There’s nothing better than successfully reusing something from your garage. Whether it be an old pipe or extension cord, we love the reassurance that our desire to keep stuff after we’re done with it was spot-on.
Maybe I’ll use it someday… That thought has led many of us to pile up unused items in our garage, promising ourselves we’ll renew their value later on.
One such reusable item is the doorbell – as a garage door opener switch. Many people dislike the newer or clunkier garage door switches and prefer using a simple button like a doorbell. Luckily, that’s possible to achieve.
You can use a doorbell button for some garage door openers as long as the button’s voltage rating is as high as the opener’s control voltage. Many newer garage door openers have other functions on their opener pads and you cannot use a doorbell button as you will lose full functionality.
To do so, you’ll need to rewire the garage opener’s switch to the doorbell with a soldering iron and screwdriver. Then you’ll solder the wires from the switch’s terminal to the doorbell’s terminals.
What If My Opener Comes With Its Own Button?
Some garage door openers, like Chamberlains, only work with their brand’s switches. This means a simple rewiring won’t be successful.
Luckily, you can override that by rewiring any push button – like doorbells – and connecting them to the brand’s opener switch. Follow the steps below to get it done.
- Take Apart the Opener Button Housing
Take the original opener switch and remove any screws to separate the housing. Take out the circuit board and locate the mini black button that activates the door. That’ll be pressed down by your regular doorbell when it’s installed.
- Gather Tools
For this project, you’ll need two conductors and a fresh, thin wire – the original button’s wires are too thick and rigid to fit in the doorbell’s housing. You’ll also need a small tipped soldering iron and thin solder.
- Install New Wire
The original switch’s circuit board has two metal contact pins near that mini black button – that’s where you’ll solder the new wire. Next, bend the wire to one side of the board and guide it through the hole at the top of the cover. Put the circuit board and screws back in place (but don’t tighten them).
- Complete Original Switch’s Install
Follow the original switch’s manufacturer instructions to finish installing it to the garage wall, around 2 feet from where you want the doorbell opener to be.
Then you’ll connect the wire from the garage door opener to the switch’s screws. Test to see that it’s functional before moving on.
- Connect To The Doorbell
If the doorbell button has a light in it, disconnect the bulb before installing it as a garage door button. The doorbell and opener are only sometimes compatible if there’s a light in it, so save time by removing it before finding out if it works.
You can test if your lighted doorbell works by touching the two wires together. If the door momentarily operates, you need a non-lighted push button.
Next, connect the wires from the original switch to the doorbell. Open up the housing and identify the metal “feet” on the top and bottom.
Place a small dab of solder on the tips of the wires and connect them to the doorbell’s metal feet. This’ll look like two parallel wires running from the original switch to the doorbell.
- Mount the Doorbell
Now that the switch and doorbell are connected by soldered wires, the doorbell is ready to mount. Place it anywhere in the garage as long as the wires are safely mounted. Also, never run wires near household electronic wires to avoid crossed signals.
Test out the doorbell’s functionality!
- Always wear eye and body protection when soldering, like gloves, long-sleeved shirts, and closed-toed shoes
- Avoid soldering on dry days to reduce static electricity
- Only use a soldering iron if you have experience
- Don’t handle wires barehanded
- Always unplug and return the iron when done
- Keep cleaning sponge wet during soldering
This project proves that you can always reuse that old stuff you have lying around!
Do you have anything lying around that you hope to reuse someday? Doorbells are only the tip of the iceberg of what you can accomplish with your unused items.