How to Wire a Doorbell With 2 Chimes

Updated: Jul. 11, 2023

Two options for installing extra ringers

FH03JAU_ADDCHI_01-2Family Handyman
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.

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Add a remote ringer

Wiring from the chime

Connect the new chime to the existing chime by matching the wire connections.

Wiring at the transformer

When attaching the new chime at the transformer, connect the new wires to the same wires and screws that the wires from the old chime are connected to.

How to Hook Up a Doorbell

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. Here’s how to fix a broken doorbell.

Required Tools for this how to hook up a doorbell project

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

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Cordless drill
  • Wire stripper/cutter
You may also need an electrician’s fish tape to run wire through walls.

Required Materials for this how to hook up a doorbell project

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

  • Doorbell chime
  • Doorbell wire
  • Wire connectors