Doorbell wiring burnt?

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Old 02-03-19, 07:05 PM
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Doorbell wiring burnt?

Ok, so I just purchased a house. Doorbell wiring was there, but not hooked up. (They were using a battery operated one over the wires). There is red and white wires going out to the button. There is red and white going to the transformer. Then there is 2 red and 2 white at the chime. After looking up my situation on this website, I realize that the 2 whites at the chime should be wire nutted together. And the reds should go to "F" and "T" at the chime. HOWEVER, I tried hooking it up before researching on this website.... and I hooked the 2 whites to "Front" and 2 reds to "Trans" and it worked, but the chime said "dong ding" instead of "ding dong" then I smelled burning plastic.. turned the breaker off immediately, but I fear I was too late.. now it doesn't work.. after wiring it correctly, and turning the breaker back on.... button has no power, chime has no power, transformer has no power.. did I melt my wires? I don't know what to do....
 
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Old 02-03-19, 07:37 PM
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Did you actually check power at transformer with a multimeter?

While it is possible to burn insulation on wire, it will be very rare and it would be impossible to melt copper in the wire as transformer will burn before that.

When the chime is powered all the time, solenoid inside chime overheats and sleeve can melt and cause solenoid to get stuck.
This cause your chime to be inoperable, but normally will not damage anything else.
If the transformer has overheated as well, it may have blown thermal fuse inside.

If you are sure you don't have power coming out of the transformer, start by replacing transformer.
Also check if solenoids (plungers) inside chime moves freely. If it is stuck or hard to move, you need to replace chime as well.
 
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Old 02-03-19, 07:59 PM
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I have my old transformer and old chime, I tried hooking them up with still no luck.. my voltmeter isn't working either for some reason.. left it on, just changed the batteries and still wont turn on, maybe a fuse.. all I have is my no-contact voltage tester..
 
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Old 02-03-19, 08:03 PM
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I just realized the voltage tester only detects 50 to 600 volts, so it wouldn't beep at the 16v transformer... but I've tried swapping transformers and chimes, still wont work
 
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Old 02-03-19, 08:51 PM
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The burning you smelled was the chime unit. Go to the transformer. Make the area dark and briefly short across the screw terminals. You should see a small spark. If you do..... the transformer is ok. If you don't.... it's probably bad.

A basic analog meter would be the best for troubleshooting. They run about $15 at the home improvement stores.
 
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Old 02-03-19, 08:59 PM
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non-contact voltage tester won't work for low voltage unless you have low voltage non-contact tester. Even then, it doesn't work very well in most cases.

Voltmeter circuitltary of a multimeter does not have fuse and does not need one as it is high impedance input.
Does it at least power up?
Are you testing in AC mode or DC mode? Transformer output is AC and should be testing at AC mode with correct volt range.

Also you need to test continuity of the wire. With everything disconnected check if you have a continuity between red and white wires. If you do, that would mean you have a short, possibly from burnt insulation.
But, this is rare as it takes pretty high current to melt insulation and often transformer fuse blows first.

The way you hooked up before, the chime would have been powered all the time (stuck at ding) and when you push doorbell button it shorts transformer output causing no power at the chime (thus making dong sound). As soon as you release the doorbell button, you removed short and the power is restored to the chime and making ding sound.
 
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Old 02-03-19, 09:12 PM
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The OP has said..... the meter does not power up.
 
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Old 02-03-19, 09:26 PM
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I took the chime apart. this is not normal correct?

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Last edited by PJmax; 02-03-19 at 09:42 PM. Reason: added pic from link
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Old 02-03-19, 09:36 PM
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This is the way it should have been wired.. but I was dumb and hooked up the 2 whites and the 2 reds to the chime.. like I said it worked, but rang "dong ding" instead of "ding dong" then I smelled the burnt plastic, turned the breaker off, looked up the correct way to wire it, and then nothing worked...

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Last edited by PJmax; 02-03-19 at 09:40 PM. Reason: added pic from link
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Old 02-03-19, 09:44 PM
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No.... that unit is fried. Throw it away.

For picture posting directly to the board........ How-to-insert-pictures
 
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Old 02-03-19, 09:52 PM
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Yeah i thought so.. but still unsure why my old chime from my old house wouldn't work either when I hooked it up (wired correctly) I swapped the chime and the transformer, in every combination, and couldn't get it to work.. couldn't even get the light on the doorbell button to light up.. which is why I posted here... thinking I melted wires inside my walls somewhere.. I freaking hope not.. idk what I'm gonna do if that's the case..
 
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Old 02-03-19, 09:57 PM
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Rear side of the chime is still good and can be used temporarily or for test purpose.
Just hook up to rear terminal instead of front terminal.
 
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Old 02-03-19, 09:58 PM
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I'm gonna get a new chime and a new transformer tomorrow and hope for the best.. otherwise I'll be trying to run new wires.... what a pain that'll be...
 
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Old 02-03-19, 10:04 PM
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You did not hurt the wires in the wall. The transformer may be ok. The chime is bad.
The transformer is setup so that the wiring in the wall can't be burned.
 
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Old 02-03-19, 10:21 PM
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Idk. When I went back to my old house and grabbed the transformer and chime from there, still nothing worked.. so then I brought both transformers and the 1 good chime back to my old house, couldn't get either transformer to work.. and it was definitely working right before I took it to test at the new house.. so something is shorting out both these transformers.. idk what else it could be besides melted wires in the walls..
 
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Old 02-04-19, 05:09 AM
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You might have a bad button. Use a meter and see if you are getting any voltage off the transformer. You should get about 16 volts AC.
 
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Old 02-04-19, 05:16 AM
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I thought it may be a bad button too.. so I removed it and just touched the two button wires together, tried that at both houses, didnt work at either of them..
 
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Old 02-04-19, 05:22 AM
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Try this to test transformer.

Connect some sort of wire to the chime between front and trans or rear and trans.
Connect this wire directly to the transformer output.
The chime should ring when the power is applied.

Then you know the transformer is working.

Next, connect everything the way it should have been and remove the button. Short the wires behind button together to test. It should ring when you short.

Also, make sure the wire did not break under the wirenut connection you made. The wire sometimes break and there is a deep scoring from peeling insulation.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 07:56 AM
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Problem solved. Dont know what it was. But I purchased a new transformer and new chime. Hooked it all up with speaker wire just to test it. Worked. Connected it to the real wires and worked great. Thanks for the advice
 
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Old 02-05-19, 09:31 AM
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Good job. Sometimes new is just best. Thanks for letting us know.
 
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