Is your wireless doorbell not working?
That sucks! Even the best wireless doorbells can fail.
Well thankfully, here is a rundown of common issues and how to troubleshoot!
Before we begin to go into troubleshooting steps to resolve any issue you have with your wireless doorbell, it is worth having a quick read of this article covering how a wireless doorbell works.
Understanding how your wireless doorbell works is a major part of learning how to troubleshoot it. Once you know how it works, you can systematically go through each stage until you have resolved the issue, sent it back or just straight thrown it out.
- 5 Most Common Wireless Doorbell Problems – Infographic
- What Are The Symptoms?
- Wireless Doorbell Not Working – Chime Issues
- Frequently Asked Questions
5 Most Common Wireless Doorbell Problems – Infographic
What Are The Symptoms?
Here are the common symptoms when you find your wireless doorbell not working:
- Is the push button not working?
- Is the chime not switching on?
- Does it work intermittently?
- Does it all switch on but the chime doesn’t sound?
Wireless Doorbell Not Working – Push Button Problems
Your push button is most likely to be the reason you have a wireless doorbell not working, just because:
- It is the transmitter and initiates the process
- It is usually outside, where it is exposed to more environmental factors
Wireless Communication Issues
The push button is the wireless transmitter. In other words, when you press the button, the signal travels up the antenna cable inside the push button unit and sends out a signal to be received by the chime.
In between the signal transmitter and the signal receiver are a number of things that can weaken or even destroy the signal before it can be received.
We refer to these as areas of interference and they can include:
- Electrical Items
- Other Wireless Items
Wireless doorbells will give you a range of operation, which is basically the furthest the transmitter and receiver can be apart.
Unfortunately, this range is ‘clear sight’ which means if there is nothing in the way, it will work.
Where there are walls in the way (walls in a house, who would have thought it!), then the signal is going to weaken slightly for every wall it needs to pass through.
If the wireless doorbell states that it works over a range of 1000 ft. then you should take 40% of that range it quite a few walls are going to be in the way.
For instance – 100ft with no obstructions, 40ft with multiple obstructions.
Electrical Items and Other Wireless Objects
Interference can be a huge problem with any wireless communication.
If you have a house full of wireless smart objects, then you may be getting some interference which will reduce the range of your wireless doorbell and may cause intermittent connectivity issues.
To troubleshoot interference issues with your wireless doorbell, make sure you identify any other wireless devices and switch them off.
Then test your doorbell.
If it works every time, switch each of the other devices on one by one until the problem returns.
Now you have identified the source of the issue, think about how you can adjust your setup to reduce interference.
Can you switch other devices to use another frequency? Can you move another device further away from the wireless doorbell transmitter/receiver? Are you in a position to move your wireless doorbell?
This one is obvious.
If you are having issues with your wireless doorbell, move it closer to the transmitter during your troubleshooting. If it works perfectly, move it further away, a few feet at a time, and continue to test.
Some people will go for a wireless doorbell without checking to see if it is weatherproof. What you need, is a waterproof wireless doorbell that is rated IP44 or more to ensure it is not going to be damaged by water.
The push button is likely to be outside, which means it is exposed to environmental factors, such as:
- Temperature extremes
- Water damage from the rain
- Wind Damage
- Heat Damage
- Damage from wildlife
Check your manual for the operating temperature range.
Do you live in a climate where it breaches either the minimal or maximum temperature? Has it reached those levels recently?
Is your push button waterproof? Wireless doorbells that are going to be exposed to the elements should have a protection rating of IP44, which means it is protected from water spray from all angles.
If you do not have a waterproof push button and it rains, it will break.
Has it been windy recently? Could anything have blown on to the push button which caused it to break?
Wireless Doorbell Not Working – Chime Issues
When you have a wireless doorbell not working and you narrow the issue down to the chime, it can be frustrating. The chimes are quite difficult to troubleshoot, compared to a push button. Having said that, there are some things you can do though!
No Power To The Chime
Chimes are usually powered by a regular power socket, although they can also be battery powered, allowing for a more portable chime.
Mains Powered Chimes
If it is a mains powered chime, the first thing you will need to do is check for a power button on the chime, is it switched on?
Then move onto the actual power socket, is it working and switched on?
Plug something else into it to test and rule this out.
If you have a working socket but the wireless doorbell chime is still not working then check environmental factors.
If the wireless doorbell chime is in your house, it is likely to be well within the working temperature range (Specified in your manual).
Have you been away from your house and the central heating system has not been on? Is it possible that the temperature has dipped below the working range? If you live in a climate where this can happen, it is worth bearing in mind.
If the chime is out in a garage or a shed, this becomes more likely.
Battery Powered Chime
If the chime is battery powered, you will need to check to make sure you have actually turned it on!
It may sound simple, and you are likely to have checked this first, but you need to find the switch and make sure it is switched to the on position!
Exactly the same as any other battery-powered device, it will not work if you have flat batteries! Even if they are brand new batteries, check with another set to be sure, and to rule this out.
Check The Battery Compartment For Liquid
Liquid damage will cause all sorts of problems, especially when it has found its way into the battery compartment.
If you find some liquid in there, you then need to find out what the liquid is.
Any liquid is a concern!
If it is battery fluid, the batteries are faulty. You will need to clean out the battery terminal and then add in a new set of batteries.
If it is water, then you need to find out how it got in there to make sure it does not happen again.
Only when you are confident that you have fixed any water leak and completely dried the battery compartment, you can retest the wireless doorbell.
Any other liquid is sure to have come from a spillage! This can be quite common if you have a small child running around your house!
Make sure you keep your device away from any potential spillages.
Clean The Battery Connectors
The longer your wireless doorbell chime sits in the same position, not being moved regularly, the more dust and dirt it will collect.
If you are getting no power to the chime unit, then check the battery connectors to make sure there is nothing blocking the flow of energy from the battery.
Common battery terminal issues are caused by dust, dirt, and rust. Rust can form if it has been the victim of water damage in the past. As soon as you see rust, you should think about replacing the unit.
To clean the battery terminals, you will need some cotton swabs and some white vinegar. Then proceed with the following steps:
- Dip the swab into the vinegar
- Brush around the battery contacts until clean
- Use a dry cloth to clean any excess fluid around the battery contacts
For newly purchased wireless doorbells, they may have added a plastic tag to stop the batteries from connecting during transit. Well worth checking for the plastic tag if it is a new unit which is not working!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why would a doorbell stop working?
The most likely answers are; discharged battery, water damage, frequency interference, or signal blockers. The first thing you should do is replace the battery, especially if your doorbell is only working intermittently, or only works close to the receiver. If that does not work, take a look for water damage.
How long do wireless doorbell batteries last?
That depends on how many times it is pushed! You should expect to only change the battery every 2 years on average. If you have a video doorbell, the batteries will need to be replaced much sooner.
Why does my doorbell ring when there is no one there?
This happened to me! I found out that my neighbors car remote was using the same frequency as my doorbell. I fixed it by synchronising the doorbell again. That forced it to choose another frequency.
If you have been through all of the above and you still having issues with your wireless doorbell, then maybe it is time to be thinking about buying a new one.
Take a look at our best wireless doorbell list for some ideas, and forget about your old wireless doorbell not working!