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Old 10-06-2009, 07:31 PM   #1
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Weak Doorbell


Bought a place, no ringer on the wall (just wires hanging out of the wall).

Purchased a cheap ringer, got it wired up and it works pretty well except it seems pretty quiet.

Says on the ringer that it requires 16VAC and 10VA. I tested the transformer on the breaker panel and it is only putting out 14.8V. I couldn't find anything on the transformer indicating if it's a 16V or.... ?

Any ideas? Transformer not putting out enough juice? Would that even affect the volume?

Thanks in advance
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burnt03 View Post
Bought a place, no ringer on the wall (just wires hanging out of the wall).

Purchased a cheap ringer, got it wired up and it works pretty well except it seems pretty quiet.

Says on the ringer that it requires 16VAC and 10VA. I tested the transformer on the breaker panel and it is only putting out 14.8V. I couldn't find anything on the transformer indicating if it's a 16V or.... ?

Any ideas? Transformer not putting out enough juice? Would that even affect the volume?

Thanks in advance
14.8v. shouldn't make the bell put out weak sound. Either you have a loose connection on the (original) wires. Or the arm (hammer) on the bell could have moved away a fraction of an inch!No mater what! Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burnt03 View Post
Bought a place, no ringer on the wall (just wires hanging out of the wall).

Purchased a cheap ringer, got it wired up and it works pretty well except it seems pretty quiet.

Says on the ringer that it requires 16VAC and 10VA. I tested the transformer on the breaker panel and it is only putting out 14.8V. I couldn't find anything on the transformer indicating if it's a 16V or.... ?

Any ideas? Transformer not putting out enough juice? Would that even affect the volume?

Thanks in advance
14.8v with no load on it probably means it is a 10v 'former.
If it's 14.8v while trying to ring the bell then I don't understand why the bell doesn't work.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
14.8v with no load on it probably means it is a 10v 'former.
If it's 14.8v while trying to ring the bell then I don't understand why the bell doesn't work.
With all due respect. To me, if my voltmeter reads 14.8 volts, then it's 14.8 volts. If we went on in life that way, that would mean if my VM reads 240v. I should presume that I only have 175v. Yes, we know about voltage drop and load. But a simple bell isn't such a heavy appliance that a drop of less than Two Volts should give a poor quality ring (IMHO). (No matter what)Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:42 PM   #5
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The bell does work, it just seems pretty quiet compared to other doorbells I've heard. It's possible that's just due to the fact that it's the cheapest one I could find

The connections are all good (at the ringer and the button anyways) and the hammer moves like a piston to hit the "bell", so it's in line.

Maybe I'll try a new transformer from Home Depot one of these days, looks like they're only about 10 bucks.

Thanks for the tips guys
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by spark plug View Post
With all due respect. To me, if my voltmeter reads 14.8 volts, then it's 14.8 volts. If we went on in life that way, that would mean if my VM reads 240v. I should presume that I only have 175v. Yes, we know about voltage drop and load. But a simple bell isn't such a heavy appliance that a drop of less than Two Volts should give a poor quality ring (IMHO). (No matter what)Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
Cheap 'formers could read 20% higher with no load due to poor regulation due to high internal impedance.
You only get the rated voltage when it's under the rated load.
A 16v bell should ring at 14.8v.

The 240vac supply has only dozens of milliohms of internal impedance so you won't see such a voltage change under load.
Same with car batteries. Low internal impedance.
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:38 PM   #7
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Changed out the transformer and that did the trick, ringing strong with two tones now. Turns out the old one was a 10V after all (good call yoyizit), the spec plate was on the back side and I couldn't see it

Thanks again!
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burnt03 View Post
Changed out the transformer and that did the trick, ringing strong with two tones now. Turns out the old one was a 10V after all (good call yoyizit), the spec plate was on the back side and I couldn't see it

Thanks again!
14.8v/10v = lousy regulation, but bell 'formers are short-circuit-proof so maybe regulation is one thing they give up in return for safety. Possibly they act more like current sources than voltage sources.
These 'formers might be a subcategory of Saturable Reactors but I haven't been able to confirm this.

All's well that ends well.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 10-08-2009 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:52 AM   #9
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Whether it is lousy transformer regulation or the bell unit requiring so much power to ring the bell that you need to select a higher voltage tap on the transformer -- you can burn out the little light in illuminated doorbell buttons if the no-load voltage from the transformer is too high.
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