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What's an easy way of installing a traditional door bell? I know there are the wireless, battery operated ones, but I'm tired of changing out batteries. Is there a version of doorbell that could just be plugged into a wall outlet, or better yet, NOT use up and outlet but somehow "tap into" a nearby outlet for power?

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I'm not sure there is an "easy" way to install a traditional doorbell since it involves running wires from the button outside the door inside the house to the chime and powering the chime unit. Some wireless doorbells have a plug-in chime unit which should minimize the need for battery changes - the battery in the button only gets used when someone presses it, so you should get years of use out of it before it needs to be changed. – Johnny Feb 2 '14 at 2:35
If you are talking about replacing an existing defective transformer that is hard wired, I wonder why you could not just wire the new transformer to a male grounded plug, plug it in to a nearby outlet and attach the existing doorbell wires. – tom sawyer Sep 16 at 19:59

3 Answers 3

There are a small number of battery free doorbells such as these


They work on a signal generated by pressure (piezoelectric?). These are similar to the wireless battery-free switches now showing up for AC fixtures.

 Images and links are for illustration only and not an endorsement of any products or sources
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Interesting product -- have you had any experience with it? The specs seem almost too good to be true, promising to work through walls, doors and floors with a range up to 280 meters. – Johnny Feb 2 '14 at 3:16
@Johnny No experience. The wall switches are from well known providers, such as Lutron and Leviton, but the doorbell is by a newcomer to the US market. Many of the examples on the internet are EU receptacle types. – bib Feb 2 '14 at 3:22

Installing a conventional doorbell involves fishing low voltage or T-wire from the button and chime to a transformer that is attached to a 120vac power source. This is usually done at a j-box in the basement or some exposed area. The transformer cannot be hidden without access in a wall etc. If you have existing finished walls, there is never an "easy" way to fish these wires through enclosed spaces. I like some of the suggestions in the comment section. A plug in chime and a battery operated button is an excellent option. +1 johnny.

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To answer the question: yes, small plug-in transformers exist if you're willing to tie up an outlet that way; most traditional doorbell systems run on something between 12 and 24 volts. (First one my web search hit was 16V.) It's more common to hardwire the transformer into a box in the basement.

As noted, though, the more challenging part may bd running the wires between transformer, button, and bell. Easy to do in "new work"; harder to retrofit without a lot of patching.

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