If a doorbell stops chiming when the button is pushed, it's usually a sign the doorbell button — and not another part of the doorbell system — has given out. Knowing how to fix a doorbell can save money on repairs and spare visitors to your home from awkward knocking after unknowingly ringing a silent doorbell for several minutes.

Testing the Doorbell Button

To be 100% certain the issue is the doorbell button, remove it from the wall by loosening its screws and crossing the two wires within the casing. If the wires make the bell ring when crossed, the issue won’t require doorbell button replacement; simply adjust the wires and place the button back on the wall. If, when you cross these wires you do not hear the doorbell, you'll want to test the bell button. You can test the button wires with a multimeter (available at any hardware store), which will show you using a moving needle if the wires are live or not. If the needle does not move, it's time to head to the hardware store for a new button to replace the existing one.

Replace the Doorbell Button

After you have chosen the doorbell button that best matched your exterior decor, you will want to wire it up before screwing it into the wall. Because you have the multimeter out, testing the new bell is a good idea. While it's not very common, a doorbell button could be faulty, and knowing this before you attach it to the wall is best.

Assuming all went well testing the wires, you’re now ready to install the new button. Simply fasten the wires from the new button to the screws on the doorbell terminal. Press the front of the button to make the system chime. If this test also works, you're ready to screw the doorbell button onto the wall or door casing where it belongs. If you've tested the replacement button and the doorbell is still not working, you'll need to test the doorbell transformer and doorbell chime to see where the issue is.

Troubleshooting the Doorbell Transformer and Chimes

First, test the transformer by attaching the multimeter (set to voltage) to the part of the transformer where the small wires of the doorbell button run. Place your multimeter probes on the screws here (not the wires) and check the voltage. If the multimeter reading if 16 or better, the transformer is not the issue and it's time to check the doorbell chime. If the transformer reading is dead, you'll need to call an electrician for help.
If your transformer reading was good but you still don’t have a ringing bell, your issue is likely the doorbell chime. You can also test the chimes with your multimeter by removing the cover and attaching the wires to probes once more. If you find there is a current from the chime wires, then it's time to replace the chime. However, if there is no voltage at all, you'll need to call an electrician to fix the faulty wiring.
Knowing how to fix a doorbell and check the transformer and chimes will serve you well as a homeowner, renter, or landlord.

Note: always be careful when working with electrical parts and currents. Wear safety glasses, gloves, and boots, and always call an electrician when you’re out of your comfort zone.