Doorbell transformer size

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Old 10-13-09, 06:01 AM
J
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Doorbell transformer size

Hi everyone. I tried using the search to find the answer to this, but lately all it says is "Database error". Sorry if this has already been asked.

I've got two ding-dong type door bell chimes in my house and I think I need a larger transformer because one of the chimes works, but very weakly (I don't hear the "ding", but I do hear the "dong"). I tested the weak chime using a 12V DC power supply and it worked very well. If it matters, the doorbell button is also lighted.

One of the chimes is a brand new Heath Zenith and wants either a 16V 10W or a 16V 15W transformer. The other chime is very, very old and is unmarked.

Do you know what size doorbell transformer I should buy in this application? Should I look for a 30W transformer?

Thanks,

- Joe
 
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Old 10-13-09, 06:13 AM
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For multiple chimes, a 16 volt transformer at 20 - 30 VA is recommended. Personally, I would go with the 30 VA. Should be available at your local big box store.
 
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Old 10-13-09, 06:14 AM
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Great! Thanks for the quick reply!

- Joe
 
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Old 10-13-09, 06:27 AM
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Concur, although I couldn't find a 30VA at the big box six or seven years ago when I installed mine.

My 30VA runs 3 ding-dong chimes and two buttons with incandescent bulbs. Works fine.

Also, make sure your wire is rated for the current. I fixed a "stuck" doorbell for somebody else; the chime coil insulation melted and shorted, then the in-wall wiring cooked before shorting and burning out the transformer. Lucky.

At my house I used 16 AWG but 18AWG is probably fine. I mention this because in some newer homes the installers have used 22 or 24 AWG twisted pair wire.
 
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Old 10-13-09, 06:35 AM
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I just checked the cable and it is unmarked. The individual wires are pretty thick though - maybe 16 or 18 awg. Definitely thicker than UTP cable. I don't think UTP was around when this house was built (1965)

I did a quick search and the largest that most stores seem to carry is 20 watt, but I've been burned in the past by relying on their websites to tell me what a store carries. Guess it is time to take a field trip.

Thanks again - you guys are great!

- Joe
 
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Old 10-13-09, 08:38 AM
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I have an Edwards 598. It's got triple secondary taps for 8, 16, and 24 VAC. I am using 16 VAC at 30 VA. I got it locally at Graybar, I think.

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Old 10-13-09, 12:45 PM
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Well, I installed the 15w transformer. The second chime now does a "ding-dong" but the "ding" is not quite as strong as the other chime (probably because the second chime is 40 ft away from the transformer. I think I can live with it though.

Thanks!

- Joe
 
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