What Gauge Wire Do You Use for a Doorbell? (Answered)

Installing a new doorbell in your home? The installation process does not come without concerns. There are a lot of speculations around the gauge wire that should be used for a doorbell.

So are you wondering what gauge wire you should use for a doorbell as well? We have some answers for you. Read ahead and find out more about it.

What gauge wire do you use for a doorbell?

You should use an 18 gauge wire for your doorbell. This type of wire is also referred to as the bell wire. You can also use a 20 gauge wire for your doorbell, but it may not serve as well. So 18 gauge wire is the best choice as it provides the perfect resistance and power for doorbells.

You should use an 18 gauge wire for your doorbell. This makes the best choice for any doorbell, and the wire is even widely known as the “bell” wire. This type of wire serves perfectly because they have the appropriate power and resistance that is necessary for doorbells.

Let’s take a look at the most usable wire for doorbells:

18 gauge wire:

18 gauge wire is the perfect pick for any doorbells. You can wire a wide range of doorbells using this type of wire. In fact, the wire is even called bell wire, for its performance in doorbells.

The length and width of the 18 gauge wire are perfect for doorbells. It can offer the appropriate power and resistance to the doorbells, supporting it for a long time.

Can I use 20 or 22 gauge wire for a doorbell?

You can use a 20 gauge wire for a doorbell. However, it is not suggested by experts. If you can manage an 18 gauge wire, then that should be your top pick.

Otherwise, you can make do with the 20 gauge wire. While it is a little thin for the job, it can still perform in doorbells. However, you cannot expect a long-term service from the 20 gauge wire.

On the other hand, you cannot use a 22 gauge wire for a doorbell. It is too thin for doorbells. If you use a 22 gauge wire, the transformers will fail to provide the necessary current that the doorbell will need.

Thus, the doorbell cannot function with a 22 gauge wire. However, even if you end up using a 22 gauge wire for a doorbell, rest assured that it will not be a fire hazard.

What happens if you use the wrong gauge wire?

It is crucial that you use the right wire gauge because it plays a very important role in the performance of the doorbell. If you use a wire that’s too small or too thin, in its attempt to pass current through it, the heat could end up melting the wire altogether.

That is to say, if the wire is smaller or thinner than necessary, then it cannot withstand the load and may even cause a fire. In addition, if you use the wrong gauge wire for your doorbell, its sound quality will be compromised.

Is it OK to use a higher gauge wire?

No, it is not OK to use a higher gauge wire. That is because higher gauge wire often translates to a thinner wire, and thin wires may cause several issues in a doorbell.

Higher gauge wires have greater resistance, which can cause the doorbell to compromise its sound quality. In addition, the higher gauge wires cannot carry as much electricity. This may result in lower performance for the doorbell.

And if the wire is too thin for the doorbell, then it cannot handle the electricity that passes through it. The wire may even burn through the process. So it is not okay to use a higher gauge wire.

Can I use a speaker wire or telephone for a doorbell?

Yes, you can use a speaker wire or telephone wire for a doorbell. Thin speakers or telephone wires are great candidates for doorbells. 

But make sure to check the thickness of the wire before you use it in the doorbell. If it is at least as thin as a pin, then consider it to be good to go.

How do you wire a doorbell?

Wiring a doorbell is a rather simple task, even for beginners. Here are some simple steps that you can follow to wire a doorbell efficiently. You can use them if you decide to repair or replace your doorbell.

Turn off the electric source:

The first step towards wiring would be to turn off the circuit breaker. This will ensure proper safety for the electrician.

Find the source of power:

Now, you will need to find the source of power for your doorbell. While the attic is the most common spot for a transformer, you can make do with the ceiling outlet. Any power source that has up to 120 volts of electricity will suffice for the job.

Join the wires:

Once you have found the junction box that will power the transformer of your doorbell, you can start the wiring process. The most important part of the task will begin shortly.

Take the cables from the junction box and begin joining them to the wires. Take the wires and join them together. Once you have attached them roughly, take bolts and fasten them together.

Install the button and the receiver:

Now you will need to choose a spot and set up the button and the receiver of the doorbell. You can follow the manufacturer’s guide for this step.

Wire the bell button:

Now you will need to connect the wires to the screw of the bells’ button. Once that is done, you will need to extend the wires and connect them to the transformer. 

Run the same process for the receiver. Connect the wire to the screw of the receiver and extend it to the transformer.

Now take the third wire and carry out the same process for it as well. That is, connect both of its ends to the transformer. Now ring the doorbell to check. It should work just fine.

What voltage is a doorbell wire?

It is popularly known that doorbells need very little voltage to function. The older models of doorbell wires would require even less voltage compared to the modern wires.

The older systems of doorbell wires would need something between 8 to 20 volts. The average was 16 volt, as it was most commonly used. But the newer models need a little more.

You will find that the newer doorbell wires need about 24 volts of electricity in order to function properly.

Can I splice a doorbell wire?

Yes, you can splice a doorbell wire without much hassle. The process is rather simple and does not require much effort.

As mentioned earlier, doorbells run on low voltage electricity. That means the wires are not too thick. The doorbell wires are relatively thin and flexible.

So you should be able to splice two wires together rather easily. In order to splice a doorbell wire, all that you might need are some electrical tape and a wire stripper. Since the wires are thin and flexible, the process should not cause any trouble.

How do you extend a doorbell wire?

Don’t worry if you find out that your doorbell wire is too small. You can splice them and use some push-in connectors to extend the doorbell wire.

Before you start the process, make sure that the circuit breaker is switched off. To further ensure that you’re safe to go, check the device with a voltage checker.

Now you can proceed to splice the doorbell wire. Strip one end of the wire using a wire stripper. Now insert the push-in connectors into the striped wires.

Now take the new wires that you’re meaning to extend with, and insert them into the empty slots of the push-in connectors.

Final thoughts

It is ideal to use an 18 gauge wire for a doorbell. But you can make do with a 20 gauge or 16 gauge wire as well. Just make sure that the wire is not too thin. Otherwise, it will minimize the potential of the doorbell and even pose the risk of causing a fire.