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Doorbell repair? Transformer not grounded? #4640960
01/20/18 01:52 PM
01/20/18 01:52 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,150
USA
Reddy45 Offline OP
Reddy45  Offline OP
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,150
USA
Anyone ever replace their doorbell?

Turns out mine has been dead for.. I guess a year now, but it's not like I would know since I never ring my own door bell. LOL

(I wonder how many people I missed because of this?)


The mains wiring to the transformer had 120V, but the transformer itself produced no voltage (should be around 16V).

I pulled the chime and the transformer off the wall, and one of the "plungers" that makes the noise was flat out MELTED. We had some bad storms about a year ago where the power cut on/off about a dozen times in a 5 minute period, so this probably did it.

Anyway it's weird -- the transformer has 3 wires (black, white, green) but the green wire was snipped off so that it couldn't be connected to the ground wire. (the junction box this was in has a bare copper ground) The builder of the home must have done this. But why? Wouldn't grounding the transformer have kept it from dying during a power surge?


Re: Doorbell repair? Transformer not grounded? [Re: Reddy45] #4640971
01/20/18 02:01 PM
01/20/18 02:01 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,663
MIchigan
Warstud Offline
Warstud  Offline
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,663
MIchigan
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
Wouldn't grounding the transformer have kept it from dying during a power surge?

I dont think so. I think grounding pertains to the metal part of the doorbell itself being "live" in case the live wires some how come in contact with the doorbell. If you can't fix it you may want to consider buying a wire-less doorbell.

Last edited by Warstud; 01/20/18 02:04 PM.
Re: Doorbell repair? Transformer not grounded? [Re: Reddy45] #4640973
01/20/18 02:03 PM
01/20/18 02:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,085
New Jersey
JHZR2 Offline
JHZR2  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,085
New Jersey
How old of a home?

Our transformer is ungrounded because it's plugged into a two-prong outlet in the basement. Has been this way for probably 50-100 years.

That ground is just a chassis safety in case a winding gets shorted to the case. It has no role in anything else. Asssuming its new construction, I'd have assumed the builder would wire it stratight to Romex, and it would be a no brainer to ground.

Re: Doorbell repair? Transformer not grounded? [Re: Reddy45] #4640982
01/20/18 02:11 PM
01/20/18 02:11 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 7,128
Leamington, ON, Canada ..... r...
Papa Bear Online content
Papa Bear  Online Content
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 7,128
Leamington, ON, Canada ..... r...
The transformer says on it to "install in metal box". That would ground the case.


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Re: Doorbell repair? Transformer not grounded? [Re: JHZR2] #4641001
01/20/18 02:35 PM
01/20/18 02:35 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,150
USA
Reddy45 Offline OP
Reddy45  Offline OP
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,150
USA
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
How old of a home?

Our transformer is ungrounded because it's plugged into a two-prong outlet in the basement. Has been this way for probably 50-100 years.

That ground is just a chassis safety in case a winding gets shorted to the case. It has no role in anything else. Asssuming its new construction, I'd have assumed the builder would wire it stratight to Romex, and it would be a no brainer to ground.


14 years old, so newerish construction.

The black and white wires were wired direct to romex with wire caps.

Anyway I found a replacement for around $20 shipped so no biggie.

Re: Doorbell repair? Transformer not grounded? [Re: Reddy45] #4641008
01/20/18 02:39 PM
01/20/18 02:39 PM
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 717
Canada
i_hate_autofraud Offline
i_hate_autofraud  Offline
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 717
Canada


Bad installers snip off wires so they don't have to connect them!! frown

A ground wire on a device, does nothing for lightning, but provides a path to
ground to blow / "clear" the fuse so the faulty device no longer has power on it.

These transformers usually make 24V AC, but measure lower depending on the meter you use (AC true RMS,
AC average responding or just crummy!)

In your case, it's likely the chine faulted and melted and took out the transformer, they often
have a small thermal link inside the transformer winding.

If you're next transformer has a green wire, ground it, they provided a wire since the metal
core of the transformer is not connected to the outside housing, a 2 wire transformer will
have the core bonded to the housing per UL and CSA certification rules.

Re: Doorbell repair? Transformer not grounded? [Re: Reddy45] #4641014
01/20/18 02:42 PM
01/20/18 02:42 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 34
SW of Chicago, IL
Variant_S Offline
Variant_S  Offline
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 34
SW of Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: Reddy45

I pulled the chime and the transformer off the wall, and one of the "plungers" that makes the noise was flat out MELTED. We had some bad storms about a year ago where the power cut on/off about a dozen times in a 5 minute period, so this probably did it.


I had a melted plunger/striker when the house was about 5 years old. I got a kit with a mechanical bell from Home Depot for about $15. I just installed the bell, left the rest in the box.

Re: Doorbell repair? Transformer not grounded? [Re: Reddy45] #4641147
01/20/18 05:42 PM
01/20/18 05:42 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,523
USA
mk378 Offline
mk378  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,523
USA
The chime solenoid and the transformer are only designed for intermittent duty. If the solenoid melts and/or the transformer burns out, either the button is stuck or someone has been holding it down for several minutes at a time.


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