Troubleshooting a Door Bell
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.