Our doorbell died. As in…thud…kerput…throw it in a hole six feet deep and talk about it’s glory years over a plate of potato salad.
It actually happened a while back but we had been procrastinating the job of installing the replacement until finally we decided that enough was enough. It was hanging by it’s wires – not exactly safe for girl scouts selling cookies to notify you they are there to deliver the seventeen boxes of Samoas. It would totally delay the delivery if they messed with the exposed live wires. Although, it would be a good plan if I was planning to hijack the wagon full of heavenly deliciousness…not that I would do that. Afterall, the electricity might melt the chocolate. Duh. We knew that the doorbell was pretty bad when the delivery guy told me that we needed to fix the bell because the broken plastic cut his finger. I was all like “Dude, that’s workers comp…you should go on vacation.” And then I sterilized the broken button. Communicable diseases are real people. I should know 🙂
So we headed to our local home improvement store to snag a little five dollar fix. Since our button was wired, all we needed was a replacement wired push button to install with our existing bell system. We ended up choosing this oil-rubbed bronze square plate with a dark button. We liked the style because it didn’t look cheap like our previously plastic version. And at under $5 it was one of the cheaper options.
Ok…so how we did it….
First we turned off the power at the breaker box. We made sure it was off by double checking it with this neon tester. They are very inexpensive and I would HIGHLY recommend getting one…especially if you ever want to change out light fixtures or outlet plates or stuff that can electrocute you.
After we determined that the wires were no longer live, we used a screwdriver to unattach the bell button from the wires. At this point we made a mental note which wire was the ‘hot’ wire and which was the ‘neutral’ wire. Since both our wires were the same color (a big no-no when it comes to electrical work – one is supposed to be white, the other black) we established the hot one by seeing which screw it was attached to. The hot one was attached to the brass screw and the neutral one was attached to the silver screw. That slew of detail for all you home improvement fanatics out there.
Then we came across a little issue.
The wires were coming out of a little hole in the trimwork of our door.
Normally, that wouldn’t matter but in this case, we had a slight problem because the back of our new button was quite a bit bigger than the hole. There would be no way that this sucker could sit flush against the trim as is.
Enter Mr. DeWalt drill.
This baby is like our first child. Seriously. Will is no longer a first-born. He’s gonna have to compete with this puppy his whole life while we say things like “Will, did you hear what DeWalt accomplished today?” and “Will, why can’t you be more like DeWalt?”. Sometimes Jeremy just walks around with this thing in his hand just to rev it a little. Let’s just say it’s mildly hot. And when I say mildly, I mean extremely.
Anyhoo. All we did was get out DeWalt and outfit him with a drillbit the same approximate size as the back of the new doorbell button.
Then, we made the hole a little bit bigger…making sure that the drillbit didn’t touch our wires.
Then we just followed the instructions included with the doorbell. We took the hot wire and attached it to one screw by hooking it over the screw head and tightening it down. Then we did the same with the neutral wire.
Finally, we pushed the button into the recessed hole and used the finishing screws to attach the bell plate to the trim. The last step was to turn the power back on and give the puppy a push.
I’m very pleased to announce that our new doorbell button has a clean record and looks pretty good to boot.
Not too shabby, huh? It blends seemlessly in, dontcha think?
Plus, you gotta love a five dollar fix that takes only a minute or two. I know I do.
So have you replaced your doorbell before? Or maybe you did the whole kit-n-kaboodle with a new chime and everything? I know that I had to hide the ones that play Rocky Top from my boyfriend. Geez…the Georgia fans would shoot us. Or perhaps electrical related projects scare you a bit and you don’t go near em? Tell me all about it and I’ll be right here reading…with bells on 🙂