Another chime box / Nest Hello question

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Old 01-26-19, 09:00 PM
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Another chime box / Nest Hello question

Very funny that someone else is recently having a similar issue... I bought a Nest Hello for the front door & one for the back door. My chime box is ancient too, but it has been working for both doors. There are 4 terminals (see photo) but none are labeled. After looking around the internet I figured out that one should be the front door, one the back door, one the transformer and the fourth one might be from a third door that existed before the house was remodeled.

I unhooked each wire one by one & tested the two doorbells, assuming when the front doorbell didnít ring that terminal was the front door, etc. and the wire whose removal resulted in both doorbells not ringing would be the transformer. However it didnít work that way. When the 3rd wire was removed both doorbells still worked, and when each of the other three was removed both doorbells were silent... so Iím stumped. Any thoughts?

Or should I just buy & hook up a new chime box?

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Last edited by PJmax; 02-02-19 at 09:55 AM. Reason: enlarged/enhanced picture
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Old 01-27-19, 10:36 AM
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That's an old Rittenhouse unit. Possibly using a 24v transformer. Does that play a tune when the front or back button is pushed or is it one chime for the front and two for the rear ?

The transformer may not be large enough to run two wifi doorbells.
 
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Old 01-27-19, 10:55 AM
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Thanks

Thanks for the reply! It plays two chimes when the front door is rang & one for the back door. So maybe best bet is buy a new chime box?
 
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Old 01-27-19, 11:50 AM
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Just replacing the chime may not be the answer if we don't know what the wires are.
Do you have a voltmeter ? We can identify what you have.
 
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Old 02-02-19, 08:27 AM
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Voltmeter

Hi Pete - Thanks again for your replies, I’ve been tied up this week so couldn’t get back to the work at hand. I have a voltmeter (GE Digital Multimeter GE2524). So I will show my ignorance now, I know how to test an outlet or light switch but not sure how to test a doorbell chime box with 4 screw terminals. Can’t seem to figure it out or find it on the internet. Can you tell me the next step? Do I need to pull out the chime box?

Thanks,
Andy
 
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Old 02-02-19, 09:56 AM
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I enlarged your picture to get a better view. It looks like there are six numbered/lettered screw terminals. Can you tell us what they are labeled as from left to right.
 
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Old 02-02-19, 10:40 AM
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They’re actually vertical, but they are either not labeled or the white paint is covering the labels, but either way I can’t read it. Can I do it by trial & error?
 
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Old 02-02-19, 10:53 AM
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Is that a four wire cable..... red, black, white and green or blue ?
If yes..... do you know where your transformer is ? There will be a splice there.
 
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Old 02-02-19, 12:53 PM
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It is 4 wires, can’t tell the colors well but I believe you’re accurate on the colors. Where would the transformer be, behind the chime box?
 
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Old 02-02-19, 01:15 PM
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Actually colors from top to bottom are red, purple, gold, white.
I assume that’s not helpful.
 
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Old 02-02-19, 01:20 PM
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The transformer would be attached to a pull chain light in the attic or basement or attached to the side of the electrical panel or anywhere else it could be buried.

While you're playing with the wiring.... don't short them out or you will definitely need to find the transformer.
In order to test the wires.... you need to identify what should be the hot pair. Find two wires that have 14-24vAC on them.ID the color or label them. Now check from one of those wires to the other two with the front door button held in. If nothing....try the other hot wire to either of the two. If you have a rear button.... do the same with the rear button.
 
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Old 02-02-19, 02:31 PM
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This is under the electric box, if itís the transformer then did we just answer that the red & white wiresattached to the terminals in the chime box are the transformer wires? Iím waiting for my son to come home so we can test the voltage as you suggested.
 
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Old 02-02-19, 03:23 PM
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Good find. That looks to be the transformer. I don't see any splices around it which mean there is power and only wiring for one door at the chime.

Are you sure both doors are wired ? If so.... there may be more wires behind the chime unit.
 
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Old 02-02-19, 04:02 PM
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Yep definitely both doorbells work. I tested the wires as you said but unfortunately got nothing, got a sporadic reading here & there as I was testing but shot right back to zero. So what do you think next? By the way I’ll need to send you something after this!
 
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Old 02-03-19, 07:03 AM
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Investigated further

Hi Pete, you may have gotten tired of this thread by now, which I totally understand, but I dug deeper & finally decided to take the chime box off the wall, which I think helps understand it better. Four wires are coming in from the wall, so I guess youíre right that it was spliced. I put a diagram together, attached (also photo of the back).

So I think I have the flow figured out, just not what it means I should do... any last advice? I probably should have done this in the first place, sorry for wasting your time.

Thanks,
Andy
 
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Old 02-03-19, 10:57 AM
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I never get tired of a challenge. With the cold snap.... the heating forum has been under high demand.

Thanks for the pics. They don't help. There are still only four wires out of the wall.

Here's our issue. We are working with two wires from the transformer, and two wires from the front door button and two wires from the rear door button but there are only four wires at the chime unit..... not the six that are in use. That's how I know there are splices somewhere.

That may be fine. I'm kind of surprised with four wires there that you can't located always live power. No problem. We really don't need it. Do this...... make sure all four wires are hanging free. Go to front door and short those two wires together. Now check at the four wires for your transformer voltage. Once found.... ID those two wires.

Open the front button wires and short the rear door wires. Find the two that have power. You should find that the front and rear share a common wire.
 
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