Doorbell humming


Recently my doorbell stopped working. I didn't really care since we have a little one who naps, so the lack of neighbor kids ringing the bell was just find by me. However, now that I'm trying to replace it I have a problem. Here's what I've tried:
1) The chime was 'humming' so I figured it was the doorbell button got stuck or something. Took off the old one and it looked like spiders have setup shop. I replaced the doorbell button, but still had the humming coming from the chime.
2) Let's replace the chime? I tried a new chime (same basic model as the old one) and this time took the button off to just try connecting/ disconnecting the wires. I only have one doorbell button so I have only 2 wires coming out. No matter how I connect it (front to red, trans to white or vice versa) the doorbell 'rings' but doesn't unring and that's where the humming is coming from.
3) Put the button back. Okay, maybe the taking the button off wasn't the right idea so I put that back, but after following the same steps with wiring as before I still get the same problem regardless if I press the button or not.
I assume that I have power to the bell since it actually 'rings' when I touch the wires to the trans/front connections, but I'm not sure why it's not 'off' until I hit the doorbell. It would seem that my problem would be the other way around if I had some bad wires. I've also tried to trace the wiring in the basement with little luck to see where it starts and stops since it's behind some drywall.
Any suggestions?
Thanks!!
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Chris wrote:

The two wires that go to the button are shorted together somewhere, so the bell thinks the button is being held in. Your mission:find where. Do you recall what was going on over there around the time the doorbell began acting up? Perhaps a nail/screw/staple driven into the wall hit the hidden wires.
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Bryce wrote:

Likely the case. If you have access to the doorbell transformer, often in the attic, follow the small wires from the transformer. They're often very casually routed, laying on the ceiling rafters, etc. Often boards are laid across rafters (for storage or walkabout access) and these boards, or other objects) can crush the doorbell wires together, creating a short which will cause the behavior OP describes. or the wires are stapled here and there which can also cause them to short.
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wrote:

Or mice
http://i7.tinypic.com/2ex6kah.jpg
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or a doorbell wire getting pinched by a utility line, any conductive one, like copper water line, or gas line
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Thanks for the quick reply to all of you - I'll start poking around. We did do some work on the basement a while back (that's where the wires run through), but I can't think if things started happening around then or not (I think I would have noticed), however I could imagine some of the work that was done may have messed with the wires. I do think that my thermostat is on the same set of wires and it appears to be working fine so I'll start working from the button to the chime. Thanks!
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I once had the same issue. They had run the DB wire between the brickmolding and door frame. Either it was not a prehung door of the brickmold was replaced at some point. No hole for wire in brickmold. just pressed and squeezed around behind it. It shorted.
To verify you have a short, disco wires at DB button. Disco same colored wires at DB. Put a circut tester on the two wire ends. You should get nothing. If you get an on indicator, it's hunt for the short time.
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Thanks for the quick reply to all of you - I'll start poking around. We did do some work on the basement a while back (that's where the wires run through), but I can't think if things started happening around then or not (I think I would have noticed), however I could imagine some of the work that was done may have messed with the wires. I do think that my thermostat is on the same set of wires and it appears to be working fine so I'll start working from the button to the chime. Thanks!
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Chris wrote:

Unless you are really, really curious, it may be less labor to just replace the run, if you have decent access to fish new wire. On the chime side, if it is on an interior wall, you can probably use the old wire as a pull string. On the door side, usually harder, since it is likely buried in door frame, or in an insulated wall. If you can pull inside casing and drill a tiny hole through bottom plate of wall and decking in the crack, you may have a shot. But try tugging on the wire where button attaches- I have had them loose enough to use as a pull string on that end too.
But having said all that- did you try disconnecting the wire and just shorting the screws at the chime, to see if problem goes away?
-- aem sends...
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What's the song it's humming?
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I had a customer with that kind of problem last year. It turned out that the wires were shorted to the aluminum siding at the doorbell button. When I cleared that the problem went away.
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1) And if not the above, that is wires to the push button near the door shorted or both touching something metal?
2) Check the button itself they do sometimes corrode and stick 'in' in the on or making contact condition. Happened at my son in laws one time, he, being a non-technical type, ignored it and in time it burnt out both the chime and the transformer! Fortunately I had used 'spares' otherwise it would have cost them for new.
3) Another cause could be the (incorrect) use of a push button that has a small light inside it! When the button is pushed the chime or bell will 'ring'. But after the push button is released the small lamp continues to pass sufficient current that to some extent the doorbell/ chime tries to stay partially operated! And may well hum! Solution snip out the lamp or go to using a non lighted push button that provides no circuit in the off or unpushed state.
Pleas let us know the outcome so we all learn something!
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