yet another doorbell question....

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Old 08-05-09, 06:54 PM
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yet another doorbell question....

Our door bell went loopy two days ago(continuous ring), so I went and bought a new chime, as the old one was from the previous owner and not to our liking. At any rate, I got it mounted, but as soon as I touch the wires to the terminals, one of the plungers vibrates hysterically, causing a noticable hum. This can't be right, I think to myself, and proceed to the button. As I pull it apart, the two wires have what looks to be a resistor or capacitor across them. As I have the wife touch the leads, the plunger still goes haywire, with or without this mystery piece. So, is this a transformer gone awry? I have a couple of pix of what I think is the transformer, but I am not allowed attachments, and the forum automatically blanks out the tinypic url where they are posted....

Thanks for the looksie, and the help

Hundin
 
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Old 08-05-09, 07:03 PM
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To post a picture you must use a site like photobucket and then link it here.

Remove the button(s) from the circuit and see what happens. If it returns to normal than your problem is the button. If it still goes crazy then your problem is in the cable. You can also just touch the wires with the button removed and see if you get a "normal" ring. It should be low voltage (I have never seen a 120v door bell) so you will not get hurt.
 
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Old 08-05-09, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
If it still goes crazy then your problem is in the cable. You can also just touch the wires with the button removed and see if you get a "normal" ring.
Yes, with the button removed and the two wires touched, the plunger goes wonky. If it is a cable problem as you suggest, how difficult is it to rewire? I do not have a meter, so I can't give any readings...

Thanks,
Hundin
 
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Old 08-05-09, 08:29 PM
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OK. So the doorbell is hooked up. The buttons are removed and the plunger does not go crazy until you touch the wires? I would then suspect the transformer.

If the buttons were removed and the plunger went crazy without the wires being touched I would suspect the cable.

Are you sure you don't have another button in another location?

BTW - I always suggest buying a meter. Even a $10 one will do most of the things you need to do. I like digital, but I'm in the minority. Maybe its because I use a Fluke but I don't seem to have a problem with phantom voltage.
 
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Old 08-06-09, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
OK. So the doorbell is hooked up. The buttons are removed and the plunger does not go crazy until you touch the wires? I would then suspect the transformer.
That is correct. Whew, that sounds easier to change out the transformer.

Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
Are you sure you don't have another button in another location?
I positive that there is only one button, at least that I can see, but, there are THREE sets of red/white wires at the doorbell unit, and I have not attempted the attic crawl yet....As for the transformer itself, could this be the culprit, the little green guy?
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
BTW - I always suggest buying a meter. Even a $10 one will do most of the things you need to do.
To radio Shack go I....

Thanks for sticking with me
Hundin
 
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Old 08-06-09, 05:24 PM
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Radio Shack might have a doorbell transformer but I've never seen one there. All the big box home improvement stores and most corner hardware stores will have doorbell transformers. Be sure you get the one that states 16 volts.
 
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Old 08-06-09, 05:55 PM
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OK, according to my new meter, the voltage at the transformer reads 14 V AC. It also reads that at the button, with the unit wired, and at the unit with the button leads touching.
 
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Old 08-06-09, 06:26 PM
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I believe you are correct. That looks to me like the doorbell transformer.

14 VAC sounds a little light to me. Is there any rating marked on the old transformer? It many times is listed on where the wires connect.

If you did not get a new one yet, I would replace it. If you can get a universal one with multi taps that would be helpful as well.
 
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Old 08-06-09, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
You can get both the transformer and a meter at the big box store....
"Since I bought just a "ding-dong" doorbell, should I just get a 10V transformer?"

Oops, did not see your post above....so...a 20 or 30 V?

Thanks,
Hundin
 

Last edited by hundin; 08-06-09 at 06:33 PM. Reason: missed post above
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Old 08-06-09, 06:34 PM
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I think you want something higher. Like around 18 volts. See my edited post above.

Originally Posted by hundin View Post
Oops, did not see your post above....so...a 20 or 30 V?
Thats is because I'm editing it on the fly.
 
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Old 08-06-09, 06:34 PM
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No markings that I can see....the space between it and the ceiling is about 5 inches...and its been painted over...
 
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Old 08-06-09, 06:36 PM
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Like I said, I'd just try a new one. They should be under $10 for a universal one. They should be by the doorbells.
 
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Old 08-06-09, 07:30 PM
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transformer in hand and ready to install, yet it has a green ground, whilst the old does not. Do I try to attach this to the breaker panel somehow?

Thanks for holding my hand
Hundin
 
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Old 08-06-09, 08:39 PM
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Yes, the green wire should go to the neutral bar or the bar that to other ground wires go. If needed, add a wire to make it long enough. Please be careful working in the panel.

Happy to help. Thats why I'm here.
 
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Old 08-06-09, 08:57 PM
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OK, got the transformer in place and wired....doorbell works correctly now. I attached the ground wire to the panel itself via a mounting screw, is this a viable option?
 
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Old 08-06-09, 09:11 PM
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It really should be attached to screw that is attached through a threaded hole. Self tapping screws are not legal. If you can find a place for a ground screw you can use that. Otherwise attach it to the ground/neutral buss.

You are good to go! Congrats on a successful repair!
 
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Old 08-06-09, 09:19 PM
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I hear you loud and clear! If I leave it like it is for a day, do I run the risk of burning down my house? I only ask because the Box Store is closed for the evening. Thanks for all the help...without this forum and people like yourself, many, many, MANY projects would never get done, or they could be potentially dangerous.

Thanks again,
Hundin
 
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Old 08-07-09, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by hundin View Post
I hear you loud and clear! If I leave it like it is for a day, do I run the risk of burning down my house? I only ask because the Box Store is closed for the evening.
It is likely grounded through the case where it is attached to the panel so I suspect you are safe. Just get to it when you can.
 
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