Mysterious box ringing

(21 Posts)
itsmehere1 Mon 27-Jan-20 08:47:03

We moved in a new property recently. We need your help in figuring out a ringing bell in the house that goes off by itself. It sounds like the old rotary phone ring and is coming from the box over the dining room entrance. But the landline phone is upstairs and has no connection to this box. I’m attaching a picture as well for your reference. It would really help if you could tell us what this bell is and how to get it stop ringing. I have also asked the seller but haven’t received any reply yet sad have a small baby and every time she sleeps it goes off!

OP’s posts: |
theemmadilemma Mon 27-Jan-20 08:51:50

Can you follow the wires? Or just cut them?

I know the one on the right is the doorbell, but never seen one like the left.

CherryCheezcake Mon 27-Jan-20 09:03:09

Can you take the front off and show us the inside? It looks like a flat blade screwdriver would work. Is there any logo or brand name on it?

hattyhatshats Mon 27-Jan-20 09:04:34

We had one for that looked similar that amplified the phone ring.

AhoyMrBeaver Mon 27-Jan-20 09:06:24

Take the front off and disable it by disconnecting the wires. It looks like a doorbell, but not sure why they'd leave it there with a newer one next to it. Or why it's still ringing...

Are there any doorbells other than by the front door? Garden gate, or side entrance?

BikeRunSki Mon 27-Jan-20 09:08:18

I’d cut the wires and see what happens.

Jonb6 Mon 27-Jan-20 09:08:25

I think it is a bell for the phone as pp said to amplify the phone ring.


PigletJohn Mon 27-Jan-20 10:27:48

Don't cut the wires. If you interfere with phone wiring and it no longer works you will be heavily charged for repair.

If you undo the screws and lift the cover off you will probably find two round bells with a trembler hammer between them. If you loosen the screws in the middle of the bells you will find they are eccentrically mounted so when you loosen the screws you can rotate the bells and they move closer or further from the hammer. You may be able to rotate them so far that the hammer no longer hits them, then retighten the screws.

It is pretty sure to be a repeater bell for your home phone line, possibly for a redundant line if there used to be a home office or something or if it was a flat attached to a shop or surgery.

If the building was ever a sub-post office or police house in a village there is something else it could be.

PigletJohn Mon 27-Jan-20 10:30:38


It might possibly be part of an old burglar alarm. Is there one?

AFirst Mon 27-Jan-20 15:36:33

Are there any motion detectors around the house. Maybe external ones?

Strandliv Mon 27-Jan-20 15:48:31

Have you got another doorbell somewhere, maybe a back doorbell?

pemberlyshades Mon 27-Jan-20 15:58:05

Ghost doorbell ringer. Obvs 👻

CooCooCoo Tue 28-Jan-20 00:16:20

Ahhhh I need to know what it is!

OhWellThatsJustGreat Tue 28-Jan-20 00:21:43

Could it just be an electric current causing the ringing? I had to disconnect it built in doorbell because it constantly buzzed... If open it up and see if you can disengage a wire.

clairethewitch70 Tue 28-Jan-20 00:22:00

That box to the right is definately a doorbell box, my parents had one. I think the box next to it amplifies it.

Nomorechips Tue 28-Jan-20 00:34:39

Our door bell goes off at random times and no one is at the door. My friends does too except she knows it because her neighbour across the road has the same door bell and for some reason goes off whenever someone is at the neighbours door. She looks over and sees them there! It has one note less than hers! Could it be something similar OP?

TARSCOUT Tue 28-Jan-20 00:55:02

Looks like a BT distribution box. Did your property used to be split or are you in a block of sorts?.Get BT out.

wowfudge Tue 28-Jan-20 07:42:39

Nomorechips your friend can reprogramme her doorbell so the neighbour's doesn't set hers off too. They'll both be on the default setting and proximity means hers is picking up the signal.

CharmingB Tue 28-Jan-20 15:52:41

Is there anyone moving around when it goes off? I ask as my friend had a doorbell where the wires went under the carpet and under a metal gripper rod. Every time anyone stepped on the gripper rod it completed the circuit and the doorbell went off! Drove the dog bonkers until they fixed it!

As usual @PigletJohn's advice is probably best. Don't go cutting wires just in case they belong to BT - they're bastards for charging a fortune if you tamper with their gear!

itsmehere1 Sun 06-Sep-20 22:11:34

Thank you so much all of you for your replies. Apologies as replying super late. Finally the mystery has been resolved, I removed the landline phone and dialled our number. It indeed is a repeater bell.

@PigletJohn Thanks for your advice. We have only just managed to remove the cover and you were spot on, there were two bells with a hammer in between. We unscrewed the bells and just removed both of them (have kept them safe). However when we tried calling our landline again, obviously there wasn't any loud ringing like previously, but there's still a jarring noise due to the hammer's movement. Phew now how to get rid of this!

OP’s posts: |
PigletJohn Sun 06-Sep-20 22:19:36

That was slow!

You could call BT and ask for it to be disconnected. They will farm the job out to Openreach who are likely to charge a "commercial fee."

In my area, there are private telephone engineers (who mostly do office phones) and I used one once for a fault on our PABX. He charged at some hourly rate which I thought quite modest. Disconnecting an old repeater bell must be a quick and easy job. I presume yours will be downstream of the Master Socket.

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