I live in a residential block of flats, we all have our own front door and own door bell. Every time someone rings my bell it makes me jump out of my skin, so I unscrewed the push button and unscrewed the wiring. Since I did this, half the bells in the building have stopped working. I have attempted to rewire the bell but forgot where the wires go.

It has three red wires, 2 go into one terminal together and the remaining one is on its own. The push button unit has 4 wire points, I know which ones were used because they are unscrewed, but which unscrewed point do my 2 red wires go to?

  • 6
    Perhaps disconnect the bell next time. It's probably easier to access and to reconnect later. You could also just dampen it with a cloth wrapped around the bell (if it's a mechanical type).
    – isherwood
    Aug 26 at 14:34
  • 7
    Lesson learned: 1) Never start something when you don't really know what you're doing. 2)Always take photos before disassembling. Further, why didn't you just put some damping material around the bell itself? Much simpler and lets you still have notification of visitors. Aug 26 at 15:33
  • 6
    FWIW I live in Europe (Italy) and all doorbells I have ever seen work out of 12 V or 24 V. Aug 27 at 7:46
  • 3
    @Harper-ReinstateMonica Were in Europe would that be? I never, ever encountered any doorbell that used mains directly. And I've been doing electrical work (including doorbells ) in 4 different countries in Europe. Give me 1 example please. I really would like to know which country in Europe is that stupid to permit that...
    – Tonny
    Aug 27 at 15:04
  • 2
    @Harper-ReinstateMonica US style HVAC is very rare in Europe and mostly found in office buildings, not in private houses. Central heating and HVAC in Europe (including UK) also uses low-voltage for controls. Usually cabled to the central unit and powered from there. If it is wireless it is usually battery operated, sometimes a wall-wart. There are some Smart-Home controllers with a mains connection, but these are obviously small computers with an internal power-supply.
    – Tonny
    Aug 28 at 8:35

Go to the neighbor who you get along well with, but whose doorbell doesn't work now.

Unscrew that doorbell from the wall and look at the wiring, but don't disconnect it. Duplicate that setup in your doorbell and odds are good that will fix it.

You'll end up with something disconnected behind your doorbell - make sure you put a wire nut on it to ensure it doesn't accidentally come in contact with anything and cause a short taking them all out again, or worse causing a fire.

  • 1
    Take a picture! Pictures are so easy tot ake with cell phones that there is no good reason not to take one before touching anything.
    – Rad80
    Aug 30 at 8:12
  • It would be an especially good idea for doing so when attempting to repair this - take pics of untouched wiring elsewhere to compare them to the non-working wiring in OP's flat. Pics is, of course, excellent advice in general.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 30 at 11:47

Chances are good that the two wires that were connected send power to the other "downstream" doorbells (your neighbors). The wire by itself would be the one that goes to your doorbell. Reconnect the wires that were connected and leave the single wire hanging (cover the exposed wire) and that should be all you need to do.


Surprised no one has yet said: Get an electrician, with a meter and all that, who can check voltages on those wires, and work it all out logically, without making things any worse.

If you are in Europe / UK then I would expect that you are playing with relatively low voltages, but even so, there is potential (no pun intended) for things to go badly wrong if you don't know what you are doing.

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