How to wire a doorbell chime

Have you ever thought if you know how to wire a doorbell, you are not going to need any electrician? Well, it won’t save you much money but it will do some savings at least.

Well, you may think that why lost in wires? Better, call an electrician. Before you do so, I suggest you read this article and I assure you that you won’t be lost in the labyrinth of wires. Neither you have to call anybody.

In this article, I have given you a complete guideline on wiring a doorbell chime and I believe that it will be easy to follow and finish.

You know, when you are fixing, remodelling, or installing an electric object your first job is to the anatomy of that object. So, first I’ll tell you about the anatomy of a doorbell and then move to the chime.

Don’t worry. This knowledge won’t go in vain. This part will help you to understand the latter wiring demonstration part.

So, let’s start!

Anatomy of a doorbell

Three parts together make a complete doorbell system


It’s a small box where the entire sound generating process happens.

It has two parts in it:-

1. Plunger

It’s a metal stick, which is magnetically pulled and released while the bell switch is pressed. A chime contains two plungers sometimes one plunger.

2. Screw terminal

It has a three-screw terminal where the wires connect bell switch(s) and from transformer. Labelled as ‘front’, ‘rear’ and ‘trans’


Transformer converts high voltage to low voltage and then circulates the current. The necessity of it is, doorbell runs on low voltage current. High voltage can melt the chime box, the bell switch, or the wires. There is also a possibility to get electrified. That’s why transformer is used to avoid them all. Usually, transformer converts 110-120V to 16-18V

Bell switch

Bell stars to ring when this button is pressed. This button works as a trigger to start the whole ringing process. Initially, it remains disconnected. However, when someone presses it, it completes the whole circuit for running the electricity through the doorbell system. It has a two-screw terminal for wiring.

A house can have four types of doorbell system according to its construction.

Don’t worry! I will tell you about each system including wiring its chime.

I am using red-white wire combination to demonstrate the wiring easily.

So you will found two red wires coming out from trans former and a white wire coming out doorbell switch.


  • It’s best if you draw a diagram after every step you read. This will help you a lot to understand.

One bell switch-one chime

If your house is not too small and you have one switch and one chime you will follow this section.

  • Bring a red wire to the chime box and connect it with the ‘trans’ labelled screw terminal.
  • Bring a white wire from the switch and connect it to the ‘front’ labelled screw terminal.
  • Merge the rest red wires by twisting them together and seal them with a wire screw.

Two bell switch-one chime

When you have a front door and a back door, you are going to need two switches for your doorbell. Therefore, you can be easily notified when someone in the back door as well.

In this wiring system, you will find two sets of red-white wire. Each set is coming from front door, back door individually and one set of red wire is coming out from transformer.

  • Bring a red wire to the chime box and connect it with the ‘trans’ labelled screw terminal.
  • Bring both white wires coming from the two switches. And connect it to their individual screw terminal, labelled as ‘front’ and ‘rear’
  • You have left three red wires from the bell switches and other from the transformer. Merge them together by twisting and seal them with a wire screw

One bell switch-two chime

Well, if you have a big house or a backyard garage, but only one front door, you’ll definitely need two chimes. Otherwise, you won’t be able to hear if someone’s at the door.

In this case, let’s interchange the chimes with the switches from the previous point.

Still don’t get it? Okay, so here is the demonstration

But, for the installation process of this system, you'll need a pair of spare red wires and a pair of spare white wires.

  • Connect each spare red wire as usual to the screw terminal labelled as ‘trans’ on both chimes.
  • Merge both wires together and assemble them with the red wire from the transformer. Give them a twist with your thumbs and secure them with a wire screw.
  • Again, connect each white wire to the screw terminal labelled as ‘front’ on both chimes.
  • check
    Merge both wires together assemble them with the white wire from the switch. Seal them with the wire screw.
  • check
    Assemble and seal the rest two wires from the transformer and the bell switch.

Two bell switch-two chime

If you have one big house, backyard garage, a front door and a back door as well then you should probably install this system. This system allows you to get notified from any corner of your house.

For this system, you'll need two red and four white wire additionally.

  • Connect each spare red wire to the ‘trans’ labelled screw terminal.
  • Assemble them to the red wire from transformer and seal them with a wire screw.
  • Connect each white wire to the ‘front’ labelled terminal on both chimes. Assemble them together with the white wire of the front door and seal them together with a wire screw.
  • check
    Follow the same process to connect the back door switch with the chime.
  • check
    Assemble and seal all three wires coming from the front door, back door and transformer.

Safety tips:

Turn off the main switch before you go any further and touch any wire.


At the end of this article, we can conclude that different house has different doorbell system as well as different chime wiring system. You just have to figure out which doorbell system do you have in your house and wire the chime as demonstrated above. It’s a bit tangly and complex but not impossible to do.

For me, your safety concern is the first. That’s why I have consulted a professional technician before writing this article. But, still, if you don't feel safe you can always call an electrician.

John Bryan

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