Doorbell Wiring for a Capable Amateur

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Old 05-04-14, 03:28 PM
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Doorbell Wiring for a Capable Amateur

Hi,

I had my kitchen remodeled a while back and as part of that we asked the electrician to move the doorbell. When it came time to put it in its new location, he told me it was broken. So we took our time thinking about what sort of sound we want for the new one and have since decided and purchased a NuTone LA302WH wired door chime. Now I need to figure out how to put this one in and, although my electrical skills are basic, I understand the fundamentals of circuits and such and have done some simple wiring before.

Here's the issue. The doorbell is a two-tone ringer. The wiring schematic illustrates two lines going to the transformer, but I have three lines that the electrician labeled as going to the transformer. I don't know where the transformer is or what it looks like. I have confirmed that there is continuity between each possible pairing of the three lines going to the transformer. When the circuit has power, or at least when I think it has power, I cannot find a pairing between the three transformer wires which has current.

The installation instructions say to use a specific transformer. Is that generally required or are they just trying to get me to spend more?

Any help locating the transformer would also be much appreciated.

I'd rather not pay a few hundred to bring back the electrician to finish this job if I can do this myself, but I'm at a point where it's starting to look like I need someone with some good detective skills.

Thanks for any help that might come my way.
Sean
 
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Old 05-04-14, 03:40 PM
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but I have three lines that the electrician labeled as going to the transformer
Common, front door, back door assuming you mean wires not cables.
The installation instructions say to use a specific transformer. Is that generally required
Not if it is electromechanical as are most chimes but if it is electronic then yes.

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Old 05-04-14, 03:55 PM
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Thank you for the reply, Ray.

Confirmed, I mean wires. This was a point of confusion for me, because the instructions for the new chime illustrate a line going from both the front and side doorbells to separate connections on the chime, but their connection to the transformer is through a single line.

I assume the common then needs to be the line that goes directly to the chime. Can you advise how to determine which is the common?

Confirmed, this is an electromagnetic chime.

Thank you
 
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Old 05-04-14, 04:07 PM
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Two of the wires when measured with a multimeter will show ~0 volts when measured with the wires to the door chime buttons twisted* together at each of the buttons. The third wire should measure ~16-17 volts to each of those two wires. The third wire is common.

*Be sure to untwist the button wires before hooking up the chime.
 
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Old 05-04-14, 04:14 PM
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That is what I was expecting, as well, which is why I was confused by the fact that no combination of two between the three possible choices reads any current, just continuity. That tells me either there is a break somewhere along the line or the transformer is not getting power.

Is there a common-sense way to find the transformer that I'm missing? I don't see anything obvious by my breaker box. All the breakers appear to be on.

Btw, for some reason I hadn't seen the schematic before replying the last time. It helps. Thank you
 
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Old 05-04-14, 04:22 PM
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You did have the buttons held down or shorted when testing didn't you?
Is there a common-sense way to find the transformer that I'm missing?
No.Common places are on the Jbox for an attic light, near the air handler in the attic or sometimes behind the chime (not there or you would have seen it). Call the electrician and ask where he put it.
 
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Old 05-04-14, 04:29 PM
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You did have the buttons held down or shorted when testing didn't you?

Read more: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/ne...#ixzz30mwMJKy5
No, none of the buttons are connected to the transformer. So I tested by holding the multimeter between two of the three wires coming from the transformer, alternating combinations of wires as well as which in a given pair might be the hot vs. cold. No combination reads anything more than continuity.

It sounds like I need to give the electrician a call and see if he can better explain to me the way he left things.

Thank you for your help. Please let me know if anything else comes to mind.
Sean
 
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Old 05-04-14, 05:33 PM
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If the buttons aren't wired to the transformer than the test won't work. If you look at the diagram you have two wires from the transformer. One wire is connected to both buttons. The other is your common.
 
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Old 05-04-14, 06:21 PM
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Not to be too amateurish (hopefully), but if the power source for the doorbell circuit is the transformer, shouldn't I be able to see a current coming from the transformer if I complete the circuit back to the transformer using the multimeter?

Thank you for the guidance.
 
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Old 05-04-14, 07:48 PM
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shouldn't I be able to see a current coming from the transformer
But without the buttons being closed you are not measuring both sides of the transformer at the chime.
.
With the buttons not closed there is no connection for the transformer to the other two wires at the chime.

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