A doorbell transformer is an electrical device that connects to your home circuit and transforms or steps down the power to a lower voltage and amperage that a wired doorbell can handle. In most cases, this is 16VA. A doorbell transformer is a key component of a wired doorbell system, providing the power needed to run the doorbell.
Where are Wired Doorbells Located?
Doorbell transformers are typically mounted near the main electrical panel for easy access. In some cases, it is located in the garage, the attic, or even co-located near the wired doorbell.
Choosing the Right Transformer for Your Door Bell
If you are installing a new wired doorbell or troubleshooting an existing one, understanding doorbell transformers is key to getting the doorbell up and running properly.
There are a few factors to consider when choosing the right doorbell transformer. Most simple wired doorbells will need a 16V, 10VA doorbell transformer. A simple door chime would create a "ding-dong" sound by a plunger striking a plate inside the door chime unit. More advanced chime systems may require higher voltage or higher amperage.
The size of the transformer
When referring to size, we are talking about the VA, or volt-amperage of the door bell. A larger transformer can power multiple doorbells or chimes, while a smaller one may only be able to power one.
In addition, if you are using a video doorbell
The distance from the doorbell to the transformer
Wire gauge plays an important part here, but if the distance is over 50 ft., we recommend increasing the VA of the transformer.
The voltage of the transformer
Most doorbell transformers have a voltage of 16 volts, but some may have a higher or lower voltage. All the door bells we market on 1800doorbell are 16V.
The amperage of the transformer
This is the amount of current that the transformer can supply to the doorbell. A higher voltage will cause the chime to be a little louder, but there is a draw back. If the voltage is too high, it will make the mechanical parts inside the doorbell, like the plunger, strike harder than it was designed to do.
Don't worry as much about oversizing the amperage as the doorbell will take what it needs.
See Our Quick Wired Transformer Sizing Chart
We have a small chart that provides some basic information about choosing the right wired doorbell transformer. While not perfect, it provides an overview. Consult an electrician for exact specifications as distance, wire gauge will also be a contributing factor.
We do not market video doorbells on 1800doorbell.com and do not know those products very well. We get a few calls a day from customers who have a wired doorbell that was working fine and then stopped working once a video doorbell was installed. In almost all cases this was due to an undersized wired chime transformer in the home.