Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated August 17, 2012)
We have all found ourselves waiting impatiently at the door of a business establishment or close friend, hoping that they will hear us trying to ring the doorbell repeatedly until we realize that it does not even work. We have all also found ourselves frustrated because we have missed an important appointment or meeting with a friend or associate because the doorbell did not work.
If you, like most homeowners, have a doorbell, you can probably bet on your doorbell breaking at some point. Although most people wish that their doorbell would "magically" break around Halloween or when the solicitors are out, many value their doorbell too much to let it be silent for too long. This article discusses the how-to's of fixing a doorbell; just follow these easy steps and yours will be up and running in no time.
A doorbell works by positioning an electromagnet between two tone bars. When someone presses the doorbell the magnet moves quickly between the two tone bars to emit the classic "ding-dong" sound. In order to fix any element of your broken doorbell, you will need a screwdriver, electrical tape, cleaning supplies (rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs), sandpaper and wire connectors.
First, check to see if the culprit is the button. Remove the cover of the doorbell and clean around the button with the rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs. When the button is properly cleaned, check to see if the doorbell chimes when you press a screwdriver to the inside. If your doorbell rings, replace the cover and you are done! If your doorbell continues not ringing, find the connecting wires and see if it chimes when the two ends are placed together. Sometimes the wiring is worn down so you simply need to wrap electrical tape around weathered edges or attach the two wires together securely. With the cover still off, clean further with cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol to reduce decay within the internal parts of the doorbell. Replace the cover and test for chime.
If your doorbell works but is not in mint condition, you may want to do some touch-up work. Follow similar procedures for tuning the doorbell as fixing the doorbell. It may be necessary to clean the internal processes of the doorbell periodically to prevent further decay. When there is a build up of dirt and dust, it causes a distorted "chime" sound. Remember to use materials like cotton swabs or old toothbrushes to avoid too rigorous a cleaning.
If you have further questions, ask your local hardware store manager or seek the help of your friendly neighbor.
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