This is a house that is 20 years old and my doorbell button is very hot to the touch.

We had a technician out to my house four times and we still don't know the cause of the issue.

We changed the transformer three times, and the problem still exists. Obviously the transformer has been eliminated as a possible cause.

Can the cause be the door bell switch, the chime unit, or the wiring size? Could it be that the wiring is pinched? Could there be some other cause that I am not aware of?

What steps must I take to troubleshoot this issue and determine the root cause?

  • 5
    Have you changed the door bell button? 20 years the connections in the door bell might be quite corroded, causing high resistance(heat).
    – crip659
    Jul 13 at 17:33
  • 7
    If an on-site tech can't debug it, what chance do we have with a bare minimum text description?
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 13 at 17:45
  • 9
    4 times to fix a freaking doorbell? Get a better tech. Have you tried changing out the doorbell button? Does the doorbell actually work? I suspect there is a short (true short), in the button. A doorbell button doesn't normally flow any current except when someone presses it. Your tech doesn't know what he's doing and is throwing parts at it without a proper diagnosis. Transformers seldom fail. Your best bet is to swap the button. Jul 13 at 18:02
  • 3
    @George it's stuck and flowing current all the time. Jul 13 at 19:10
  • 3
    @crip659 I agree! The last time I used mine was about a month ago... when I installed all-new bell, button, and wiring because the old stuff never worked since the day I moved in! ;-) Specifically I ask whether the button is lighted because an incandescent lamp is a heater that happens to also glow.
    – Greg Hill
    Jul 13 at 20:06

2 Answers 2


I reckon you need a new button, but your chime might be faulty as well.

If the button is heating up, it means 2 things are happening:

  • There's current flowing through it, and
  • It's got a noticeable resistance.

There shouldn't be current flowing through it when it's not being pressed, so either - it's sticking, or

  • you have a chime that manages to draw current when the button is released, and that's sticking (some do, some don't and we don't know what you have*).

Corrosion inside the switch can cause both mechanical sticking and electrical resistance, which is why it would be my first guess. But the fact it's showing a resistance means even if there's another fault, the button still isn't right. This is true to some extent for illuminated buttons as well, except that if they are illuminated with an incandescent bulb, that will get quite warm. LEDs and neon bulbs (orange) won't.

* I don't know about what's available wherever you are, but here we have 3 main types of chime:

  • electronic, which can clearly draw current after the button is released, as they keep sounding. Can make any sound.
  • two metal chime bars. A solenoid pulls a striker towards one when the button is pressed, and a spring bounces it off the other when the button is released. No chance of current draw if the switch opens properly. "Bing-bong" sound.
  • An electric bell with a clapper, sounds a little like a telephone bell. Here the clapper is pulled towards the bell by a solenoid when the button is pressed. The same action causes the circuit to be opened, so the clapper springs away from the bell, but then the circuit is remade, causing another strike for a brrrrrrring effect. Again, no current should be drawn without the button pressed

One thing no one has mentioned here that is very important. This can be a fire hazard. A friend of mine almost had his house burn down due to a faulty door-bell. I would play it safe and replace the entire thing with a wireless one. It is not worth the risk to save a few dollars. $11 on Amazon for a simple wireless model...

  • 2
    Wireless or wired - does not make a difference here. Your comment about a fire hazard here though is well worth noting for that I plus you one!
    – Ken
    Jul 17 at 9:15

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