Doorbell always uses electricity!

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Wired doorbells have a transformer which is always on and always using electricity. This is yet one more thing in the house which does this like TV, microwave, remote control things, things with clocks, plug-in phones, etc.
These things add up...
I replaced/rewired my switch so the transformer is only on when the doorbell button is pressed! Thus the transformer is off most of the time now.
I installed a regular electrical box at my front door, ran 14 ga. romex from this box to the doorbell transformer, then got a nice brass blank wall plate, drilled a hole in this plate, then installed a 120V momentary push switch in the plate. Then wired this to switch on the transformer when the button is pressed. Then connected the two wires which were going to the old button so the doorbell would ring as soon as it receives power from the transformer.
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It's probably stamped right on it but I never looked. Any idea how many watts it's uses in it's standby state?
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With the cost of the parts, romex, etc. The break even date is probably some where in the year 2029. You know, third year of the Gonzalez administration. He took over from the Castro administration.
--
Christopher A. Young
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Red Green wrote:

This whole thread is about chasing the "little yellow hole in the snow." It's trivial.
When the bell is not ringing, the current that is measured is largely reactive or imaginary current. It is the current determined by the transformer's magnetizing inductance. The only dissipation is some small core heating and trivial wire losses. The true dissipation is far less than what most are calculating by multiplying measured volts and measured current.
Worry about something important...like preserving the US Constitution.
Boden
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Yellow holes in snow are not trivial.
Watch out where the huskies go and dont you eat that yellow snow. [Frank Zappa]
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Boden wrote:

--
Art

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Congratulations, you've just saved yourself 25 cents a year in electricity. Not to mention it might not be safe if someone is standing on wet pavement and they gey shocked by 120V. You probably spent more in the material than if you let the Xfmr stay on for 20 years. Now how are you going to deal with the TV, fridge, phone, alarm clock, microwave. Wait don't forget VCR/DVD player, cable box, heating system, computer, sprinkler timer,
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On Wed, 19 Nov 2008 18:44:47 -0800 (PST), Mikepier

Geeze, I replaced the transformer powered doorbell in my house 10 years ago with a 15 buck wireless chimer. Couple screws and it's done. Replaced the AAA batteries once in all that time.
--Vic
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Vic Smith wrote:

$15 at 25c/year means you'll recover your costs in 60 years. But the batteries cost, oh, $1.00 every ten years, so that's another six bucks which will take another 12 years to recover. But 12 years means one more set of batteries, which requires another four years. Let's see, now (mumble, mumble, carry-the-three), ah, yes.
Your wireless solution will save you money after a mere 73 years of service. This does not count lost opportunity costs of the original $15.
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wrote:

Do the math.
--Vic
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wrote:

wrong with the original system (cost of transformer, button, chime and wire plus labour to replace)
He might still be saving money.
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Vic Smith wrote:

Doorbells once used carbon-zinc batteries. Their shelf life wasn't good. That explains the change to transformers.
I've tried battery-powered wireless door chimes. I used AA alkalines, which have a much longer shelf life than conventional carbon-zinc. The problem was the current draw of the receivers. A set of batteries would last only a few months, and a lot of visitors might leave frustrated before I realized my chime was out of service.
How about a wired chime using a lithium battery? The battery could outlast a transformer and be cheaper to replace.
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wrote:

Haven't had that problem like that. Just checked to see if it worked, since I don't get a lot of visitors. It works. The receiver uses 2 C's, so I was wrong on that. The pushbutton is unlighted. You can hear the chimes from outside, so you know it's working. But there's a knocker on the door too, just in case. Ending my part in doorbells and knockers discussion. That's all I know. Carry on.
--Vic
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E Z Peaces wrote:

Why use battery-powered chimes (as opposed to transmitters)? My wireless chimes plug into outlets (upstairs and downstairs chimes). Being as they make noise, it's not like precise location is critical. The transmitters use a "N" battery every 3-4 years. You do have to check occasionally to make sure it's still working.
The operating cost (75 cents per year for batteries, and whatever the line draw is) is probably more than a transformer-operated bell but we're way down in the noise range of expense.
Dave
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Dave Garland wrote:

If I went wireless again, I use an outlet-powered receiver. I'd be concerned about its service life and how much power it sucked.
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E Z Peaces wrote:

I've had one in service for at least a decade. It's outlasted several of the button/transmitter units. And a second (upstairs) for 3-4 years. The nameplate current is 50ma (which would be 6W) on one, and about twice that on the other, but I think that must be when actually making noise, as I couldn't measure *any* current drain.
Dave
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You just reminded me of the doorbell at "Neighborhood Bike Works", AKA "The Bike Church". That outfit uses some space at a church.
There is a sign sying, as best as I remember: "Pull brake lever to ring doorbell".
They have a handlebar mounted onto something or other close to the handrail for the stairway for that offbeat entrance into the church complex. The brake lever is connected to a brake cable, that is routed through a small diameter hole in the exterior wall. Apparently, the other end of the brake cable pulls the lever on a bicycle bell that is suitably mounted.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Don Klipstein wrote:

My favorite doorbell buttons:
http://tinyurl.com/yr7e8k
http://tinyurl.com/6a9fwj
TDD
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E Z Peaces wrote:

I don't understand why this is a problem.

Or rechargeables. The precharged NiMH ones seem to hold their charge for a long time.
Ours just emits a strangled sort of buzz; replacing it with a cheap wireless one would be a definite advantage if it weren't for the fact that our friends all know to knock -- anybody who rings the "bell" only wants to convert us to something or sell us something.
--
Cheers,
Bev
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E Z Peaces wrote:

How about a brass door-knocker which needs no electricity from any source?
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