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Replacing A Surface Mount Doorbell [button] With A Flush Mount Doorbell [button]

Replacing A Surface Mount Doorbell [button] With A Flush Mount Doorbell [button]

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Old 07-28-12, 06:15 PM
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Replacing A Surface Mount Doorbell [button] With A Flush Mount Doorbell [button]

I have a surface mount doorbell that I would like to replace with a flush mount doorbell. When I unscrewed the old surface mount doorbell I see that there is a small hole where the 2 wires come out of the door frame. The hole is just big enough for the 2 wires to come out. The replacement flush mount door bell requires a 5/8 inch hole in order to be mounted. Any advice on how to safely enlarge that hole without stripping the 2 wires? I am afraid if I push the 2 wires back in I will not be able to pull the wires back out. Thank you in advance.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 07-28-12 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 07-28-12, 07:09 PM
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Is the hole located in a piece of door trim.

Terminology note: It is a door chime button or door bell button you want to replace not a doorbell.
 
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Old 07-28-12, 08:08 PM
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Is the wire fed from above or below? Is there a cavity behind the hole? If from above, securely attach a piece of scrap wire, maybe a foot long, to the existing wires. Preferably a bright-colored heavy gauge wire such as Orange #12 THHN/THWN. Push the scrap wire completely back through the hole so nothing is coming through the hole. Drill your larger hole and use an "unfolded" coat hanger with a loop bent on the end to pull the scrap wire back through the larger hole.

If fed from below, and if there is enough slack, drill your new hole just above the old hole.

Note that if the wires are old, no matter how careful you are, the insulation may be abraded or deteriorated requiring remedial work or replacement.
 
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Old 07-29-12, 01:35 PM
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Thanks for the advice. There was no existing cavity so I had to enlarge the cavity and was unable to push the wires through the hole. As a result of enlarging the cavity to fit the new doorbell button with a drill bit, I cut one of the wires. I am hoping if I enlarge the hole big enough I will be able to see the other broken wire. Is there any danger of a fire if I just tuck the other wire back in and continue this project another day? I have to run out now and take my son to the pool.
 

Last edited by xheesh; 07-29-12 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 07-29-12, 02:13 PM
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Is there any danger of a fire
Unlikely but to protect the chime and transformer disconnect the low voltage wires from the secondary of the transformer just to be safe.
 
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Old 08-12-12, 02:07 PM
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Here is a picture I took of the situation. I stuck a hanger through the hole and was able to shove it through the entire length to the interior wall (through layer 1, 2,3). I attempted to find the wires by "hooking" it but no luck. I did not drill through Layer 2 and 3 only drilled through layer 1. Layer 2 is full of insulation. Layer 2 and 3 appears to be hollowed out and like I said I did not drill thorugh these layers but was able to shove a wire hanger through. I am not sure what is in layer 3. Based on the information provided where are the wires most likely located? Any ideas on how I should proceed would be much appreciated.
 
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Old 08-12-12, 02:27 PM
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See if you can remove the outer layer (1) of trim. I see one of the nails holding it in the picture. Try to gently tap a tack puller under the nail head and pry up enough to get a nail claw under. There is probably caulk between 1 and 2 you will need to slit with a knife.
 
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