Doorbell Question

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I'm not the OP but I learned something from this thread so I'd like to answer.
I don't think I'm stupid but when I was growing up I never had to worry about wiring my Barbie Play House. Since I've grown up I've learned a lot of skills that they never used to teach girls in school (such as running electric fencing, defrosting frozen well pumps, wall repair, lancing an abscessed hoof on a draft horse, helping a ewe give birth, running a tractor, etc.) but I still haven't learned everything about everything yet.
Can you make a fine chocolate torte? Sew a set of drapes? Fix a complete Thanksgiving dinner? We all have different skills that we bring to the newsgroup and mine aren't quite up to snuff with the all the guy stuff yet but that's why I am here: to learn what I still need to know. Today I managed to fix my own malfunctioning doorbell because of the nice link someone provided.
BTW, I did think your answer was sort of amusing. But then I'm used to newsgroup sarcasm and am not unduly alarmed over it. I just wanted to point out that not everyone is just trollin' along...
Eilean
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EileanDonan wrote:

When I was a kid my mother told me something that I have applied to almost every problem I encounter. "If it smells bad, don't eat it."
TDD
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My older sister once advised me, "If it smells like cologne, leave it alone."
::blink blink::
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EileanDonan wrote:

Probably more like "Hai Karate".
TDD
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I too have a battery operated doorbell. There is not now and never was a transformer to supply power. The only problem we have had (not counting the batteries wearing out) is that the doorbell button cannot be ythe kind that lights up. Using one of those, the little lamp in the button acts as if the switch was already pressed. I ended up having to get a lighted button and cuting out the little lamp.
The reason we ended up this way was that the builder had not wired the door postion for a doorbell at all (most people in the neighborhood use wireless bell systems) but we already had a bell that gave us about two dozen tunes that it would play and can be changed with the seaons. It has patriotic themes, Christmas carols, Hail the gang's all here, Saints go marching in, etc. It is about twenty years old now and still chiming along.
Charlie
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The best plan of attack was from the poster who suggested finding a neighbor who has the same or similar house. If this house was built as one of a series in a development, then they usually are wired somewhat similarly and it would give you good places to start looking.
Also, how about where a chime would go. What's there? The battery operated one? Wires behind it? If you can measure voltage between any of the wires, you could then turn off breakers until you find the circuit it is on. That could help locate the area where the transformer might be. If you don't know what the transformer looks like, go to a HD or hardware store and look at one. They are typically fastened directly to some type of electric box. An example would be on the side or top of a single bulb basement light fixture. Also, I'd focus the search at least initially at the locus of where the chime would be and the doorbell button or buttons. They usually don't put the transformer a long way away.
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Charlie wrote:

all of those different chimes. I will keep looking, if I can't get the wired one to work.
Thank you!
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wrote:

with a battery in the push-button and in the chime.
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A little detective work is in order to locate the transformer location. Having both front and back already wired is a good thing--dump the batteries!
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Hi Kate,
I'm an electronic engineer and I've also had lots of experience with house wiring. I've also had nothing but trouble with my door bell for about 30 years. After I retired, I finally got around to fixing it and adding an extension door bell in a room I added on years ago. The job turned out to be even dirtier and more difficult than I thought it would be.
In my case, the problem was that the door bell wire they used in my house was extremely brittle. Every time I would fix it, it would break again, close to the bend or the loop where it screws on to the door- bell button, after a few years of going through the summer heat and winter cold and being used over and over again. Another problem I had was that the transformer was located in the basement ceiling which was sheet rocked over before I bought the house. I don't know how much of that brittle, single-strand wire there is floating around, but that could be one reason someone might have converted your house to a wireless system.
The first thing I would do to fix your doorbell is go up in your attic directly above where the doorbell is, inside your house, and find the wires that are connected to it. There are 3 components to a door bell system: the bell or chime, the outside doorbell button, and the transformer. Once you find the wires above your door bell, in your attic, you will need to follow the wires until you find the transformer and you find the wires going to the doorbell button.
Once you find the transformer, check to make sure the wire connections are good and check the transformer output with a volt meter. It should measure roughly 16-18 Volts AC. If there is no voltage on the outputs then you need to check the AC connections. To do this you will need to turn off the appropriate circuit breaker in your house first. If the AC connections are good and there is still no output you will need to replace the transformer. You can buy new ones at Home Depot, for instance.
If you try to follow the wires, but cannot find the transformer because the wires disappear in the wall, for instance, then you need to tap into the wires and make sure there is 16-18 Volts AC present. If there isn't, I would just cut the wires and install a new transformer and put it close to the manhole in your attic so that's easy to find next time.
You will also need to locate the wires going to your front door bell button. After you have done this, connect them together at the door bell end, and put an ohm meter on the other end to make sure you have continuity. After you have done all this and replaced some of the wire, if necessary, just reconnect everything and you will have a working door bell system.
If you don't want to do all this, you'll understand why I put the job off for 30 years.
http://www.hrrc-ch.org/images/DOORBELL%20WIRING%20SCHEMATIC.JPG
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mg wrote:

of his new homes. I will print this info. out.
I can't wait to get a voltmeter hooked up to all of these wires and see where we go from there.
I will post an update.
Many thanks for taking the time to write this.
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ask neighbors where their doorbell parts are, can save tons of time and effort let alone unnecessary holes in walls.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

nothing else there. My feeling is that part of it was drywalled over. I will ask neighbors though. Excellent idea.
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