What Is a Doorbell Chime and How Do You Install One?
Hello, anybody there?
A bang on the door and a shout-out may have got the job done in the past. But society has moved on and so has doorbell chime technology. Now, there are great solutions for both businesses and homes that can make it much easier for your visitors to get your attention.
Let’s dive into what a doorbell chime is exactly and how you can install one at home or at your business premises.
What Is a Doorbell Chime?
Simply put, a doorbell chime is a button that your visitors press to trigger a chime inside the building.
Whether you’re buying for a home or a business, they all work in one of two ways – wired or wireless. Some upgrades include flashing lights – great for noisy environments. Some also feature entryway cameras.
Wired Doorbell Chimes
Wired doorbells consist of three basic parts – a button, a chime, and a transformer. The parts are all connected with wires to each other and to the mains power supply. That makes them easy to install and reliable, but also susceptible to power outages.
Wireless Doorbell Chimes
A wireless doorbell chime is a more flexible option as it is not wired into mains power and the chimes can be placed anywhere. A wireless transmitter connects the transmitter switch to the chime.
It uses radio waves, so it is limited in range. Most receivers plug into a wall socket, giving you great flexibility over where you place them. Battery-operated receivers are also available, giving you even more options.
Business or Residential Use?
For residential use, the limited range of a wireless transmitter is not usually a problem. However, for business use, more complicated systems may be needed to cover larger premises.
Many business doorbell chimes on the market have a much wider range, some covering up to 5,000 feet. This makes them much more versatile. They can be set up to cover different zones and play distinct sounds depending on which doorbell has been sounded.
Businesses may also find motion or driveway alert sensors to be useful. They can sound the chime when a person or vehicle approaches. Even if they don’t use the bell, you still know they are there.
If you’re looking for something for residential use, a standard doorbell chime system will give you a range of about 150 feet. In most properties, that will be enough to allow you to place the receiver wherever you need it the most.
You also need to consider the line of sight to the receiver. If there is interference, such as thick concrete walls, transmitters with a shorter range will struggle. For these situations, choose a transmitter with a longer range that is able to penetrate these kinds of obstructions.
How Do You Install a Doorbell Chime?
Most doorbells come as a kit, including a button, a transformer, a chime unit. If you’re considering installing a simple wireless doorbell chime for your home, this is a good DIY project. But if the system is more complex or needs to be wired into the electrics, it’s best to employ an electrician to do the job for you.
Installing a Wireless Doorbell
The most basic wireless doorbells can be installed very simply. All you have to do is attach the doorbell and plug in the receiver inside the house.
- Remove the backplate of the doorbell and screw it in place
- Snap on the button unit. This is usually easy to snap on and off to allow you to replace the batteries.
- Plug in the wireless receiver within range, in the part of the house you want the chime to sound in
If you need to remove an old wired unit, shut off the power supply before removing the button unit. There will be two low-voltage wires remaining. These can be tied off with electrical tape to cover the bare ends and placed back in the wall.
However, the safest way is to get an electrician to safely remove the entire old system.
Installing a Wired Doorbell
The following instructions apply to a standard 2-note door chime. This is relatively easy if you’re replacing an existing unit. If not, you will need to run cables through the walls, which can be very tricky.
Safety first – always shut off the power supply and use a voltage tester to double-check before starting any electrical work.
- Install a new transformer in an accessible junction box according to the manufacturer’s instructions
- Mount the bell transformer onto the metal box cover (this will transform the high voltage supply to the needed 8 to 24 volts)
- Connect to the existing power supply or create a power supply by running a 2-wire with ground Romex cable from a lighting circuit
- Connect the transformer to the doorbell and chime
- Once you have double-checked all connections, turn the power supply back on and test the system
You can use a single transformer for two chimes – allowing you to have the doorbell sound in different parts of the building. Alternatively, you can have two doorbells – front and back door for example – attached to a single transformer and chime.
Choose 1800 Doorbell for Your Next Doorbell Chime!
Doorbell technology has really moved on from the simple doorbell chime we had at home growing up. There is a great range on the market now that can ensure you never miss a visitor, either to your home or business. With huge ranges, flashing lights, and powerful chimes, you’re kept in the loop at all times.
At 1800 Doorbell, we understand the doorbell needs of both businesses and residential customers. We have products to suit all properties and budgets. You can even email our friendly team for advice to get exactly what you need.