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When we bought our house 12 yrs ago, we learned during the walk through that the exposed wires in the garage were from the doorbell. He said to never touch the wires because we could get electrocuted. Is that true? Why would they leave it like this? And I believe he said I couldn't put some kind of electrical box over it. Is that true also?

I tried to post a pic but I couldn't find a way to post it to my question.

  • See meta.diy.stackexchange.com/questions/523/… for instructions on adding a photograph to your post. – Niall C. May 24 '16 at 17:56
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    Door bells are usually low voltage 12V or 24V this voltage is not enough to electrocute you. I would cover them so they don't get mashed together and blow the fuse in the transformer or worse over heat the transformer. Almost all doorbell's are installed through a drilled hole in the siding because they are low voltage this is allowed. the wires are usually a twisted pair not not NMB like the rest of the house is wired with. – Ed Beal May 24 '16 at 18:04
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    Ed this should really be an answer, not a comment. :) – The Evil Greebo May 24 '16 at 18:18
  • If the homeowner tells you that there is an electrocution hazard from exposed wires during a walkthrough, that's when you tell the homeowner that you're not signing off on the inspection contingency until he fixes it. In my state, the homeowner would have been required to disclose the hazard in his initial disclosures, and if he didn't disclose a known hazard, you can go back to him for repairs even after the sale. Though I doubt that a typical 24V doorbell circuit poses much of a danger. – Johnny May 24 '16 at 18:20
  • Sadly new home buyers are woefully ignorant of that ability and real estate agents don't exactly always act in the buyer's best interest. Regardless, that was 12 years ago. Too late to give that lecture now. – The Evil Greebo May 24 '16 at 20:19
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Can you get electrocuted from exposed wires?

Yes, absolutely, if the wiring is powerful enough. It's not necessarily very LIKELY that doorbell wiring is that powerful but it's possible, depending on how stupid the installer was.

As for putting a box over them - in the US exposed permanent wiring is a flat out no no.

But - based on your question - I'm going to assume that you have minimal to no experience with electricity, so I URGE you, do not try to DIY. Hire a professional electrician.

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