Is your wireless doorbell not working?
Don’t throw it away just yet, because here is a rundown of common issues and a guide for troubleshooting your wireless doorbell!
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 significant part of learning how to troubleshoot it. Once you understand how it works, you can go through each stage systematically until you have resolved the issue, sent it back, or just resigned yourself to the fact it is broken and thrown it out!
5 Most Common Wireless Doorbell Problems – Infographic
What Are The Symptoms?
Doorbell not working completely, intermittently working, doorbell rings on its own, amongst others.
- 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 Related Problems
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 receiver, several things can weaken or even destroy the signal before the receiver can receive it.
We refer to these as areas of interference, and they can include:
- Electrical Items
- Other Wireless Items
Objects In The Way (Walls, etc.)
Wireless doorbells will give you a range of operations; basically, the furthest the transmitter and receiver can be apart.
Unfortunately, this range is ‘clear sight,’ which means it will work if there is nothing in the way.
Where there are walls in the way (walls in a house, who would have thought it!), the signal will weaken as it passes through each wall.
If the wireless doorbell states that it works over a range of 1000 ft, you should take 40% of that range if quite a few walls are in the way.
For instance – 100ft with no obstructions, 40ft with multiple obstacles.
Electrical Items and Other Wireless Objects
Interference can be a huge problem with any wireless communication.
Suppose you have a house full of wireless smart objects. In that case, you may be getting some interference that will reduce your wireless doorbell range 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 on each of the other devices until the problem returns.
Now you have identified the source of the issue, think about adjusting your setup to reduce interference.
Can you switch your other devices to use another frequency? For example, 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 have 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.
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 that breaches either the minimal or maximum temperature? Has it reached those levels recently?
Is your push-button waterproof? Wireless doorbells that will 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 onto the push button, which caused it to break?
Wireless Doorbell Not Working – Chime Issues
It can be frustrating if your wireless doorbell is no longer working and you have narrowed the issue down to the chime. The chimes are more difficult to troubleshoot when compared with a push button.
There are some things you can do, though, so let’s take a look.
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 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, check environmental factors.
If the wireless doorbell chime is in your house, it will likely be well within the operating 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 operating range? If you live in a climate where this can happen, it is worth bearing in mind.
This becomes more likely if the chime is out in a garage or a shed.
Battery Powered Chime
If the chime is battery-powered, you will need to check to make sure you have 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!
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 rule this out.
Check The Battery Compartment For Liquid
Liquid damage will cause problems, primarily when it has found its way into the battery compartment.
If you find some liquid there, you need to find out what the liquid is.
Any liquid is a concern!
If it is battery fluid, the batteries are faulty, so you need to clean out the battery terminal and add a new set of batteries.
If it is water, you need to find out how it got there to ensure it does not happen again.
Consider testing the wireless doorbell when you are confident that you have fixed any water leak and completely dried the battery compartment.
Any other liquid is sure to have come from a spillage! This can be pretty 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, check the battery connectors to ensure nothing is 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, it would be best if you thought about replacing the unit.
To clean the battery terminals, you will need some cotton swabs and 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
They may have added a plastic tag to stop the batteries from connecting during transit for newly purchased wireless doorbells. Well worth checking for the plastic tag if it is a new unit that is not working!
Why would a doorbell stop working?
The most likely answers are; discharged battery, water damage, frequency interference, or signal blockers. You should first 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 neighbor’s car remote was using the same frequency as my doorbell. So I fixed it by synchronizing the doorbell again. That forced it to choose another frequency.
If you have been through all of the above and are still having issues with your wireless doorbell, it may be time to think about buying a new one.
Please look at our best wireless doorbell list for some ideas, and forget about your old wireless doorbell not working!