Most doorbells can last years; however, the majority of electrical devices will eventually fall victim to malfunction. Whether your doorbell doesn’t ring, makes strange noises, or rings continuously, it’s usually a simple fix.

That being said, you should always call a professional electrician to handle any electrical work in your home. At Harrison Electric, we stress the importance of experienced and professional electrical work, both for your safety and the functionality of your home.

If you’ve noticed your doorbell isn’t working properly, below are five of the most common reasons why.

1. Disconnected or Loosened Circuit Wiring

Your doorbell consists of a push button, a wall chime, and a transformer. Various wires connect these components, and occasionally, these wires may become loose or disconnected.

Perhaps the wires that connect to your outdoor push button have disconnected, or maybe those connecting the chime to the transformer have loosened. Either way, this issue will cause your doorbell to stop ringing.

2. Chime or Speaker Malfunction

The sound your doorbell emits comes from a small chime or speaker box located inside your home. Occasionally, the wiring inside the chime may malfunction, causing your doorbell to cease making sounds.

To determine if your chime is the issue, a multimeter is necessary. This tool will test the chime’s wiring to discover whether or not a current is flowing to it.

Always call a professional electrician to perform current testing as it can present a hazard to an untrained person.

3. Transformer Voltage Issue

A doorbell transformer works to step down higher-voltage electrical power to lower-voltage electrical power. Since your doorbell only requires about 10 to 20 volts, it requires a transformer to function properly. Sometimes, however, the transformer may be faulty, which causes the doorbell to malfunction.

To determine if the transformer is the source of the problem, a professional electrician is necessary. A trained professional can test the terminals within the transformer using a tool known as a voltmeter. If they do not match the voltage marked on the transformer, you’ll need to purchase a replacement.

4. Disconnected Button Wires

In many cases, a malfunctioning doorbell is due to disconnected wires behind the doorbell button. There are two wires behind the outdoor button, and occasionally, they may become loose or disconnected.

A professional electrician can test the two wires to determine if they create sound when they are touched together. If not, it’s likely that there’s a disconnection somewhere.

If the wires do create sound when they make contact, you likely have a broken doorbell button and will need to purchase a replacement.

5. Tripped Circuit

Perhaps the simplest fix for a malfunctioning doorbell is resetting the circuit. Your doorbell doesn’t require a dedicated circuit, so it will typically share one with several other electrical devices.

If you notice that other devices in your home have also ceased working, try resetting the circuit to determine if that’s the problem.

6. Bad Installation

Another problematic area that may not be as easy to detect right away is if you have experienced a bad electrical installation for the doorbell. There are intricate wires that if they are slightly frayed or loose, this can cause issues with connectivity.

If the individual that did the installation, doesn't have the proper training and knowledge, this could result in a faulty installation.

Smart Doorbell Options

With all the Wi-Fi options and advances in technology,  smart doorbells are becoming increasingly popular due to their wireless capabilities. This omits the need for any specialized wiring and these doorbells offer more than just a system to alert you when someone has arrived at your home.

There are several different options available to choose from and they allow you to see who is at the door without needing to answer it.

And depending on the needs of your home, they all have varying degrees of features including:

  •  A direct alert sent to your smartphone, so you know if there is someone at the door
  • The ability to respond to the individual at the door from your phone
  • They include a camera to help with security and motion sensors to give you a safer home environment
  • An option to have prerecorded messages the doorbell will convey for screening purposes
  • Any information recorded is uploaded to the cloud, so you never have to worry about missing footage, and you can store up to 30 days of footage with some products

Upgrading to a Smart Doorbell

If you have been living with a broken doorbell for some time, this can be frustrating, so why not consider upgrading to a smart option with Harrison Electric?

With three different power source categories available including low voltage wiring, GFCI outlet plugins, and wireless rechargeable battery options, it's easy to find the right one for your home and give you more peace of mind.

Certified Residential Electricians at Harrison Electric

If your doorbell isn’t working properly, call the professionals at Harrison Electric. For over 100 years, we’ve been serving homeowners throughout the Twin Cities metro area. Our certified electricians offer electrical installation, repair, and replacement, and all our work comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

If you have any questions or would like to request a quote, contact us at 763-544-3300, or you can message us at