Volume Knob for Ceiling Speakers Not Working

countrygirl28

Estimable
Nov 30, 2015
3
0
4,510
0
Hi everybody,

We recently bought our home and we finally hooked up the audio receiver. We have 5 rooms that each have two in-ceiling speakers that all hook up to the main room. Each room works great and the volume knobs all work accordingly except for one -- the living room (which is where all the speakers hook up).

The problem I'm having is that I can't determine if:

A) The volume knob is completely broken.

or

B) The volume knob controls a different set of speakers that are supposed to be outside.

Each room has the volume knob right by the light switches, except for the living room (the room that doesn't have a working volume knob -- this room has a volume knob by the back patio door, near the outside light switch). The living room speakers are always on the loudest volume, which is somewhat bothersome - we can't turn those speakers off, or turn them down. We can turn down the main volume on the receiver, of course, but then the other speakers throughout the house are quiet. They don't seem to be as loud as the living room.

I can't figure out if the living room speakers aren't supposed to have a volume knob (which is strange, especially since those two speakers are the loudest of them all), or if the volume knob that isn't working is meant for outside speakers. The (broken?) knob is by the back patio door, by the light switch. That's what makes me think it controls speakers outside. There aren't any built in speakers outside, but the previous owner had two rock speakers by the pool side. We haven't tried to hook up those speakers yet (it's not pool season and we ran out of speaker wire).

Basically, how do I figure out if that knob is broken, or if it just doesn't control those main speakers?

Secondly, if it doesn't control the living room speakers ... is it not possible to add a volume control? They are so loud compared to the other speakers and we can't shut them off. If we wanted to be in the kitchen listening to music, we have to blare the living room speakers just to hear them at a decent level in the kitchen, but then the living room is deafening!
 

countrygirl28

Estimable
Nov 30, 2015
3
0
4,510
0
Thanks for your reply!

I'm not sure how to trace the wire to a speaker. I feel silly saying that, so I'm hoping you can gently help me out!

There isn't another knob that would work the living room speakers - there aren't any knobs left.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator


The only way to trace the wire is to follow it through the wall and see where it ends, without a schematic of the layout you won't know otherwise. You can also put a meter on the end of the wire and send a current down from the various speaker connections and see which one makes the meter read a signal.
 

mjslakeridge

Distinguished
If you don't have a voltage meter as Hangthe9 suggested, can you ask the previous owners how they controlled the volume in the living room, and what the "mystery" volume knob does? If I were to guess, since the living room is where the receiver is, that the volume knob on the receiver is used to adjust the volume in that room. But as you said then all of the speakers in the other rooms are also affected. It really depends on how the whole system is wired up.
 

countrygirl28

Estimable
Nov 30, 2015
3
0
4,510
0
If the mystery knob does end up controlling the speakers outside ... is it possible to add a volume knob for the speakers that don't have one?
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator


Don't see why not, the others have them. You'll just have to wire it in, it's basically just a variable resistor.
 

mjslakeridge

Distinguished
The only problem I see with adding a volume control to the living room speakers is if they are wired as the "first" speakers in the system, and receive 100% of the output from the amplifier, wouldn't reducing the volume of those speakers also reduce the volume of all of the other "later" wired speakers in the system? Also, before making any changes to the wiring of the overall system, you would need to know how the speakers are all wired up, in a series or parallel configuration or even a series/parallel config. Presuming whoever wired it up in the first place knew what they were doing, the wiring of the speakers would have to be done in such a way as to match the impedance of the speakers to the output of the amplifier. They are probably high impedance speakers (48 ohm for example). I am just guessing here based on my experience with my home intercom/whole house radio system which has one base unit and remote panels in 9 other rooms and 1 outside for the front door intercom. Sorry to get technical, but the point is, you may want to contact someone with expertise in installing these systems to make sure any modifications are done correctly.

Let us know if you get it solved.
 

chris-L

Estimable
Nov 13, 2015
34
1
4,590
3
I recently hooked up a system for my friend who had a similar setup to what you describe. 2 speakers in each of several rooms with volume controls near the light switches. first, my guess is the volume control by your back patio door is indeed for outside speakers, based on that's how we used to pre-wire custom homes when I was an installer. look for the speaker wires outside near the old rock speakers location and hookup a temporary speaker to them to test, if you can. Those outside wires have to lead back to the house probably somewhere near your back patio door location. This is a tricky setup you have so help from a local professional would be worth it. But if that can't happen, you could do what I did for my friend. we hooked a second amplifier to the existing stereo system and that allowed him to independently adjust volume in the living room from the rest of the house. we used the tape record output on the primary amp to connect to the second amp so the
same sound came out everywhere but as each amplifier had its own volume control we could adjust all the house speakers from one amp and the living room speakers from the other amp.
 

bensmith82

Prominent
Dec 4, 2017
2
0
510
0
Countrygirl28,

Did you ever find a solution to the volume control that didn't adjust the volume in your living room? I have the same problem. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!


 

bensmith82

Prominent
Dec 4, 2017
2
0
510
0
Help! I have the same problem. Did you ever figure this out?



 
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