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Old 08-21-2014, 02:07 PM   #16
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PoleCat,

All I can tell from tracing the different wires coming from the transformer is that it services 6 units plus 3 more, so 9 in total. I say this because the wires from the transformer went to my basement and another wire went to the basement where the transformer is located. And a third wire went to yet another basement (each basement is below 3 units).

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You're making progress. The wires from the door bell switches appear to be 2 pair cables so each one can service two buttons. 2X3=6 as we see in the outside picture. Do you have a multimeter? The reason I ask is the first thing you need to figure out is if there is voltage available to your circuit. Are you sure there is only one transformer that serves all 12 units? This seems like a rather large load for the single transformer shown in your picture.

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Old 08-21-2014, 02:18 PM   #17
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The transformer is between the button and the bell/buzzer. One pair of conductors will go out to each of them. The wires you see have at least four separate conductors in them, maybe more. You need to have access to the ends of these wires to verify what is going where. You will find that there are two wires attached to your button and the picture shows that you have two in your home. The object is to verify these two sets of conductors AT the transformer's location.
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Old 08-21-2014, 02:21 PM   #18
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You want to go about this in such a manner as to not burn up the transformer. (if it is not already burnt up)
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Old 08-21-2014, 02:24 PM   #19
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To get a handle on this you need to identify the two wires on the transformer that are connected to the 120V supply. This is the primary side of the transformer. The secondary side is the lower voltage side that will be supplying the doorbell circuit(s).
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Old 08-21-2014, 02:30 PM   #20
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From the secondary winding of the transformer there are two wires/connection points. Sometimes there will be two screws on the surface to connect the circuit to, sometimes there are just a couple of wires coming out. At this point you will see exactly how many door bells are being run off of this transformer.
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Old 08-21-2014, 03:12 PM   #21
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One thing I know at this point is that my condo originally had 2 doorbell buttons. One was for the front door. The other was for the back door in my kitchen which leads out into a deck and the fire egress.

Does this make any sense in terms of the photos?

Below is a photo of my back door doorbell button. Needless to say, it doesn't work.

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From the secondary winding of the transformer there are two wires/connection points. Sometimes there will be two screws on the surface to connect the circuit to, sometimes there are just a couple of wires coming out. At this point you will see exactly how many door bells are being run off of this transformer.
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Tracing doorbell wires behind wall-img_2847.jpg  
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:00 PM   #22
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Pole Cat, the transformer could have been sized to service all units. The problem the OP will have, is that if the wiring was installed during the build. They will be stapled inside the walls. They may have better luck either going with the Wireless unit, or finding an easier way to pull the bell chime wire (ie where the thermostat is at). The bell button is going to be harder. Since the structure has been resided.

When I redid my door bell wiring. I had to pull the siding out of the J-Channel, so I could run it behind the siding and down into the existing hole at the Rim Sill, to get it into the basement.

I would say for the OP. Go with separate transformers for each unit. Vs. one for all.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:19 PM   #23
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I can see using a snake to put new wiring for the button to the basement then connecting this wiring to my basement circuit breaker box.

I can see installing a new transformer by my basement circuit breaker box.

I can see installing a new doorbell in my condo on the 3rd floor.

The hard part is getting the wiring from the basement to the 3rd floor. I can use the same route that I used for the sub-panel cable. The electrician ran the cable along a plumbing vent stack that started in the basement and ended above the roof. The only problem was that it took a while to get a snake (or fishing wire) from the gap where the vent stack went through the attic to the basement. Fortunately, the doorbell wires are not thick.

I really thought a sub-panel would help things but I guess when it comes to doorbells this is not the case.


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Pole Cat, the transformer could have been sized to service all units. The problem the OP will have, is that if the wiring was installed during the build. They will be stapled inside the walls. They may have better luck either going with the Wireless unit, or finding an easier way to pull the bell chime wire (ie where the thermostat is at). The bell button is going to be harder. Since the structure has been resided.

When I redid my door bell wiring. I had to pull the siding out of the J-Channel, so I could run it behind the siding and down into the existing hole at the Rim Sill, to get it into the basement.

I would say for the OP. Go with separate transformers for each unit. Vs. one for all.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:04 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Pole Cat, the transformer could have been sized to service all units. The problem the OP will have, is that if the wiring was installed during the build. They will be stapled inside the walls. They may have better luck either going with the Wireless unit, or finding an easier way to pull the bell chime wire (ie where the thermostat is at). The bell button is going to be harder. Since the structure has been resided.

When I redid my door bell wiring. I had to pull the siding out of the J-Channel, so I could run it behind the siding and down into the existing hole at the Rim Sill, to get it into the basement.

I would say for the OP. Go with separate transformers for each unit. Vs. one for all.
I was going to suggest taking the pipe chase from the basement to the attic with a new wire if it is needed.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:08 PM   #25
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That is why we are suggesting to just go with the wireless route. Now if you can get the wire ran. Instead of going with just the push button. Go with an Intercom type system. They make them with Blue-Tooth capability now. That way the resident can pick up their phone and ask who is there, vs. getting up if not able to get to the intercom at where it would be placed.

You may end up having to farm it out for a company that does Low voltage wiring. If you find that it costs more for the Fish Sticks.

Can you use the existing wiring as a pull wire. Or is it stapled inside the wall? Can you maybe just cut a hole about the size of a single gang box hole, so you can have a better visual when pulling the new wire up the wall.

There are many ways to skin this horse. It is just how much is your time worth, spending on this.

I did look up what multi-tap 120vAC-24vAC transformers are. They are a lot more than it would be worth, just setting up a Junction box with six transformers inside of it.

Here is one setup for MDU's (Multi-Dwelling Units). Vs. having individual door bells at the front entry. http://www.quantometrix.com/door_ent...ell_panels.htm Most of these can also be set up with a visual annunciation, in case you have someone living there that is deaf or has poor hearing.

Another company. http://www.doorentrysystemsforflats.com/
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:19 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stripedbass View Post
One thing I know at this point is that my condo originally had 2 doorbell buttons. One was for the front door. The other was for the back door in my kitchen which leads out into a deck and the fire egress.

Does this make any sense in terms of the photos?

Below is a photo of my back door doorbell button. Needless to say, it doesn't work.
Yeah that was pretty common back then. The back door sounded different than the front door so you would know where to go. Deliveries where typically to the back door.
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:16 PM   #27
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I really detest wireless doorbells. I don't know why. I guess I'm old fashioned.
I'd rather go without a doorbell (as I've done for 10 years) than get a wireless one.

But thanks for your feedback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
That is why we are suggesting to just go with the wireless route. Now if you can get the wire ran. Instead of going with just the push button. Go with an Intercom type system. They make them with Blue-Tooth capability now. That way the resident can pick up their phone and ask who is there, vs. getting up if not able to get to the intercom at where it would be placed.

You may end up having to farm it out for a company that does Low voltage wiring. If you find that it costs more for the Fish Sticks.

Can you use the existing wiring as a pull wire. Or is it stapled inside the wall? Can you maybe just cut a hole about the size of a single gang box hole, so you can have a better visual when pulling the new wire up the wall.

There are many ways to skin this horse. It is just how much is your time worth, spending on this.

I did look up what multi-tap 120vAC-24vAC transformers are. They are a lot more than it would be worth, just setting up a Junction box with six transformers inside of it.

Here is one setup for MDU's (Multi-Dwelling Units). Vs. having individual door bells at the front entry. http://www.quantometrix.com/door_ent...ell_panels.htm Most of these can also be set up with a visual annunciation, in case you have someone living there that is deaf or has poor hearing.

Another company. http://www.doorentrysystemsforflats.com/
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:31 PM   #28
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Wireless units have gotten better. The problem is when you get channel interference with some units. Along with people forget to change out the battery at the button unit.

You may have to just find someone to fish the wires where you need them. That may mean pulling some siding out of the way, where you can get it fished behind and down into the basement.

Pulling the wiring up to the units, would be actually the easiest part. Just fish up where the thermostats are located.
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:14 PM   #29
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If you had gone wireless, you would be sitting on the couch right now sucking down a beer or two and playing with the wife.

Instead, you're playing with the wires and the wife is.........

Never mind.
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:50 AM   #30
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We don't have thermostats in our building.

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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Wireless units have gotten better. The problem is when you get channel interference with some units. Along with people forget to change out the battery at the button unit.

You may have to just find someone to fish the wires where you need them. That may mean pulling some siding out of the way, where you can get it fished behind and down into the basement.

Pulling the wiring up to the units, would be actually the easiest part. Just fish up where the thermostats are located.

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