I'm replacing a doorbell chime unit. The old one worked, but the new one does not. If I connect the wire to the terminal labeled "front", it will ding. If I connect the wire to the terminal labeled "rear", it dongs. The latter makes sense as that should be so a rear or side doorbell has a different sound. But why doesn't it ding-dong when connected to "front"? The hammer moves freely up and down (no wire in the way blocking it).

The transformer measures only 11 volts. That seems low, should I replace it? If not, what else could be the problem?


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  • Are you sure you haven't reversed the two red wires? Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 19:09
  • @PhilFreedenberg, I just tried swapping the red wires - same result. Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 19:38
  • I'm trying not to suggest that your dinger may be donged... To hit both notes, the electromagnet has to shoot the plunger against the spring tension fast/far enough to hit one chime, then let the spring shoot it back across fast/far enough to hit the other. Week electromagnet, weak spring, dust creating friction in the system are all possible causes.
    – keshlam
    Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 16:51

1 Answer 1


It was the transformer. I replaced it and the doorbell now works as expected. Upon closer inspection the old transformer was only a 10V model where I needed a 16V one.

  • Thanks for posting your answer. A few more details could really help a future visitor. Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 23:05

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