An extra doorbell ringer.

Page 1 of 2  
My office is in the basement. Whenever someone rings the doorbell, I cannot hear it. The electrical converter box for the ringer is in the basement under my breaker panel. There are only two brown wires connected to the converter box. Can I hook up a ringer to that converter box somehow so that the doorbell rings in the basement as well?
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That's a transformer, likely 24 volt. Yes, you should be able to add a bell in the basement; take two wires from it and connect those two from the bell to the same two posts on the transformer where the brown wires are now (keep the brown ones in place)...so you wind up with two wires on each post. Since it's direct current, doesn't matter which wire goes on which post. Use a small bell/chime ...a big one could overload the transformer when both upstairs and down ring.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sounds like someone's a little confused...
Minor point: the output from the transformer is alternating current, not direct. This is why polarity doesn't matter.
Major point: if you connect a bell as described below, it will ring all the time! This is because it'll be fed directly by the transformer, without the doorbell button being in the circuit to interrupt the power.
To avoid this problem, the new bell/chime must be connected to a point in the circuit that is *after* the button. Best approach, although possibly difficult to get the wire to the right place, is to parallel the new bell/chime directly across the old one.
One other possibility, I don't know exactly what they're called but they make wireless things to do this. You install a little transmitter inside the existing bell/chime, and there's a wireless receiver that plugs into any AC outlet. Much easier to set up!
EL

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
on 8/21/2007 1:02 PM Eric said the following:

I'm the OP: This is what I was wondering about. Are the two wires to the converter a complete circuit as they are connected now, or do the two wires only complete the circuit when the door bell is pressed? What I can tell you is that the two wires come out of a brown cable that has three wires. The three wires are white, red, and one that looks grey and black striped ( it could be another color than grey, but looks grey). The red is not used and is wrapped around the cable. If it is not a complete circuit as is, could a ringer be tapped into one of the wires in series, so that when the doorbell is pressed to complete the circuit, it has to go through the second ringer to complete the circuit?

--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
on 8/21/2007 1:33 PM willshak said the following:

I answered my own question. Using a multimeter set at AC, I get 19.9 volts across the two terminals, so it completes a circuit as it is now.

--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Somewhere else it has to be a complete circuit. If you have a simple bell type it will be something like:
|--------switch-----| Transformer | |--------bell---------|
To add another bell you need to find where they are connected
|--------switch---| Transformer | |-------Bell 1 ----| |-------Bell 2 ----|
I am thinking that the wires are connected at the present bell location.
Some chimes do not connect in series. The transformer connects directly to terminals on the chimes and the switch connects to another set of terminals on the chimes. I have one like that. Pressing the door switch gets a motor in the chimes running and it continues through the cycle by itself.
Fortunately my chimes has a set of termials for a second bell.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Rich256 wrote:

Quote from OP: "What I can tell you is that the two wires come out of a brown cable that has three wires. The three wires are white, red, and one that looks grey and black striped ( it could be another color than grey, but looks grey). The red is not used..."
That may be the clue. If the 3-wire cable goes directly to the bell, it would be possible to use the 3rd wire to connect a remote bell at the transformer location.
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

First have to know more about you present bell. What type is your present bell? One that has just a "Ding - Dong" or a series of notes?. Look at the wires to your present bell. I think that same three wire cable may end there and that third wire is probably tied back there as well. Also note if there is another cable coming in from the door switch. Do you have both front and rear switchs? If so there would be two cables coming in.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
on 8/21/2007 4:05 PM Rich256 said the following:

OP>: There is only one ringer on the wall next to the front door. It is a simple ding-dong ringer. There are no other door buttons in the back of the house or any other door. Looking in the ringer, the two wires mentioned previously are connected to the ringer. The red wire is not connected and is wrapped around the brown cable.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

AH SO. How does the outside button connect to the ringer?
Some how pressing the button has to complete a circuit through the two wires from the transformer to the coils of the plungers. Like the diagram I tried to draw..
So any n
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

The thing is that one of the two wires connected to the bell now goes to the button. The other one goes to the transformer in the basement.
Either that, which is the way mine was, or they all go to the basement and there is another pair of wires from the button to the basement.
Figure out which wire is which and connect the second bell to the two connections on the first bell. If your house is like mine, you can use the unused red wire to go from the bell (the screw that is connected to the button) to the basement bell.
And the other wire to the first bell already runs to the basement. You can use that for the second wire to the new bell.
I had the same problem you did and first go a little bell with a circle at the top and a clapper at the side. It worked well enough that I knew someone was there, and the main floor ding dong also worked. Years later Home Depot had 75% off a nicer ding dong than the one I had, so I put the new one on the first floor and moved the old one to the basement. Then neither rang! So I had to go to the next bigger transformer, which is an inconvenience, but not impossible. Althought in your case it might mean taking the cover off the fuse box, which is also possible but requires extra safety things we'd have to go over.
That was fine but then came the intennet, and I needed a bell on the second floor. No wires already run and no easy way to run wires. So I used my mother's old wireless doorbell, but without batteries.
I took the 18 volt transformer, put a little diode in the circuit to make 9 volts DC (ripple doesn't matter) and ran parallel to the wires on the downstairs bell to the 9 volt battery conector of the wireless push button. This means when somone pushes the front door button, the wirelss button is activated. Oh, yeah, I soldered a little wire to short out the wireless pushbutton button, so that switch is always closed. Then I plugged in the receiver in the 2nd floor hall and everything works fine. No batteries to worry about.
I paid 3 dollars iirc from Sunset House for this wireless one 18 years ago.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 21 Aug 2007 19:47:31 +0000, Speedy Jim wrote:

I might try this since it is simple:
Find a low impedance buzzer at the hardware store.
Detach one lead from the transformer and then wire buzzer in series between transformer and lead you disconnected. When doorbell switch is activated, current should then flow through buzzer through the switch to complete the circuit and ring the upstairs doorbell. Buzzer should ring in basement.
One problem with this is if either buzzer or doorbell become defective, neither will work.
To avoid this, wiring both bells in parallel after the switch would be best but this means you have to add most likely additional wires.
I'd opt for the buzzer in series.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

May not be enough voltage to drive two in series.
One of the Transformer wires must go to the switch. Possible at the old ringer, to connect that third unused wire to the wire from other side of the switch. Then the other end of that wire to a new ringer and then the other wire from the new ringer to the side of the transfomer that goes to the old ringer. Difficult to explain without a diagram but that would end up with two ringers in parallel driven by a single switch.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Measure it with a multimeter while someone holds the button down, its only 16 or 24 volts AC. If it goes hot while the button is down then that is your place to connect the trigger terminals for the new electronic bell or just any AC bell.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

That's good. That way he'll always be ready.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
curmudgeon wrote:

Wrong!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
willshak wrote:

The transformer (converter) provides low voltage Alternating Current (typically 16V) to the bell. If those are the only wires accessible, you can't simply connect a second bell.
If running more wires isn't an option, you could purchase a remote current sensing device made just for doorbell use or replace the existing bell button with an RF type with remotes. Or, replace the existing bell with something louder, etc.
How much are you willing to spend in $ and/or effort?
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I just googled "wireless doorbell". The first hit was on Amazon.com, selling a wireless doorbell with 1 remote (button) and 2 chimes for $15. Gonna be difficult to beat that price and simplicity. No wires, you just attach the battery-powered button outside, and plug in the indoor unit(s).
I have had a wireless doorbell in my house for about a year now, still on the original battery for the button.
Jerry
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
on 8/21/2007 6:05 PM Jerry said the following:

Thanks, but I don't want to have to rely on batteries to add an extra ringer to what I have already have. I have batteries ( coin type) in my garage door opener and they have failed me too often. If I can't hardwire it, then I would like to have a wireless remote ringer that operates on the AC power I already have at the button and ringer.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Wireless devices add unreliability, and batteries AREN'T the only reason. It could work OK, or could be much more trouble than it's worth.
I know someone who had a wireless system and got rid of it quickly because of the excessive false alarms.
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.laughingsquid.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.