Monday, June 11, 2012

When the Doorbell Rings In the Middle of the Night

When the doorbell rings in the middle of the night is a post that I wrote two years ago and is by far the most visited post that I have ever written according to the statcounter feature of blogger. I'm fairly certain that I have written much better posts both before and after that post so if baffles me as to why it is so popular. My second most popular post is the one I wrote about building a dollhouse for my daughter and that one I understand. Everyone I suppose looks for how to make something on the internet at one time or the other.

Back to the subject at hand, I don't know why the doorbell post is so popular but it is. What I theorized on that post as the reason for the doorbell ringing in the middle of the night turned out to be incorrect and so I thought I would take a moment to correct things with anyone wondering. I had theorized that it was most likely teenagers out having a good time. It was a good theory and still could be true but the problem still kept happening every now and then over the three years since I wrote that post. I would guess it happened another two or three times.

Then something else started happening. I would come home to find that the doorbell was buzzing like the button was stuck. This usually coincided with a package waiting on my doorstep from the UPS guy. I would press the button a couple times and it would unstick and the buzzing would go away. But as time passed the sticking would become more of a problem and wouldn't go away. So one weekend, I took the doorbell apart and discovered the problem, actually two of them. Problem one was that the cheap plastic housing around the button was broken (no doubt mass produced somewhere in China) and that caused the button to get hung up now and then causing the buzzing sound. Also a problem, perhaps caused by the plastic body breaking or perhaps just due to time, the screw holding one of the wires had come slightly loose so that the wire was not tightly contained anymore. Since my doorbell always seemed to ring in the early morning hours when the temperatures were at its coolest, I now theorize that the temperature changes on the plastic housing caused shrinking and expansion and thus intermittent contact with the wire which would then ring my doorbell. In fact, I think my doorbell was not making contact the majority of the time and only due to someone pressing the button in a broken doorbell housing was contact being made and why my doorbell continued to 'work.'

So I went to the hardware store and picked up another doorbell, all made with cheap plastic housings around the button. I installed it and have never had a problem since. I also now have a doorbell that lights up which also confirms that the old doorbell was not making contact the majority of the time since it never lit up even though it is exactly the same as the one I ended up buying. So to anyone out there that has a doorbell ringing in the middle of the night and finds this post, check your doorbell. It may have a cheap plastic housing manufactured in the bowels of China that is now broken.


Vince said...

I'd say it's the title. It is very Hitchcockian, hitting bass note with the second an octave lower. And there is also a very sweet meter to it also, which is quite odd since all the words are old Saxon/Germanic.

R. Sherman said...

Yeah. The title sucks you in only discover the mundane and scientific explanation.


Ed said...

What gets me are all the search hits I get about doorbells ringing in the night. It must be a fairly common occurrence and so that led to my mundane explanation of why the ringing may be happening.

Bone said...

Agree about the title.

I think two of my most popular posts were one where I mentioned Ashley Judd (go figure), and my male restroom etiquette rules. Though you'd never know it by the number of people who still like to pee right beside me in public restrooms.

Murf said...

As a dog owner, I love a doorbell free life and love it!