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How to Install a Doorbell

Written by; Thomas O'Connor / TCCN Staff Writer
Added on: Mon Sep 28 2009


One of a visitor's first impressions of a home is via the doorbell. One major problem is that many homes have doorbells that simply don't work. It is a low priority on the household repairs. A visitor pushes the button, only to wait for the door to be opened. He or she waits and waits only to knock on the door. The only thing worse that a non-operational doorbell is the annoying buzz of some doorbells.

Luckily, installing a doorbell is an easy project for the do-it-yourselfer.

Doorbells are a low voltage appliance and only rudimentary electrical knowledge is required. The tools and materials needed are a screwdriver, a circuit testing, goggles and a doorbell kit.

Doorbells, buzzers or chimes is made up of two units. The push button unit is operated by battery. The sound unit is operated by a current from a regular outlet.

There is such a wide choice of doorbells for consumers. Sound is so important and that is illustrated with the different types of sounds from doorbells, buzzers and chimes. There is the traditional ding-dong sound as well as doorbells that sound like a barking dog or a bird sweetly chirping.

Evaluation of the current doorbell will determine if a replacement or new installation is needed.

Modern door chimes operate on 16 volts whereas current doorbells and buzzers run on 10 volts. If converting from the traditional doorbell or buzzer to a chime, a new transformer will need to be bought due to the difference in the voltage. Changing transformers is not an issue when updating a battery-operated unit.

Once you have purchased a doorbell, you can begin the installation. The first step, as always in electrical projects, is to turn off the breaker that supplies electricity to the doorbell.

A circuit tester should be used to make sure that the power is off.

Detach the doorbell switch from its location next to the door. Also remove the mounting screws and carefully drag the wires out of the hole. Secure the wires by using masking tape and taping to the wall.

The next step is to disengage the wires from the switch. Attach the wires to the screw terminals on the new switch. Remove any labeling from the wires and gently place back into the wall. Install the switch with the provided screws. Remove the old chime by loosening the screws. Carefully pull the piece away from the wall and secure the wire by taping to the wall with masking tape.

The installation continues by removing the wires one at a time. Label each wire with the location of the screw connection. For example, labeling such as "front" or "rear" will make reconnection a trouble-free proposition. The old doorbell unit has now to be disposed of.

Detach the cover from the new unit. Pass the wires through the base of the unit and fasten the base to the wall using the mounting screws in the kit. Connect the wires according to the labeling directions placed earlier. Secure the cover and bring back the power to the circuit.

You have successfully installed a new doorbell!

Ah, the sound of music! Don't be afraid to "chime in"!


Copyright: 2009

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