# front door chime not working

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• posted on January 10, 2012, 3:29 pm
On Jan 9, 5:07 pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I don't need to draw out the circuit. The chime is a 2 wire device. A 2 wired cable is frequently used to connect to it. That wire runs some length through the house, often to the transformer, where one wire connects to the transformer, the other to one wire going to the door bell button. The doorbell button is another 2 wire device. It frequently is wired with a 2 wire cable back to the transformer where one wire gets connected to the other side of the transformer, completing the circuit. Doesn't get any simpler than that.
Now let's say the chime is OK. The 2 wire cable connected to it as described above is however shorted somewhere along it's run between the transformer and the chime. You touch the doorbell wires together and you get sparks.
That's why I suggested that he listen for a hum at the chime or test for power at the chime with the doorbell wires connected. It quickly rules out the possibility of a short.
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 8, 2012, 7:16 pm
On Sun, 8 Jan 2012 05:40:04 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

If there is a spark at the button there WILL be power at the chime. 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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<%-name%>
• posted on January 8, 2012, 1:41 pm
wrote:

Micky, I took off the button and tried it on another home and it worked fine so I put it back on this home knowing it wasn't the problem.
Let me ask.... if I touched the two wires together and saw spark (did this like 3 times with same result) as well as the door bell button was lit too, does this mean that since the transfomer has power, that the transformer is good? I mean when you test the transformer is it to just see if it has power?
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 8, 2012, 3:41 pm

That's a very good indication that the transformer is fine. You need to start looking at the chime. As someone suggested, listen for a hum with the door button wires connected. But there are all kinds of chimes. That would work with an old solenoid one, but not with an electronic one, where there would be no hum. Or use a simple VOM meter that you can get at radio shack for \$10 to see if you have power at the chime with the wires connected.
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 8, 2012, 6:58 pm
wrote:

Basically yes. 99.9% chance your transformer is fine, and your chime is STUCK.
Clean it or replace it.
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 9, 2012, 1:04 pm
On Sun, 08 Jan 2012 13:58:44 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Aside for the dishwasher approach, can you recommend a spray solvent to do this? I read not to use spray oil as that in time will collect dirt. I was thinking of even trying compressed air but just a guess on my part.
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 9, 2012, 2:13 pm

Compressed air sounds like a good choice. That's what I would probably use. Another option would be electronic parts cleaner.
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 9, 2012, 10:13 pm
On Mon, 9 Jan 2012 06:13:34 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Compressed air will not remove greasy buildup. It might remove greasy fuzz - but the grease will still be there.
If it is a horizontal acting 2-tone chime, the plunger will be suspended between 2 springs, and it is REAL EASY to tell if it is sticky.. If it is a vertical acting chime, the plunger will be suspended ona single spring - and it is also VERY EASY to tell if it is sticking..
I have BOTH in my house - 1 up, and 1 down.
I'm still very partial to the dish washer. ASAS U ME ing it is NOT an "electronic chime".
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 9, 2012, 9:25 pm
wrote:

You could go out and buy a can of "brake clean" or "brake kleen" and try that. You want it off the wall first - and on a layer of newspaper. Brake Kleen is generally safe on MOST plastics - but I would not guarantee it. You do not need to rinse - it evaporates leaving no residue I suspect you have an oily build-up causing your problem.
Or you could use something like "spray 9" or "fantastic" - but you will need to rinse them both well with hot water when you are finished - so might just as well use the dishwasher.
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 9, 2012, 10:16 pm
On Mon, 9 Jan 2012 09:51:05 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

The clearance between the coil frame and the plunger is large enough that just plain AIR is the best lubricant you can get. There's a good 1/32 inch of cleance in any I've ever seen - Get the greasy fuzzy-wuzzies out and leave it totally clean and dry.
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 8, 2012, 6:07 am
Check what battery the system takes. I've seen wireless doorbells which take a small 12 volt cell for the transmitter, might be expensive and hard to find replacements.
Wired but I'm thinking of a wireless system as I think it might be cheaper to fix????
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 8, 2012, 2:58 am
wrote:

I mivght ask that question myself, so (I'm not criticiizing him, but it doesn't really matter. It used to work and now it doesn't, and the problem, whatever it is, is not related to the voltage.
(You didn't add another bell did you? If you add another bell, it might be necessary to go to a higher voltage.)

Except for the electricity that goes to it!

Yes.
Do you have even a cheap voltmeter? A friend to hep you?

??
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 8, 2012, 7:14 pm
wrote:

This is why someone said I was recommending a higher voltage! Not my post his replied to.
I forgot that I said this.
Yes, my bad, here. I'm pretty sure when I went to a bigger transformer, it was also a higher voltage, so that made me write something stupid. But the higher voltage would't be rquired, only higher current capacity.

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<%-name%>
• posted on January 8, 2012, 12:48 pm

*If you got a spark, the transformer is working. I've had some customers who have had problems with their chimes. In two instances the problem was as a result of the cover not being seated properly and was interfering with the mechanism. In others it was just a bad chime. Buy a new chime and try it out.
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 8, 2012, 1:41 pm
On 1/8/2012 7:48 AM, John Grabowski wrote:

And as a temporary measure, try connecting the wires to the unused rear door solenoid. When you take the chime cover off, you should find where your 2 wires are connected. At that location you should see a 3rd terminal. Since you have no rear doorbell button, this terminal won't have a wire connected. Of the two terminals where the wires are currently connected, one should be marked "T" or "Trans", leave that one connected. Remove the other one and relocate it to the unused terminal. Test the button and see if you now get a "ding"
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 8, 2012, 4:36 pm

I like this idea.
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 8, 2012, 1:52 pm
On Sun, 8 Jan 2012 07:48:59 -0500, "John Grabowski"

Thanks John. When I test the transformer, is it only to see if it has power? And the simple test is to just touch the two wires together to see spark (as I did and saw spark)?
Suppose I didn't touch the two wires together but the door bell button was lit, would this also tell me the transformer is fine? In this case, the button stayed lit tho no sound and I tested the button on another home and it worked.
Maybe the chime is stuck but to maybe speed things up, I may just go ahead and replace the box.
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 8, 2012, 2:03 pm
On 1/8/2012 8:52 AM, Doug wrote:

If your lighted button is lit, or you touch the wires together and get a spark, you've got transformer. No need to pursue that direction. John is probably 99.9 % correct, that the problem is with the front door, (ding-dong) solenoid, which is why I suggest connecting the "rear" door solenoid, as a test.
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 8, 2012, 7:02 pm

Except we KNOW the front door solenoid is not open circuit - or there would be NO SPARK, and the button would not light. PERHAPS the rear plunger MIGHT not be sticky if the front door one is - but it is unlikely - as whatever stuck up the front door plunger was also present at the rear door plunger, which has not moved sinse the unit was installed.
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 8, 2012, 7:12 pm
On 1/8/2012 2:02 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Of course there's no open circuit. It's acting exactly as it would if the solenoid was stuck as John suggested.