Do it yourself Doorbell Repair
By Mark J. Donovan
||A doorbell is an appliance in our home that we tend to forget about, until it no longer works. Fortunately repairing a broken doorbell is a fairly straightforward do it yourself project. All that is required are a few basic homeowner tools, and possibly one or two replacement parts that you can normally find at any home improvement store.
Start with the Doorbell Button
If the doorbell is no longer ringing when you push the button, check the button itself. Due to the fact that doorbells are exposed to the weather they have the tendency to breakdown over time.
Simply remove the doorbell button cover and check to make sure the wires are still properly attached. If they are, remove the wires and touch them together. Alternatively you can also just short the two contacts (where the wires connect) together using a screwdriver.
Note: typically the wires with doorbell switches are low voltage so there is limited danger of shock, however to be careful do not personally touch the bare wires, or the metal portion of the screwdriver when shorting out the contacts.
A doorbell transformer reduces your home’s 120V electricity down to 10-16V. This low voltage supply then feeds the doorbell chimes. The doorbell transformer normally sits near the main circuit panel box or junction box.
First inspect the low voltage wires that connect to it. These are the wires that feed the doorbell chimes. If there are loose wires or connections tighten them with a screwdriver.
If the wires look tightly secured, use a multimeter set to 50V AC to measure the voltage across the low voltage terminals. If there is no voltage indicated on the digital volt meter then you need to replace the doorbell transformer. Likewise if there is a low voltage (below 6V) or a high voltage (above 16V) on the transformer the transformer needs to be replaced. Again, you can buy a replacement doorbell transformer at most home improvement stores.
Warning – To replace a doorbell transformer; make sure you first turn off AC power to it at the main circuit panel, as there is the risk of life threatening shock.
To replace the doorbell transformer, turn power off at the main circuit panel, then label the doorbell transformer wires with tape, marking their location to where they were wired.
Remove the doorbell chimes cover and examine the chimes wiring. Again, check for loose or broken wires. If they are broken reattach them and if they are loose, tighten the wiring and secure them with electrical tape. Again use a multimeter set at 50V AC to measure the voltage across the two wires coming in from the transformer. If the voltage is between 6 and 16 Volts, then the doorbell problem lies with the doorbell chimes themselves. If this is the case replace the chimes.
When replacing the chimes, make sure you tape and mark the wires first before removing the chimes as this will make the replacement effort much easier, and error free.
Following these basic steps you should be able to safely repair a broken doorbell within an hour.
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Additional Electrical Wiring Resources from Amazon.com
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