Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Home Repair 101: Replacing a Doorbell

After more than a decade at our current home, I know a few things are bound to go wrong sooner or later. We've been pretty lucky so far, but this summer, we discovered one day that our doorbell no longer worked! Not a big deal until people started commenting about stopping by to find no one at home (at times when we actually WERE there.) Hmmmm...after a brief investigation, we found the doorbell was only ringing about half the time.

I put off doing anything for a while, because I assumed it would mean calling an electrician, or in other words, Ca-Ching $$$$!! So for a while, we solved the problem with this:

And this:

(He does a great job of letting us know when someone is at the door!)

But occasionally, he decides to take a nap, so I did some research.  I found out that if the doorbell button is the cause of the problem, its relatively easy to fix.  If the chime itself is broken, that's another story.

Its an easy test to and see if the button that is the problem.  First, remove the old button, and you should see two wires. Disconnect them from the old button.

Now, just take the exposed ends of the wires & touch them together. (Don't worry, you won't get shocked or anything like that!)  If the doorbell "rings" then the button is bad & needs to be replaced. That was the case with mine.

So you'll need to get a new button at your local hardware or home improvement store (Menard's was my choice).

You will attach the two wires to the new button with two little screws on the back side of the button.

the wires can go in either place - it shouldn't matter whether white is on top or red.

I actually had a little trouble attaching the button to the siding of my house (the holes were a little too big for the new screws) So I used another trick I learned - as you can see in the picture above, I stuck some toothpicks into the holes to help the screws stay in more securely.

And here it is! Maybe I will add a video clip of myself pushing the button so you can see just how wonderfully it works now....or maybe not, you'll just have to take my word for it!

**Disclaimer: this is not actual professional advice. Please consult your local electrician, contractor, or doorbell specialist for detailed instructions or help in replacing YOUR doorbell! :)

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