How to Wire Bell Wire to a Garage Door Opener
When adding a new garage door opener or adding a wall button to an existing opener, you'll have to install low-voltage wire. Wiring low-voltage wire, or bell wire, from the push-button station to the opener requires some planning. First, determine where you will be placing the wall button. You'll also have to determine the most direct route from the wall button to the back of the garage door opener motor head. The routing of the wire should also be somewhat aesthetically pleasing.
Place the push button on the wall and mark the mounting hole locations with a pencil. Drill pilot holes into the wall at your marks with an appropriate-size drill bit. If you are mounting to drywall, insert plastic anchors into the holes and tap them flush to the wall with a hammer.
Loosen the two terminal screws on the back of the push button station with a Phillips-head screwdriver. Make a slice between the two individual wires on one end of the bell wire with a utility knife. Separate the ends of the individual wire from each other 1 inch from the end. Strip 1/4 inch of insulation off the end of each wire with wire strippers. Bend the wire ends into small hooks.
Connect the bell wire to the push button. Your bell wire has two distinct colors, one for each wire. Some are white for one and white/black for the other, or you may have standard red/white or black/white. Push buttons will have a "1" and "2" on the terminals, while your opener will have "-" and "+" signs. The important thing to remember is that the same color wire you place on terminal "1" of the push button should also attach on the other end to the motor at the "+" terminal. Hook the wire ends over the individual terminal screws on the push button and tighten the screws with a Phillips-head screwdriver.
Attach the push button to the wall with retaining screws and the Phillips-head screwdriver. A small groove is in the top of the push button casing to prevent the wire from pinching. Run the wire straight up the wall to the ceiling, tapping insulated staples over the wire to secure the wire to the wall with a hammer. Place a staple for every 18 inches of wire. Place a staple across the wire on the wall corner and the ceiling corner.
Position a stepladder where necessary to reach the ceiling and continue routing the bell wire across the ceiling to the back of the garage door opener. Place staples over the bell wire into the ceiling every 18 inches. When the bell wire is over the door opener, allow the bell wire to hang over the opener.
Place the stepladder at the back of the garage door opener and locate the terminal screws for the push button bell wire. Some openers have a "quick-connect" block that you simply insert the end of the wire into. Most will have terminal screws. Loosen the terminal screws with a Phillips-head screwdriver, if your opener uses the screws. Unplug the door opener power cord from the ceiling outlet. Let the bell wire hang freely from the ceiling.
Cut the bell wire where it reaches the bottom of the opener with the wire strippers. This will give you plenty of wire to work with and allow slack. Split the wire ends as you did for the push button and strip 1/4 inch of insulation from each wire end. If you have the quick-connect block, insert the end of each wire into the appropriate block. If you have terminal screws, bend the ends of the wire into small hooks and place them around the appropriate screws. Tighten the screws to secure the wire. Plug the power cord back into the ceiling outlet and test the push button by pressing the button once.
Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle." Crawford holds an associate degree in business administration from Commonwealth College.