We recently moved into an apartment with the doorbell transformer exposed. The concern is that the transformer has been mounted in a walk-in closet, directly between shelving where clothing should be placed. Is there potential danger here? Is there a "box" or covering that can be used to protect the transformer and clothing? Could this be considered a fire hazard? This does not seem to be appropriately placed.

Thank you for any advice.

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  • No, that's no worry. That's a good way to install that, actually. The important thing is the 120V (inside the junction box) is physically separated from the low voltage (what you can see). Jan 21, 2020 at 20:41
  • cover the red part with duct tape to keep clothes from snagging
    – jsotola
    Jan 22, 2020 at 2:46
  • 1
    It's low voltage wiring so not an electrical safety hazard, but ugly as heck. Box it in somehow. Might be as simple as finding an appropriate sized cheap "tupperware" -- cut a hole in the lid for the transformer, screw it to the wall, press the box onto it?
    – nigel222
    Jan 22, 2020 at 9:13

2 Answers 2


The worst hazard here is snagging your clothes. The transformer is low-voltage, so you can touch the wires and probably not feel anything. If your hand was wet, you might get a buzz, but it's not dangerous.

Some transformers can get warm, but doorbell transformers normally do not because they are very low power devices. You could hang a shoebox on it or otherwise cover it to avoid snags.

  • i got shocked several times installing a doorbell last week. i thought i was getting poked by a burr on the wire, but it was just the current. 20v AC RMS; I could definitely feel it with dry hands.
    – dandavis
    Jan 21, 2020 at 21:01
  • 1
    I had old 10v transformers on the brain for some reason (very old), but the higher the voltage the easier it is to feel. I can see that happening with 20-24v.
    – JPhi1618
    Jan 21, 2020 at 21:03
  • If you get shocked on such transformers, it shouldn't be particularly dangerous. After all, transformers like that crash down if the load is too heavy. It's one of the safer things to get shocked by in that regard. Still, don't put one near your heart.
    – Mast
    Jan 22, 2020 at 8:25

That transformer is appropriately placed but it looks like the installers used a "modified" switch cover to mount it on. Probably not to code but it is safe. More than likely, it's between 8 and 24 Volts and is safe to touch. Bottom line, don't worry about it.

  • 2
    Doesn't look like a regular switch plate to me, but rather a box cover with knockout like this one: homedepot.com/p/… Jan 21, 2020 at 19:14
  • @PhilippNagel Could be but the finish looks too shiney. Looks like they just files out the square hole and made it round. Looks off center.
    – JACK
    Jan 21, 2020 at 19:35
  • 1
    Agreed. The 120 volt supply voltage appears to be safely out-of-reach behind the transformer's mounting plate. Also, the low voltage supply current is limited: notice the 10 VA rating on the transformer. Jan 21, 2020 at 20:22
  • That looks to me like a transformer built into a junction box cover. That is a thing. Jan 21, 2020 at 20:40
  • Thank you all for the answers and advice. Gives me peace of mind. On another note, I just found out that the wiring at the doorbell has been disconnected and taped off. Appears that the wired doorbell has been replaced with a wireless doorbell. Ha! Again, thank you all, totally appreciate that there is such a great community out there to help out with things such as this.
    – user111478
    Jan 24, 2020 at 21:35

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