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Tips For Diagnosing Problems With Your Doorbell

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A doorbell is a simple system that many people don't expect to go haywire. Since there are only a few parts to a doorbell system, including a bell, push button, and the transformer, it can be easy for the average homeowner to fix. If your doorbell isn't working properly, or it isn't working at all, there could be a number of issues with the system. Keep reading to learn how to diagnose problems with your doorbell.

The Doorbell Is Constantly Ringing

If your doorbell is constantly ringing it usually means the wires to the button are shorted together or the button is stuck. To troubleshoot these problems with your doorbell, follow these steps:

1. Turn off the power to the transformer by flipping the appropriate switch on the circuit board.

2. Take the doorbell button off the door frame, using a screwdriver if necessary.

3. Disconnect one of the two wires connecting to the doorbell. It doesn't matter which one.

4. Turn the power back on to the doorbell. If the bell rings, the problem may be a short between the two wires. Simply wrap the frayed wires with electrical tape or replace the wires. If the bell doesn't ring, you may need a new button. You can purchase a new one at your local hardware store or home improvement store.

The Doorbell Is Silent

If the doorbell is silent, check to make sure it's getting power.

1. Verify that the fuse or circuit breaker hasn't tripped or blown. If it has, replace the fuse or flip the breaker to turn the power back on.

2. If the power is flowing properly, then shut it off and tighten all the wire connections. Then, follow the steps below.

The Bell Or Chime Mechanism Is Malfunctioning

Enlist a helper to push the doorbell button. While standing near the bell or chime, listen to determine if it is making a humming or buzzing sound. If it is, then it needs to be cleaned out. You can clean the bell by using a damp cloth. To remove corrosion, you can clean the area with fine-grade sandpaper. If the bell still buzzes or hums, then you need to replace it. You can buy a new bell at your local hardware or home improvement store.

The Transformer Isn't Working Correctly

If the bell isn't the problem, then check the transformer. Use a volt-ohm meter to test the connection. The reading on the meter should be the same as the secondary voltage marked on the transformer. This is typically 8 to 24 volts.

Next measure the voltage between the transformer's low-voltage terminals with the voltage range on your volt-ohm meter to 120 volts. If the meter is reading a voltage that is higher than the secondary voltage, then you need to replace the transformer. If the reading is close to the secondary voltage, then this isn't the problem.

Wires Are Frayed Or Broken

Finally, look at all the wires for your doorbell system and make sure they are not frayed or spliced. If so, repair them and wrap them with electrical tape. Or, you may have to replace the wires if the damage is extensive.

If you can't find the problem with your doorbell, then it's time to call in a licensed electrician from a company like Beckstoffer-Welsh Inc. He or she can find the problem using expert tools and knowledge. Or the professional electrician can replace your entire doorbell system with a new one. This is the perfect time to try a wireless doorbell system in your home. If you have any questions about troubleshooting, repairing, or replacing a doorbell, call your local electrician for help. He or she will be happy to assist you.