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Mike, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 2742
Experience:  Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
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recently my doorbell stopped working.Upon further investigation

Customer Question

recently my doorbell stopped working.Upon further investigation several outlets and light switches were becoming very hot. I have turned the breaker off for those outlets but would like to know why this has suddenly happened. I have aluminum wiring as hosue was built in 1973. Where and what should i check to see what caused this?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike replied 7 years ago.
The doorbell problem and outlet heating problem may or may not be related. Doorbell systems are generally fairly simply circuits that will have a 120V transformer (hidden behind the chime) and a low voltage cable running to the doorbell button. The button may also even be wireless. The easiest thing to do is to remove the doorbell button and check to see if it's wired or wireless. If it's wireless, the battery may simply be dead. If it's wired, you may have a problem with the 120V transfromer or chime kit.

As for the heat you are experiencing at the outlets, this is usually a sign of loose connections. Aluminum wiring is notrious for coming loose as it expands and contracts much more so than copper wiring. Aluminum wiring is no longer used for this reason. You have done the right thing here by turning off power to the outlets. Now you must begin the tedious task of checking all of your outlets one by one. It's probably a good idea to just go ahead and check all of them on that circuit (even the ones that are not getting hot) and you really should check all of them in the entire house. There's a good chance that if you have some wires working themselves loose in one spot, it's beginning to happen in other spots. But I think if you start checking the devices, you'll most likely find some loose connections there and tightening them will get rid of the heat build up that's being cause by the resistance in the circuit.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I will check and see.