Door bell/intercom problems?

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Old 03-09-03, 05:26 AM
C
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Question Door bell/intercom problems?

Hi,
I had written this problem in the Electrical fourum,they suggested I try here.
I recently bought a 3 family home in Mass.Recently a tennant called and said that the door bell doesn't work.I went to look at it,and found a small intercom type unit (greystone brand?).
It has three buttons for door bells,and a small speaker too.
I opened it up and checked for loose or broken wires it looked fine.I sprayed Quick Drying contact cleaner on the buttons,etc.It still doesn't work.I know the 2nd and 3rd floor bells aren't working,I am not sure about the 1st floor yet...The speaker did seem to work though.
The tennant said it seemed to stop working around the time the entry door was replaced prior to me buying the house.
I wondered if there is a simple way for me to test to see if its just the outside unit,or more involved.If its just replacing the unit,I could probably do that fine,just reconnect the wires the same.
Or could it be in the wires?
Someone suggested changing to wireless door chimes to replace it.Can yo do this with three floors together,or would the signal be confused and go to the wrong floor?
Any help on this would be apreciated.thanks
 
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Old 03-09-03, 09:25 AM
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I can't help much with the existing unit. I know what you're talking about, just a simple door entry unit. But short of having someone come out and work on it, I don't think I could be much help.

I can answer your question about wireless door chimes though. I've used these quite a few times. They can be setup for different channels. So, basically, you match your push-button to the same channel as the chime you want it to operate.

You could try some simple continuity tests on the existing wires to see if maybe one or more of them is broken. Also, if none of the chimes are working, it sounds like the supply voltage is missing. Now, this is where I'm no help, I have no idea how those things are powered, but a regular door bell has a transformer wired in at the chime. Now, since you have 3 chimes, there's no telling where your supply is. That's why I would say have a electrician take a look at it. I would even say try an access company or alarm company that does access systems. Maybe they could answer some questions about the system if nothing else.

Good luck!
 
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Old 03-09-03, 01:48 PM
C
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Question Wireless Door Bell...

Hi,
I like the simple idea of replacing the problem system with wireless door bells.This is something I can do myself! :-)
When I Remove the old unit,can I just cut the old bell/speaker wires flush,so they aren't in the way?Theres no safety issue is there?Cut and wrap with tape...??
Also I saw a unit today (wireless) it has 128 channels.Any recomendation on setting these?Are say channel 1,2,3 to close in frequency to use?Should I use different settimgs?Thanks
 
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Old 03-09-03, 04:57 PM
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There's only 16-20VAC and very low amperage in door bells (this system may be different though.) I would recommend at least wrapping with tape, if not even capping with twist-on wire caps. Besides, you don't want to cut them off completely, what if you decide you want to get the system working later? The wires are already there, may as well leave them.

It wouldn't hurt to spread out your channels a bit, but probably not an issue either. Of course, the main thing is to make sure you test them. Also, I would recommend getting the plug-in type chimes - you don't want to be changing batteries on them all the time. Of course, you will have to change batteries on the push-buttons from time to time, but at least with them you don't have to enter the residence.

Good luck!
 
  #5  
Old 03-10-03, 06:43 AM
Sparksone42
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If you're having a problem with this system it is probably going to be much cheaper to replace it with a wireless doorbell. The last one I did that was attached to an intercom was very costly to replace. It's usually not the unit at the door that goes bad, it's the master unit that takes the big dive. I think the last one I purchased was about $200.00 my cost.
 
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