Door Bells

One shop I was working for received a contract to wire 5 new homes being constructed by one builder.  There was one floor plan for all five homes.  To get a variety they would turn the plans around in all directions.  The homes were situated all in one row.  I was called to do the wiring on these homes.

After completing one house, the plans were no longer needed because the floor plan didn’t change.  Because of this I was able to wire all 5 homes quite rapidly.  The last house wasn’t sheet-rocked when I brought in the plans to our office and said they were all roughed in.

The foreman looked at the plans and asked if I had wired the door bells.  I asked; “Are they on the plans?”

They weren’t.

I hadn’t done them.

The foreman made a call and then told me that the customer did want door bells.  I rushed back to the site and started putting in door bells.  The last of the five was easy since it wasn’t sheet-rocked yet.  The first house had already been painted.  I had been feeling pretty proud of myself for getting those 5 houses wired so quickly, but it took me another week to get all the door bells in.

What a mistake!  If I had just had enough sense to make a phone inquiry at the first house I’m sure I would have set some kind of record.

Years later door bell manufacturers came up with door bells that needed no wiring.  The chimes were plugged into an outlet and the door bell button used a battery to send a radio signal to the chimes.

I have noticed that very few manufactured homes have door bells wired in.  Some enterprising person could make a living installing wireless door bells in manufactured homes.

Normally when I installed a door bell system, I would run a wire from the front door to the basement; from the back door to the basement; and from the chimes to the basement.  I would set the door bell transformer in the basement and then wire it all together.  On one occasion I was in the basement doing the door bell connections.  I would touch the low voltage wires together and ring the chimes to locate which was the front and which was the back control.

The home owner came over to see how I did that.  He said; “Don’t tape them up.  Some day I’m going to pull a trick on my wife.”

Oh boy!  I would hate to be in his shoes when his wife discovered what he was doing.