Ooops... broken doorbell wires!

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  #1  
Old 10-19-05, 05:07 PM
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Ooops... broken doorbell wires!

Nothing is ever simple... removed old button, installed new. All worked. Had to enlarge opening to insert back of new button into siding, and the bit caught one of the wires and snapped it off inside the siding. Cannot fish any more out (don't think there is any length to spare based on other two wires). Now what? I don't know where the transformer "lives", and know nothing about snaking wire or types of wire. Know I can go the wireless route, but then I'll have this doorbell chime hanging on the hall wall for no reason and presumably a transformer someplace that doesn't power anything. I hate "unfinished business" like that!

Help?!? VERY slowly, please...
 
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  #2  
Old 10-19-05, 05:13 PM
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Well you need to find the transformer. Even if you didn't break the wire, you still need to know where it is anyway. Completely understanding what is on each and every breaker and where all of your receptacles, etc are located could save your life someday.

Do you at least know what breaker it's on? If you know what breaker it's on then you have at least some idea where it is located, as it will probably be in the basement near something else on the same circuit.

Your other alternative is to follow the wires. they most likely go down to the basement, so look in the basement near your front door and then follow the wires.

Once you find the wire in the basement, use it to pull the new wires through.
 
  #3  
Old 10-19-05, 05:54 PM
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Thanks, Bob...

I do have 3 transformers in the basement near the breaker panel. I will futz around tomorrow during daylight to see if I can discern what's what. At least one of them is from a non-functional burglar alarm, which runs right along the doorbell (interior vs. exterior of the same wall). Does the doorbell xformer connect first to the chime (in another area of the house), or the button? That may help me determine which xfrmr's wires to trace back. To snake a new wire, what type of wire am I shopping for? Looks like 4 wire phoneline to me, but I don't know. And I truly am clueless how to snake a wire efficiently... sorry.

Appreciate your patience.
 
  #4  
Old 10-19-05, 06:04 PM
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One of those transformers is likely the doorbell. Transformers are also used for furnace thermostats, and as you say, alarm systems.

The doorbell wire could be run either way. The wiring can go to transformer first or to the button first. It could also split and make a big circle, although that is unlikely. If there is a second door that has a bell the wiring most likely goes from the transformer to the bell first.

18 gage wire is used (primarily) for doorbells. It is available at all home stores.If you can, use the old wires to pull the new wires down the wall.

Google the term "doorbell wiring" and/or "repair a doorbell" and there will be plenty of sites listed. Look at a few for more information than I could possibly type.
 
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Old 10-19-05, 07:51 PM
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Pulling the old wire will work great, providing the installer didn't use staples along the run. If it won't pull, consider a "wireless doorbell" system.
 
  #6  
Old 10-23-05, 06:50 PM
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Thanks for the input. After looking over the situation, I opted for a oh-so-un-exciting wireless set-up. Know the "installer" (ex-husband), and strongly suspect he stapled the lines, so decided not to tackle that task. Unfortunately, old chime unit will remain on the wall, since to remove it would require a large hole repair, removal of old wallpaper and new skimcoat/paint. New chime unit will be hung in another area of hallway not visible. I hate having two, but I also don't have days to spend patching old one!

Turns out doorbell and defunct alarm were on same, dedicated transformer/breaker. Suppose I should remove that transformer to be safe, correct? Is there anything to doing so, or just unscrew terminals and dispose of xformer?

Thanks again...
 
  #7  
Old 10-23-05, 07:27 PM
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You will have to cap the wires that connect to the transformer and then replace the cover on the junction box with a solid cover.
 
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