DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Electrical (
-   -   Tried replacing it doesn't work. (

ConstantChange 11-18-2007 07:57 PM

Tried replacing it doesn't work.
My doorbell was working fine, but I wanted to change out the cheap switch to a nicer stain nickel switch.

So as I'm installing the new switch, it is the kind where the button lights up. The light kept going on and off. I couldn't get the light to stay on for any long period of time. I did have the light on for a few seconds and was able to push the button and the doorbell range. After awhile, the light would no longer come on and the doorbell wouldn't work.

I can touch the two wires together and the bell doesn't ring, which means it has nothing to do with the switch. I have no idea where the transformer is that down grades it down to 12v.

Anybody have any ideas? I checked the circuit breaker and all the circuits were on. The porch light and entry light work fine.

52Caddy 11-18-2007 08:46 PM

I'd start by tracking down the transformer. Is it next to the breaker panel? If not, look for some small low voltage wiring in the basement if you can.
You could also put a meter on the door bell and make sure it's a power issue.

ConstantChange 11-18-2007 08:53 PM

I don't have a basement and nothing is outside of the breaker box. I'm guessing the transformer is somewhere in the attic. I looked at the chime in the hallway but didn't notice anything there except the two wires that go out to the switch.

I wish I could test the wires, but I don't have a meter. Any "trick" way to test them?

Is it common for the transformer to blow? Can a switch that lights up be more than the transformer could handle? I have no idea.....just throwing out ideas.

52Caddy 11-18-2007 09:02 PM

I'd go get a meter. I bet you could probably get one for under $20 at sears, for something simple like this you don't need an expensive Fluke.
If you find the transformer, you'll need a meter to see if it's work as well.
I'm not sure how the whole doorbell setup works either. Does anyone know if they have built in transformers?

joed 11-18-2007 09:07 PM

If the old switch was not lighted then light could have caused the problem.

ConstantChange 11-18-2007 09:16 PM

Yeah, the old switch was the cheap construction grade kind. The new switch is a nicer switch with a light up button. I already threw the old switch away a few days ago because I was expecting this to be a very easy job.

I've done some research on this and see how everything works together, but I haven't been able to find if there are different size transformers. If I have a transformer that puts out 10v and this lighted switch needs 12v to work, will it blow the 10v transformer?

goose134 11-18-2007 09:30 PM

I don't think it would 'blow the transformer' However the difference in voltage may be a problem. You really need to find that transformer.

RichyL 11-18-2007 09:44 PM

Do you have a crawl space underneath your house? Sometimes they are installed there, good luck finding the transformer. Definately sounds like the transformer went bad since touching the wires together does nothing. If worse comes to worse you can always buy a remote battery powered doorbell kit. The chime is powered off a 9volt battery I believe, although you might not be able to get a doorbell that lights up. Best of luck

Oh by the way did you get a new chime kit with the new doorbell?

ConstantChange 11-18-2007 09:57 PM

Nope, no crawl space. I have a slab foundation.

I just bought the replacement switch for cosmetic reasons. I didn't even know the button would light up until I started to wire it in. Never said on the package.

I went up in the attic to see if I could find it, but I couldn't. Everything in that area is covered in insulation and I wasn't wearing the right clothes to go digging through it.

I still haven't been able to find out if it's common for these transformers to go out when "upgrading" the system. I'm sure the doorbell system they installed was probably the cheapest one they could find when they built the house in 1997. Would the new lighted switch "blow" the transformer?

ConstantChange 11-18-2007 10:12 PM

I called a friend of mine and he told me to look in the water heater closet in the garage and I found it there. Now I just need to test the wires and see what the problem is.

Thanks guys.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:15 PM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1