Doorbell button diode Question

lsstDecember 21, 2011

I want to replace our current doorbell button with a different one.

The door bell is 7 years old and plays the Westminster chimes. The door bell button was a decorative one I bought separately and it did not come with the transformer kit.

The door bell has two locations.

The second plays just the first four notes.

I just want to the replace the main one.

I took a look at the main current button and it has a diode attached.

My new button does not have a diode and the installation video does not show installation of a diode.

Can I use my current button's diode and add it to the new button? I assume the current button has a diode so that the transformer will finish the medley after the button is no longer pushed.

Also, the hole in the hardi plank for the existing button is larger than the new decorative button.

Any suggestions for a back plate to cover the gap and allow a hard surface to secure the new button?

I could patch the area but do not think it will look as if it was never patched and will show.

Thanks in advance!

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Ron Natalie

No the diode is to prevent arcing across the switch when you let your finger off the button when the magnetic field around the chime striker coil collapses.

Just make sure it's installed in the right orientation compared to the existing wiring.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 8:25AM
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Keep the diode.

24 V does not produce any arcing to speak of.

The diode is likely present to make sure the buttons correctly sound there portion of the chime.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 9:43AM
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    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 9:48AM
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The diode is used in parallel with the switch to act as a half wave rectifier as part of the low voltage DC power supply for the electronic doorbell. These are used in electronic doorbell chimes that can be wired into traditional 24 VAC doorbell circuits.

Pressing the doorbell button applies the full 24 VAC through the circuit which is detected by the chime and plays the melody. The low voltage DC supply allows the chime to continue even after the button is released.

They are directional, and need to be installed in the direction indicated by the chime mfg. If you don't have the info, you can usually try it one way, and if it doesn't continue to play after releasing the button, turn it around.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 12:09PM
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Thanks everyone!

I removed the old button and marked the diode so that I would reinstall it the right way.

I noticed a couple of nicks in the plastic coating around the wire. Can these be left alone or should I wrap the nicks with electrical tape?

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 4:04PM
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Just to clarify, but I think you know, the direction of the diode is relative to the two wires - not the switch itself.

As far as the nicks in the wires, electrically, they don't really pose a safety issue but could cause nuisance "ringing" if they touched. More of a concern to me would be that if the actual conductors are exposed enough, they could oxidize/corrode and lead to failure (breakage) of the wire conductor. Rather than tape, I'd recommend heat-shrink tubing over the individual wires.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 9:05PM
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Thanks! I had no idea the diode was directional. Solved my problem by switching it around. The bell would only ring if you pushed and held the button.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 4:15PM
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