Why does the wireless doorbell ring without someone pushing the button?
April 24, 2014 3:40 PM   Subscribe

My office uses a RCWL210A portable wireless chime as a door bell. The push-button part of the system is glued onto the wall next to the security keypad by the door. Sometimes, just entering the keycode to open the door will set off the chime, even though they are not connected at all and nobody pushed the actual doorbell button. Sometimes just raising your hand towards it to key in the code will set it off. What is going on, and how can I stop it doing that?

- The door bell is a completely separate system - it has nothing at all to do with the security keypad, we just glued the push-button part next to it because it makes sense there.
- There are no other similar chimes in our building, and the button/chime pairing code is changed to a non-default. It never goes off by itself, only if someone is using the keypad.
- It has only happened once to me, but it happens often (though not every time) to one of my colleagues. Sometimes he just has to move his hand up to the keypad, and it will set the chime off despite him not touching anything.
- Pushing on the keypad unit, banging on the wall, pushing on the plastic housing of the push-button part - none of those actions sets the chime off, so it's not that it gets jostled somehow.
- I can't reproduce it, despite quite a few tries, which is why I'm at a loss.

Thoughts we have had: static electricity buildup, some sort of interference from a watch or ring, moisture on your hands... But in general we have no idea, and my online searches have been fruitless, so I thought I'd see if anyone had a theory.


Yes, I know this is a trivial issue. But if the chime goes off when someone with the keycode is coming in, I still have to get up and walk out of my office to the foyer in an attempt to answer the door. It interrupts me for nothing, and makes my colleagues feel bad that they made me get up.
posted by gemmy to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The easiest answer is 'interference'. Maybe the keypad isn't well-grounded. Maybe the pushbutton is really crappy/sensitive. I'd relocate one of them, and maybe take a look inside of the pushbutton and/or shield it.
posted by destructive cactus at 7:40 PM on April 24, 2014

is there a battery in the system? Ours at work used to randomly chime when the battery was low.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 3:58 AM on April 25, 2014

It sounds like the push-button unit is too sensitive, at least in the present location. Maybe try moving it to the other side of the door - it's odd but I suppose the nearby presence of the security keypad could be sensitizing it. If that fails, I would try a replacement chime. We have a similar unit at our home that has been problem-free.
posted by exogenous at 5:26 AM on April 25, 2014

This doesn't sound exactly like the problem you were describing, but...

My parents had a wireless doorbell chime that frequently sounded due to electrical interference. Firetrucks passing on the street caused the alarm to ring.

I was able to fix the problem by selecting a different communication frequency using the jumpers located accessible inside both the button and the chime. After this, the false bells stopped.
posted by jazh at 6:01 AM on April 25, 2014

Thank you all. At least it's not a common problem with a "duh" answer that I somehow missed... I will try changing the communication frequency first, then moving it. I should have mentioned that we did change all the batteries in both the chime and the push-button unit - it was our first attempt at solving the issue, but didn't help.
posted by gemmy at 12:47 PM on April 25, 2014

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