Replacement antique doorbell buttons

cfvhApril 25, 2013

Hello everyone,

I have a NOS (new old stock) door bell plate with two buttons and name tags for a century-old house that has been converted into two units (owner/landlord and tenant). It is from about 1920, is all metal and works but there's a problem.

Depending on how it is wired, either the plate is always live or becomes live when one of the buttons is pushed (and in that configuration both door bells ring).

I've been unable to find replacement buttons for it. The button is threaded, sticks through a 15 mm (19/32") hole and screws into the back shell.

I am trying to find, ideally, replacement buttons that are silver coloured and high quality. Here are some pictures. Any help?

Thanks.

Front of door bell:

Back of door bell:

Door bell button unscrewed:

Door bell button alone:

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saltcedar

Would these work?

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 7:41PM
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cfvh

Saltcedar,

Unfortunately, no :( The pushbutton itself is all metal, externally and internally, and one's fingers would still be contacting a live component. I need to find two insulated buttons where the actual push-mechanism is not live.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 7:59PM
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llaatt22

Perhaps the push buttons are not supposed to work like a wall switch providing power.
Perhaps they are supposed to work by completing a circuit to energize a solenoid ringer or a relay coil on its low or ground side.
Then the false "live" voltage showing up through the bell load to the rear center terminal of each button assembly would disappear when the button was pushed.

This post was edited by laat2 on Fri, Apr 26, 13 at 0:35

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 12:28AM
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cfvh

laat2,

That may be so but in its intended application any part of the plate that can be touched after installation can't have live power running through it.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 1:01PM
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brickeyee

Look around DigiKey

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 1:32PM
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cfvh

brickeyee,

I found a through-hole mount silver pushbutton... that goes in a 16mm diameter panel cutout. Should I try my luck? File down the edges of the hole?

I can't find anyone who makes anything form-appropriate in a 15mm diameter.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 2:23PM
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brickeyee

"I found a through-hole mount silver pushbutton... that goes in a 16mm diameter panel cutout. Should I try my luck? File down the edges of the hole? "

I would.

Try beofre3 filing.

There is often slop in the minimum hole the switch will fit in (as in a 16 mm might fit in a 15mm hole).

If the new switch has threads on the body it may be able to be screwed into teh plate ad essentially cut threads (depnd son how hard the switch threads are and the plate material) or you could try and find an actual tap.

I would drill the holes larger if required.
Try MSC Supply for a single metric drill bit.

Be sure to have the plate firmly secured if you drill.
Thin metal is notorious for grabbing onto larger drill bits and becoming a spinning finger slicing weapon.
You are likely then going to need some detail filing to clean up the burs created.

This post was edited by brickeyee on Sat, Apr 27, 13 at 10:24

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 10:20AM
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