+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    6

    Default Doorbell Transformer??

    I work in home building and was a carpenter in a past life, so I'm not clueless, however, I just bought a very old house and I am having trouble finding the doorbell transformer.

    Take a look at the attached picture. Does anyone know what this is? It certainly doesn't look like the new transformers that can be purchased today, but it's the only thing that I've found that even resembles one...

    I'm wondering if it's a very old version - or something completely different. The basement was remodeled before I bought the house, so I'm wondering if it's hidden behind the drywall somewhere. Checked the attic as well, but no dice.

    Thanks for the help!!
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by shaveman; 03-10-2013 at 02:38 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,084

    Default Re: Doorbell Transformer??

    It's 2013 and wired door bells with transformers are a thing of the past.

    For around $10 get yourself a battery operated GE wireless door bell.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Doorbell Transformer??

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    It's 2013 and wired door bells with transformers are a thing of the past.

    For around $10 get yourself a battery operated GE wireless door bell.
    Been there, done that, it didn't work. Installed wired doorbell and no more issues AND it's a chime that can be heard throughout the house.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Doorbell Transformer??

    Yeah I'm not a huge fan of wireless doorbells. Tried a couple in the past and never been satisfied.

    Might be my only option, though, until we remodel our basement in a couple years...!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    New London County, CT
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Doorbell Transformer??

    Your picture is the fuse block for the telephone. Actually not a fuse as much as lightning suppressor made of little carbon blocks that will short the line if it is hit by lightning.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Doorbell Transformer??

    Wonderful. Thanks for confirming my suspicions.

    I'll continue searching...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Doorbell Transformer??

    shaveman:

    I agree with Spruce; not only are there issues with tiny batteries going dead with wireless units, but you probably won't get a lighted exterior doorbell button on both the front & rear doorbells, which is the only sensible way to go, and also makes the house entryways look elegant.

    Went thru this whole same deal last month---------we found the xformer in working order sitting on top of the main elec fuse box panel in the utility room, but as you noted, the entire 1st floor had been remodeled over with new sheetrock, & the workers just pulled the old chimes out & didn't make a note of their exact location------so when it came time to install a wired door bell we had to use a TONE & PROBE tool to locate the wires to hook up the new chimes---this is a 2-part tool that has 2 generator wires coming out of a small tone-producing generator; the wires are hooked up to the wires of the old doorbell, or any doorbell wires you can locate; the hand-held probe is then run along the wall until the generator TONE is heard.

    We finally found the old wires for the 2 doorbells hidden inside the wall, after cutting a 2' X 2' hole in the NEW SHEETROCK, but the chime wire (3-wire) for the chimes was impossible to find, so we assume it was pulled out during the sheetrock phase--------that meant running new wires for each of the doorbells & the chimes to converge at a convenient spot on the 1st floor, plus doing a patch & paint job on the cut-out section of sheetrock.

    Check the main electric panel to see if you can find the old xformer at that location, if not, the new xformer can be located anywhere, a convenient place is the cellar, equi-distant between the front doorbell & back door bell, if the building HAS a cellar; you can tap into any convenient nearby 120V line & put it in a steel box with the new xformer in the same box; bell wiring can then be run up via drilled holes past the sills into the wall cavities to converge the wires for the chimes, front doorbell & rear doorbell all in one spot; the only function for the xformer is to step down the house voltage from 120V AC to 12-16V AC; the thin, low-cost, 3-conductor bell wire can then be used to converge everything in the one location you select for the new chimes; check the AC voltage requirements for the new chimes, which vary from 12 to 24V AC & match the xformer accordingly.

    If the old chimes and/or the old xformer have been covered up by the new sheetrock, you're better off running new wire as explained above.
    Last edited by von_steuben; 03-11-2013 at 03:26 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: Doorbell Transformer??

    Wired? Wireless?

    None of the above I say!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,361

    Default Re: Doorbell Transformer??

    Turn everything in the house off except for incandescent lights (so you can see where you're going) late-late-late some night. Listen for a buzzing. If the transformer's really old, it might make a low hum or buzz.

    You have to turn everything off, because any motors that might run, as well as any fluorescent lights and rechargeable devices may emit low hums or buzzes and could very likely drown out the doorbell transformer.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: Doorbell Transformer??

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencepost View Post
    Turn everything in the house off except for incandescent lights (so you can see where you're going) late-late-late some night. Listen for a buzzing. If the transformer's really old, it might make a low hum or buzz.

    You have to turn everything off, because any motors that might run, as well as any fluorescent lights and rechargeable devices may emit low hums or buzzes and could very likely drown out the doorbell transformer.
    LOL, I was just about to caution the OP that if he installs a new transformer don't just screw it to a rafter...they make a lot of noise!
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •