My office is in the basement. Whenever someone rings the doorbell, I
cannot hear it.
The electrical converter box for the ringer is in the basement under my
breaker panel. There are only two brown wires connected to the converter
box. Can I hook up a ringer to that converter box somehow so that the
doorbell rings in the basement as well?
That's a transformer, likely 24 volt.
Yes, you should be able to add a bell in the basement; take two wires from
it and connect those two from the bell to the same two posts on the
transformer where the brown wires are now (keep the brown ones in
place)...so you wind up with two wires on each post. Since it's direct
current, doesn't matter which wire goes on which post. Use a small
bell/chime ...a big one could overload the transformer when both upstairs
and down ring.
Sounds like someone's a little confused...
Minor point: the output from the transformer is alternating current, not direct.
This is why polarity doesn't matter.
Major point: if you connect a bell as described below, it will ring all the
time! This is because it'll be fed directly by
the transformer, without the doorbell button being in the circuit to interrupt
To avoid this problem, the new bell/chime must be connected to a point in the
circuit that is *after* the button. Best
approach, although possibly difficult to get the wire to the right place, is to
parallel the new bell/chime directly across
the old one.
One other possibility, I don't know exactly what they're called but they make
wireless things to do this. You install a
little transmitter inside the existing bell/chime, and there's a wireless
receiver that plugs into any AC outlet. Much
easier to set up!
I'm the OP: This is what I was wondering about. Are the two wires to the
converter a complete circuit as they are connected now, or do the two
wires only complete the circuit when the door bell is pressed? What I
can tell you is that the two wires come out of a brown cable that has
three wires. The three wires are white, red, and one that looks grey and
black striped ( it could be another color than grey, but looks grey).
The red is not used and is wrapped around the cable.
If it is not a complete circuit as is, could a ringer be tapped into one
of the wires in series, so that when the doorbell is pressed to complete
the circuit, it has to go through the second ringer to complete the circuit?
Somewhere else it has to be a complete circuit. If you have a simple
bell type it will be something like:
To add another bell you need to find where they are connected
|-------Bell 1 ----|
|-------Bell 2 ----|
I am thinking that the wires are connected at the present bell
Some chimes do not connect in series. The transformer connects
directly to terminals on the chimes and the switch connects to
another set of terminals on the chimes. I have one like that.
Pressing the door switch gets a motor in the chimes running and it
continues through the cycle by itself.
Fortunately my chimes has a set of termials for a second bell.
Quote from OP:
"What I can tell you is that the two wires come out of a brown cable
that has three wires. The three wires are white, red, and one that
looks grey and black striped ( it could be another color than grey,
but looks grey). The red is not used..."
That may be the clue.
If the 3-wire cable goes directly to the bell,
it would be possible to use the 3rd wire to connect
a remote bell at the transformer location.
First have to know more about you present bell. What type is your
present bell? One that has just a "Ding - Dong" or a series of
notes?. Look at the wires to your present bell. I think that same
three wire cable may end there and that third wire is probably tied
back there as well. Also note if there is another cable coming in
from the door switch. Do you have both front and rear switchs? If so
there would be two cables coming in.
OP>: There is only one ringer on the wall next to the front door. It is a simple ding-dong ringer. There are no other door buttons in the back
of the house or any other door. Looking in the ringer, the two wires
mentioned previously are connected to the ringer. The red wire is not
connected and is wrapped around the brown cable.
AH SO. How does the outside button connect to the ringer?
Some how pressing the button has to complete a circuit through the two
wires from the transformer to the coils of the plungers. Like the
diagram I tried to draw..
So any n
The thing is that one of the two wires connected to the bell now goes
to the button. The other one goes to the transformer in the
Either that, which is the way mine was, or they all go to the
basement and there is another pair of wires from the button to the
Figure out which wire is which and connect the second bell to the two
connections on the first bell. If your house is like mine, you can
use the unused red wire to go from the bell (the screw that is
connected to the button) to the basement bell.
And the other wire to the first bell already runs to the basement.
You can use that for the second wire to the new bell.
I had the same problem you did and first go a little bell with a
circle at the top and a clapper at the side. It worked well enough
that I knew someone was there, and the main floor ding dong also
worked. Years later Home Depot had 75% off a nicer ding dong than the
one I had, so I put the new one on the first floor and moved the old
one to the basement. Then neither rang! So I had to go to the next
bigger transformer, which is an inconvenience, but not impossible.
Althought in your case it might mean taking the cover off the fuse
box, which is also possible but requires extra safety things we'd have
to go over.
That was fine but then came the intennet, and I needed a bell on the
second floor. No wires already run and no easy way to run wires. So
I used my mother's old wireless doorbell, but without batteries.
I took the 18 volt transformer, put a little diode in the circuit to
make 9 volts DC (ripple doesn't matter) and ran parallel to the wires
on the downstairs bell to the 9 volt battery conector of the wireless
push button. This means when somone pushes the front door button, the
wirelss button is activated. Oh, yeah, I soldered a little wire to
short out the wireless pushbutton button, so that switch is always
closed. Then I plugged in the receiver in the 2nd floor hall and
everything works fine. No batteries to worry about.
I paid 3 dollars iirc from Sunset House for this wireless one 18 years
On Tue, 21 Aug 2007 19:47:31 +0000, Speedy Jim wrote:
I might try this since it is simple:
Find a low impedance buzzer at the hardware store.
Detach one lead from the transformer and then wire buzzer in series
between transformer and lead you disconnected. When doorbell switch is
activated, current should then flow through buzzer through the switch to
complete the circuit and ring the upstairs doorbell. Buzzer should ring
One problem with this is if either buzzer or doorbell become defective,
neither will work.
To avoid this, wiring both bells in parallel after the switch would be
best but this means you have to add most likely additional wires.
I'd opt for the buzzer in series.
May not be enough voltage to drive two in series.
One of the Transformer wires must go to the switch.
Possible at the old ringer, to connect that third unused wire to the
wire from other side of the switch. Then the other end of that wire
to a new ringer and then the other wire from the new ringer to the
side of the transfomer that goes to the old ringer. Difficult to
explain without a diagram but that would end up with two ringers in
parallel driven by a single switch.
Measure it with a multimeter while someone holds the button down, its
only 16 or 24 volts AC. If it goes hot while the button is down then
that is your place to connect the trigger terminals for the new
electronic bell or just any AC bell.
The transformer (converter) provides low voltage
Alternating Current (typically 16V) to the bell.
If those are the only wires accessible, you can't
simply connect a second bell.
If running more wires isn't an option, you could
purchase a remote current sensing device made just
for doorbell use or replace the existing bell button
with an RF type with remotes. Or, replace the existing
bell with something louder, etc.
How much are you willing to spend in $ and/or effort?
I just googled "wireless doorbell". The first hit was on Amazon.com,
selling a wireless doorbell with 1 remote (button) and 2 chimes for
$15. Gonna be difficult to beat that price and simplicity. No wires,
you just attach the battery-powered button outside, and plug in the
I have had a wireless doorbell in my house for about a year now, still
on the original battery for the button.
Thanks, but I don't want to have to rely on batteries to add an extra
ringer to what I have already have. I have batteries ( coin type) in my
garage door opener and they have failed me too often. If I can't
hardwire it, then I would like to have a wireless remote ringer that
operates on the AC power I already have at the button and ringer.
Wireless devices add unreliability, and batteries AREN'T the only
reason. It could work OK, or could be much more trouble than it's
I know someone who had a wireless system and got rid of it quickly
because of the excessive false alarms.
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