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So, I got a new externally mounted screen for my front door:

Screen Door

I want to mount to the outside of my front door:

Front Door

However, the doorbell is on the door frame, right where the right side of the screen mounts do the jamb:

doorbell

I figured I could make a hole and fish through the wire for the doorbell. You can see the probing hole I made in that picture. However, it is solid wood in there, with no way for me to fish through to get the wire.

I'm considering making another hole in the inside of the door jamb, about 1" from the front of the door frame, drilling sideways through to where my probing hole is. That way I could fish the wire through to where said probing hole is. Here is where I'd drill, right behind the center of where the doorbell currently sits:

inside jamb

So, does this make sense? Am I going about this the right way? After I was finished, I was planning on filling the hole with epoxy wood filler and sanding/painting it finished. Would that work well? Should I be going in from behind the door (in the sheetrock) instead? Here is a picture of that for reference:

inside wall

I try my best to be handy, but I've never been taught properly (thanks old man). Any help is greatly appreciated! And if these are idiotic ideas, please let me know, I have no pride when it comes to this stuff.

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  • 1
    Between that switch and the door, it will be solid wood(2x6s). Above/below the switch beside the studs there will be electric wires/cables, not nice to drill into. If careful, removing the face plate of the switch might let you see a tiny bit inside the wall.
    – crip659
    May 10, 2023 at 0:52
  • Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately I did take off the doorbell and I can't see in there at all. The hole is only big enough for the doorbell wire behind it. I was planning on going slowly when drilling for fear of hitting other electric.
    – jnadro52
    May 10, 2023 at 0:59
  • Is there any slack on the inside end of the bell wire?
    – MikeB
    May 10, 2023 at 12:19
  • Assuming there's sufficient slack in the wire, you could just cut/rout a slot from the existing hole to the new location, then fill with filler and/or caulk.
    – Huesmann
    May 10, 2023 at 12:28
  • Can you sight the existing wire anywhere? That may give more clues to how it was routed in the first place.
    – Criggie
    May 10, 2023 at 12:39

4 Answers 4

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There is a lot of wood in a door surround. Fishing the wire is possible, but tricky.

You need to drill into the hole that the original wire is using, and then fish it from there to the new hole.

To do that you need to remove the old wire so that it doesn't get chewed up by the drill. you may be able to use a metal drinking straw, or rolled pin. to protect the old wire while drilling, or drill almost to the hole and carefully finish using a chisel.

Another approach could be to remove the door trim that should give more convenient access.

Another approach could be to drill across the trim from the door opening to the new button location, you have to miss the bell wire but hit the bell wire hole, or enlarge the bell wire hole to meet the new cross passage, this adds another hole that needs filling but otherwise reduces the scope of work.

If the wire is too short, you'll need to splice a new piece onto the end. For this I recommend solder and glue lined heatshrink or "Solder Seal Wire connector" because this is a space-constrained high vibration location and after the old hole is sealed there will be no convenient access to the splice.

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    Ah I was concerned you were going to say that! The door trim looks like it would be difficult to remove, but I've never done anything like that before. I agree now that I think about it that makes a lot of sense. If I could cleanly remove it and put it back on, then I'd have very easy access to the outlet. The doorbell is currently on top of that bit of molding outside the door in the first image. It goes down to the sill and up above where it meets another bit of molding at a 45 degree angle. I'm not sure exactly how I could remove that without damaging it.
    – jnadro52
    May 10, 2023 at 1:20
  • Pretty much you put a pry bar behind the trim and lever it off, expect replacing it to involve new nails, filling cracks, and painting it, and possilbly some of the wall beside it.
    – Jasen
    May 10, 2023 at 2:33
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I do not know how fishing would work here. To fish the wire you need access to it, which would mean using you pilot hole and drill deeper with the danger of destroying the wire in process.

If you can not remove the framing part because it is glued, but usually the are nailed. If nailed you can remove it gently with hammer and chisel without breaking it.

If that option does not work for you here is another without fishing.

Make a horizontal channel (using Dremel or other tool) from original to new position. The channel has to be only wire size. Then you can fill it up with wood filler, sand and paint.

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  • Thanks! I think I'm going to try to take off the frame.
    – jnadro52
    May 10, 2023 at 14:31
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That light switch on the inside of your door is mounted opposite to the doorbell. The switch's wires and the doorbell wires likely run alongside each other through that wall cavity. If this was my house, I'd start by pulling out those switches (turn the power off first!) and seeing if I could locate the doorbell wires behind the switches' electrical box.

If you can see the doorbell wires, then this could be relatively easy. Drill a hole from the outside, where you want the doorbell to be. Run a new length of wire through that hole and up to the switch's electrical box. Cut the old doorbell wire and splice it to your new wire inside the box. Seal up old and new holes with paintable silicone and paint to match.

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If running wires though the new setup is proving difficult, swap your doorbell for a wireless one.

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    This won't work for a Google Nest doorbell that the OP has. It has to have power to function.
    – Milwrdfan
    May 10, 2023 at 19:42

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