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Old 07-17-2011, 11:42 PM   #1
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help, doorbell transformer inside electrical panel, PIC's


Im not an electrician, but nothing about this seems right. We have owned this house for 9 months or so now, and decided its time to fix the doorbell. I removed the panel cover for the circuit breakers and found the transformer just sitting there. I thought the transformer needed its own box. Secondly, the hot and neutral wires are speaker wire, looks to be 16 ga. I want to fix this this weekend. So, here are my questions.

Do I need a special box for the transformer that I can mount the next stud over?

Should I use a solid core wires from the transformer to the breaker box?

Does the transformer need to be grounded?

I have an above average knowledge of electrical, but by no means am I a pro. Power will be off of course before I start any work. I want to do this project right. Any and all help would be great!




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Old 07-18-2011, 12:13 AM   #2
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help, doorbell transformer inside electrical panel, PIC's


You have a few problems there. The xfmr needs to be removed from the panel and mounted to a box. If the box is metal and grounded no other grounding needs to be done. The correct size and type of wire needs to be installed to the transformer and the low voltage bell wire should be removed from the panel and re-routed to the new location. The 3 wire romex needs a connector also. Be careful if cutting into the sheetrock above the panel as there are live cables there. If I were doing the repair I would oldwork a plastic box above the panel. Fish a 14/2 from the top of the panel into the new plastic box. Use the new hole to remove the bell wire from the panel and bring it out of the wall next to the oldwork box. Do not run the bell wire inside the new box. Mount the transformer to a metal blank plate with a 1/2" conduit (7/8") hole. Ground the plate using a ground clip. Reconnect the bell wires and connect the new 14/2 inside the panel. Ground and white to the neutral/ground bar under seperate terminal screws and the black wire to the breaker (15A).

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Last edited by electures; 07-18-2011 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:24 AM   #3
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You have a few problems there. The xfmr needs to be mounted. If the box is metal and grounded no other grounding needs to be done. The 3 wire romex needs a connector also.
the transformer is just sitting there. Every place Ive lived in the past, the transformer has always been in its own box by itself.

Thanks for pointing out the connector. I didnt catch that. Those holes can be sharp! Thats the circuit the previous home owner ran for the dryer, so no inspector ever saw that!
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:34 AM   #4
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the transformer is just sitting there. Every place Ive lived in the past, the transformer has always been in its own box by itself.

Thanks for pointing out the connector. I didnt catch that. Those holes can be sharp! Thats the circuit the previous home owner ran for the dryer, so no inspector ever saw that!
We sometimes mount them to the panel, but in your case the panel is sheet rocked in and you need access to the transformer.

Post pics when you are done!!
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Old 07-18-2011, 02:22 AM   #5
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If this is in an unfinished area (which I'm guessing it is, based on the lack of... finishes) you could just cut out some drywall underneath the panel (say, an 8X8 square) so you can access the knockouts on the bottom. Then mount the transformer directly to one of them. Just punch out a 1/2" KO, and slip the little hook/screw part of the transformer through the hole and tighten the screw to hold it in place. Drop the low-voltage bell wire down beside or behind the panel (can't run through it) and replace the 120V wiring with appropriate wire, and you're good to go. You could install a plastic access panel over the hole if you want it to look nicer.
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:22 AM   #6
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Where does the low voltage doorbell wire enter the panel? YOu might have to put the transformer high up on the side if the bell wire enters from up tehre since it may be hard to get the wire around the outside of the panel down to the bottom.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:18 AM   #7
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Post a couple more pics:

1) The entire panel, in one shot. You have some breakers there that may not be listed for use in your panel. What brand is your panel?

2) The wall where the panel is located. There is an easy solution for your chime transformer, but I want to see your wall first. Does that doorbell wire exit the panel at the bottom?
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:12 AM   #8
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:23 PM   #9
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sorry for the delay. I have hopes on getting all this fixed this weekend. Then onto the next couple electrical issues we have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
Where does the low voltage doorbell wire enter the panel? YOu might have to put the transformer high up on the side if the bell wire enters from up tehre since it may be hard to get the wire around the outside of the panel down to the bottom.
low voltage wires pass through on the upper left.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
Post a couple more pics:

1) The entire panel, in one shot. You have some breakers there that may not be listed for use in your panel. What brand is your panel?

2) The wall where the panel is located. There is an easy solution for your chime transformer, but I want to see your wall first. Does that doorbell wire exit the panel at the bottom?



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Old 07-19-2011, 11:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electures View Post
You have a few problems there. The xfmr needs to be removed from the panel and mounted to a box. If the box is metal and grounded no other grounding needs to be done. The correct size and type of wire needs to be installed to the transformer and the low voltage bell wire should be removed from the panel and re-routed to the new location. The 3 wire romex needs a connector also. Be careful if cutting into the sheetrock above the panel as there are live cables there. If I were doing the repair I would oldwork a plastic box above the panel. Fish a 14/2 from the top of the panel into the new plastic box. Use the new hole to remove the bell wire from the panel and bring it out of the wall next to the oldwork box. Do not run the bell wire inside the new box. Mount the transformer to a metal blank plate with a 1/2" conduit (7/8") hole. Ground the plate using a ground clip. Reconnect the bell wires and connect the new 14/2 inside the panel. Ground and white to the neutral/ground bar under seperate terminal screws and the black wire to the breaker (15A).
Out at the meter, I have another switch out there that I will be cutting power at. I still will treat it as a live line, and I really dont want to cut that cable either
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:47 PM   #11
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help, doorbell transformer inside electrical panel, PIC's


Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhemi View Post
Out at the meter, I have another switch out there that I will be cutting power at. I still will treat it as a live line, and I really dont want to cut that cable either
Just be careful if you cut into the sheetrock around the panel. You do not want to damage any cabling.

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Please check with local, county and state officials as laws may vary.
Sizing motors here. Online motor calculator here. Online calculators here.
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