Troubleshooting a Door Bell

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated August 20, 2014)

It can be pretty annoying to have a door bell that won't ring when it is supposed to. While it may be very tempting to go out and replace the entire unit, that can be pretty expensive. Instead, why don't you try troubleshooting it first? When troubleshooting a door bell you don't need to be an expert electrician, but you do need to take a few precautions. As you follow this simple troubleshooting guide, be sure that you are careful as electricity is a dangerous thing. At the very least when you are working with any live wiring, wear some non-conductive gloves to help protect you from harm.

  1. Look at the button. Begin troubleshooting a door by taking a look at the button itself. This means that you need to remove the screws that are holding the button in place. Once those screws are removed, gently pull out the button assembly, making sure that the wires do not fall back into the hole. Use an old toothbrush and clean away any dirt, debris, or corrosion that you may find under there. Take a look at the wires and make sure that they are not broken, if they are, restrip them and reconnect them. Replace the button and test it out. If there is still a problem, proceed to step two.
  2. Test the wires. Remove the button again, and disconnect the wires from the terminal screws. Make sure that you have non-conductive gloves on as you do this and remember that electricity is dangerous. Touch the bare ends of the wires together to see if there is any reaction. If the bell sounds, then you need to replace the button; if there is a slight spark, but no sound then check the chime; however, if there is no sound and no spark you will need to test your transformer.
  3. Check the chime. Take the cover off of your chime, and check to make sure that all the wires are connected to their terminals. One of the leading causes for a faulty chime is that the wires have come loose for some reason. Remove any dust that you see in the chime box by vacuuming it out, and clean any corrosion that you see using an old toothbrush. Pull the plunger and see if there is any sound; if not then clean off any residue which may be stopping the works, and test again. If you find that the chime is still not working, then test the chime with an electric multitester. Place the probes of the multitester first against the "front" and "trans" terminals, and then to the "rear" and "trans" terminals. Make note of the results, and compare them to the voltage rating for the chime. If the power present is below two volts of the voltage rating, then replace the chime.
  4. Test your transformer. Locate the transformer for your doorbell so that you can test it. Typically there will be an exposed electrical box that will have the transformer attached to it. Check to make sure that all the connections are attached properly and that they are not loose. Use your multitester to check the transformer by touching the probes to the terminals. If the reading that you get is more than two volts below the rating for the transformer, then you need to replace it.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

MORE FROM LEE

Time Management Courses

Time management courses can either be the greatest thing since sliced bread, or the biggest waste of time. If you have ever ...

Discover More

Removing Deodorant and Antiperspirant Stains

If you happen to have a few white t-shirts, blouses, or button-up shirts, then chances are you know the pain of having to ...

Discover More

Reviving Old Shrubs

Instead of removing an old shrub, why not try to revive it? Reviving old shrubs can be a great way to help improve the curb ...

Discover More

Cordless, Compact, and Powerful! DeWalt's 18-volt drill-driver kit packs a big punch in a small package, with a powerful high-performance motor tucked away inside a compact design. A great addition to the tool chest of any professional or DIYer! Check out DeWalt 18-Volt Drill/Driver Kit today!

More Home Improvement Tips

Finding a Good Electrician

Whether you are a person who believes in hiring the professionals, or an adequate home electrician who needs help, there is ...

Discover More

How to Read Your Electric Meter

Have you ever wondered how to read your electric meter? Well, it's not all that difficult, and you can even track your own ...

Discover More

Electrical Safety Strategies

Before you begin working on an electrical project, make sure that you are taking care to do it safely. The best way that you ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 + 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)