How to Replace a Doorbell - Page 2

  • Step 3 :Test the low voltage transformer

    Test the low voltage transformer

    If touching the doorbell button wires together does not sound the bell or chime, check the voltage at the transformer. It is usually located in the basement or near the main circuit panel. Most likely it's mounted on the cover of an electrical box. There are two screws on the front of the transformer that are attached to the wires leading to the chime or bell unit and to the doorbell switches. Use a multi-tester to check that the transformer is producing low voltage. Set the voltage scale of the tester to 50 volts and touch the probes of the tester to the screws. The meter should read 12 volts or more. If not, replace the transformer.

    To replace the transformer, turn off the electricity to the whole house at the circuit panel. Loosen the screws and remove the doorbell wires from the terminals on the front of the transformer. Remove the cover to the electrical box and loosen the twist-on wire connectors holding the black and white wires leading from the transformer to the wires inside the box. To temporarily return power to the house, reinstall the twist-on wire connectors on the ends of the wires in the box. Then turn on the power. Buy the same type of transformer that you removed. Install it by turning off the power and then reverse steps you followed to removed it.

  • Step 4 : Test the wiring

    If the transformer checks out there must be a broken wire in the doorbell circuit. This fix is best left to an electrician.

  • Step 5 : Install new doorbell button

    Install new doorbell button

    Connect the wires in the wall to the screw terminals on the button. It doesn't matter which wire you attach to these terminals. Then push the wires back into the wall and secure the new button to the door frame with the screws provided. If there is a doorbell button at the back door, replace it in the same way.

  • Step 6 : Remove the old unit

    Remove the old unit

    Turn off the electricity to the whole house at the circuit panel. Remove the cover of the old chime unit by unscrewing the mounting screws holding it to the wall; then pull the chime unit away from the wall.

    Turn off electricity There will be two wires attached to the unit if there is a front door button or three wires if a doorbell button is at both front and back doors. Remove the wires from the chime unit one at a time, and apply a piece of tape to each and label the wires with the number of the screw terminal. Tape the wires to the wall to prevent them from falling back inside it.

  • Step 7 : Install new chime unit

    Follow the manufacturer's directions. Most provide a template to help locate the mounting screws on the wall. Remove the cover from the new chime unit. Thread the wires through the base of the unit and install the base against the wall with the mounting screws provided. Connect the low voltage wires coming out of the wall to the terminals using the tape labels as a guide. Attach the cover to the chime unit and restore power to the circuit.

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