Wired/Wireless Combo Doorbell System?

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Old 06-18-14, 12:08 PM
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Question Wired/Wireless Combo Doorbell System?

My house came with a low-end builder-grade Nutone doorbell system. It has one wired chime by the front door that can't be heard on the 2nd floor or in the basement. I've seen those wireless add-on's at Home Depot, but they look pretty crappy and I don't care to waste one of my electrical outlets using it.

So, any ideas for a replacement? I'd like to get something that's wired and could use the wiring already in place, yet also offer wireless extensions I could put on the other 2 floors.
 
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Old 06-18-14, 12:38 PM
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First, try a larger transformer. You probably have a 16 volt, 10VA. Get a 16 volt, 30 VA and the plungers will strike the chime bars harder, increasing the sound level.

I doubt that you have pre wired low voltage to the second floor and basement, so forget that.

I would probably get some wireless chime and place them where needed. All tuned to the pushbutton frequency. Yes, you will use a few receptacles, but you can get various "cubes" that will actually increase the total receptacle ports.
 
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Old 06-18-14, 02:09 PM
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Most of the time I get called in to wire a basement doorbell or install one in a second floor hall. It's not usually too hard but it can be time consuming and therefore a little costly.

They make a transmitter that connects to your existing chime, at your existing chime location using the standard house wiring. This transmitter transmits a signal to wireless receivers that you put where needed.

Plug-In Extend-A-Chime - RC3200 [Electronics] - Doorbell Kits - Amazon.com
 
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Old 06-22-14, 05:30 PM
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Goldstar, you are correct, I have 16V 10VA transformer. What's interesting is that the transformer is located in the basement. Does this mean that I can just split the cable and add a second chime down there? That'd be an easy solution to the basement problem.

As for the upstairs I guess I could use one of those Extend-A-Chime kits and solve that problem too.

And if I decide to do the larger transformer, do I have to stick with a Nutone branded one, or can I just get any brand?
 
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Old 06-22-14, 07:26 PM
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If just the transformer is in the basement connected to only a two wire cable - then you cannot add a doorbell on at that point. You need access to the buttons. If there is a bunch of wiring around the transformer with several splices then maybe you can add the second chime there.

You can use any transformer. 16-16.5vac.
 
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Old 06-23-14, 06:05 AM
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Just a comment FWIW...Those wireless door chimes are very good if you get the right brand. When I remodeled my kitchen I accidentally buried my wired door chime system. I tried two different wireless systems. Zenith that uses the small 12v battery are very good. I've had mine for over 5 years and have not yet changed the battery. Don't get the type that uses the coin type battery. The only draw back is range due to number of walls it might have to go through.
 
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