I recently finished my basement and ran a wire in the wall (where I wanted my new door bell to my current doorbell transformer. I've been unsuccessful in getting both my upstairs and downstairs doorbells to work.

Currently, I can get both doorbells to DING, but not dong.

I followed this YouTube video and have mine wired up the same as the diagram in the video.

Additionally, I upgraded my transformer from a 16va to a 24v 20va I bought from Lowes

I am wondering if I am still under powered and that is why I am not getting a ding a a dong from both doorbells? If so, what V and/or VA transformer is recommended for two Chime style (with the plungers and actual bells, not just a speaker or buzzer). I would have thought that the upgraded transformer would have been enough for the two to run.

Additionally, I get really inconsistent rings when I push the doorbell from the doorbell. When it's pushed sometimes one rings, other times both (ding, but won't dong), etc.

  • 3
    Generally, doorbells have two input screws, one for the front door and one for the back: the difference is the front goes Ding-Dong while the back only goes Ding. (Specifically, the front door solenoid has two ends: the front rings one bar when the solenoid energizes and the back rings the second bar when it de-energizes. The back only has the front end.) Are you sure you connected for the front door and not the back?
    – DoxyLover
    Jun 15, 2015 at 3:37
  • @DoxyLover thanks for pointing that out. I did verify that both doorbell chimes are connected to the "front" and "terminal" screws.
    – TreK
    Jun 15, 2015 at 4:39
  • 1
    The dong should just come from the spring decompressing. When you press the button, the solenoid is powered causing the plunger to hit the chime (ding) and compress the spring. When the button is released, the solenoid loses power, and the compressed spring causes the plunger to bounce back the other way (dong). Electrically speaking, if you're getting the ding, it's wired correctly.
    – Tester101
    Jun 15, 2015 at 10:16
  • Perhaps the dong plunger is stuck. Try manually jiggling it.
    – Kris
    Jun 15, 2015 at 11:50

1 Answer 1


I ended up buying two new doorbells with speakers instead of chimes. I was told by the manufacture that these will work on 16va. Plugged everything together and now it works.

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