Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Door Bells and other Door Hardware topics.
Modern chime doorbells make use of solenoids, tone bars, and digital technology. A solenoid is an electromagnet consisting of a metal piston wrapped in wire which becomes magnetized when electricity is added. When a doorbell button is pressed, an electric current activates the solenoid inside the chime box. The magnetized piston moves back and forth, striking two metal tone bars which emit the familiar "ding-dong" sound.
If additional solenoids and tone bars are used in the chime box, more sophisticated tones can be created such as the 4-note or 8-note Westminster Chime. Many doorbell models offer the optional feature of having one tone for a front door and another tone for a back or side door. In this design, each doorbell pushbutton is wired to separate solenoids in the chime box.
For the ultimate in doorbell chimes, choose an electronic doorbell that uses digital technology to play a wide variety of recognizable CD-quality melodies. These doorbells are also offered in wireless models.