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23 March 2010

Come and knock on my door (because the doorbellís not working) Can anyone make some suggestions as to how I can fix my wireless doorbell?[More:]

I bought this doorbell from Home Depot three years ago.

Itís always been a little temperamental. The batteries donít stay in place very well — seems like poor product design to me. Recently it stopped working altogether. I assumed the batteries were dead so I bought new ones and put them in. I tested the doorbell and it worked with the new batteries. I thought Iíd test the old batteries one by one on the chance that only one was dead. I switched out one, a new battery for an old one. The doorbell worked. I switched out another. The doorbell worked. I switched out the third one. The doorbell would not work. Eureka, I had isolated the dead battery. I took that one out and set it aside, then replaced it with a new battery. But the doorbell would not work. And though I worked and worked over the batteries, trying every possible combination and trying to get the batteries in exactly the right position, the doorbell would not work again.

What do I do? I donít know what to try in terms of fixing the doorbell myself. And, if I need a professional, who fixes doorbells? I had a pendulum wall clock fixed last week, and had hoped the repair guy would do doorbells too, but he said he couldnít fix it.

I'm hoping to avoid paying either $40 for a new doorbell or $40 for repairs to this one.
Did you check the batteries in the button as well as the chime end?
posted by Obscure Reference 23 March | 13:15
Batteries in the button? I'm pretty sure there isn't one in it. But I'll have to check on that when I get home.
posted by Orange Swan 23 March | 13:20
The product description

The wireless door chime kit includes a battery operated receiver and one battery operated push button

makes it sound like that's a good idea.
posted by Wolfdog 23 March | 13:26
Oh. Oops. Yes, I definitely must check that.
posted by Orange Swan 23 March | 14:05
What Wolfdog said.

Also, even though it SEEMS like a good idea and thrifty and environmentally conscious and what not? Don't mix old and new batteries. You risk having one of the old batteries burst and leak acid all over the internals of your gizmo, and then your doorbell REALLY wouldn't work.

Just replace the whole thing with new batteries in both components. Really. I bet when you do the whole thing will stop being temperamental at all.

Some of these products sit on the shelves before purchase for so long that if they include batteries, the batteries will go flat. This is why so often you see the disclaimer "batteries not included".

You would think that the more expensive something is, the more the manufacturer might want to do something about the whole battery-storage issue. In my case, I bought a $1500 power measuring wheelset for my bike last winter, and wound up having to replace the batteries in both the head unit and the hub within the first six weeks of owning it. *shrug*
posted by lonefrontranger 23 March | 14:08
Okay, I've put brand new batteries in the ringer and in the doorbell unit. It worked at first, and now won't work at all. Ahhhhhhhhhh.
posted by Orange Swan 23 March | 19:30
It's three years old. Planned obsolescence and all that - buy a new one before you spend another $40 on batteries.

Also, yeah, don't mix batteries.
posted by dg 24 March | 07:32
Good grief, it should have lasted longer than three years! I'm going to fiddle around with it some more and see if I can tighten the battery contacts or find anything obviously wrong inside. Otherwise, yeah, I'll have to buy a new one.

And in that event, I hope I can find one that makes that nice Westminster chime.
posted by Orange Swan 24 March | 11:40
Good news! I was about to bite the bullet and buy a new doorbell, but when shopping for a new one I saw the same model as the old one with the words "five year warranty" appearing prominently on its packaging.

So I went home and dug through my files and came up with the receipt for the old one. Can't believe I kept it! Then it was back to the store to return the old one for store credit, and I bought another of the same model. I still liked the looks of that model better than any other.

The store employee who processed my return was rather annoying. She loftily informed me that I "had to put batteries in the unit for it to work". She then tried to tell me that the warranty "was with the manufacturer, not with the store". Fortunately there was another employee working at the returns counter who stuck her oar in whenever she saw her associate doing something wrong.

So now I have a working doorbell again and won't miss any more visitors as I did a few times because they'd ring the not working doorbell and, when they got no answer, think no one was home. Yippee!
posted by Orange Swan 06 April | 10:47
MoMa acquires the @. || Does anyone have an APA style guide handy,