How to Repair a Doorbell

Considering that you can buy a new doorbell for between $5 (or even for $1 at many dollar stores and home hardware store bargain bins), repairing a doorbell should be a relatively simple job, unless you have a $200 multi-feature, musical doorbell. Troubleshooting your doorbell is very simple, and if the doorbell (the button you push outside the home’s door to activate the bell inside the home) is defective (not working), cross a screwdriver or other long, metal piece, across the two screws that hold the wires in place. If the doorbell does not sound, the problem is the outdoor switch, and it needs to be replaced. Nothing a $5 bill and a trip to the nearest hardware storewouldn’t fix.

The tools required to repair a broken doorbell include, but in no way are limited to;

  • Phillips screwdriver, #2.
  • Flathead screwdriver, #2.
  • Fine wire metal brush.
  • Electrical tape.
  • Jar for collecting small pieces, screws, etc.
  • Solder gun and fine solder.
  • Section of wire, in equal gauge to the wire that is connected to your doorbell.
  • The willingness to complete a job that you have just started.

If you have 15 to 20 minutes to spare, you can save yourself the indignation of hiring an electrician to come to your home to replace an electronic piece that could cost under $20. Whereas an electrician usually comes with a minimum $65 charge, plus the over-charged costs of parts that they install. So, why payexorbitant prices, when you can do it yourself for a fraction of the cost. The savings could even buy you a nicer, more fashionable doorbell.

You will need a Phillips screwdriver (normally a #2), and a flathead screwdriver (again, a #2), and a small, fine, metal, wire filing brush. Use the Phillips screwdriver to remove the doorbell’s face from the wall, and place the face and the screws in a safe place where you will not lose them, like a close-able plastic or glass jar. Since the voltage and amperage to the doorbell unit is very minimal, and poses no threat to being electrocuted, you can press the Flathead screwdriver against both posts that hold the two wires. If the bell rings, the problem is the doorbell switch or button itself, and it needs to be replaced.

Fortunately, the replacement won’t be a problem as you can find some of the best companies on with the best electricians in town that are quite adept at their job but when it comes to fixing doorbells, they have a special affinity for this technique.

In order to replace a switch (button) from a doorbell, you must remove the two wires that are connected to it first. Unscrew the two to four screws holding the unit to the wall using the Phillips screwdriver. Check the wires for burn or fray marks, and if there are any, or any breaks in the wires, replace that section of wire, ensuring to solder any splices, and cover the soldered joint(s) with electrical tape. If any wires are loose or frayed at the connecting screws, cut off the sprayed section of wire, strip about an inch of insulation from the wire, and reconnect to the screws.

Before connecting the new doorbell, press the two wires against the two connecting screws, and press the doorbell button. If the bell works, install the new switch. Connect the new doorbell to the wall’s brackets, and then connect the two wires from the home to the screws on the new doorbell. Check to make sure that the bell still works, and if it does, replace the doorbell cover, or install the new doorbell cover.

If the bell does not work when pressing the screwdriver against the two connecting screws, check that there are no blown fuses or breakers in the breaker box, located in the basement, crawl space or by the hot water heater. If any fuses are blown, replace them, and if any breakers areblown , reset the breaker switch. Go back and recheck the doorbell. If it is still not working, there is most likely a break or spark coming from the wiring between the breaker box and the doorbell.

At this point, it would be more economically viable to buy a battery operated doorbell, so that you do not have to worry about the home’s wiring. For as little as $25, you can buy a decent, battery operated doorbell. For a little more money, you can buy a doorbell with variable tones and rings.

So, why waste the money on having an electrician, or other professional, repair your doorbell, when it is so simple and takes little time to accomplish (except for the drive to the home hardware store, or the dollar store). You will even have the bonus feeling of accomplishment to boot, and the savings could buy a much better, or more fun doorbell.

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James Scott is a general news and feature writer of Untitled Magazine. Prior joining the company, he previously worked as a senior writer in different publishing companies in New York.