How Does a Doorbell Work – The Definitive Guide

Every day, you ring the bell and wait when the door will be opened. But have you ever wondered how this works? If your answer is no, you can get the best answer here.

Although a doorbell doesn’t use that complicated mechanism, knowing the working process will help you maintain this component as well give you more control over it.

Before we go through the working process let's have a look at some of the most popular doorbells. Hope you get a clear idea about the working process of the doorbell after finishing your reading.

Types of Existing Doorbells in the Marketplace 

There are various types of doorbell. They are different for their structures and working principles.

You will find these types of the doorbell on the market. I give some description of these types here.

1. Traditional doorbell

These are the most common types of doorbells. These doorbells consist of chime, transformer, wire, button etc. They are simple in design and follow a simple working process. They are also known as wired doorbell because the whole system needs proper wiring.

2. Wireless doorbell

This system mainly has two parts. These are transmitter and receiver. The whole system is not connected with wires. It uses radio frequency to send the data from transmitter to receiver. Other parts of the wireless doorbell are button, battery, antenna etc. Nowadays updated wireless uses various sensors to improve the work output.

3. Intercom doorbell

By using an intercom, you can find out who is at your door. This is commonly wireless but you can convert the wired doorbell into it. You can also make a conversation with the person who is at your door.

4. Mechanical doorbell

The mechanical doorbell is the simplest of all. This system uses no electricity and also no radio signal. These doorbells are linked to the inside of the house. When anyone pulls or push the wire or button, the bell rings mechanically.

5. Driveway doorbell

It is also called alarm system. This types of doorbell use sensor. When anyone passes by the sensors, the bell rings and notifies arrival news of anyone.

Components of the Doorbell

Here I have divided the components of the wired and wireless doorbell in two parts.

A. Wired doorbell’s components


The chime is the heart of the doorbell. You will not hear any sound without this component. There are many varieties in the chime by their structures and works. The main part of the chime is an electromagnet and metal piston.

Modified chimes offer more facilities like songs, special sound like birds chirping, roar of ocean etc.


It is the main input option. By pushing this button, the visitors will give their incoming signal to you.


A wired doorbell runs by AC power. The main electric line provides more power than the doorbell actually needs. Overpower will ruin the whole system and the device also. A suitable transformer can solve this problem by converting the power amount in a systemic way. So, it is one of the basic things for the wired doorbell.

Connecting wire

Connecting wire connects all the parts and brings whole system together for work. For this reason, it is known as wired doorbell. You need different types of wires for different types of wiring's for install a wired doorbell.

Power source

For operating a wired doorbell, you need a constant power source. So, you have to count this on the list.

B. Wireless doorbell’s components

Transmitter circuit

The transmitter is built up with two types of RF crystal oscillator. This circuit collects the signals and processes it. After processing is finished, it sends the signal to the receiver circuit.

Receiver circuit

The receiver circuit receives the signal from the transmitter. It checks the high and low voltages. It controls the bell's off and on situations.


Every doorbell have this part to make communication between the visitor and the house owner. You will find wooden, plastic, metal, lighted, touch screen etc. type of doorbell buttons for your doorbell. For example, if you use lighted doorbell button, it will better for you to know how do lighted doorbell buttons work before using it.


Like the wired doorbell, chime makes the ding-dong sound for the wireless doorbell.


The wireless doorbell uses internal power source. For that, you need battery for your device.


By using an antenna, wireless doorbell passes its signal. It builds a connection between the transmitter and the receiver.


Ultra-modern wireless doorbell uses some sensor for its work. Those sensors make the device more user-friendly and useful.

The Working Process  of Doorbell

The wired and wireless doorbells are the main types of doorbells and these are the most used devices. The wired and wireless doorbell’s working process is quite different. So, I have figured out these separately so it will be easy for you to understand.

1. Wired doorbell

The push-button is the main input taking part of the wired doorbell. The wires collect the whole system along and pass the signals. A transformer transforms the power in required amount from the power source.

The wired doorbell uses electromagnet which is made of wire solenoid. The solenoidal coil stays nearby a metal piston and a tone bar. The metal piston vibrates in the particular note that creates tones.

When the electromagnet becomes active the piston hit the tone bar and create a sound like "ding". As long as anyone pushes the button, the electromagnet will remain active and the piston will remain at the position.

But when he releases the button the current flow will stop and the electromagnet will become deactivated. One spring pushes the piston back in the position and hit the tone bar on another vibration note. It creates a sound like “dong”. That's how a wired doorbell is a work.

The benefits of wired doorbell are, it can be easily fixed, cheap in price, use simple working process, needs less power to run etc. The drawbacks are the wiring process sometimes goes complex and the discontinuous flow of electricity stop the functionality of the doorbell.

2. Wireless doorbell

Wireless doorbell don’t need wiring to make connection. For this reason, you don't need to repair the wiring. It also needs small space and it is smarter but more costly than the wired doorbell. Here I clarify for you how wireless doorbell works.

Wireless doorbell uses Radio Frequency signal to transmit signal and complete its action. Usually, it uses a unique frequency for its different types of model. It has a transmitter which main work is processing the input signal and send it to the receiver unit.

The receiver unit catches the signal and processes it. If the frequency is right, the chime unit becomes active and the bell rings. That’s how does wireless doorbell work. Wireless doorbell also needs battery, antenna, sensors etc.

The benefits of wireless doorbell are, it needs small space, doesn’t need wiring, it is smart etc. The main drawback is it can get frequency interference. This is the most disturbing situations for using a wireless doorbell.

When you are going to install a wireless doorbell, you have to know how to pair wireless doorbell. Because, if the transmitter and the receiver will not work properly together, your doorbell will not work well.

3. Other types of Doorbell

Here I will explain about the intercom, mechanical and alarm system bell’s working process.


Intercom doorbell can be wireless or wired. The main working process is different for the intercom. You can watch who is at your door and the visitor and you can communicate by using this system. So, it uses camera and speaker along with the bell system.

Mechanical doorbell

This type of doorbell doesn't need additional power source. A bell is attached inside the house. When the visitor pushes or pulls the outside level of the bell which is put at the door, the bell rings.

Alarm System doorbell

It uses some sensors such as infrared, motion detector etc. When anyone passes your selected area, the alarm system starts to ringing and you will get the notification. It follows the wireless doorbell working process. So, it uses Radio Frequency to complete a working cycle.

For more info, please check this video.

Bottom Line

Doorbells are one of those first electronic inventions that we are using form the 20th century. They are cheap, small and the working process is very straightforward.

Knowing how does a doorbell work, may not seems that significant to you. But believe me, this small knowledge will be fruitful eventually. Especially, when you will find your bell not working anymore just because of slight malfunction.

Hope you will get a clear picture about this by finishing reading my writing. All the best for you.

John Bryan

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