple rooms - say a bedroom and a bathroom), the wire from the circuit breaker goes specifically into the first hole of relay #1. Then, a wire from the second hole of relay #1 goes into the first hole of the 2nd relay. The lamps get wired to hole #3 of each relay. Room 1's lamp connects to hole #3 on relay #1; room 2's lamp connects to hole #3 on relay #2.

Learn more and buy replacement GE parts at Kyle Switch Plates.