Antique doorbell installation troubleshooting


  #1  
Old 04-30-17, 01:22 PM
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Antique doorbell installation troubleshooting

Hi,

I have done some legwork here so hopefully someone can step in and give me an answer to figure this out.

I have an older house (built in 1930). The existing doorbell chime is this one here:

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My wife and I both want to keep it but it currently does not work. i have used a multimeter to test the various components and here are the results.

Outside Button DOES work. The wires leading into the button are supplying ~3volts.
Transformer DOES work. The output at the terminal screws reads ~ 21 volts.
The end of the wires at the chime read ~8 volts when the front door button is NOT pressed. When it is pressed the voltage increases to ~ 21volts.

When the chime is connected nothing happens. The voltage at the terminals of the chime read the same as the wires mentioned above. It seems as though something inside the chime is broken but I'm not certain. I checked the wiring inside and the connections seem tight. I also cleaned some parts with rubbing alcohol just to be sure but it made no difference.

My questions at this point are.
1) Am I missing something else that could be the problem?
1) Is it normal for the chime to be getting ~8 volts of constant power in "standby"?
2) Is it possible to fix the existing chime?

I would be willing to purchase a "new" chime similar to the one I have if I can confirm the issue lies with it. However I'm really not sure what could have gone wrong with it to stop it from working. From what I know of older mechanical items it should be able to be fixed.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

Last edited by PJmax; 04-30-17 at 01:32 PM. Reason: added pic from link
  #2  
Old 04-30-17, 01:35 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

That is just a bell.... not a chime. You still may be able to buy a similar bell.

It appears the arm with the hammer is bent. The hammer should not be touching the gong.
Have you had the metal cover off..... there is a set of contacts inside there.

The red circle is the gap needed. The pink circle is the contact that needs to be closed. It will open when hammer moves.

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Last edited by PJmax; 04-30-17 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 04-30-17, 01:35 PM
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Transformer for most old door bells was about ~ 8 volts. No meaningful measurement of voltage at the button. Voltage to the bell should be 0v when the button is not pressed. Your voltage readings don't make sense.
 
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Old 04-30-17, 01:56 PM
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The fact they get 21v when the button is pushed signifies that everything to the bell is ok.

21v probably means a 16v transformer. May be a little high for that type of bell.
 
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Old 04-30-17, 01:58 PM
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PJmax - Yes I have had the cover off. It is similar to the image you posted with two coils. There is a tiny gap between the hammer and bell, it is not directly touching.

The pink location does have constant contact, but as I mentioned, there is no movement when the button is pressed.
 
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Old 04-30-17, 02:02 PM
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If you have helper.... while holding the button in..... wiggle that arm to move the contact.

If nothing happens.... the magnetic coil may be open. If the button had gotten stuck in at one point... the coil may have burned open.
 
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Old 04-30-17, 02:07 PM
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I have attached an image of the inside of the bell. I know the wires are old but I'd rather not replace it all going through the attic for the time being. There is extra bare wire currently that will be trimmed once i get everthing sorted.

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Last edited by crazynate1021; 04-30-17 at 04:23 PM.
 

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