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My 1950's-ish home in Pennsylvania has an addition built off of the kitchen (no idea when the addition was built). In this addition there is a closet I am remodeling. While taking down the wood paneling I found this:

one of those thinga-whatsits

sexy side shot

cover

My first thought was that it could be a doorbell chime since this addition has a door to outside, but then I remembered that door has no bell. It definitely has power running to it. What is it and how do I remove it? My idea at the moment is to shut off the main breaker (since I don't know which one this is on), unscrew the wires, put in a box, cap wires, and when I drywall put a plate over it for later access if needed.

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    It's a door buzzer. Jul 18 '15 at 17:01
  • When you say it definitely has power running to it, is there 120V at the device, or something lower, like 10-20V?
    – mjohns
    Jul 18 '15 at 19:53
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Those certainly looks like doorbell electromagnets, so my guess is you are correct in assuming it is a doorbell chime unit. Maybe a previous owner removed the door button.

Doorbell chime with electromagnets visible, for comparison:

enter image description here

My idea at the moment is to shut off the main breaker (since I don't know which one this is on), unscrew the wires, put in a box, cap wires, and when I drywall put a plate over it for later access if needed.

Your proposed solution is correct. Because it is live, you must leave it accessible.

As you work more on your remodel, try to find where the wires originate. That location will be the transformer for your doorbell. This is where you should disconnect your low voltage wires (the ones going to the doorbell), remove your transformer, and cap your 120V wires. Alternatively, you could simply leave your transformer connected to your 120V and just disconnect the low voltage side going to the doorbell.

Either way, you won't have to leave a box & blank plate in your newly remodeled area. Here is an example of what your transformer setup might look like:

enter image description here

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    If you follow those wires back you will find a transformer, they are usually in an electrical box in a hidden but accessible area (attic, wall box up high, etc.) I would go ahead and find and remove the transformer and make your power termination in the transformer box. Jul 18 '15 at 18:25
  • @JimmyFix-it, this is an excellent point, but to me it looks like that is possibly braided NM cable for 120V, so wouldn't the transformer be there behind the chime? I can't tell from the photo.
    – mjohns
    Jul 18 '15 at 19:36
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    @mjohns Naw, that's oldschool low voltage, cloth covered. Transformer's usually somewhere in the basement.
    – Mazura
    Jul 18 '15 at 20:44
  • I'll modify the answer to account for @JimmyFix-it's point. Much better to cap the line voltage than the low.
    – mjohns
    Jul 18 '15 at 20:57

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