Rant against door buzzer repairmen


Old 03-04-17, 12:23 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 29
Rant against door buzzer repairmen

I just need to vent. I opened the wallplate of the door buzzer and door unlock of my condo to replace the button and wallplate as they were caked in old, nasty looking paint. All parts were unidentifiable generic and the buzzer was wired with wire the thickness of spider webbing and had no support. Merely pulling out the housing was enough to break the wires. One end appeared to be superglued to the buzzer. I had no luck soldering this back on.
No one will work on it. The one electrician I got to show up, quickly walked off after refusing to work on it. I have talked to 10 people and all demand the whole building get upgraded. I own ONE of 8 units and can't make that decision and if the management is too cheap to repair my unit, they won't authorize a whole building upgrade.
Every one of the 10 I had contact with not only refused to repair the unit (even if I brought it to them to save the trouble of a trip) they also refused to discuss how a typical system worked.
I had to figure everything out on my own. This building uses a 3 wire system: red, white and green. The red and white complete a circuit to the button in the apt to unlock the door. The red and green complete a circuit with the entrance doorbell to activate the buzzer so you know you have a guest.
All claimed I must know the exact model and manufacturer to obtain parts and all refused to sell me the in unit boxes of other systems claiming it would be unsafe and incompatible. I have found this to be a lie. As long as they worked off a similar voltage, any unit box would do. Obviously, I couldn't use voice or video if the unit had it, but it would have still had a compatible buzzer and button.
It was also impossible to replace the wallplate as it's generic and similar dimensions do not exist. Even the electrical box is of an odd size no longer sold so wallplates with pre-drilled screwholes will not match up. Custom wallplates would cost $140 and trying to drill the holes myself didn't work out. Local machine shops snickered so I abandoned that route.
The solution I came up with is that I'm going to replace the electrical box with a standard single gang outlet box. The Viking Door Button Panel will fit to the gang box nicely.
The other piece of the puzzle is the buzzer. Home Depot online sells 3 different enclosed buzzers that will work off the 16 volts typically found in a doorbell/buzzer system. Their descriptions state they are meant to replace aging buzzers. They will also fit nicely into the outlet box. I'm actually going to try a phone buzzer I found on Ebay first as I suspect it will have a pleasant tone. These buzzers are so loud that I'm not the least bit concerned that the Viking Panel has no acoustic holes. It shouldn't be a problem.
Another solution would have been to mount a door chime on the wall and run the red (pigtailed to attach both to the button and door chime) and green to it. I have this idea hooked up temporarily while I wait for the parts and it's working fine. I would prefer not to mount something else on the wall but it's nice to know it's an option. The ones you can customize with your own mp3 ringtones are especially cool.
I completely understand the viewpoint that the system should be upgraded but that doesn't make it right to dump on me, refuse to help, and even lie to try and force me into a lawsuit with the management company to force an upgrade. You went for the big sale, trampled on me and proved yourselves dishonest. You end up with nothing.
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Old 03-04-17, 02:06 PM
PJmax's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 45,542
Rants are not allowed in the help forums so I moved you to here.... the new rant forum.

I work on specialized switching systems and I probably wouldn't want to work on your system either. I've seen way too much crappy work.

We get people here asking for help with their building systems. It's almost impossible to help without being there.

management is too cheap to repair my unit, they won't authorize a whole building upgrade.
You should be ranting to them.
Old 03-04-17, 02:30 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 29
It had more to offer than just the rant. It explained how a typical buzzer/door unlock system works and how to find and replace the parts. I don't blame you or them for not wanting to work on the system but they deserved my complaints. All refused even elementary discussion of how such a system works and lied about parts. The parts are common and totally not specific to individual systems and not dangerous to interchange. It wasn't 1 or 2, I literally called or emailed 10 different people and the emails included links to pics so they could see every part and included an explanation of how they were connected when I opened it, and what voltage the lines tested at. It was an easy fix for anyone who had worked on a system or two and these people were all listed as buzzer repairman.

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