How to Disconnect a Bell, Buzzer or Intercom

doorbell image by fafoutis from

Homes have various means of allowing guests to announce their arrival. Most houses have a doorbell or door buzzer system. These are simple devices that operate by pushing a button near the door, which causes a chime or buzzer to sound.

An upscale version of the doorbell is an intercom system that sounds a chime to announce someone at the door and allows those inside the house to speak to the visitor through the intercom. Sometimes one of these devices need to be disconnected either for replacement or because the homeowner no longer wishes it to function.

Turn off the breaker that controls the doorbell, buzzer or intercom before opening the device to disconnect it. A simple way to make sure that it has been turned off is to push the button to activate the device. If nothing happens, it is off.

Begin disconnecting the outside switch by removing the screws that hold the button on the door frame or wall. If it is an intercom, it may have a faceplate that will be removed to access the wiring. On the bottom of the doorbell button will be two wires wrapped around screws. In the intercom, there will be an additional screw or two holding wires that drive the voice system.

Loosen and remove all of the screws to free the button or intercom system from the wires. Remove the screws that hold the intercom box to the wall and lift it away. Repeat this process for each door that has a button located near it. Mark all of the wires to indicate what type of signal that they carried in case a new system will be installed later.

Grip the cover of the doorbell chime box and pull it off of the device. Most of these covers snap on. However, for intercom systems or higher priced doorbells, you may have to remove screws to get the cover to release. The idea is to just look at the cover to see if it screws on or snaps on. Under the cover, there will be two sets of wires attached to screws. One set will run from the unit to the outside buttons. The other set will be larger wires that furnish power to the device. Loosen all of these screws with a screwdriver and pull the wires off of them.

Find the two to four screws that fasten the doorbell, buzzer or intercom to the wall. Remove the screws to release the device from the wall. Screw wire nuts onto the larger set of wires. One wire nut is on each wire. If there are multiple chimes or intercom boxes in the home, repeat this procedure for each box. Leave the breaker off and mark it as permanently disconnected until you install a new doorbell, buzzer or intercom.