front door chime not working

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On Mon, 09 Jan 2012 16:07:25 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Your description was not accurate. The wire needn't be cut, it could be shorted. The button ends would still spark but they woudln't ring the chime.
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wrote:

and doorbells are almost exclusively not wired in the way that would allow it to happen. Virtually all doorbels are wired with a 2 wire cable to the bell, and a 2 wire cable from the bell to each button.
Wired that way it is IMPOSSIBLE to have the scenario you are proposing.. And what I was refering to as STUPIDITY was the examples of your blundering you gave , not the doorbell.
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I've done it numerous times and it works. If he has a transformer operated chime - unless it is an electronic chime - I KNOW what he has, because they are all basically the same. I know how they work - and what goes wrong with them.
If washing the chime in the dishwasher does not remove the crap that is making it stick, it won't do any harm either becuase the chime is shot anyway.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I call it "shoot from the hip syndrome". Statistics is a wonderful thing. They're very useful for sizing power plants. But when you get down to the individual event, they're useless.
If you set yourself on fire, it matters not that most people don't set themselves on fire. YOU ARE ON FIRE!!!
Just because YOU have never seen an exception to your rule, don't mean that an exception don't exist or may even be common in a different part of the world.
If you're not sure EXACTLY what's on the other end of that particular fuse, you should NOT suggest that someone else light it. They just might end up on fire.
As a general rule, the only thing you should put in the dishwasher is dishes. Anything else requires a thorough understanding of ALL the consequences of doing so. In this case, neither you nor the OP has a clue. The only thing we KNOW from this thread is that there's a thing on the wall that used to ding and now doesn't.
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Do you have a simple tester? See if the wires are hot where and when they're supposed to be.
Steve
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chime, no more testing required - the chime is either stuck or shorted - and I'd bet on stuck.
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On 1/7/2012 2:05 PM, Doug wrote:

Paul
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On Sat, 07 Jan 2012 16:37:39 -0800, Paul Drahn

Wired but I'm thinking of a wireless system as I think it might be cheaper to fix????
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wrote:

Fix the GOOD system you already have.
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wrote:

Have one of you hold the button down, while the other stands on a chair and puts hir ear next to the bell, to see if it hums at all.
Or better yet, take the plastic/wood-like cover off the bell and look at the horiztontal rod before and while someone pushes the button.
Use your finger to flick the little horiszontal rod (most of which goes through an electro magnet) back and forth sideways, to see if it bounces back at all. There is only 16 or 24 volts there and it's not enough to even feel it, let alone hurt you (unless you get startled and fall off the chair!, assuming you can feel it) , plus you don't have to touch the wires themselves, only the rest of the mechanism.
When the button is pushed, the magnet pushes th e horitizontal rod to the right (or left?) and it hits the flat chime plate, usually a rectangle about 4 or 5 inches high, 1/8'" thicik and an inch or inch and a half from front to back. Uusally dark goldish color. Hit it yourself with a pencil and and it should ring a little bit.
Look for insect leftovers, like Claiir said. maybe they are keeping the rod from moving, or the plate from vibrating.
Once the little thin spring broke, that goes around the rod and pushes the rod back where it was, and so it got pushed up to the chime plate, but never went back. So the rod couldn't get up enough velocity to ring the chime. It just made a little thump, or maybe it made no sound at all. Push the rod back where it was and push the button again. If it rings once but not again, maybe the spring is broken.
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wrote:

Actually, MOST work opposite to that. The solenoid pulls the plunger back against a spring, and when you release it, it comes back by spring action and hits the gong, with the spring pulling it back again from the gong. That's on single tone gongs. Dual tones hit one gong on the power stroke and the second on the rebound. The power stroke gives the short "ding" while the rebound, undamped, gives the long "dong"

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Actually, it could be the button. Some have a resistor (or is it a diode?) that can get fried. Even if you have power, that can make it inoperative. Pull the button and check for one wired behind it.
OTOH, out the 30+ year in this house, the bell has only worked maybe 6 months. Anyone we know comes to the side door at the family room. Salesmen, JW's and politicians seeking election come to the front door. We don't need no steenkin bell.
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Ed makes a good point. I should have seen it. :( The sparks show you have power, but why do you think the button is wroking? Because connecting the two wires doesn't make it ring? Could you hear it from there? If so, you're right.
The button is the most likely thing to break, because it's a moving part, and they break a lot, and becaus it's outside and gets rained on. And mine broke once, from age.
If you get a button with a light, and the light goes out when the button is pressed, that means the button is working, though I suppose it could be making a poor connection.

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It was pretty clear to me that the chime doesn't ring when he touches the wires together. If it did I don't think he's be just saying the wires spark when he touches them.
I agree with CL, all indications are that it's the chime. It's likely either stuck or shot. Listening for a hum or measuring for power at the chime with the wires connected ar the next step.
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On Sun, 8 Jan 2012 05:40:04 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

When my button failed, putting the wires together would not ring the chime. It had to pass through the button with the resistor on it. Unless you know what type of button, we can't eliminate it for certain.
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different resistance on each button that differentiates the front button from the back. In that case, having no resistor or the wrong resistance WOULD cause the chime to fail to respond.
I think they call that "network control" (uses a resistor network to control the chime)
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On Sun, 8 Jan 2012 05:40:04 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

It's a simple series circuit. If there is CURRENT FLOW the circuit HAS to be complete. If there is a spark, there is current flow. Simple basic electrical theory. Measuring the AC voltage across the wires at the button will tell him what the voltage of the system is. If it is 12 volts or more, the chime should ring. If it is less, the transformer is highly suspect - I don't know of a doorbell transformer rated at less than 12 volts - 16 is the most common - 18 and 24 are also out there.
Fix or replace the chime.
If you are scared to put it in the dishwasher, put it in the trash-can and buy a new one.
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On Jan 8, 1:56pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Ok, let's work with basic electrical theory. The chime is wired with a two conductor cable. Place a short in that cable anywhere along it's run and you will still have sparks when you short the door switch wires and no power at the chime. Is that more likely than the door chime being the culprit? No and I already agreed the chime should be investigated next. But you can't rule out a short along the way either. It's easy to test for power at the chime with the door switch shorted and that's what I would do. If he doesn't have a tester and doesn't want to spend $10 on one, then he can skip that step.

I also have to disagree with the "put it in a dishwasher idea." As someone else pointed out, you don't know what specific chime he has or what going through a dishwasher will or won't do to it. For example, I've seen paper as part of the solenoid, felt on the striker, etc. If dirt, dust etc is blocking the solenoid, there are better and safer ways of dealing with it than putting it in a dishwasher.
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On Mon, 9 Jan 2012 06:11:34 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Draw out the circuit. 2 options. Transformer to bell to button, or transformer to button to bell. Simple series loop.
Option 1. short between the transformer and the bell means no power at the button - so no spark. Short between the button and the bell - possible - still get a spark - and no ring. But this is an UNLIKEY wiring scheme, since USUALLY the power goes by a single 2 strand cable to the bell (T and C), and the button is connected by a single 2 strand cable to the chime (FD and C) - which is:
Option 2. If the nail is between the transformer and the bell, the short will ensure there is no power to the bell - and therefore to the button - so no spark.
If the nail is between the bell and the button - again no spark - and the doorbell should hum and get warm. After an hour or so, it would be warm enough to be obvious.
So I think we are safe to say that is not the problem - with wiring scenario Option 2.
And Option 1 would ONLY exist if it was installed by an amateur who did not read instructions but had a slight inkling of how electrical circuits worked. - so again - I'd say we are pretty safe to ASS U ME ( I know ----- ) that it is NOT the problem.........
And just look at the way that thing is wired -------- Then look at your recomendation again.
see http://www.selfhelpandmore.com/home-wiring-usa/main-dwelling-design-and-options/wiring-a-doorbell-system-2002.php That's the right way.
Look at http://www.electrical-online.com/understanding-doorbell-systems/ and try to envision how you would do that with 2 strand bell wire. Then think how TWISTED an electrician would have to be to attempt it.
Then look at http://www.eurekamodern.com/vintage_door_chimes_installation_and_power%20.htm . Envision doing THAT with 2 conductor cable. Would ANY sane man run the wire from the TRANSFORMER to the bell and then to the side or rear connection??? Of course not - he would run it from the TRANS connection on the chime UNLESS he was running single strand wire - not 2 conductor bell cable. That diagram, by the way, is for a MOTORIZED chime from the fifties.
If you look at http://electrical.about.com/od/lowvoltagewiring/ss/Door_Chimes_6.htm and try to follow the instructions, you will find it impossible.
The "Now, run the door chime wiring from the side or back door to the door transformer." is WRONG. It needs to go to the door CHIME.
quote : .Run the two conductor low voltage wiring from the front door to the door chime. Now, run the door chime wiring from the side or back door to the door transformer. These two wires should be marked front and back door to keep them straight. Also run a third wire from the door chime to the transformer. This will feed the power to the door chime. Bring the wiring through the access hole in the chime mechanism. With the wire strippers, strip the outer sheathing from the three wires. On the power feed wire, tie one side of the transformer to the center terminal of the door chime. The other wire connects to the second terminal of the transformer and also to the black wires of the two door wires. Use a wire nut to connect these together. The white wire will connect to the front and back door terminals of the door chime, as you have already marked these earlier.
SO --------- Back to the real world..
Wire from transformer to chime. Wire from chime to button. Spark at button. WHERE can there possibly be a short that would allow power to the button and not the chime?????
Unless it was totally mis-wired it is NOT POSSIBLE.

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