How to wire a door bell

Updated March 23, 2017

Installing and wiring a door bell is best done during the early stages of the house construction or during a remodelling project, where the walls are already down. In the early stages of construction, the house power is rarely on and to wire a door bell, the power needs to be completely off. If you are simply trying to install and wire a new door bell, you may want to consider purchasing a wireless door bell so you do not have to cut into walls to complete the job.

Turn off the electricity in the home or house.

Unfold the 18-gauge wire. It will be used to connect the back of the actual door bell to the door bell transformer and from the transformer to the chime box. All three pieces are part of any door bell self-assembly package. The wire uses around 12 volts, so it is low voltage.

Cut the 18-gauge wire into two individual wires. Strip the ends of both the 18-gauge wires before attaching them to the door bell system.

Locate the hot screw and the neutral screw on the back of the door bell transformer. They should be labelled as such.

Locate the black and the white wires from the house power circuit box. Connect the black wire to the hot screw using the guidelines provided in the door bell instructions. Use a screwdriver, if necessary. The method of attaching wires will differ depending on the brand of door bells.

Connect the white wire from the house power to the neutral screw. The black and white wires can be short, so the door bell transformer can be near the power box.

Attach one of the two cut wires to the neutral screw and connect the other end to the chime box from the door bell system.

Attach the second of the two cut wires to the hot screw and connect the opposite end to the actual back of the door bell.

Install the door bell, the chime box and the door bell transformer in the walls or near the house circuit box. Use a screwdriver and screws to install the boxes, if none of the boxes have adhesive backs. Turn on the house power, if possible, to check if it works.

Things You'll Need

  • Doorbell system
  • 18-gauge cable
  • Wire strippers
  • Wire cutters
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
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About the Author

Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.