Installing triplex doorbell, one 4wire wire, help with wiring??

Installing triplex doorbell, 4wires, help with wiring??
Can someone please help I am trying to replace a doorbell in a triplex I live in. Three separate bells, three separate buttons.
There is one 4wire wire (red, green, yellow, black) coming out of the wall to the door bell.
Doorbell 1 Screw 1: Red Screw 2: Green
Doorbell 2 Screw 1: Red, Red Screw 2: Black, Yellow
Doorbell 3 ??? (Doesn't work) Screw 1: Red Screw 2: ???? Nothing ???? Doorbell 3 is the problem. When I looked at the doorbell, it appeared that only one red wire was attached to one of the screws. The other screw didn't have any wire attached. I could be wrong, but the red wire on Screw 1 looked like it was one of the red wires from doorbell2 on screw 1??? It came loose when I was uninstalling it, so I don't know. For that matter, it is possible that a wire on screw 2 fell behind the wall somehow? I really don't know.
Other information: There is a twist on wire connector (marrette) for the red wire. Currently there is just one red wire coming out of the marrette, but that doesn't make sense to me. I have to assume that the marrette was used to split a red, but I can't see it. I suppose someone could have just been trying to lengthen the red wire, but that explanation seems somewhat implausible?
Can anyone who understands electricity or doorbells tell me how door bell 3 should be connected? Thank you!! -Rob
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Installing triplex doorbell, 4wires, help with wiring??
Can someone please help I am trying to replace a doorbell in a triplex I live in. Three separate bells, three separate buttons.
There is one 4wire wire (red, green, yellow, black) coming out of the wall to the door bell.
Doorbell 1 Screw 1: Red Screw 2: Green
Doorbell 2 Screw 1: Red, Red Screw 2: Black, Yellow
Doorbell 3 ??? (Doesn't work) Screw 1: Red Screw 2: ???? Nothing ???? Doorbell 3 is the problem. When I looked at the doorbell, it appeared that only one red wire was attached to one of the screws. The other screw didn't have any wire attached. I could be wrong, but the red wire on Screw 1 looked like it was one of the red wires from doorbell2 on screw 1??? It came loose when I was uninstalling it, so I don't know. For that matter, it is possible that a wire on screw 2 fell behind the wall somehow? I really don't know.
Other information: There is a twist on wire connector (marrette) for the red wire. Currently there is just one red wire coming out of the marrette, but that doesn't make sense to me. I have to assume that the marrette was used to split a red, but I can't see it. I suppose someone could have just been trying to lengthen the red wire, but that explanation seems somewhat implausible?
Can anyone who understands electricity or doorbells tell me how door bell 3 should be connected? Thank you!! -Rob
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Installing triplex doorbell, 4wires, help with wiring??
Can someone please help I am trying to replace a doorbell in a triplex I live in. Three separate bells, three separate buttons.
There is one 4wire wire (red, green, yellow, black) coming out of the wall to the door bell.
Doorbell 1 Screw 1: Red Screw 2: Green
Doorbell 2 Screw 1: Red, Red Screw 2: Black, Yellow
Doorbell 3 ??? (Doesn't work) Screw 1: Red Screw 2: ???? Nothing ???? Doorbell 3 is the problem. When I looked at the doorbell, it appeared that only one red wire was attached to one of the screws. The other screw didn't have any wire attached. I could be wrong, but the red wire on Screw 1 looked like it was one of the red wires from doorbell2 on screw 1??? It came loose when I was uninstalling it, so I don't know. For that matter, it is possible that a wire on screw 2 fell behind the wall somehow? I really don't know.
Other information: There is a twist on wire connector (marrette) for the red wire. Currently there is just one red wire coming out of the marrette, but that doesn't make sense to me. I have to assume that the marrette was used to split a red, but I can't see it. I suppose someone could have just been trying to lengthen the red wire, but that explanation seems somewhat implausible?
Can anyone who understands electricity or doorbells tell me how door bell 3 should be connected? Thank you!! -Rob
One of the wires brings power to all three buttons. It is probably the red wire. So, one screw from each of the three buttons should be attached to that red wire. Each of the other three wires go to the other screw of their respective button. You need to touch each one to the red wire, one at a time, and see which bell rings. Then you can attach them in the proper order
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I agree with your rationale with the red wires. However, why is the black and yellow tied together on one screw on Button #2 then?
Thanks, Rob
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Don't know, unless two bells rang off of the same button. With only 4 wires involved, it can only be one feed and three returns
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On Wed, 16 Mar 2011 12:29:03 -0700 (PDT), bertbarndoor

Red/Green/Yellow/Black sounds like someone had some telephone wire and used it. It is probably smaller gauge than doorbell wire so they doubled up wires to compensate. Think of black/yellow as one wire. (Just guessing).
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On Wed, 16 Mar 2011 09:29:43 -0700 (PDT), bertbarndoor

You mean "to the door bell buttons", right?
There are three parts to each doorbell circuit, the button, the bell, and the power transformer, which might be in the basement.
All your doorbells are really separate except they share one transformer. Specifically, they share the transformer and also the wire to the buttons, the red wire it seems. The 4-wire wire probably comes from the transformer area. The other three wires in it are probably spliced near the transformer, each to a wire that goes to one of the bells. Also there is wire from each bell that comes back to the power transformer, to the screw on it that does not have the red wire.)
RBM's advice is good, but I wanted to give you more background.

Because they all share the red wire, I would have expected two bells to have a red wire coming in, and then continuing to another button, on TWO of the buttons. You list only one, but further down you talk about a wirenut, which probably has one red wire coming in and two going out. Serves the same purpose.

The black and yellow probably go (via the basement or wherever the transformer is, where they are spliced to other wires) to separate bells. Doorbell two works, but how many bells ring, only one, or two? You may need an assistant, closer to the bells, especially to figure out if black is apt. 2 or 3.
It seems to me likely that either the black or yellow should be removed and attached to screw 2 of doorbell 3. Is there any chance you moved that wire? This can be true even if only one bell rings when you press the button. Sometimes one bell will hog the current and not leave enough for the other bell, especially if they are different designs. So if only one bell rings, disconnect the black and push the button with only the yellow connected. Then attach the black and not the yellow (or touch the black to the red, no button-push needed, and see if another bell rings.

At first it bothered me that all three buttons have a red wire, but there is only one red wire and it comes and then goes to only one button, not two. Never mind, you explain that with the wire nut below.

What's a marrette!

It seems okay to me.

If you don't want to disconnect wires from the buttons, you can use a screwdriver blade or metal pliers or a wire with alligator clips on each end to connect the two screws on one button togeether. You can do this ONLY because it's low voltage, 12 or 16 vac, volts ac.

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wrote:

OP is a unionized Canadian government employee, posting from a taxpayer- funded government computer, and on taxpayer time (9:30 am). Our tax dollars at work.
"Marrette" is a brand of wire nut sold in Canada.
--
Tegger

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Tegger wrote:

Good catch. But we have slackers in the U.S., too.
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Tegger, I am not a unionized employee. I am a temporary worker on a contract with no benefits. I posted the message at 12:30pm, during my unpaid lunch hour. FYI, I am in Ottawa, Ontario, using Eastern Standard Time. PDT, or Pacific Time, applies to the west coast of Canada, where it is 3 hours earlier.
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It's nice to see somebody working for the tax thieves who actually works under similar conditions to ordinary people.

Your original post's headers gave a Pacific time, specifically, "Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2011 09:29:43 -0700 (PDT)"
I guess your department uses a west-coast server.

My apologies.
--
Tegger

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wrote:

Or your news program adjusts the time for where you are.

Aha, well resolved.
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I would check each of the three bells and see what color wires are connected to them. Might give a clue.
Paul
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Just had a thought after that last post; could you replace them all with wireless buttons? I googled "wireless doorbell" and got lots of hits.
Paul
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Did the system ever work correctly???
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Normally brief shorts between any two connectors on the bell will not hurt anything including sparking directly across the transformer. With this in mind one of the terminals on the bell should have 3 or 4 wires going to it. This will be a COMMON. I would start out by momentarily jumping this terminal to each of the other terminals to see what happens. Sounds like yours was wired by just using one multiwire cable and running it from the bell to each button picking off the wire that was needed at each button plus the common. Mine was like that and wired with telephone wire. I suggest that you to contact the manufacturer for info. Google is your friend.
Jimmie
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Yours sounds a lot like the way mine is wired and from the sounds of things you are on the right track to figuring it out, red is probably the COMMON. Mine was wired withe telephone wire and the black wire used as COMMON went to each switch and one of the other wires was picked off to go back to the bell. Each door had its own sound. I discovered how mine was wired when we added another back door. I ran another pair and wired it in parallel with side door which is seldom used. Sounds like your's was miswired at one switch and that messed up that one and everything past it.
Jimmie
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On Thu, 17 Mar 2011 10:53:03 -0700 (PDT), JIMMIE

He has 3 separate bells.
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<stuff snipped>

Normally brief shorts between any two connectors on the bell will not hurt anything including sparking directly across the transformer. With this in mind one of the terminals on the bell should have 3 or 4 wires going to it. This will be a COMMON. I would start out by momentarily jumping this terminal to each of the other terminals to see what happens. Sounds like yours was wired by just using one multiwire cable and running it from the bell to each button picking off the wire that was needed at each button plus the common. Mine was like that and wired with telephone wire. I suggest that you to contact the manufacturer for info. Google is your friend.
============================================================== That sounds like a good analysis.
Too bad you can't sketch it. This is where newsgroups really fall down - a 1 minute sketch on a napkin is what's needed. ASCII drawing is a poor substitute and drawing, scanning and posting to somewhere else is really way too many steps for someone working for free to want to take.
Sadly, Google isn't the friend it used to be. I see so many sites with so many deliberately wrong answers (I was looking for why "Annie Oakleys" is another name for "free tickets") that I now find if I want to explain something, like multiple doorbell wiring, I'll Google it myself and then recommend a site that pops up that I believe is accurate answer.
A newbie lacks my knowledge (I hope) of what the right answer should be, so unleashing them on Google isn't nearly as helpful as it should be. They don't know enough about the problem to evaluate the bum steers from the good answers. There's also no review as there is in a newsgroup where if you tell someone that it's OK to pull a neutral from any nearby circuit, people will beat you to death. (-: Verbally.
Of course it's perfectly OK to say: "Why not Google a few sites for "multiwire doorbells" and post what you find and any questions you might have. Google (alone without review) is not to be trusted anymore with so many people trying (and succeeding) to game their search algorithms for commercial gain. )-: Just Google about JC Penny's gaming the system this last Christmas to make their searches float to the top.
-- Bobby G.
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