Replacing a Doorbell

 
  Replacing Doorbell
 

Whether you’re replacing a faulty doorbell component or upgrading to a fresh new look and sound, replacing a doorbell is a project you can easily do yourself. Doorbell systems may be wired, which connect the doorbell to the chime using behind-the-wall wiring, or wireless, which transmit a radio signal to the chime. Doorbell systems consist of a button, a transformer and chimes. These components can be replaced independently of each other, although you may find it most cost effective to replace all the components using a doorbell kit, which contains everything you need to upgrade your doorbell system. This project guide will show you how to replace a wired doorbell with a wireless system and how to replace a transmitter/button, chime unit and transformer for a wired doorbell. As you work on your project, be sure to follow any manufacturer’s instructions for your doorbell.

 

Preparation

 

• Identify and turn off the circuit breaker for the doorbell at the main breaker panel. If your home uses fuses, be 
  sure to remove the appropriate fuse from the fuse box. Place a note on the electrical panel to warn others not 
  to turn it on.

 

Safety

 

• Stay safe by wearing rubber-soled shoes and using tools with rubber handles.

 

Savings

 

•  Install doorbell components yourself and save money.
•  Identify and turn off the circuit breaker for the doorbell at the main breaker panel. If your home uses fuses,
   be sure to remove the appropriate fuse from the fuse box.


WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS JOB:

TOOLS:

MATERIALS:


Replace a Wired Doorbell with a Wireless Doorbell

Step 1: Turn off the Electricity

Turn off the Electricity Turn off the power at the breaker panel to the circuit that supplies electricity to the doorbell.
  

Step 2: Remove the old doorbell button

Remove the old doorbell button

1. Use a screwdriver to remove the mounting screws that secure the 
    doorbell cover. If the mounting screws are not visible, you may 
    need to unsnap a cover to reach them.


2. Carefully pull the unit away from the wall.


3. Use a voltage tester to check the wires and ensure the power is 
    off.


4. Disconnect the wires from the switch and use masking tape to tape 
    the wires to the wall to keep them from falling into the wall cavity.


5. Cover any stripped parts of the wire with electrical tape.


6. Tuck the wires into the hole in the wall.


7. If the new wireless button’s cover does not completely cover the 
    area where the old cover was, you’ll need to fill the hole with wood 
    putty, allow it to dry, then sand and paint.

  

Step 3: Install the Wireless Button/Transmitter

Install the Wireless Button/Transmitter

1. If the holes on the new wireless unit do not match the old doorbell
    button holes, remove the back cover from the new unit and use a 
    pencil to mark where you’ll drill the holes on the side of the house 
    or the door frame.


2. Drill two small holes at the pencil marks. Use the screws included 
    in the kit to attach the back of the device to the door frame. Some 
    doorbells come with double-sided tape that can be used to secure 
    the button to the wall or to the door molding instead of screws.


3. Install a battery in the button unit.


4. Place the front part of the button unit over the back part and snap 
    it into place.

  

Step 4: Install the Wireless Receiver/Sound Unit

Install the Wireless Receiver/Sound Unit

1. Check your doorbell's specifications to determine the maximum 
    distance the receiver can be located from the door button.


2. Plug the receiver, or sound unit, into a standard electrical outlet. If 
    you have multiple receivers, determine the other locations and 
    plug them in.


3. If your receiver operates on batteries, place the batteries in the 
    unit and attach it to a wall or wherever you choose, using the 
    screws that come with your installation kit.


4. Some wireless doorbells have coded transmitting and receiving 
    units to block interfering frequencies, so check the manufacturer’s 
    instructions to see if you need to set a code on either or both units 
    of your doorbell.

  

Step 5: Test the Doorbell

Test the Doorbell

1. Switch the circuit breaker back into the "on" position at the main 
    circuit breaker.


2. Test the doorbell by pressing the button to the door.

  

Replace a Wired Doorbell Button or Switch

Step 1: Turn off the Electricity

Turn off the Electricity Turn off the power at the main circuit panel to the circuit that supplies electricity to
the doorbell.
  

Step 2: Remove the Old Doorbell Cover

Remove the Old Doorbell Cover Use a screwdriver to remove the mounting screws that secure the doorbell switch to the house. If the mounting screws are not visible, you may need to remove the cover plate to reach them. This is usually a snap-on piece.
  

Step 3: Remove, Trim and Secure the Wires

Remove, Trim and Secure the Wires

1. Carefully pull the switch away from the wall.


2. Use a voltage tester to check the wires and ensure that the power 
    is off.


3. Using a screwdriver, disconnect the wires one at a time from the 
    switch. The wires are interchangeable so there’s no need to label 
    them or remember which wire goes with which terminal.


4. If the wires have frayed ends, use the wire stripper tool to trim the 
    ends and strip ½ inch of insulation from each wire.


5. Tape the wires to the wall with masking tape to keep them from 
    falling into the wall cavity.

  

Step 4: Install the New Switch

Install the New Switch

1. Using long nose pliers and a screwdriver, connect the wires to the
    screw terminals on the new switch.


2. Use a screwdriver to mount the switch to the house or door frame,
    using the screws provided in the installation kit.

  

Step 5: Test the Doorbell

Test the Doorbell

1. Switch the circuit breaker back into the “on” position.


2. Test the doorbell by pressing the button.

  

Replace a Wired Doorbell Chime, Buzzer or Bell

Step 1: Turn off the Electricity

Turn off the Electricity

Note: Before installing, make sure the chime unit has the same voltage rating as the transformer. In addition, the replacement unit should be at least as large as the old unit to avoid having to paint the wall around it.

 

Turn off the power at the main circuit panel to the circuit that supplies electricity to 
the doorbell.

  

Step 2: Remove the Chime Unit

Remove the Chime Unit

1. Remove the cover plate from the old chime unit. Covers usually 
    snap into place or are secured with screws.


2. Use a voltage tester to check the wires and ensure that the power 
     is off.


3. Use masking tape to label the wires according to the number or 
    name on the screw terminals to which they correspond, i.e, FRONT, 
    REAR, TRANS. There will be two wires attached to the unit if there 
    is a front door button only, and three wires if a doorbell button is at 
    both the front and back doors. Labeling the wires ensures they will be 
    reconnected to the proper terminals on the new unit.


4. Use a screwdriver to disconnect the wires from the terminals.


5. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws holding the chime unit to 
    the wall and pull it from the wall carefully, slipping the wires out of 
    the housing and taping each one to the wall with masking tape to 
    keep them from slipping into the wall cavity.

  

Step 3: Install the New Chime Unit  

Install the New Chime Unit

1. Thread the wires through the base of the new chime unit and fasten 
     it to the wall using the mounting screws included with the installation 
     kit.


2. Connect the wires to the screw terminals on the new chime unit, 
    matching the labeled wires to the corresponding screw terminals.


3. Attach the cover plate and turn on the power at the main circuit 
    panel.

  

Step 4: Test the Chime

Test the Chime

1. Switch the circuit breaker back into the “on” position at the main 
    circuit panel.


2. Test the chime by pressing the doorbell button on the outside of the 
     house.

  

Replace a Wired Doorbell Transformer  

Step 1: Turn off the Electricity  

Turn off the Electricity

Note: With newer wired doorbell systems, the transformer is usually built into the unit, which eliminates the need for a separate transformer. When working with older systems however, you’ll l need a separate transformer. The following steps are for replacing an older transformer, which is usually located in a basement, crawlspace or near the main circuit panel. Make sure the transformer’s voltage rating is the same as that of the door chime unit.


1. Turn off the power to the circuit supplying the transformer at the 
    main circuit panel.


2. Use a voltage tester to be sure power is turned off.

 

  

Step 2: Remove the Old Transformer  

Remove the Old Transformer

1. Open the junction box where the transformer is located. In some 
    instances, the transformer may be attached directly to a beam.


2. Use a voltage tester to be sure the power has been turned off on 
    the correct circuit.


3. Disconnect the AC wires from the transformer. In most cases, the 
    wires will be connected with screw terminals or wire nuts, which you 
    will need to keep for the new transformer. Gently pull out the wires 
    and remove the wire nuts or electrician’s tape from the two splices 
    that connect to the transformer.


4. On the other side of the transformer will be two screw terminals. 
    These are the terminals that connect the transformer to the door 
    button and the door chime. Each terminal will have at least one 
    wire. Use masking tape to label each wire so you will know the 
    proper place to reattach them. If there is more than one wire on 
    either terminal, wrap the tape around all the wires on each 
    terminal. Use only two labels, one for all the wires on each 
    terminal. After labeling the wires, use a screwdriver to disconnect 
    them from the screw terminals.


5. Use a screwdriver to remove the transformer from whatever 
    mounting hardware is holding it in place.

  

Step 3: Install the New Transformer  

Install the New Transformer

1. Thread the doorbell button wire(s), the door chime wire(s) and the 
    new transformer leads into the junction box and use a screwdriver 
    to attach the transformer to the junction box or other mounting 
    hardware.


2. Loosen the two screws on the transformer output and attach the 
    doorbell button and chime wires to the appropriate terminals 
    according to the labels.


3. Using wire connectors, join the permanent leads, or wires, on the 
    transformer to the house wiring, usually black to black and white 
    to white.

  

Step 4: Test and Troubleshoot

Test and Troubleshoot

1. Switch the circuit breaker back into the “on” position.


2. Test the transformer by pressing the doorbell button on the outside
    of the house.


3. Replace the junction box cover.