Hello: I just had my front door buzzer replaced by my co-op's handyman and the new buzzer is lousy. I want to replace it myself with a chime.

The rating of the current co-op buzzer is 8-12VAC. Can I use a 8-12VDC chime? I'm not sure how much of a difference, or if there is a difference between 8-12VAC & 8-12VDC, if there is a difference will a 8-12VDC still work. The transformer and all wiring and button are all good.

2 Answers 2


There is a difference. Some bells are dual rated, but normally the maximum voltage is lower for DC than for AC. Chances are your actual transformer is producing more that 12VAC, and your chime will actually be fine above it's rating.

Give it a try.

  • Just to clarify, would a DC 12 volt chime work as a replacement?
    – SH Queens
    Dec 16, 2017 at 7:10
  • What about a 16 volt chime, the description states it needs a 16 volt transformer?
    – SH Queens
    Dec 16, 2017 at 7:28
  • @SHQueens you could change out the transformer easy enough it is probably in an attic or on a wall near the power panel. Change it to a higher rated transformer and install a better chime. Turn Circuit breaker off first before changing the transformer. Use a volt meter to make sure it is off. Test the bell too just to be sure . Use the one hand rule and replace the old transformer with a new one. See my diagram - it looks like that thing that is labeled load and has 120, ground and neutral.
    – Ken
    Dec 18, 2017 at 4:13
  • I think I just might do that - the transformer is located in the wall right next to the buzzer behind the wall/switch plate. I'm not sure of the mounting design, but I guess I could remove it and take it to match the holes.
    – SH Queens
    Dec 19, 2017 at 4:08

You can not put a chime rated for DC [Direct Current] power in place of a Chime rated for AC [Alternating Current] power UNLESS you remove the transformer and run your push button wires directly to your DC chime.

Of course there are Wireless DC units : the chime and push button would each have a battery.

Now you might have a dc chime that requires a power adapter (short for transformer and rectifier circuit built into a big black square thing that plugs directly into an AC outlet - you have seen plenty of these). So this will be a consideration for you as well.

Just buy a decent AC chime - there are plenty available and install it - it is very easy.

Normally your AC Chime is wired like this: Below Diagram has been posted from http://diyhousehelp.com/how-to/doorbell-wiring-diagrams Dual Chime Wiring

  • Thank you for confirming what I thought. I have been trying to find a chime (not a buzzer) that has the same 8-12VAC as the current buzzer has. Thank you also for your artwork - it's quite useful.
    – SH Queens
    Dec 16, 2017 at 22:37
  • @SHQueens - the artwork is not mine it came from another site - I should have posted the link where I got it - I normally do but this time I was in a rush and did not do it.
    – Ken
    Dec 16, 2017 at 22:41
  • Well then thank you for think of it and posting the "art work"
    – SH Queens
    Dec 17, 2017 at 1:35
  • So far from searching the web, all I've come up with in the 8-12VAC range are various buzzers.
    – SH Queens
    Dec 17, 2017 at 15:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.