Doorbell works in winter, not in summer

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  #1  
Old 07-16-15, 05:29 PM
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Unhappy Doorbell works in winter, not in summer

I have a strange situation. When we had our house built, we put in a Brone/NuTone C500 Door Chime. The house was completed in the winter. Ever since the house was built, we have had this annoying problem, although we laugh it off, saying we can tell it's winter, the doorbell works.

In summer, it will either:

1) Buzz
2) Ring incoherently (like the chimes were drunk) (random notes at varying speeds/orders)

After 10+ years, the "novelty" has worn off. The rear door button works all year long. The front, only in winter. I took off the front door button today and touched the wires together, resulting in only a buzz. (I did get a random single ding when I was cutting back and stripping the wires to get "fresh" metal exposed.)

Any thoughts as to what might be causing this? The chimes, themselves, are located in the dead center of the house. (Accessing them, however is not easy, since they are located on the wall above the stairs leading to/from the basement.)

Thanks in advance for any insight you can give! :-)
 
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Old 07-16-15, 05:40 PM
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How many different notes should be played when the front button is pushed?

How many notes including repeats should be played when the front button is pushed?

Seems like a mechanical problem in the chime unit. For two notes there is a single plungerthat is pulled to hit one chime and when released it bounces up and hits the other chime. Parts could be swollen with humidity or expanded with temperature to not move as needed.
 
  #3  
Old 07-16-15, 05:41 PM
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The rear door button works all year long.
Swap the back and front wires on the chime. If you now get the correct front action when the rear button is pressed you know it is probably the wiring to the front button. If the front action still works wrong it is probably the chime.
 
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Old 07-16-15, 05:53 PM
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Thanks Ray. That is on my agenda to try, after reading through other messages here. I just have to get the big "Little Giant" in the house and set up on the steps, hehehe. Easier said than done.
 
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Old 07-16-15, 06:00 PM
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It plays 8 notes and there are 4 resonating tubes.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]53439[/ATTACH]

Since it is seasonal, it seems like it wouldn't be mechanical. That's why I took the button apart today to see if bypassing it would do the trick, since that is the most exposed to the changes in weather, but no dice. The seasonal factor just throws me for a loop, since the interior of the house is maintained at constant temps. Thought perhaps there was some wood "pinching" the wires with changes in humidity/temps, but how that would result in the symptoms, I don't know.
 
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Old 07-17-15, 01:40 PM
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Both buttons work

Switching the button wires didn't fix the problem, so the issue is with the unit. Strange, though, that is is so seasonal.
 
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Old 07-17-15, 02:12 PM
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Clean the plungers with cigarette lighter fluid. Do not use oil or WD40 just lighter fluid. Reassemble and test.
 
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Old 07-19-15, 11:17 AM
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After an initial spraying of contact cleaner into the plunger cylinders, there was no improvement. I then proceeded to take the entire board out of the frame, took apart board, removed the plungers and springs, sprayed each with cleaner, and then replaced everything. Only after that, did everything work as it is supposed to. I think it was a combo of cleaning and the disassembly/reassembly.


Thanks again for everyone's insight. :-)
 
  #9  
Old 07-19-15, 11:41 AM
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Glad you got it. Thanks for letting us know. This is a common problem. Geese from the air actually builds up on them. The seasonal aspect though is still a puzzler and why the solution wasn't first mentioned.
 
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Old 07-20-15, 10:14 AM
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Geese from the air actually builds up on them
Strange, we have more of a geese problem here in the winter.
 
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