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Adding a Second Doorbell Chime

Add a doorbell chime to your shop or garage by connecting to either the existing chime or the transformer—the choice depends on how and where you run the wiring.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Add a remote ringer

The most difficult part of adding a new ringer is tracking down the cables. Although it's easy to connect a new “doorbell cable” (common is 18- or 20-gauge CL2 type or the equivalent) at the existing doorbell chime, it may be difficult to run concealed wires to a basement shop or other remote location. It may be easier to make the connection at the low-voltage transformer that powers the doorbell, especially if it's near the shop. Often the transformer is mounted on the electrical service panel.

If you're connecting it at the chime, note the three screw terminals labeled “front,” “back” and “transformer.” Connect a wire to each and then simply make sure the three wires connect to the same terminals on the new chime. There's no uniform color-coding for doorbell wires.

Add a second chime cable at the transformer, exactly like the cable to the existing chime. Your existing transformer may not be powerful enough to handle both chimes. So if you get a weak sound, replace the transformer with a 15-20VA (volt amp) unit.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Cordless drill
    • 4-in-1 screwdriver
    • Wire stripper/cutter

You may also need an electrician's fish tape to run wire through walls.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Doorbell wire
    • Wire connectors
    • Doorbell chime

Comments from DIY Community Members

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January 29, 1:57 PM [GMT -5]

I had a situation as described, but had no access to run more wire. I opted for a Heath Zenith Wireless Plug-In Door Chime and Battery-Operated Door Chime Extender at Home Depot. I placed the transmitter above the existing doorbell, and plugged in the receiver in the basement. When someone rings the doorbell upstairs, it activates the transmitter and will ring the bell in the basement. Works great and is super easy to install.

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Adding a Second Doorbell Chime

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