CAT5 for a basic Doorbell?


Old 07-07-07, 04:31 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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CAT5 for a basic Doorbell?

I just moved into a new house and realized that the 2 doorbell buttons are wired with CAT5 wire down to the basement with nothing connected. Apparently the builder was thinking that I would want to install a phone/intercom system but I just want a basic doorbell. Is there any way to attach a regular doorbell transformer using CAT5? From there I could install wireless chime extenders. Thanks
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Old 07-07-07, 05:05 AM
ray2047's Avatar
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Wires wire and plain old doorbells aren't particular about the wire. I wouldn't spend money for cat 5 but I've seen plenty of doorbells wired with no frills two pair wire. When I did it I usually used two wires together for each side just to increase the ampacity a bit.
Old 07-07-07, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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Just use a pair of wires as a single wire, or even use single wires. The extra wires can be tucked away and not used.
Old 07-07-07, 08:08 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Milwaukee WI
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Having seen a few chime coils melted due to stuck buttons or wiring shorts, I can say that I would rather have the coils melted than the wiring in the walls.

Some may say there is only a remote possibility of a problem but I would always make sure that the weakest link is not the wire, but a fuse, the transformer, or the chime itself.

I don't know the rated capacity in Amperes of Cat 5 at 16 VAC or whatever you're going to run but if you've got time to kill, since doorbells are historically wired with 16 or 18 AWG ...

Figure the cross-sectional area of 18 or 16 AWG wire and then figure out how many of the "cat 5" wires you will need to parallel to approximate that same cross-sectional area. I think "Cat 5" runs around 24 AWG.

In my own house I use 16 AWG for all doorbell circuits.

Otherwise you could also use a small relay or solid-state circuit in the basement and just run that miniscule amperage through the Cat 5.
Old 07-07-07, 10:24 AM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sw FL
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the cat 5 is 4 pair 24ga so just twist two pairs together twice , you will then have two conductors each with 4 24ga strands .

no reason not to use the extra .

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