Checking Doorbell Wire

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Old 04-18-08, 10:40 AM
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Checking Doorbell Wire

Everyone complains I don't have a doorbell, so I bought all the crap I need.

BUT.

I have an old wire that disappears into the wall. Un-snakeable.

I have a totally different wire dangling from the ceiling in my basement directly under the door. Both appear to be low-voltage wires, but the one in the basement appears to be from the turn of this century, the one upstairs the turn of LAST century.

I have spent an hour looking for my multimeter, which I know must be somewhere.

Short of buying another one, how can I check to see if these two wires are connected?

Thanks
 
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Old 04-18-08, 11:41 AM
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Wrong crap maybe? Buy a wireless door bell and no mysterious wires to trace. Seriously in a case like this if I was going to use a wired setup I'd just run new wiring but if that wasn't easy just go with the wireless.

If you have a battery, any battery, and an old speaker just use them to test for continuity. You should get a loud click at the speaker when the battery is connected.
 
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Old 04-18-08, 05:39 PM
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Everyone complains I don't have a doorbell, so I bought all the crap I need.
Thank you for one of the funniest lines I have read on this site!

My first thought was to take all the crap to a second floor window and wait for "everyone who complains" to come along so you can give them a free shower when they push the non-working button.

I agree with Ray, though, that wireless is the way to go. You can carry the remote chime with you into the backyard, to the shower, and even to the bathroom -- and forever be informed when someone you really don't want to see is at your door.

(Gads! I'm cracking myself up!!!)

A door-knocker on the front door can add style to your home without the hassle of electronics. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, including pirate-knockers. (Giggity!)

Short of that, though, one of those pairs of wires goes to the front door. Once you figure out which, it's only a matter of closing that contact to activate a buzzer or bell.

My guess is it's the pair under the front door.

If you've already bought the chime, short the pair of wires at the doorbell button outside. Power up the chime and touch the other end of the pair (the wires under the door) to the Doorbell terminals on the chime. If it rings, you've found the dumper for your ..er ... stuff.
 
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Old 04-21-08, 08:32 AM
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I've always had a knocker - but we have a big glass pane at knock-height. And big wrought-iron stuff over that (live in a city, protect from evil-doers, you know...)

No, the wire under the door ran to a no-longer existant burglar alarm (I found the same type of wire clipped next to a basement window). So I used that to pull new doorbell wires... Still have a few feet of exposed wire along the door jamb, which I don't love.

The old doorbell wire had been clipped - I pulled it out and I never would have found it in the wall. (Bear in mind my basement has 4' clearance, only under half the house - the back half sits on ground).

(btw, wireless doorbells - not an option. Too many reasons to list. I can't believe a "Do it yourself" forum would even consider that as an alternative. That would be like going to "Score a touchdown.com"'s forums and being told to punt.)

Anyway, I ran the wires, wired the transformer (when the house was rewired in 06, they left NO slack in the wires to cut in!), and snaked the wire up to a back wall (out of sight, good acoustics for all three floors).

So my wife comes home from her trip, and I'm like, "look!". And she said, "I LIKE not having a doorbell..."
 
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Old 04-21-08, 09:18 AM
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Sounds like your TD pass got intercepted. Anyway, good job.
 
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Old 04-21-08, 04:40 PM
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So my wife comes home from her trip, and I'm like, "look!". And she said, "I LIKE not having a doorbell..."
See? Sometimes it's better to let sleeping dogs lie. My wife said the same thing to me after I spent a weekend putting telephone wiring in the home theater room.

Seriously ...I'm sorry I didn't offer more detailed advice, and I'm happy to hear you got it working.
 
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Old 04-22-08, 12:50 AM
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Still have a few feet of exposed wire along the door jamb, which I don't love.
You can pull the door trim usually an hide it behind the trim.

Just me but I would have used the alarm wire. At least around here it is cat3 and a lot of times cat 3 is used for doorbells. Yes #22 is a bit small but since you have at least two pair you can double the wire.
 
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Old 04-26-08, 12:42 PM
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Of course, the door alarm wire terminates at foot-level. Seemed awkward to put the doorbell down there...

ANYHOO....

The button lights, but the bell does not ring.

What's up with THAT?
 
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Old 04-26-08, 03:23 PM
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The light in the button usually dims out when you push the button. If this is an old button and the light does not dim, probably has worn contacts.
 
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Old 04-26-08, 05:05 PM
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No...

See above - it's all new wiring, new transformer, new bell, new button.

Wired it up; button lights, goes off when you press it. So I would presume that means the circuit's good?

But the bell does not ring.
 
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Old 04-26-08, 05:32 PM
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what voltage the transformer you instsalled ?? most doorbell useally reqired 16 volts to run it and did you double checked the termation at the doorbell unit ??

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 04-26-08, 07:25 PM
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Yes, 16... All same brand of stuff (You know, "Requires model blah blah blah)...

What do you mean double-check term at doorbell? All wires connected... Even swip-swapped the two at the doorbell, in case that made a difference...
 
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Old 04-26-08, 07:50 PM
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if you follow the diagram as i post it below


this will able tell you if it working proplely or not

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 04-28-08, 08:51 PM
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A bit off topic, but there was an episode of the Red-Green show where he extended the doorbell so that it was activated by a vehicle entering the driveway. It uses the principle that if there is a soda can in the road, you will run over it; so he used the can and a piece of wire as the switch. This gives you a few extra seconds to get ready (or hide from) guests.
 
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Old 04-28-08, 09:18 PM
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Only one doorbell button.

Three wires:
One from button to transformer post 1
One from transformer post 2 to bell
One from button to bell

Power feed - one goes to transformer black wire
One goes to transformer white wire
Grounds connect

All lights on circuit - operational

Circuit alert pen - shows power going INTO transformer


So, um, what am I missing?

I wouldn't get a light on the bell if there was a break in the circuit, would I?
 
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Old 04-29-08, 08:39 AM
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Wiring sounds correct. Just to eliminate it, disconnect the wires from the push button and touch them together. If the chime suddenly works, replace the switch.
I used to work where we made chimes and push buttons and they are cheaply made. Most of the cost is in the housings.
 
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Old 04-30-08, 10:00 AM
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I had actually done that before mounting the bell and the button. It didn't work then, either, but I had to get everything "done" before the missus got home....

So what can I check to find the error?

It dawned on me that there must be two circuits - one providing power to the light in the button, and one closing the loop to ring the bell... Is that right? So... what?

Argh.
 
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