Doorbells are usually a low-maintenance item in most homes; however, the most visible part, the doorbell button, will eventually wear out due to usage and the long-term effects of sun and moisture. A worn out doorbell button is not only an unattractive way to greet guests to your home, it can be frustrating if it doesn't work. Fortunately, replacing a worn doorbell button isn't difficult, and it only takes a few minutes and a minimum of tools and materials. Below is what you will need to do the job and how to make the switch:
How to change a doorbell button - tools and materials needed
How to change a doorbell button - a step-by-step procedure
1. Purchase a doorbell button compatible with your system - When searching for a replacement doorbell button, it is critical to determine if the button will be compatible with your particular system. You don't usually need to buy a button that is identical in appearance to your current one, unless you want to, so don't be afraid to take the opportunity to update the look of the button. Instead, focus on electrical compatibility when shopping.
The first step is to reference your doorbell manufacturer's documentation for details on what type of replacement buttons will work; for example, if your system is analog, then make sure you buy a button compatible with analog doorbell systems. Another item to check is the number of wires leading to the doorbell button. In most cases, there will be two wires, but double-check to make sure your system isn't some other number or configuration. Finally, check the voltage of your system to make sure the button you purchase can handle the current.
2. Turn off the power at the circuit breaker - Before beginning, it is important to exercise electrical safety. Even though doorbell systems are usually low voltage, you still need to disconnect the power to the button to prevent a possible electrical shock. Locate the circuit breaker that controls the power to your doorbell and flip it to the 'off' position.
3. Remove the doorbell button - After the power to the doorbell button is disconnected at the breaker, remove the screws that hold the button to the door frame or wall. There will usually be two screws holding the button in position, but don't be surprised if there are four instead.
Once the screws are removed, gently pull the button from its location; if it won't budge, then paint or caulk may be holding it in place. In that case, slide the blade of a utility knife under the edge of the button in order to loosen it from the paint or caulk. Be careful not to cut the wires that lie underneath.
4. Disconnect the wires from the button - Once the doorbell button has been separated from its mounting spot, turn it over and locate the wires that are attached to it. Take note of which wire is connected to each specific terminal, so you can connect the wires to their proper locations on the new button.
Unscrew the screws holding the wires to the button and lift the wires away from the button. Set the old button aside and discard it when you are finished.
5. Install the new doorbell button - Check the ends of the doorbell button wiring to be sure they are still in sound condition and not frayed or corroded. If there is damage present, then cut off the bad parts of the wires and use a wire stripper to expose fresh wire. Twist the ends of the wire and use a pair of needle nose pliers to form a 'U' shape at the end of each wire.
Unloosen the screws slightly and slip the end of each wire over the appropriate terminal. Next, tighten the screws so they grasp the wires firmly and won't budge when tugged lightly. Place the doorbell button back in the original mounting location and fasten it in place using the screws included with the unit.
6. Waterproof the doorbell button - If the button is in an exposed location, run a narrow line of clear silicone caulk around the edge of the button to prevent water intrusion.
If you need help with this project, it may be a good idea to contact residential electrical services.
How old is the front door on your home? Have you ever walked past the door and felt a cool breeze coming from under it? Could it be time to replace your front door, or can you repair the one that you have? My site is filled with advice and tips for learning when to replace and when to repair a front door. You can learn from my personal experience of living in older homes how to know when it is time to call it quits on the old stuff and invest in new. Hopefully, my failures and successes can help you avoid the failures and go straight for the success.