2 chime doorbell problems

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  #1  
Old 08-24-09, 11:05 PM
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2 chime doorbell problems

Hi,

My 2-chime doorbell system recently stopped working. It consists of a single doorbell at the front door and 2 chime boxes (separate rooms) and a trans. under my stairs. I 'ohmed' out the bell-push and got a short upon pressing the button (assumed it is OK). Checked the trans. (multi-secondary w/ 8, 16 and 24V outputs (20VA for all)) and got no voltage. I just installed another trans (only difference being that the 8 and 16V say 10VA and the 24V still says 20VA. Also worth noting: the old trans. had one black, one white and one green wire for the 120V coming in. The new one has two black wires and one green. I went green to green and just used the black wires for the white and green, not paying attention which went to which (should I have?). I checked again and still no sound!?!? I wired the output of the new trans. just like the old one so don't know what else could be wrong? The small gauge wire going to the chimes and doorbell aren't marked and look a bit confusing. Also, w/ power on, the 'new' trans. hums and is a bit warm - is this normal? I never bothered to pay attention before. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thx.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-24-09, 11:46 PM
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If by two chime doorbell you mean you have a "ding-dong" unit then you need a transformer that has a 16 volt secondary. If you mean that your doorbell plays a melody then you may need a higher voltage as would be written on the connection panel of the chime unit.

You are correct that in wiring your new transformer that the two black leads are connected to power and neutral with no respect to which lead goes where.

Assuming that you did connect the transformer secondary correctly the most likely problem is that the new transformer does not have enough power to operate both units. If your original transformer was rated at 20 VA (volt-amperes, roughly corresponding to watts) and the new transformer is rated at 10 VA then that is the problem. Many door bell chime units, either the ding-dong or the melody type require a minimum of 20 VA and if you are using two units then the requirement would be double, or 40 VA but still at 16 volts. What probably happened to the original transformer is that it simply burnt out the windings because of an overload caused by having two bell units.

Probably what you need to do is to replace the transformer with a 40 VA, 16 volt version.

Yes, it is completely normal for a doorbell transformer (or any other transformer) to be noticeably warmer than the ambient air temperature and also to hum slightly.
 
  #3  
Old 08-25-09, 08:02 AM
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Hi Furd,

Thanks a lot for the reply. A couple of other questions/confirmations: 1.) if given the choice between 16V and 24V, then why not go w/ the higher voltage [to operate both chime units]?; 2.) for clarification, on the trans. itself the 24V output of the 'new' unit states 20VA and the other two voltages (8 and 16V) state 10VA BUT on the back of the trans. packaging, it states 8, 16 and 24V at 20VA, making no mention of 10VA - any idea why this is?; 3.) I can see your probable reasoning of why the original trans. went bad but wouldn't you think that I could/should see the new one working initially (if wired for 24V at 20VA)?; and finally 4.) how can I confirm that my wiring of the trans. output is done correctly?

Sorry for asking so many questions - just want a thorough understanding of all this.

Thanks again for your help,

lupester35
 
  #4  
Old 08-25-09, 01:45 PM
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If the chime/bell is rated at 16 volts (most are) then using 24 volts will lead to an early death for the unit.

The secondary wiring is dependent upon the number of pushbuttons and whether the wires all go to the transformer location or to the chime/bell location and also if you are using just one signal (front door only) or two (front and back doors) or possibly three different signals. Just remember that you only use two connections from the transformer with one of them going to the "common" or "transformer" terminal on the chime/bell and the other transformer connection goes to the one of the leads for each pushbutton. The returning lead from the pushbutton(s) connects to the appropriate terminal (front, back, side) in the chime/bell. The second chime/bell is connected to the terminals in use at the first chime/bell.
 
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