Wiring new doorbell, not working

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  #1  
Old 06-10-11, 03:47 PM
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Wiring new doorbell, not working

I'm trying to make a new doorbell work. The doorbell part was installed by an electrician who did not finish the job because he said there was no transformer. The contractor didn't buy a transformer when he bought the doorbell set. They are both gone. I have purchased a transformer and am trying to complete it.

There are two phone wires which I assume are connected respectively to the chime and the button. I connected the transformer to the circuit. I connected the wires to each other, in one of those phone junction boxes. I connected the phone junction box to the transformer. Now, when I turn on the breaker and hold the red and black wires to their contacts in the phone junction box, the bell rings. Great! But when I connect these wires to the phone junction box, turn the breaker back on and go upstairs to ring the bell, nothing happens. Why?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-10-11, 04:07 PM
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But when I connect these wires to the phone junction box, turn the breaker back on and go upstairs to ring the bell, nothing happens. Why?
Because the door chime has nothing to do with your phone system.

Connect one lead of the low voltage side of the transformer to the chime.

Connect the other low voltage lead of the transformer to the doorbell button.

Connect the other side of the chime to the other side of the doorbell button.


Advanced information: A basic phone cable normally contains two pair of wires. A green and red pair and a yellow and black pair. Because phone wires are very small gauge it is often suggested to use a pair as a single wire. In the above substitute the red and green twisted together at each connection for the red and the black and yellow twisted together at each connection for the green.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 06-10-11 at 04:49 PM.
  #3  
Old 06-10-11, 05:06 PM
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I thought it was obvious that the phone junction box is only being used because it's easy to connect these phone wires in it - of course it has nothing to do with the phone system.

Anyway, assuming I understand your suggestion, I tried it and nothing happened.

However, there are 3 low voltage contacts on the transformer, not 2.

So, I have:

The black from the chime connected to the one in the middle.
The red from the bell is connected to the one on the left.
I connected the black from the bell to the red from the chime assuming that is what you were suggesting. Nothing happened when I pushed the doorbell.

I also switched the wires around with no difference. I connected the black from the bell to the middle and the black from the chime to the left, and connected the reds together. I also connected the red to the middle and the black to the left.

The electrician used only black and red wires and appears to have not used the yellow or green in the chime or the bell. So I have not used them either.
 
  #4  
Old 06-10-11, 05:42 PM
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However, there are 3 low voltage contacts on the transformer, not 2.
Yes. One is back door and produces a single chime. For simplicity I didn't mention that.

The center is usually common and should be marked with the letter "C". One side of the transformer goes to it. The wire from the door bell would go to the one marked front. Do you have a multimeter?

I thought it was obvious that the phone junction box is only being used because it's easy to connect these phone wires in it
No. I have never seen or read of it being done that way. Is it screw terminal or punch down?

In to the teminal box do you have:
one cable from the transformer?
one cable from the button?
one cable from the chime?
Are you sure which cable is which?
Is the transformer working?


So coming
 
  #5  
Old 06-10-11, 06:34 PM
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The transformer is generic and does not have labels that would correspond to the labels on a doorbell. So there's nothing that says Front.

I'm not positive which cable comes from the chime and which one from the bell, but I've tried both of them and reversed their positions in case it makes a difference.

At the moment, the black from what I think is the chime is attached to LOAD on the transformer. The black from what I think is the button is attached to 8V 10VA 24V. It says 8V 10VA above the screw and 24V below the screw.
The red from the chime and the red from the button are touching each other.

The phone junction box is the screw terminal kind. I think it has no importance here - it's only being used because the electrician didn't run enough cable from the door button to reach where the transformer is. I ran the doorbell wire into it and another phone wire out of it going to the transformer. It has convenient contacts to connect the wires to.

I just bought the transformer brand-new yesterday, so I assume it works.

I've tried several other configurations other than the one I just described to you but none so far get the chime to ring when you press the button.
 
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Old 06-10-11, 07:01 PM
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The transformer is generic and does not have labels
There should be the primary, almost always a black and whit wire which goes to your 120v input. Usually also a green ground wire.

The secondary on a simple transformer is two screws. That is the 17 volt ac output to your chime system.

So there's nothing that says Front.
If you mean on the transformer you misunderstood. The letter "F" for front or the word "front" is on the chime above or below one of the screws.It is often just lightly stamped and hard to see.

I'm not positive which cable comes from the chime and which one from the bell, but I've tried both of them and reversed their positions in case it makes a difference.
There is no bell. There is a cable from the chime, a cable from the transformer, and a cable from the button at the front of the house. You need to use a multimeter to identify which is which.

I just bought the transformer brand-new yesterday, so I assume it works.
New products are sometimes bad or you may have burnt it out experimenting or the primary may not have power. If you don't have a multimeter I can give you an alternate testing method.

Hang in there. We are getting closer. Once we are on the same page it should be easy.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 06-10-11 at 07:28 PM.
  #7  
Old 06-10-11, 07:28 PM
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Ok, on the chime, the red is attached to the top screw which is called 'Front'. The black is attached to the middle screw which goes to the transformer.

At the transformer, the black from what I think is the chime is attached to the middle screw. The red from the chime is now attached to the left screw. I also attached the red from the door (I carelessly called this 'bell' before) to the other red and the black from the door to the other black. Of course this doesn't work either.

I don't have a multimeter. But there must be power getting to the chime because when I flick the breaker on and off it rings.
 
  #8  
Old 06-10-11, 07:56 PM
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Ok. Only one wire from the chime should be connected to the transformer. The other wire from the chime should be connected to one wire from the button. The second wire from the button should be connected to the transformer.
 
  #9  
Old 06-10-11, 08:24 PM
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If you have 3 screws at the transformer only two are used. Probably multitap for different voltages or different V/A.
 
  #10  
Old 06-10-11, 08:25 PM
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The black from the chime which is attached to the middle screw that says 'transformer' on the chime is attached at the other end to the middle screw on the transformer. The black from the doorbell/button is attached at the other end to the left screw on the transformer. The red wire at the chime is attached to the screw that says Front. At the other end, it is attached to the red from the button. But this configuration does not work.
 
  #11  
Old 06-10-11, 08:29 PM
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Next attempt:
I switched them a little. Now the red from the button is attached to the left transformer screw. The black from the button and the red from the chime are now attached. Everything else is the same. It still doesn't work.
 
  #12  
Old 06-10-11, 08:35 PM
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Next attempt:

Now the red from the chime is attached to the middle transformer screw. The black from the button is attached to the left transformer screw. The red from the button and the black from the chime are attached. Everything else is the same. It still doesn't work.
 
  #13  
Old 06-10-11, 08:43 PM
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Next attempt,

Now the black from the button is attached to the middle transformer screw. The red from the chime is attached to the left transformer screw. The black from the chime and the red from the button are attached to each other. It doesn't work.

I am giving up for the time being - I have tried every combination and none of them work. No clue what I'm doing wrong, if anything. It's a real X$### shame the contractor couldn't have thought to buy the required transformer when he brought in the doorbell for the electrician. I didn't even know there was a problem until it was too late.
 
  #14  
Old 06-10-11, 09:01 PM
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If you haven't got it by now try this.

 
  #15  
Old 06-10-11, 09:20 PM
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Let me see if I understand what's going on in your diagram:

The black from the button goes directly to the left screw on the transformer.
The red from the chime, which is connected to the transformer screw, connects to the actual transformer on the middle screw.
The black from the chime which is connected to the front screw gets connected to the red from the button.

If that's correct, I've already tried that combination and it doesn't work. There, I just tried it again and it still doesn't work.

I also tried the opposite (pretending the button cable is really the chime cable).
 
  #16  
Old 06-10-11, 09:52 PM
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What are the markings on the transformer for the screws. You may have the wrong voltage.
 
  #17  
Old 06-10-11, 10:06 PM
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The left screw says 8V 10VA. The right screw says 16V 10VA. The middle screw says 24V 20VA.

I moved the black chime wire to the right transformer screw but it made no difference. Then I switched places between the button and chime wires and still it didn't work.
 
  #18  
Old 06-10-11, 10:11 PM
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The left screw says 8V 10VA. The right screw says 16V 10VA. The middle screw says 24V 20VA.
Can you post some pictures of this transformer. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 

Last edited by ray2047; 06-10-11 at 11:34 PM.
  #19  
Old 06-10-11, 10:25 PM
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I'm guessing that this is the transformer the OP has. I could not find any instructions, but bet they came with the transformer, or are printed on the box

Nutone Model: C909 - C909 Transformer - Transformers & Chime Wire

Nutone C909 Tri Volt 8, 16, 24 Volt 20A Transformer
 
  #20  
Old 06-10-11, 10:47 PM
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Here's the transformer
Amazon.com: Heath Zenith 125C-A Wired Door Chime Transformer: Home Improvement

Here's the doorbell
Wired Door Chime With Sleek Modern Design White Cover | Home Depot Canada

The instructions for the doorbell seem to be indicating that I have chosen the correct model transformer. It says it requires a 16V 10VA transformer.

Unfortunately the instructions aren't clearly spelled out for actually deciding which wires go where. But since I have already tried most of the possible combinations, that might not be what I'm doing wrong.
 
  #21  
Old 06-10-11, 10:56 PM
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Good. The arrows indicate center and right give the correct voltage. Use those two and my last diagram modified to use center and right not left.



See how the two arrows at 16 volts point to the correct screws.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 06-10-11 at 11:32 PM.
  #22  
Old 06-11-11, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Good. The arrows indicate center and right give the correct voltage. Use those two and my last diagram modified to use center and right not left.

No, I already tried that combination. It didn't work.
 
  #23  
Old 06-11-11, 08:13 AM
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At this point all I can suggest is to verify the identity and continuity of each cable with a multimeter. Verify the transformer will still ring the chime by connecting the chime directly to the transformer. Remove the chime and carry it to the transformer and use test leads heavier then a single phone wire.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 06-11-11 at 09:10 AM.
  #24  
Old 06-11-11, 08:38 AM
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I think the problem here is obvious. The button is no good. Wire everything up as indicated in post #14. Go out to your front door and pull the wires off the button. Now touch the wires together. Does the door bell ring? If so, the button is bad. If not, double check that the
transformer and chime are still working by doing what you described in post #1 when you said it rang.
Mod Addendum: That should be post #21. #14 was the wrong voltage.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 06-11-11 at 09:15 AM.
  #25  
Old 06-11-11, 09:35 AM
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Just tried that (#24) and no, it is not the button. Or the button could be defective, who knows, but none of the wiring combinations make the bell ring when I hold the button wires together.

I'll try (#23) next and then I'll hang myself with the phone wire...
 
  #26  
Old 06-11-11, 10:24 AM
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This may be a problem with voltage drop. Phone wire is typically #22 or 24 ga, whereas T=stat wire is #18.
 
  #27  
Old 06-11-11, 10:50 AM
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As PCBoss said it may be the cable. Try "twinning" the cable as I suggested at the bottom of #2.

Note my last diagram is correct so the problem doesn't lie with how it is wired. You could have a bad connection though. Phone wire breaks easily.



If you do decide to rewire with thermostat wire skip the BS way the contractor ran it. Run one cable from the transformer to the chime and one one cable from the door button to the chime. Make the necessary connections in the chime. That three cable thing the contractor did just complicated things.
 
  #28  
Old 06-11-11, 12:43 PM
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Ok, there was some progress over the last few hours but am now back to where I was before with it not working.

I got it to work briefly but it stopped after I cleaned everything up, clipped the wires neatly to the wall, put the covers back on the octagon boxes, wired it to the actual circuit it's supposed to be on rather than a jumper, re-attached the wires to the buzzer and basically thought I was finally finished - then I tested it again and it wasn't working. After half an hour of trying to find out why, I have given up again for now.

To get it to work, I replaced the extension phone cable which connected to the short cable from the button which the electrician ran. The replacement extension cable, combined with the correct configuration described by ray2047 worked. Strangely, there is nothing wrong with the original extension cable - I tested it on a phone and got a dial tone. Anyway, with the replacement cable, holding the wires together at the button made the chime ring. So I screwed everything into place, double, triple-checking to make sure I hadn't pushed anything out of place, put everything back where it went, neatly clipped the wires to the wall, labelled everything, turned the breaker back on AND IT DIDN'T WORK ANY MORE. I tried to find out where I had made another mistake but haven't found anything different. Then I smelled burning rubber and traced it to the transformer, which is burning hot. Why? I have no clue. I turned the breaker off and kept trying to retrace my steps to find the problem but can't find it.

One thing I noticed after turning the breaker off is the red wire from the chime was not only wrapped around the middle transformer screw, it was also mistakenly touching the left screw that says "8V 10VA". So I fixed that. Then I was unable to replicate it working. So maybe it's supposed to touch the left screw? Or maybe that's dangerous, and could be why the transformer was burning hot?
 

Last edited by doublezero; 06-11-11 at 01:23 PM.
  #29  
Old 06-11-11, 04:34 PM
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One thing I noticed after turning the breaker off is the red wire from the chime was not only wrapped around the middle transformer screw, it was also mistakenly touching the left screw that says "8V 10VA"
That would have been a direct short of the 8 volt segment of the transformer. You probably burnt out the secondary between those to points. Not repairable. If you get another transformer check to see if they have a single tap 17v chime transformer. Probably cheaper and certainly easier to understand.
 
  #30  
Old 06-11-11, 06:02 PM
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Thanks, I was going crazy trying to replicate the earlier success in vain. I just took it back to Home Depot and bought a brand-new one with only 2 contacts. I connected everything, being careful not to have the wires at the transformer touching anything they aren't supposed to touch. It works! Hopefully I won't smell burning rubber and this one won't short out.

Thanks for your help!
 
  #31  
Old 06-11-11, 06:34 PM
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Wonderful! Good going. Thanks for letting us know how it came out.
 
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