Doorbells are a common element of every household. With time, they wear down like all other equipment. So, they start to malfunction. You might wonder about how to fix a doorbell. It is often quite simple to troubleshoot doorbells.

The first step to fixing a doorbell is to properly diagnose the issue. Because the solutions will vary with the problems. Oftentimes the problems are very easy to find and troubleshoot.

In this article, I will go through the steps of how to fix doorbell wiring as well as the steps to diagnose doorbell problems. So, without further ado, let’s begin.

How to Fix a Doorbell That Doesn't Ring?

How to Diagnose Doorbell Problems?

Often a user might see that a doorbell stopped working with ringing, or not working at all. This could be due to faulty wiring, or an issue with the doorbell itself. Therefore, a proper diagnosis is required.

Here are a few of the issues that might result in a malfunctioning doorbell.

Test the Wiring:

Oftentimes a doorbell might stop working due to faulty wiring. This could be due to poor connections, or inferior quality of wires, which have worn down with time and use.

Or an intercepting outlet can also cause such a problem. But can one bad outlet affect others? Yes, it can. The steps to check the wiring are quite simple.

  • Turn off the power supply from the main panel of your household. You could also choose to only turn off the breaker providing power to the doorbell.
  • Remove the switch or button that operates your doorbell.
  • You may remove the wires, or if the terminals are visible, you may not.
  • After removing the positive wire (or getting access to the terminal), get yourself a tester.
  • Turn the power back on and check if there is power at the positive end of the switch.
  • If you can’t find power at the start of the switch, the wiring needs to be checked.

Test the Doorbell Button

If the wiring checks out perfectly, the problem could be with the switch. The steps are quite similar to the previous one.

  1. Press the switch or button.
  2. While the button is pressed, check with a tester whether power is flowing through the button or not.
  3. If there is no power at the other end of the switch, you have to get a replacement.

Testing the Doorbell/Chime Box

If the wiring checks out at all stages, the issue might be with the chime box or doorbell itself.

  1. Turn off the power. Either from the specific breaker or the main panel.
  2. Remove the doorbell from the wall.
  3. Disconnect the wires.
  4. Attach the doorbell to another set of wires connected to a power source.
  5. Check whether the doorbell makes a sound when the power is supplied to it.
  6. If not, the doorbell might need to be replaced.

Low Battery on a Wireless Doorbell

Oftentimes, discharged batteries in either the doorbell or the remote could cause the doorbell to not work. Why is my hardwired Ring Doorbell not working? It could be due to it not being properly charged. Or some sort of software bug.

These are some of the common problems regarding issues with a doorbell. I will discuss the steps and techniques on how to fix a doorbell in the next segment.

How to Fix a Malfunctioning Doorbell?

The fix will vary based on the issue you have. In most cases, the fixes can be done by oneself and do not require professional aid. Below I will talk about fixes for most of these common problems.

Faulty Wiring:

The remedy to faulty wiring can either be too simple or very hard. Depending on the type and magnitude of issues. If you only have a loose connection, then it is quite easy to fix. However, if the issue is somewhere within the wall, it could be a problem.

You could use a non-contact voltage tester to find the issue within the wall. Or might recruit a professional to do it for you. The next step would be to either fix the specific part of the problem or replace the wiring entirely.

Fig 1- Doorbell Button Wiring Diagram
Fig 1- Doorbell Button Wiring Diagram

Malfunctioning Button:

Oftentimes buttons wear down with use. And may stop working entirely. In such a case, it may need to be replaced. The steps are as follows:

  • Turn off the power from the main panel, or the breaker.
  • Open the switch cover (if any).
  • Use a screwdriver to open up the button to gain access to the terminals.
  • Disconnect the cables. Both from the supply, and from the doorbell itself.
  • Acquire a new button/switch for the doorbell.
  • Rewire the supply and doorbell cables to the terminals of the new button.
  • Turn the power on and check if it works.

Replace the Chime Box:

In case you have a broken chime box (or the doorbell itself), you will need to get it replaced. The steps are easy to follow. I will list them below.

  1. Remove the doorbell from the wall using a ladder or stool of appropriate height.
  2. After you have removed the doorbell, you may disconnect the wires from it. Some models may have the terminals inside the doorbell itself.
  3. In such a case, open the doorbell with appropriate tools, such as a screwdriver.
  4. Reconnect the wires to the new doorbell.

Wireless Doorbell Troubleshooting:

If your doorbell requires batteries, you may need to change them. But some smart doorbells may need to be reset. How do I reset my hardwired Ring doorbell?

  1. There is a screw below the doorbell. Take it out with a screwdriver.
  2. Open the cover plate.
  3. You will find a small button within this panel.
  4. Hold the button down for 15 seconds.

These are some of the most common fixes for a malfunctioning doorbell.


I have gone through the various steps of troubleshooting a malfunctioning doorbell. Including the different steps for diagnosis along with the certain fix for the exact problem. I hope this article has helped you become more knowledgeable about how to fix a doorbell.

However, if you still feel confused, or cannot yet properly identify the problem with your doorbell, do not hesitate to call a professional. As oftentimes different models and manufacturers have different requirements and structures.

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