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Home security system repair

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nancyvinci92

New Member
What are the possible causes for a malfunctioning security system? Should I call the agency that installed it or try to replace the components inside on my own? It's kinda annoying me rn, the alarm just goes off even if there's slight motion. What would be the cause for this? Will it work normally if I change the resistors on the board?
 

alec_t

Well-Known Member
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Welcome to ETO!
There are a great number of possible causes, anything from nearby lightning strikes to insect infestation to component aging or failing etc.
Either the motion sensor part itself, or the circuit which acts on the motion sensor output signal is faulty, but without testing and knowledge of the circuit it would be difficult to determine which.
It would be best to contact the installer. Even if you attempted a DIY repair you would probably have to do that anyway, since tampering with the system could require a reset code known only to the installer.
 

RadioRon

Well-Known Member
This is a difficult question because we know so little about your particular system. They do vary quite a bit. There are some standard techniques used to troubleshoot problems, some that you may already know. One standard approach is to simplify the system by switching off or disconnecting some features one by one until the problem goes away. Doing this one by one may help isolate what is causing the problem. For example, most alarm panels have various sensors wired to them, often split up into zones. It is usually a good idea to first disconnect (or switch off via the keyboard) a few sensors at a time, like perhaps one zone, and see if the problem goes away. If it does, then perhaps we can say that the sensors in that zone or circuit are faulty or are being triggered somehow. Don't dismiss the possibility that everything is working correctly but a bug or rodent is actually running in front or inside of a motion sensor. My neighbor's garage alarm kept going off while he was away and I was watching the property. One day, when the alarm went off, I studied what was happening through a window instead of going inside the garage. I saw a rat running on a shelf right in front of one of the motion sensors!

One aspect is, does your problem occur only now and then? Can you make the problem happen immediately? If you can, you are in a good position to disable one zone at a time until the problem doesn't happen. If it doesn't happen so regularly, you may have to do this idea but be more patient about waiting too see if the problem is still there or not. You may have to disable one part of the system then wait a few days to see if that resolved it.

I'm not an alarm technician. You should consider asking your question on a forum that is specifically about alarm systems, where such technicians may be willing to lend a hand. Or you may find a forum of DIY enthusiasts who know these systems pretty well. I did a quick Google and found a few (I don't know if any of these are any good)

https://www.doityourself.com/forum/electronic-home-security-systems-alarms-devices-87/
http://forum.smarthome.com/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=11
http://www.shieldlab.com/forum/

and there appear to be others too. Often, when you come across a forum that is mostly frequented by actual security technicians, (the "pros"), the first thing they will advise is "hire a pro technician" to come and figure out the problem. While this approach is expensive in dollars, it is often the best use of your time and energy.
 

RadioRon

Well-Known Member
I wanted to add more specifically to your questions. I think that the termination resistors that you see at the board have little or no effect on the sensitivity of your sensors, so changing those doesn't seem like a good starting point. You imply a problem with motion sensor sensitivity. I'm wondering why you have the motion sensors enabled while you are in the house. In my system, there are two types of arming, one for when we are away (with motion sensors enabled) and one where we are home (only window and door sensors enabled, motion disabled). Which method do you use?
 

AnalogKid

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
What kind of security system - car, home, boat, aircraft, industrial...? Wired or wireless sensors? What does "slight motion" mean?

ak
 

nancyvinci92

New Member
Welcome to ETO!
There are a great number of possible causes, anything from nearby lightning strikes to insect infestation to component aging or failing etc.
Either the motion sensor part itself, or the circuit which acts on the motion sensor output signal is faulty, but without testing and knowledge of the circuit it would be difficult to determine which.
It would be best to contact the installer. Even if you attempted a DIY repair you would probably have to do that anyway, since tampering with the system could require a reset code known only to the installer.
Yeah, the night before I posted this was kinda stormy. I might have to contact the installer on this one.
 

nancyvinci92

New Member
I'm not an alarm technician. You should consider asking your question on a forum that is specifically about alarm systems, where such technicians may be willing to lend a hand. Or you may find a forum of DIY enthusiasts who know these systems pretty well. I did a quick Google and found a few (I don't know if any of these are any good)

https://www.doityourself.com/forum/electronic-home-security-systems-alarms-devices-87/
http://forum.smarthome.com/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=11
http://www.shieldlab.com/forum/
I'll definitely check these out to see if it's possible. Thank you!

off-topic: where in BC do you live?
 

nancyvinci92

New Member
I wanted to add more specifically to your questions. I think that the termination resistors that you see at the board have little or no effect on the sensitivity of your sensors, so changing those doesn't seem like a good starting point. You imply a problem with motion sensor sensitivity. I'm wondering why you have the motion sensors enabled while you are in the house. In my system, there are two types of arming, one for when we are away (with motion sensors enabled) and one where we are home (only window and door sensors enabled, motion disabled). Which method do you use?
Tbh, I've never bothered about the system. I got the whole system installed for a really good deal (office-related) so the personnel just came in, installed the system and left. I don't even have a point person to contact.
 

nancyvinci92

New Member
Well, technically, it's not slight motion but it beeps when the dog runs around a bit too fast.
And it's a wireless, ADT home security alarm system from CSP.
 

RadioRon

Well-Known Member
Some motion detectors have two zones, where the upper one sees people (because they are higher off the floor) while the lower one sees animals and crawling people. I think that those systems can be enabled with both upper and lower zones, or just the upper zone to avoid pet detection. In other systems, the panel allows you to arm without motion sensors enabled, the so-called STAY mode.
 

nancyvinci92

New Member
I'm going to try and see what happens. From what you're saying, I think the lower zone might have lost its calibration or something and gotten manually triggered. Thanks for all the information, Ron.
I'll see if it works.
 

alec_t

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Guys, this thread is 2 years old!
 

JimB

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JimB

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
As the starter of this thread has also been banned for some reason, I guess that I may as well lock the thread.

JimB
 
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