Doorbell problems


Old 03-05-01, 06:43 PM
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My doorbell unit is wired funny. I am replacing the whole unit, and have already replaced the transformer on the electrical panel. The electrician used "telephone" cable to supply power, 2 on each lead of the transformer. The rear door switch has only 2 wires, the front door has 4. The 2 at the rear door are conventional copper wire.

My problem is this: there are no fewer than 10 wires coming out of the wall in the hallway. 2 sets of 4 telephone wires and 2 big conventional copper wires. Everything I can find on installing a doorbell assumes there are 3 wires. I can't even go by how the old unit was wired, it had 4 leads, the new unit has 3. I'm not even concerned about the rear door, as no one uses it. I did get it to go ding dong at one point with the switch wires connected, then when I disconnected the switch wires it still went ding dong when I attached the wires. ACK!

Any help much appreciated, jessica alexander.
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Old 03-05-01, 08:05 PM
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Can you identify the color of the wires that are attached to the transformer, (although all wires may be similiar if everything is using a telephone wire) and can you find those same wires are the door chime ? Also how many wire cables are at the door chime (telephone cables or whatever is used) ? Do you remember which 4 wires went to the old unit ? I know the new one has 3, but just remember which are the old 4.

The new unit are the conenctions labelled, if so tell the labels on the 3 possible connections. I may use the labels when I have a clear enough picture to try to tell you what to connect.

What was the reason for replacing the old one ?

The 4 wires that went to the old unit, and the old unit itself, if there were labels on the old unit...
Label each of the 4 wires that was on old unit, call it wire 1 , 2, 3, 4 and leave those labels until we are finished figuring this out, if you remember which wire went where on the old unit tell me (if the old unit was labelled in any way) which wire went to which label connection on the old unit ? also tell me which of the 4 wires are from the same cable.

Even though the front door you say has 4 wires, it still may only be using 2 of the wires, as the push button conenctor will likely have a 2 wire connection, unless it is an illuminated button ?
Old 03-06-01, 05:13 AM
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Thhe old unit had all wires attached except one yellow telephone wire. I connected the yellow wire and the unit worked but emitted an annoying buzz, leading me to think the unit was faulty.

The old unit's 4 leads were labelled 0,1,2, and 3. None of the wires are or were labelled. The new unit's leads are labelled front, rear and trans.

The wiring goes like this:

transformer - black/red telephone and green/yellow telephone
front door - same as above, button no longer illuminated as I replaced it.
rear door - chunky black and chunky red
doorbell unit - 2 sets of telephone wires - black,red,yellow green, black, red, yellow,green
as well as a chunky black and a chunky red.

Thanks for your help, jessica alexander
Old 03-06-01, 05:44 AM
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there is a diagram on this site that should give you the way to wire it.

If all the wires come to a common point - the door chime then we are in business. But we must know which wires come from which door botton(front or back) and which comes from the transformer. Changes are if there is 3 telephone type cables there , one is from the front door, one from the back door and one from the transformer. We know that one of the 2 transformer leads connect to the connection labelled trans on the new unit. The other lead from the transformer goes in one lead of going to the front door button and one lead going to the back door button, the 2nd wire from the front door button goes to the connection labelled front, and the 2nd lead from the back door button goes to the connection labelled back on the new unit.

Now to identify the wires. Now you said that the rear door is on the chunky black and chunky red, if you are certain that is correct then remember that. Now the other 2 wires.
Now one cable is likely from the front button and one from from the transformer ?

We know that the transformer is on black/red for one lead and green/yellow as the other lead as you stated at the transformer. But which of the remaining 2 telephone cables at the new unit is the transformer and which one the front door. If you replaced the front door button then you should know the color of the wires that were connected to it, and that it was indeed a telephone like wire.

So now here is the wiring senerio...
one wire from the back door button (chunky black and clunky red as you stated) put one of those wires on the connection labeled back (or rear) of the new unit.

Now the remainding wires , now before we deal with the front door bell, lets find the transformer wire pick one of the remainding cables and connect the black/red to the unit labelled trans, and the green/yellow to the 2nd wire going the back door button - now try the back door button, does it work, if it does weknow that we got the correct transformer wire, if it doesn't then disconnect that wire and try the other wire cable and connect the black/red of that one to the unit were labelled trans and the green/yellow to the 2nd wire going to the back door button , try the back door, one of these combinations should work.

Now we should only have the front door button to deal with, now if you remember the color of wires that were used, one wire goes to the conenction labelled front on the unit and the other wire goes to the green/yellow transformer wire (the same as the 2nd wire fromback door button).

Let me know if it worked.
Old 03-06-01, 12:03 PM
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I think I understand where my problems are coming from. Judging from the diagram, my chime is wired through the unit rather than the transformer going to the front door switch. Which might explain why I got "ding dong" with both switches disconnected, the transformer is making the complete ciruit on it's own (?).

I will try the rest and get back to you.

Thanks again, jessica alexander
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