Recently I had a client who ordered a Simplisafe Video Doorbell. I went to install it, followed instructions and got it setup in no time. Two days later, he called me and said it was making a buzzing noise or a hum. I found out that Simplisafe is familiar with this and offers an extra part that is not normally included called a “Chime Connector.”
I purchased the Utilitech doorbell package from Lowes that has two standard doorbell buttons, a mechanical doorbell chime, and a standard transformer (10VA). The buzz came later and thought all we needed was to add the Chime Connector and call it a day. When it arrived, I installed it but the buzz was still there. I also read forums where the transformer was not the correct one and to buy a Hampton Bay doorbell transformer that is “made” for smart video doorbells (30VA). This was installed and the buzz continued.
What is Different?
What was different from other installs I have done is the builder had two wires (red and white) running from the transformer to the door chime. Then had another two wires (red and white) running from the chime to the doorbell. In the mechanical doorbell standard setup, they just connected the red wires together and the white wires together. Well now that I had a buzz in the system, I had exhausted all resources and resulted in calling Simplisafe support. After going over all connections with tech #1, it still had no resolve. Their solution was it could be a bad Chime Connector but to our surprise, Simplisafe had already shipped two Chime Connectors by accident and I had already tried both. I tested the base plate and still received 16.2V which Simplisafe said was their median voltage and should be acceptable. We ended up with tech#2 and they shipped us a new video doorbell thinking that it could be a faulty unit.
When that arrived, I realized that we did not completely disconnect the video doorbell and see if the buzzing continued. I tried that and sure enough, the buzz continued which meant it was the door chime or the transformer. I went to Home Depot to search for another door chime to try and “match” the 30VA from the transformer. However they did not have any 30VA door chime and all they had was the standard 16VA mechanical door chime. I purchased a new door chime that was the same price as the whole Utilitech package. Also, I purchased another 3-way transformer that has 10VA, 16VA, and 24VA.
I installed the new Hampton Bay door chime and it still gave us a buzzing. Then I installed the 3-way transformer and started with 24VA. It buzzed. Then I switched to 16VA, it buzzed. Then I even went down to 10VA, and it buzzed. NOW WHAT!! I also looked at wiring diagrams which showed that one wire from the transformer goes to the doorbell and the other goes to the door chime. So I rewired the two pair of wires coming from the transformer where one wire (white) ran straight to the doorbell and one red went to the chime connector. I took the red wire from the doorbell and connected that to the chime connector. Then I connected the chime connector to the door chime by putting the Blue Wire to the Front and the White Wire to the Transformer.
The Problem Solved!
Now I started the process over with 24VA, it buzzed. Since the door chime states that it was a 16VA door chime, I switched to 16VA and NO BUZZING!!! I connected the Chime Connector just in case and sealed it up. This fixed the problem for me. I usually deal with only two wires to the door chime and not two PAIRS.
Hopefully this solution helps someone out there if you run into the same issue. We shipped the new video doorbell back without even opening it and returned the Utilitech garbage.