How to Replace a Doorbell

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Tools Required
  • Screwdriver
  • Multi-tester
  • Wire cutter/stripper
  • Slip-joint pliers
Materials Required
  • Doorbell chime
  • Masking tape

Before You Begin

Replacing a doorbell that works is straightforward but if your bell or chimes does not work, replacing it with a new one may not solve the problem. The wiring between the doorbell switch and bell or chime may be bad or the transformer that converts house current into low voltage used by the doorbell system may be burned out. If your doorbell works then both these must be OK, so jump to Step 5 about the installation.

Not interested in doing this job yourself? Click here to get to Home Advisor and it will open in a new tab and you’ll have to answer some basic questions about your job followed by an Electrician in your area.

  • Step 1 : Test the unit

    Test the unit

    If your doorbell or chime does not sound when you push the button it may be worn out. To test the unit remove the cover and use a multi-tester to check the voltage at the terminal screws where the doorbell button wires are attached. Set the voltage scale of the tester to 50 volts and touch the probes of the tester to the screws. Have someone push the doorbell. The meter should read 12 volts or more. If so, the wiring and transformer are OK and you can replace the old unit wit the new one.

  • Step 2 : Test the button

    Test the button

    If the old doorbell doesn't work, first determine if it's a doorbell button problem. Remove the doorbell switch from the door frame by unscrewing the mounting screws. Then slowly pull the switch and wires away from the frame. Next loosen one of the screws on the back of the switch and remove the wire. Carefully touch the loose wire to the other screw terminal. If the doorbell or chime sounds, the switch is bad so replace it the new one.

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