My doorbell has been doing strange things lately. Symptoms:

  • When someone presses the doorbell button outside, sometimes the doorbell does not ring, and instead starts buzzing until the button outside is pressed again several times. The last time this happened, I looked inside and the electromagnet seemed to be stuck in the on position. When it does this, it starts to heat up and cause things inside the mechanism to smell like they're melting. After that test, I disconnected the doorbell. :)
  • When someone closes the front door (which is close to the doorbell), the doorbell briefly chimes. If I disconnect the wires in the doorbell chime, this does not happen.

What should I replace? The whole doorbell chime assembly? The button outside? Some part of the wiring? Something else?

  • A few photographs would be useful since it is hard to tell you what to replace if we don't know what the device looks like.
    – Barry
    Nov 27, 2023 at 23:49

2 Answers 2


Figured it out. The button was fine; the wires going from the house to the button weren't. For about one inch, they're exposed to the elements and their insulation has gotten stripped off over the years. The cold weather caused the bare copper wires to contract to the point where they were almost touching. Slamming the door shook them into brief contact with one another, causing the doorbell to ring. And sometimes pushing the button exerted pressure on the button assembly, similarly pushing the wires into each other and completing the circuit.


This really sounds like the button is sticking on. Since the button is (generally) in series with the chime, there's not any way for the chime to continue getting power unless the button is stuck.

Unless you have a very unusual configuration, it's the button. Try replacing it.

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