2 doorbells 1 transformer pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzze HELP!

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Old 03-10-13, 08:23 AM
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2 doorbells 1 transformer pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzze HELP!

Hi! I've resorted to coming here for help because everyone I ask at Home Depot or Lowes or Rona all seem to have a different perspective. So let's go, before I lose any more hair thinking about this.

My house is 28 years old. It has always had ONE door chime in the front foyer. This chime has 2 buttons, front and rear and is wired correctly. (commons from transformer and buttons wire nutted together at chime while the other post from the transformer goes to the correct terminal on the chime)

With the basement finished, we can't hear if anyone come to the front door, so I want to install a second chime in the basement. Fishing the wires to the original chime was easy and one would think that simply hooking the wires from door chime #1 to #2 would be simple as terminal to terminal. NO WAY!

First let me explain, after much hair pulling, that the ORIGINAL transformer is 10V 5va...............yes, that's right 5va. So it doesn't take much to fire up the original chime. I understand the principle that I must raise the va's in order to sound two chimes. The new chime (downstairs) requires a 16 volt 10va transformer. All I could find at the store was a 16 volt 15va transformer, so I bought it, thinking I would have enough amps to run both chimes. NO! Still only the original chimes chime.

Here's what I'm thinking, so set me straight if I'm wrong. If I wired the transformer directly to the NEW chimes downstairs, then slaved off the original chimes upstairs, would this work? Since downstairs requires 10va and upstairs only 5va, I'm thinking this could be a solution, no?

IF this won't work, should I go to a tri-voltage transformer, one with 3 terminals on it? IF that is the case (voltages of 8, 16 and 24 with max rating of 20va, EXACTLY HOW would I wire this to the 2 chimes?

I've read until my eyes are bleeding, but decided I needed to ask someone in the know. Please respond ASAP as this is driving me nuts. WHY does something so simple have to be so hard?

Homer
 
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Old 03-10-13, 09:50 AM
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Welcome to the forums !

You can only use one transformer in a system unless you add relays.

Install the new 15 watt'er in place of the old one.
It would be easiest to just fish a piece of 3 wire to the upstairs chime.
Connect it to the F, R, and C. connections.
 
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Old 03-10-13, 10:00 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

You are correct with thinking you need the larger transformer, you do. You can not parallel the two transformers without getting all fancy. So swap out the old one with the new one and move to the next part.

You need to double check your wires you ran from the old chime to the new chime. You should only need to go from terminal to terminal, as you said. It might be better to splice the wires at the old chime, and use pigtails, rather then trying to double up the wires in the screw terminals. Doing this you can also remove the old chime out of the circuit and test the new one alone.

If you want both front and back buttons to run both chimes, you will need three wires between the old and new chimes.
 
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Old 03-10-13, 10:31 AM
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Thanks guys for the response.................but that still doesn't answer my question. IF I run the transformer to the NEW 16v10va door chime in the BASEMENT FIRST, thusly drawing 10 amps to ring, would there be sufficient amps to ring the ORIGINAL chime in the front hallway off the 15va transformer? In my cluttered mind thought, the basement door chime would receive enough amps to ring, and the front hallway chime shouldn't be a problem. Is this correct or not?

Homer
 
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Old 03-10-13, 10:54 AM
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If you wire the new transformer to the new chime first, you will not have the buttons in the circuit and it will just lock up the new chime.

Do you have a 3 wire cable between the old chime and the new one?

va is volt-amps (watts) not amps.
 
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Old 03-10-13, 10:54 AM
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We both answered your question in a similar manor. You CANNOT use two transformers in a doorbell system. Since you only have one button for each door ..... you can only use a single transformer.
The transformer size is expressed in two values. Volts and va(watts).

16 volts is a pretty common voltage in door bell systems. A typical doorbell draws 5-10 watts.
So if you used two doorbells you would need a larger va (wattage) transformer. A 15 watt unit should run both chimes. You can't add the 10 watt to a 15 watt to get 25 watt.

Does this help ?
 
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Old 03-10-13, 01:56 PM
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Thanks guys for putting up with me. Got it fixed and here's what I did. First PJmax, I'm sorry for the confusion. I had already removed the original 10V 5va transformer from the mix and installed the new 16V 15va transformer in its place. In my thinking, the OLD chimes were drawing too much passing through, so I reversed the power feed by disconnecting the power lead from the NEW transformer going to the OLD chimes (the one that was powered by the 10V5va) and fed the NEW chimes off the NEW transformer FIRST in line. Then I simply "slaved" the original chimes off the NEW chimes, and all is good.

The more I work with stuff like this, the easier it gets, but that doesn't make me appreciate the input any less. Thanks again for the thoughts.

cheers. Homer
 
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Old 03-10-13, 02:02 PM
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You ended up putting the two units in parallel which was exactly what you were supposed to do.

Good job
 
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Old 03-11-13, 07:27 PM
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You got it right. Yes you can use two transformers, one for each chime.

1. Connect one wire from one transformer to one chime only.

2. Connect one wire from the other transformer to the other chime only.

3. Connect the second terminal of each transformer to each another.

4. Connect wires from each chime to one terminal of a button.

5. Connect the other terminal of the button to the tied together second terminals of the transformers.

Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the rear door button.
 
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Old 03-12-13, 03:46 AM
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Hi AllanJ

You already replied to my question how to wire two 16 volt transformers to two 16 volt chimes with one button but it is still now temporarily wired using only one transformer.
When I first wired the second chime in the basement (two tone rear door screw on chime) and hooked it up to the chime upstairs (one tone front door screw on chime), the chime in the basement did not ring at all but only made a little noise. Now I can hear both chime since they are connected one "tone" to one "tone" (front door screw to front door screw on both chimes). I think the "two tones" was using two much current while the one upstairs was working.

Now I find the chime in the basement seems a little "lazy". 16VAC and 10 va means 10 watt with 16 volt = .625 amp for two chimes right? Is it enough current for both chimes or the longer wire could be the cause? I will use the two transformers if I do not like the setup so I thank you for that. Another question about the original question. Wouldn't there be a problem to hook up a 16 volt transformer to a 10 volt chime as state by the original poster? Nobody seems to be worry about it. No danger to burn the chime? Thank you.
 
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Old 03-12-13, 09:20 AM
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On what are you basing your belief it is a 10 volt chime? A 10 volt chime would be unusual. If you are going by the original transformer it is more likely the system originally had a buzzer (or maybe a bell) that was 10 volts and when the buzzer was changed to a chime the transformer was not changed out even though it should have been.
 
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Old 03-12-13, 12:58 PM
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You SHOULD NOT use two transformers in a doorbell system. I believe if you follow Allan's wiring above you will be applying 32 volts to the chime.... not 16. I didn't draw out the circuit to double check it.

When using a second doorbell.....just increase the size of the transformer to 15 or 20 watts.
It's just that easy.
 
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Old 03-12-13, 11:25 PM
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Ok this clarify the situation.
 
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Old 03-12-13, 11:59 PM
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I draw the circuit and it is 32 volt for 2 chimes so it would mean 16 volt each right? Can I put two transformers in serial for 2 chimes? This is out of curiosity because I will buy a more powerful one. It would be too much of a hassle to cut the drywall and to connect all the wires. I have some knowledge in DC but not a lot in AC when there may be problem with the phases.
 

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Old 03-13-13, 03:03 AM
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Here is the link to the diagram I made well not very professional. I will use a more powerful transformer but I am curious to know if it would work. Doh! I just notice it is not in serial after drawing it.

ImageShack® - Online Photo and Video Hosting
 

Last edited by Pinotte; 03-13-13 at 04:55 AM.
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Old 03-14-13, 08:42 PM
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Give up yet?

It appears this job is becoming frustrating and lengthly. If true, you may want to consider scrapping the present doorbell system and installing a new wireless doorbell which will install quickly and easily. I had to do that because the transformer on my old system went out and I could not find it to replace. The previous owner of my house installed a non removable basement ceiling with no clue as to the location of the transformer. I couldn't find it for the life of me. I put in a wireless bell and am happy with it. It's five or 6 years old and has had no problems. I just changed the batteries for the first time. Good luck with your project.
 
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Old 03-14-13, 09:17 PM
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Pinotte, your diagram doesn't make sense. Each transformer has two wires your diagram only shows one wire on each transformer. If you indeed connected one wire of each transformer together you shouldn't do that* as we have said before. As we keep saying you need to use one transformer with a higher VA rating. Well you could use one transformer for each but that would require relays and a third auxiliary LV transformer and would limit you to unlighted door bell buttons.


*in phase if series wired you might get 32 volts and burn up the chime. Out of phase in series maybe 0 volts. VA would be equal or lesser then one transformer. You might in parallel in phase in series get a higher VA but the problem is setting them up in phase. Just easier to use the correct VA transformer.
 

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Old 03-15-13, 12:52 AM
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I can't believe how much interest this thread has drawn. I've gotten PM's asking me why two transformers wont work.

Ray's explanation is correct but it's hard to visualize.

I re-drew the circuit with the actual coils of the chimes in place. Follow the red lines.
You now have a series loop and will keep power on the chimes at all times.... even with button open.
 
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Old 03-15-13, 01:09 AM
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ray2047 OK I understand what you mean about the phases so thank you. May be you misunderstood my diagram because it is using the two wires of both transformers. I made another diagram below. One wire on each transformer are connected together with also one wire on the front door button. The other wire on the front door button is connected to both the front door screw on each chime. The other wire on the transformer 1 is connected to the chime 1 transformer screw. The other wire on the transformer 2 is connected to the chime 2 transformer screw. The rear door screws on each chime are not used.

Now if I remove the transformer 2 and the chime 2 and its wires, it is exactly the diagram from the instruction in the manual how to install one chime with one transformer. I might buy a more powerful transformer but I would like to know if it is working without any problem in the phases. Thank you for the help. Here is the link to the new diagram below.

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Old 03-15-13, 01:14 AM
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Pjmax OK I see it. thank to both you and ray2047. Well I learned something.
 
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Old 03-15-13, 01:48 AM
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I want to point out I removed the diagram from ImageShack in case someone would find it and be misled. I have some notion in electronic from a lesson 30 year's ago. If these were DC motors I think the diagram would work in DC current, well I think. Thank again, I am sure other people also learned something. Great place to learn!!!
 
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Old 03-15-13, 07:26 PM
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Have you tried something as simple as replacing the transformer with a 24 volt transformer. I don't want to suggest this, but I have seen it done (actually, I saw a chime wired from the furnace 24 volt control power transformer). I have no idea if it will affect the life of the chimes, but my initial feeling is that it won't significantly shorten their useful life. The voltage is only connected to the chimes for a short period when someone presses the button.
 
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Old 03-16-13, 01:08 PM
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The old transformer is a 16 volt 10 va also the one that came with the new chime. 10 va is just not powerful enough for two chimes. I will buy a 15 va transformer and it will solve the problem. The second chime is working but sound very weak with a 10 va transformer.
 
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Old 03-16-13, 03:31 PM
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This thread apperas to have been hijacked by a second party (Pinotte). I am locking it. If either Homerdaisy or Pinotte need more help please start a new thread.
 
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