Pressure washer versus doorbell/ doorbell lost

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Old 06-19-09, 03:13 PM
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Question Pressure washer versus doorbell/ doorbell lost

I pressure washed my house last week. Prior to doing so the doorbell worked fine.
When checking out why I discovered the doorbell buttons don't have any kind of waterproof backing. Is it possible I burned out the transformer?? (16 volt)
I tried putting the two wires (at the button) together and the doorbell doesn't chime. This particular doorbell also has 4 AA batteries in it. I replaced those to be sure it wasn't just a coincidence, but I'm not sure how fresh the different batteries are either. The little light inside the button is on. Does that mean anything or could that be on because of the batteries? How do I know if the problem is the doorbell button or the transformer?
I don't have a volt meter, is there any other way to check this problem out??
 
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Old 06-19-09, 06:12 PM
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What are the batteries for? Usually a hardwired door bell uses transformer voltage to excite the lighting. Do you have a wireless receiver by chance?
 
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Old 06-19-09, 07:19 PM
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Chandler
Not sure what the batteries are for. Thought maybe it was some kind of back up system. I remember the directions on how to hardwire it so it's not a wireless receiver.
It's one of those fancy jobbers that play a whole bunch of tunes when you hit the doorbell. You get to select from about 20 different things it plays.
I know I got the wiring wet when I washed the house, pretty impossible not to and do a good job. I just don't know if that shorted something out. The doorbell buttons didn't have any kind of waterproof shield on the back. I did take them apart and touched the wires together. That should have made it ring shouldn't it???
The transformer is attached to a hexagon box that also has a plug receptacle. That works, I mean the breaker isn't tripped. I checked to make sure nothing got rusty on the buttons too. Everything checked out fine. I thought that since they are lite it had to be the transformer, but the batteries could be powering the light????
I just don't know if I should just go buy a couple of new buttons or a new transformer. I do remember the directions saying NOT to use a lighted button, but you can't buy one without a light anymore, not that I could find anyway.
 
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Old 06-19-09, 08:55 PM
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The sound is produced by a solid state audio device powered by the batteries. The button and transformer turn the audio device off and on. Is the transformer warm? Is there a hum? When you strike the two wires at the button together do you get a spark?
 
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Old 06-20-09, 09:01 AM
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ray
nope no spark, no nothing. I broke down this morning and bought one of those multi-meter things. At least I know all the batteries I have in the junk drawer are good
I didn't touch the transformer to see if it was warm, but I will. No, there wasn't any hum.

I'm supposed to be spending this weekend fixing the old pressure washer. Couldn't get it to start after pulling the engine down twice. Then I find out the valves on this particular engine are opposite, which means I have the settings wrong. All I have to do is find time to pull it apart again. B&S in their infinite wisdom made it so you can't get at the valve cover without removing the air cleaner then the shroud.
Tomorrow is Father's Day, and I plan on sitting on my butt with a 6 pack and enjoying 1 day off. So if you are a Dad then Happy Father's Day!!Beer 4U2


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Old 06-20-09, 09:43 AM
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Sounds like toasted transformer syndrome but you will need to open the Jbox and make sure it has power then check the secondary for 17v.

There is an outside chance the transformer is on a GFCI circuit and water on the secondary leads caused the GFCI to trip so you do want to make sure the transformer has power to the primary.
 
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Old 06-20-09, 11:39 AM
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Turns out the new meter was a great investment. This is really embarrassing, but it was the damn batteries. Three of them were deader than a doornail. Don't ask me what made me start there instead of the transformer I had originally bought the meter to test. I popped new batteries in; hit the doorbell and low and behold it worked.

Now I have another question. I rechecked the doorbell unit while I was in Lowe's. It clearly says "do not use a lighted button". Why, is that little light draining the batteries by being on all the time??? I did find a button without a light, it's a "Plain Jane", kind of ugly little box with a circular button. My wife took one look at it and told me to get on-line and find something else She can't be happy just changing the batteries more oftenBeer 4U2
 
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Old 06-20-09, 11:51 AM
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The bulb is in series and will draw a small current but that current should be from the transformer. Are you sure the button isn't wired directly to the chime. Remove the secondary wires on the transformer to check. The reason for no light is so the chime won't sound all the time. If the button was direct to the chime though it might pull too little current to actually sound the chime but still pull the battery down.

No need to get a new button. Remove the bulb from the button you have.
 
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