How to Wire a Doorbell with Diagrams

With the protective role of doorbells to home security, every homeowner wants to have it at the front door.

Maybe you bought a new smart bell and wish to install it, or you want to replace an existing one with a new video doorbell. Wiring the doorbell can be hard, mostly for first-timers.

But as a doorbell expert, I will guide you on doorbell wiring, and also show you diagrams on how to wire a doorbell perfectly.

We have two types of doorbells, wired and wireless (battery operated). Wireless systems don’t need wiring, they are battery powered. All you can do is to mount the bell button at the door, and plug-in the chime to a socket.

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Parts of a doorbell

They have three key parts, including:

The transformer

Normally, during doorbell wiring, we don’t connect the bell directly to the current.

It is first connected to the transformer, and then to the supply.

The role of the transformer is to step-down the household current from 120V to about 8 to 24V required by a bell.

You can install the transformer anywhere in your house, but most electricians install it at the electrical panel, or inside the circuit breaker.

Related post: How to find a doorbell transformer

The doorbell chimes

The chime is part of the doorbell system that houses the buzzer or the bell. It is the part that rings whenever you press the push button.

Push button

This is often installed at the front door, and when pressed, the chime rings.

Tools required to wire the doorbell

The following tools are necessary for doorbell wiring.

  • Multimeter.
  • Power drill.
  • Small level or plum.
  • Toggle bolts.
  • Wire.
  • Pencil.
  • Wire stripper
  • Screwdriver
  • Fish tape
  • Cello tape.

How to wire a doorbell transformer, chime, and push buttons

To wire the doorbell correctly, follow these steps:

1. Locate the power source

Look for where you will connect the transformer. But before connecting, use your multimeter to confirm the circuit has continuous power and is not operated by a switch. Else, it will affect your doorbell when the switch is off.

2. Turn off the power supply and connect the transformer

It is necessary you turn off the power supply before connecting to avoid electric shock.

Connect the wires from the transformer – black, green and white – to the corresponding wires from the power source and secure them with wire nuts.

Related post: How to test a doorbell transformer

3. Mount the bell or chime

Position the chime at your desired location on the wall and plumb it to a level. Using a pencil, mark the location of the mounting holes on the wall.

Fix the buzzer or bell on the wall using toggle bolts often included in the doorbell kit.

4. Mount the doorbell push button

Map out a place on your front door and install the push button. Fix wires at the button terminals and connect one to the hard-wired from the transformer, and the other to the chime.

Use another wire to connect the chime to the transformer, power the system, and test run the bell.

Doorbell wiring diagrams

Below are common wiring diagrams involving a doorbell transformer, single to double chimes and push-buttons.

Wiring involving a single chime and a push button.

This is the most common doorbell wiring system you can see. It comprises a single push button connected to a chime and a transformer.

Wiring involving a chime and two push buttons

This setup has a single chime and two push buttons. You can go for the wiring system if you need two push buttons, maybe at the front and your back door.

Wiring diagram involving two chimes and a push button

This doorbell wiring has a push button and two chimes. You can go for the wiring system if you want the bell ring to be heard in all parts of the house.

Doorbell wiring system involving two chimes and two push buttons

This wiring system has two push buttons, and two chimes.

You can set up the system if you want doorbells at both doors of your house, and if you want to hear the buzzer ring loudly in different locations of your house.

Frequently asked questions on wiring a doorbell

1. Can doorbell wire shock you?

No, it cannot. The wires are of low voltage, about 18 – 20 gauges and such cannot shock humans. However, the hard-wired transformer uses high voltage. So, always switch off your power supply before working on your doorbell.

how can I identify doorbell wires?

Identifying the doorbell wire is easy. They are usually small, about 18- 20 gauge and its wire often separate from high voltage wires.

How does a doorbell get power?

Each time you press a doorbell push button, you complete an electrical circuit. This allows currents to flow around the internal electromagnet of the doorbell, thus generating a magnetic field. The flux is then used to power the mechanism that rings the bell sound.

Can I wire a doorbell from a light switch?

No, wiring a bell from the switch can make it not to ring when the switch is OFF. However, you can remove the light switch box and install a larger 2 gang or junction box. Split the lines and use one for the switch, and the other for the doorbell.

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