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Why Did My Doorbell Stop Working?


You probably don't think much about your doorbell or how it works. When you hear the ring, or buzz, or other tone, you know someone is waiting at your door. But what if you don't hear it anymore? A knock isn't always audible, especially from across the house, so if someone is at the door, you might not realize it - leaving them to wait a long time. Why did your doorbell stop working, and how can you make it ring again? Here are a few common reasons.

The Button

The most likely culprit for a broken doorbell is the button. It could get clogged with dirt and other debris, making it difficult to press. Sometimes even a spider's nest or similar blockage can build up behind the button. To get rid of blockages, clean the button periodically with rubbing alcohol, which will remove debris. Once it's clean, try pressing the button again to see if it rings.

If it still doesn't, the problem might be a loose wire behind the button. If this is the case, call your local electrician to take a look and get it hooked back up.

The Bell Unit or Chime Box

The place where the sound comes from when the doorbell rings is called the bell unit, or chime box. Most people probably have only a vague idea of where theirs even is. It might be near the door, or it might be elsewhere in the house. Think about where the sound generally comes from when someone rings the bell and look in that area.

Remove the cover and take a look inside. If there's an obvious loose wire, you'll want to call an electrician to fix it. If, on the other hand, the insides look worn out or corroded, or if there's significant damage to the inner workings, then you should probably just get a new doorbell.

Wires and Transformers

If the problem isn't the button, and it isn't the chime box, then it's likely some more complex electrical issue. It could be the transformer - the box that converts electrical current to a different voltage. Doorbells tend to operate at a much lower voltage than most other appliances in your house. Therefore, the current must be reduced before it enters the chime box, or the system could be overloaded.

There could also be problems with the wiring between the chime box and the doorbell. Something might have gotten twisted, frayed, or simply come loose. If a wire even bends too much, it can damage the inner workings. There could also be water damage, or you could have rodents chewing on the wires.

You might be tempted to try to repair the problem yourself, especially if it looks like an easy fix. However, electrical work is very complicated, and more importantly, very dangerous, if you don't know what you're doing. Unless you've been trained in the inner workings of a house's electrical systems, call an electrician. Tell them what you've discovered, and where you think the problem lies. They might be able to repair it, or they might advise you to buy a new one. In the case of the latter, they can then help you connect the new model. Either way, they'll get your bell up and ringing again quickly and safely.

For help repairing or replacing your broken doorbell, contact our experts at David Gray.