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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Cleveland, OH
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    Default Doorbell and new set of chimes

    Currently, I have a front doorbell button and a back doorbell button. I have a chimes unit on the first floor and a chimes unit on the second floor. Pressing the front doorbell will cause both chimes to "ding-dong" and pressing the back doorbell will cause the chimes to "ding." This works as expected.

    I want to install a chime unit on the third floor.

    One concern I have is the doorbell transformer won't be able to drive all three chime units. How do I determine which transformer I need?

    I'm also concerned that if I do need to upgrade my transformer the current wiring won't be up to snuff. Given a transformer, how do you determine the appropriate doorbell wire?

    Brad

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Doorbell and new set of chimes


    This is probably how things are now.
    For the 3rd additional chime ( sounding device ) connect 3 wires like the diagram shows between 1&2.
    For this you can use 18awg/2 or 18/3 bell wire (LVTN) or for thermostat cable. Depending on your local codes check to see if the cable needs to be plenum rated.

    Also depending on the exisiting transformer you might need to change to an 18 - 24voltAC to drive all 3 sounding devices.

    Hopefully this helps.
    Last edited by canuk; 01-12-2010 at 03:03 PM.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Doorbell and new set of chimes

    OK, so I did want you said and used 18 gauge wire and I've just finished replacing the runs to the sound devices.

    I have a sounding device that says on it, "Use low voltage transformer for safe operation," and it even has a little diagram on it the shows how to wire the front and back doorbells. Where the transformer is on the diagram it says 10-16v.

    Should I assume that if I upgrade my transformer to 18-24v, my sounding devices will have to be upgraded as well, or is the real issue that the sounding device is calling for a low voltage because of the lighter gauge wires?

    Brad

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Doorbell and new set of chimes

    Quote Originally Posted by b_r View Post
    OK, so I did want you said and used 18 gauge wire and I've just finished replacing the runs to the sound devices.

    I have a sounding device that says on it, "Use low voltage transformer for safe operation," and it even has a little diagram on it the shows how to wire the front and back doorbells. Where the transformer is on the diagram it says 10-16v.

    Should I assume that if I upgrade my transformer to 18-24v, my sounding devices will have to be upgraded as well, or is the real issue that the sounding device is calling for a low voltage because of the lighter gauge wires?

    Brad
    No --- you shouldn't need to change any sounding device and has nothing to do with the 18 gauge wire. The only reason it was mentioned you may need to upgrade the transformer was the addition of the third unit. The existing transformer may not have enough power to drive all 3 and with some expectation of the long run to the third floor will be some voltage drop.
    If the existing transformer is 10 volts --- try the 16 volt or you may need an 18 volt.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Doorbell and new set of chimes

    Quote Originally Posted by paretoslaw View Post
    Why more volts rather than more VA has been suggested is beyond me.
    Maybe because transformers are rated in volts?
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Doorbell and new set of chimes

    Quote Originally Posted by paretoslaw View Post
    Why more volts rather than more VA has been suggested is beyond me.
    Quote Originally Posted by paretoslaw View Post
    Transformers are rated by volts and VA........... Stick with the rated voltage and increase the VA if need be.

    Increasing the voltage is crappy advice.
    Hmmm --- I wonder who this poster is ?
    Perhaps ----- Leslie ????????

    As you so eloquently suggested sure it can be done that way.
    However , the most connomly stocked transformers by retail outlets are typically only 10 va which is not nearly enough for 3 sound devices and voltage drops.
    So with the higher voltage minus voltage drop would be better than the lower voltage transformer.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

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