Most modern homes have adopted the idea of using door bells, and homes in Singapore are no exception. Whether you need to install simple ding-dong bells or sophisticated chimes, there is a procedure that you need to follow for successful doorbell installation. If you are leaving in a rented apartment, ensure that you obtain permission before you install a doorbell—it is somebody’s property, remember.
Doorbells may have different sounds and styles, but their installation is basically the same. In order to reduce most home’s usual 120-volt circuit, nearly all doorbells uses a step-down transformer. Most doorbells need a voltage of between 8 to 24 volts, and unless you are investing in a doorbell that already has a transformer, the importance of purchasing the correct transformer cannot be overstressed.
If you just purchased a doorbell, you must be undecided as to whether to seek professional help or do the installation yourself. If you choose to go for the latter option, you’ll find almost everything you need here. Below is a guide on how to install a door bell:
What you need
· Fish tape
· Screwdrivers (insulated)
· Wire strippers
· Voltage tester
· Power drill and bits
· Torpedo level
· Caulking gun
· Needle-nose pliers
· Wire connectors
· Silicone caulk
· Doorbell chime
· Doorbell buttons
· Masonry anchors, toggle bolts, or plastic anchors
· Low-voltage wire (two-wire that will run from switches to the transformer)
· Low-voltage wire (three-wire that runs from the transformer to the chimes)
1. Turn the power off
If you are handling a task that entails dealing with electricity, the first thing that you need to do is to put the power off. And it doesn’t matter whether you are in Singapore or any other country, you will endanger your life if you choose to handle electricity work without turning off the power. It, therefore, goes without saying; before you install a doorbell, turn off the power. You can use a voltage tester to ensure that the voltage is off.
2. Run the bell wire
Once you are certain that the power is off, your next task is to run the bell wire. To do this, you need to have two types of bell wires: one with two wires and another one with three wires. Run the two-wire bell to the where you intend to install the doorbell. Note that you are running this wire from the transformer. To navigate these wires across the ceiling or through the walls, you will need a fish tape and a power drill. Apart from navigation, a fish tape is used to mark the wires at the transformer so as to easily identify the wires that go to each doorbell. Once you have marked the wires, run the three-wire bell wire to where you wish to install the chime.
3. Mount the chime
It is recommended that before you mount the chime, position it on the wall where you intend to mount it. Then using a torpedo level, ensure that it is in level. And once you are certain that it is in level, mark the mounting holes using a pencil.
Depending on the nature of the wall, you may either use toggle bolts, plastic anchors, masonry anchors, or screws with expansion sleeves. Plastic anchors and toggle bolts are ideal for mounting the chime on a drywall. On the flip side, masonry anchors and screws with expansion sleeves are ideal for mounting the chime on walls made of masonry materials.
As you secure the chime, be extra-vigilant not to make the bell wire inaccessible.
4. Connecting the wires at the chime
Most people who decide to install doorbells by themselves get stuck at this stage. This is expected, especially because any slight mistake at this stage compromises the functioning of the doorbell. If you intend to install a two-button doorbell system, then ensure that the chime is supportive of the two buttons. It should also have three terminals: front door button, transformer, and back door button, labelled F, T, and B respectively. The bell wire at the chime is a three-wire; therefore, remove approximately four inches of the outer sheathing. You should see a red wire, a black wire, and a white wire. Using strippers, remove the insulation (approximately three-quarters of it) from the ends of each wire. Loosen all the three terminals and fasten the red wire under terminal F, the black wire under terminal T, and the white wire under the terminal B. Once you are certain that you have tightened down all the connections, set up the chime cover.
5. Wiring the doorbells
Wiring the doorbells is admittedly not easy. And just like connecting the wires at the chime, you need to remove the outer sheathing. Doorbells come with a two-wire feed already installed, and you only need to remove approximately two inches of the other sheathing. You should be able to see a red and a white wire once you have removed the outer sheathing.
When wiring the front doorbell, remove approximately three-quarters of an inch of insulation from each wire, then connect the white wire to the screw at the top and the red wire to the screw at the bottom. Do the opposite for back doorbell. It’s that simple!
After you have connected the wires to their respective screws, you then need to apply silicone caulk to the holes from which the wires extend. You also need to fasten the doorbells using the screws.
6. Wiring the transformer
You should have two two-wire cables and one three-wire cable at the transformer. Strip the ends of each individual wires, and make your connections according to these instructions:
· Connect the black wire to any of the terminals on the transformer
· Connect the white wire to the white wire originating from the doorbell button at the back.
· Connect the red wire to the red wire originating from doorbell button at the front.
· Twist together the white and red wires coming from the front doorbell button and the back doorbell button respectively. When done, connect them to another terminal on the transformer.
Ensure that no copper wire is exposed when you are done with wiring.
Doorbells come in handy in instances where we need to be alerted of the presence of visitors in our homes. Your house could be too large for you to hear a simple knock or just that you hate people banging on your door. Whatever reason it is, once you have decided that you need a doorbell, you should do the installation right. The above guide will definitely see you through the installation process.