How Does a Doorbell Work?

When you press a doorbell button, you complete an electrical circuit that allows household electricity to flow through the doorbell's internal electromagnet. The magnetic field generated by the electromagnet is then used to power a mechanism that creates the doorbell sound. Doorbells are low-voltage devices.

If you’re thinking of changing out your doorbell for a newer one, such as the Ring Video Doorbell or the Nest Hello, you might be wondering how the whole system works. There are three main components of a doorbell: the transformer, the chime, and the doorbell itself.

The transformer is the first component you’ll need to be familiar with. It’s located on the low-voltage side of the system, and can be anywhere from 16 to 24 volts. There are two wires that hook up to the transformer, one of which goes into the chime, and the other into the doorbell. The high-voltage side of the transformer is 120 volts and is located before the transformer.

Next, there’s the chime. Two wires are hooked up to it, one from the transformer and one from the doorbell. The wire from the doorbell is labeled as “front” and is connected to the terminal for the front doorbell. The other wire is connected to the black wire of the doorbell and is used as a common wire.

Finally, there’s the doorbell itself. It’s hooked up to the red wire that’s coming from the transformer and is labeled as “trans”. The black wire on this side is connected to the chime.

To sum it up, the doorbell system is very simple and easy to hook up. It doesn’t matter what color wires you have, as long as you have the right connections. It’s AC and you don’t have to worry about getting shocked, because it’s all low voltage.

If you’re thinking of hooking up a Ring Video Doorbell and want to troubleshoot any issues that might arise, be sure to check out other DIY videos. There are some problems that you might encounter, but with the right guidance, you can have your new doorbell up and running in no time.


How does a doorbell work step by step?
The switch is pressed and current flows through the circuit. The electromagnet is powered and generates a magnetic field that attracts the iron strip towards it. The striker strikes the gong (bell). When the striking arm strikes the gong, the contact is broken and the current stops flowing through the circuit.
How does a doorbell get power?
Doorbells get their power from the home's electrical system. The doorbell switch has two terminals that are wired to the doorbell transformer located in the house. The transformer is a metal box with two terminals connected to the doorbell wires.
Is it safe to touch doorbell wires?
Because of its low voltage, doorbell components and wiring are safe to handle, even when electricity is flowing through them.
Do wireless doorbells need internet?
The real use of these devices is in seeing, live, who is at your door as part of your front door security. For that you need a WiFi connection so you can be alerted on your phone then see who is at your door, live. So, yes, in most cases your wireless doorbell will need WiFi and will likely come with that onboard.