Wednesday, January 19, 2011

ding DONG! Aarufff, Rruff, RrawFFFF!

A spooky glowing eye?

No!  The house finally has a working doorbell again and that was it (probably autofocus and no flash, but I'm not sure.) Every step installing it has had some complication or another, making it an enormous pain in the butt over several days. I'm most upset about the inaccurate description posted by the online retailer AND how one of their employees called to argue with me about it and insist my complaint was just a matter of semantics. Accommodating that one difference they dismiss is what set off an avalanche of problems. But I really don't have the energy to go through it step by step.

I am very pleased that it works. I like the size and the decorative detailing and the finish. I am especially enjoying that it lights up with an LED. The light is supposed to make it easier to find in the dark, but the porch light right above is illuminated all the time anyway. I appreciate it's unexpected usefulness as an indicator that the wires are properly connected.

And it certainly is a huge improvement over the old doorbell button, which had endured sloppy paint jobs and about 21 years of use. At first it was still operable even with the duct tape over the missing button section. I'd applied that because of the way the button on it had broken. I wanted to be sure no one would be at risk of cuts or shock from using the button, but needed to leave it in place while securing a replacement.

I'm certain, besides age, location and resulting positional abuse contributed to its demise. While sheltered from weather conditions by many feet in all directions, it had the misfortune of being mounted on a wall perpendicular to the door. I think most people pressing on it were doing so from the outside corner, rather than flat on the face of the button. Makes sense that it would snap the way it did. In the last year possibly five different people have drawn my attention to this doorbell button (pre-duct tape, with no broken parts), suggesting that it didn't work. I'd reach over from the door's threshold and press firmly on the face of the button and we'd both hear the doorbell chiming loudly a few feet behind me. I think the button in the new doorbell button has a better chance because the button part doesn't pop out and press in  to the same extent.  There's no outside corner to press on in a circle.

I really should do some touch up sanding and painting to really finish the installation. I even took out the matching paint when I started this project. But it's been so much extra trouble already and I am truly exhausted.  Unfortunately next time there's a problem, new wires are going to have to be fished through. Every bit of extra slack was used up in this fix (not my plan at all, just kept going that way) and I found that the insulation on the wires came off easily, seemingly without even touching it at all. And the smallest manipulations tended to snap the wire right off.

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