door bell?


Old 07-06-06, 10:39 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 237
door bell?

my grandfather wants a new door bell...problem is i cant find the a simple 1 door bell....its an old house with fuses still...he claims he is too old to worry about upgrading to circuit breakers... ...anyway would it be possible to just get a simple chime door bell and use esisiting wires and transformer...from what i understand there is different transformers and odds are just to hook up a new bell it would not be compatible with the old transformer ....thanks for any help..grandfather having trouvle hearing old bell,looking for more of a longer ring.....
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Old 07-06-06, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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Find the transformer. It's not that hard to do so.

Remove the fuses one at a time until you find the right circuit. Then, using intuition, find the transformer.

The transformer will be attached to a junction box. It will be close to the location of the circuit. e.g., if the circuit feeds basement lights, it will probably be near or attached to a basement light. It will also be installed such that the low voltage wires run a shorter, rather than a larger, distance.

Follow the circuit wires and.or follow the door bell wires. Remember that someone may have inappropriately covered the transformer.

If all else fails, or you don't want to find the transformer, then install a wireless doorbell.
Old 07-06-06, 11:20 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 995
I've only done switch changeouts and new installations when it comes to doorbells. Is knowing the exact low-voltage the issue? What would make some incompatible?
Old 07-06-06, 05:33 PM
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You should be able to read the voltage at the bell connection with the door bell button pressed on. If no voltage you probably have a problem other then the bell. If the voltage is around &-10V ac you need to replace with a similar bell. If around 17V ac you can probably use a chime. DC or higher voltages you may not be able to use a standard bell or chime.

Have you pulled the bell. I have seen the transformer in a J-box covered by a chime. Around here they are usually on the side of the attic light J-box or the 120V supply line j-box for the AC/heat air handler in the attic.
Old 07-06-06, 08:28 PM
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Does the house have a basement? I've seen really old installations where the transformer had feet and was screwed to a floor joist in the basement. Unless gramps has a specific model in mind, I would pick up an inexpensive model chime from a big box store, wire it in place of the old bell, and hit the button. Should work fine.

Most chimes can handle a range of low voltages - it does not need to be exact and you can swap out the old for new without killing the power. Caution - that statement applies only to door chimes.
Old 07-07-06, 05:25 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 85
LOUD bell

Lovmy4X4: Once you are ready to go, you might do the same as I've done on a few occasions. For persons having problem hearing doorbells, I have installed larger bells which work on 24Vac. These are the kind used in industrial/commercial applications and are not particularly expensive. One that I've used is about three times the size of a typical household type, which is easily heard by anyone. In another situation, the owner asked for a lamp that would flash along with the bell, which was easy enough to do.
Old 07-07-06, 07:28 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 237
thanks guys ,im going over this weekend to search high and low for the transformer..the basement is finished and my gramps is the type to have things done the cheapest way,so im in for some fun trying to find this transormer...i would bet it is buried in a ceiling or wall...thanks again...
Old 07-07-06, 06:43 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Cheyenne area
Posts: 2
[QUOTE=lovmy4x4]my grandfather wants a new door bell...problem is i cant find the a simple 1 door bell....its an old house with fuses still...

If it was me, I wouldn't spend a lot of time looking for the transformer. I'd abandon it and put in new. Low voltage wiring after the transformer is no problem. Wireless is the simplest solution, but some of them aren't very loud.

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