Doorbell Transformer Buzzing


Old 12-13-05, 08:38 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 257
Doorbell Transformer Buzzing

I noticed after moving into my home that the doorbell transformer buzzes very loudly. The transformer is in a closet in the basement and I can actually hear it buzzing while I'm upstairs - it is maddening. Is this normal or does this thing need to be replaced? Keep in mind that my doorbell works normally.

Also, I've never seen a doorbell transformer like this. It is attached to the light fixture in the closet. The light fixture looks like a simple, white porcelain, pull chain base and the transformer is attached to it with no wires between them. Is it possible to have a plug-in transformer here? What store would carry something like this?

Thanks - I am going to have many questions on this house since I spotted wires held together with electrical tape (yikes!)
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Old 12-13-05, 08:42 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: CA
Posts: 2,041
Your transformer set up is very typical.

As for the buzzing, it can be caused by a stuck button. You could just disconnect the wires at the chime ( mark each wire's location). If the buzzing stops, replace the door buttons. Otherwise, it is just a worn out transformer. This happens. Some laminations become unglued and vibrate, or whatever. Get a new transformer.
Old 12-13-05, 08:45 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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So then it just basically plugs into the fixture like a normal plug? Can I just unplug it to work on it or do I still need to kill the power at the breaker?

Old 12-13-05, 08:54 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
I have never seen a doorbell transformer that was plug in. They are hardwired. To replace it you need to turn off power to the circuit.
Old 12-13-05, 11:16 AM
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Posts: 4,294
Since the doorbel works normally, the buttons are not stuck. You have what is called a hysteresis hum caused by the "E" and "I" plates vibrating. Only long term cure is to replace the transformer.
Old 12-13-05, 11:35 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Thanks folks - once I figure out how to separate the transformer from the light fixture - I'll replace it. Home Depot has doorbell transformers for $8 to $13.
Old 12-13-05, 04:35 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 176

If it is a trypical white porcelin or pull string lamp fixture, you remove the 2 screws on the fixture to get into the ceiling box, The trans will have 2 wires going to a black and white wire nut respectively. Remove them. Then you will see the trans mounted with a 1/2" thin nut--remove that, and install the new one in the reverse order. Shut off power first. Good luck!
Old 12-13-05, 05:47 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Thanks everyone!

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