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#172802 - 12/27/07 11:25 AM Door bell chimes  
petey_c  Offline
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 62
Miller Place, NY USA
I have a customer who has a hot tub in her back yard. She says she can't hear the front door bell ring when she's in the hot tub. I figured I'd just put a second set of chimes in the vented soffit and run a line from the chimes near the front door. Distance from xfmr to front door chimes about 25', and another 25' back to the second chimes. (I hate low voltage...) Both connected; the front rings (barely). Individually they both ring. Any suggestions? She doesn't want/like wireless chimes and wants them on a single button. These chime kits have 2 coils each (1 each for front and back)and only one set each (front) is connected. Thanks for any help.

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#172804 - 12/27/07 12:11 PM Re: Door bell chimes [Re: petey_c]  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,122
Bigger transformer? Solid state chime? Relay isolating them to separate transformers?
It sure sounds like you are just overloading the supply.
Maybe that is why they have a "back" coil. It may pull less.

Greg Fretwell

#172805 - 12/27/07 12:23 PM Re: Door bell chimes [Re: gfretwell]  
petey_c  Offline
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 62
Miller Place, NY USA
Greg, Thanks for the reply. The chime kit has 2 coils for 2 different rings. Two tones for the front door push button and a single for the back door push button. I was thinking about a larger xfmr and will try the single tone. pete

#172807 - 12/27/07 12:37 PM Re: Door bell chimes [Re: petey_c]  
KJay  Offline
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 763
You might try a transformer with a higher VA rating at the same voltage. Sometimes, but not always, paralleling two identical chime transformers can be adequate to boost VA enough.
If that doesn’t work then you may need to come up with a relay with the correct coil voltage to connect the common front door button and isolate the two chimes and their respective transformers from each other. Either that or you would need to develop a double pole single throw pushbutton and connect each chime independently to it’s own transformer.
Maybe just find a chime unit that has auxiliary outputs for another remote chime. I would look at some of those wireless units, maybe you can program more than one to operate from a single remote pushbutton.

#172810 - 12/27/07 02:58 PM Re: Door bell chimes [Re: KJay]  
SP4RX  Offline
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 56
Edmonton, Alberta,
Back when I was doing resi we would sometimes need to add a second chime kit downstairs for a basement walk-out type house. The chime kit comes with a 16V xfmr, but we would swap it for a 24V model. Not sure about the VA ratings though, hope this helps.


#172812 - 12/27/07 03:07 PM Re: Door bell chimes [Re: KJay]  
geoff in UK  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 184
Who really wants to hear the doorbell when they are in the hot tub????

Seriously though, just larger wire. In my experience most of the voltage on bell systems is lost in the wiring resistance once its more than a few feet. Or, pushing up transformer voltage is OK as long as you don't exceed the chime's coil ratings (as measured at the chime).

#172814 - 12/27/07 04:05 PM Re: Door bell chimes [Re: geoff in UK]  
EV607797  Offline
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
Fredericksburg, VA, USA
Builder's chime kits come with a transformer designed to drive just that one chime unit. Increasing the voltage will shorten the life of the chimes and the button due to arcing. Stick with 16 volts, but with a higher VA rating and you will be fine. No need for any trickery to make it happen.


"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."

#172818 - 12/27/07 05:09 PM Re: Door bell chimes [Re: EV607797]  
ausador  Offline
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 49
Central Florida
I recently replaced the chime at my sisters house that had been painted completely over while the cover was removed. While the painter she had hired was intelligent enough to take off the cover so as not to paint it he was not intelligent enough to mask the guts of the chime in any way. He liberally coated it into unworking fixedness with light blue paint.

As long as I was going to replace the chime I figured to replace the door bell button which had weathered and whose plastic had fractured leaveing half of the actually push button uncovered.

I selected a nice chime unit to go with her decor and got a new lighted antiqued bronze recessed bezel pushbutton for the front door and cut it into the brickwork there.

Upon my first try the chime gave out a fairly weak single "dong" instead of the expected "ding-dong". Not only that but my lighted pushbutton gave off a glow that could barely be seen. After assureing myself that I had indeed mounted the chime in the proper "UP" orientation, (most electro machnical chimes must be mounted in a specific orientation so that the return springs are effective), I sought out the transformer.

I located the transformer in a closet under the stairway mounted to the side of a 3" surface octagon extension ring. After scapeing away layers of paint I discovered that the transformer was a 10v. 5w. model. This house was built in 1966, upon further review I found that many homes built during this time period had the same 10 volt transformers, most of only 5 or 10va, (Watts).

One look at any modern doorbells packageing will tell you that they require a 16volt transformer of at least 10volt-amperes, (Watts). 16 volt transformers are now the standard but they did not used to be petey c. I suggest you locate and examine the transformer that is being used to feed these two bells and determine if it is at least 16 volt. If so then since you are asking it to actuate two sets of elctromagnetic coils simultaneously now that you should also check the va rating.

While a 16v 10va transformer is capable of actuateing one coil in almost all chimes, when connected to two of them it probably cannot withdraw the plungers sufficently against the springs in order for them to bounce back and strike the tone bar(s).

Standard bell transformers nowadays are all 16v and come in 10, 20, and 30va models. Get the 30va model and replace the existing transformer. With a 10va model you simply do not have enough power to energize both coils sufficently to draw back the plungers in two chimes.

With the short length of run you have stated here (60') to the farthest chime there is no reason to step up the voltage, you aren't lacking that as evidenced by the fact that either chime will work alone but not when combined together on the circuit. What you are lacking is POWER (watts).

Hope this helps.....greg

#172835 - 12/27/07 09:47 PM Re: Door bell chimes [Re: ausador]  
Obsaleet  Offline
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 362
I have installed up to 3 using a 30va trans. with no problems and the distances were 50', 75', 150' last one being remote to pool house. This was the most recent application.
So i'm areeing with Greg


Choose your customers, don't let them choose you.

#172842 - 12/27/07 10:38 PM Re: Door bell chimes [Re: Obsaleet]  
BigB  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 719
Tucson, AZ USA

Last edited by BigB; 12/27/07 10:42 PM.

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