Home Alarm Gremlins

I have not had service for my home alarm system in 3 years. This morning was the third time in 3 years that a mini-me version of that alarm went off (not the full-throttle siren, but a VERY loud whine/buzz/bell combo). As far as I know,it's still going off! (I'm at work). The first time it happened, I disconnected the battery. The second time it happened, my BF took the cover off of the face plate and disconnected the main wire (for lack of anything else to call it). I tried everything I could think of this morning to make it stop to no avail (including, foolishly, shutting all the power off at the main switch). The company is NOT being helpful. Should I just start snipping wires??
Any ideas?
Tammy
tdmcniff AT ucdavis DOT edu
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Hi Tammy I'd start by looking at the various sensors around the house, such as at windows and doors, and motion detectors. Maybe there's a window not fully closed, or something such as leaves, a flag, etc. moving near a motion sensor. Also check the smoke / CO sensors. Look for disturbed wires or loose connections at the different sensors. A systematic approach will very likely help solve the problem. Joe Arnold
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: Hi Tammy : I'd start by looking at the various sensors around the house, such as at : windows and doors, and motion detectors. Maybe there's a window not fully : closed, or something such as leaves, a flag, etc. moving near a motion : sensor. Also check the smoke / CO sensors. Look for disturbed wires or loose : connections at the different sensors. A systematic approach will very likely : help solve the problem. : Joe Arnold
Thank you, Joe. The sound is emanating from the attic, so I guess that's my starting point. Maybe my ending point too :-)
Tammy (rat-o-phobic)
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wrote:

at
fully
loose
likely
my alarm box has a small window on it that will tell me which of the circuits is causing the alarm.
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Why don't you call the guy that installed it for a service call? If it hasn't worked for 3 years, I'd say it's time to make the call.
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: wrote: : Why don't you call the guy that installed it for a service call? If it : hasn't worked for 3 years, I'd say it's time to make the call.
I didn't explain it very well. I have the system, and had service to it for a couple of years. Then I decided to discontinue my contract. I haven't paid for service for 3 years, and of course, it hasn't been used in its intended capacity in that time. But it *has* gone off completely without apparent reason 3 times during this time period. IT's not the normal "siren" that would go off if there were an intrusion. So it can't be heard from outside the house, but it sure is loud inside!!!
The company won't come out and deal with it without charging me which is understandable. But they were also VERY surly on the phone to me and didn't want to even try to help.
Maybe I'll be lucky and when I go home from work tonight, it will have exhausted itself. Otherwise, I have to brave the attic (rats) alone with a flashlight and a baseball bat to beat the living daylights out of that alarm until it STOPS!
Tammy
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couple of thoughts:
Given the wierdness of the alarm audio, I would suspect its not a false entry or motion trigger. So given that.............
Fire/smoke alarm? Do you have those hooked up to the main panel? If so, they may be triggering it. And you should get a different sounding siren for fire vs an opening trip. Sometime the smokes/heat detectors get dust or whatever in them causing trips.
Modern alarms can be configured to self test to sound different types of audio if problems are detected, e.g,., battery levels not good (not charging), a connection tested bad, are you wireless?. If you can dig into the guts of the setup, you might be able to confirm or eliminate that issue. Or view the status display or look at the alarm history log for clues too.
A backup battery (located inside panel) unable to output adequate voltage might cause the unit act irrationally. Battery should be 14v or so when the charger is applied. 3 years is not unreasonable to have to replace a battery. The wierd audio of the siren my be a clue to this as not adequate voltage to drive the siren.
Check the fuses on the panel main board too.
If not one of the above, it could be a failing and intermittent semiconductor device on the main board. If thats the case, might be most cost effective to replace the main panel and keypads. If a wired system then the
let me know what you find out j

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: couple of thoughts:
: Given the wierdness of the alarm audio, I would suspect its not a false : entry or motion trigger. So given that.............
: Fire/smoke alarm? Do you have those hooked up to the main panel? If so, : they may be triggering it. And you should get a different sounding siren : for fire vs an opening trip. Sometime the smokes/heat detectors get dust : or whatever in them causing trips.
: Modern alarms can be configured to self test to sound different types of : audio if problems are detected, e.g,., battery levels not good (not : charging), a connection tested bad, are you wireless?. If you can dig into : the guts of the setup, you might be able to confirm or eliminate that issue. : Or view the status display or look at the alarm history log for clues too.
: A backup battery (located inside panel) unable to output adequate voltage : might cause the unit act irrationally. Battery should be 14v or so when the : charger is applied. 3 years is not unreasonable to have to replace a : battery. The wierd audio of the siren my be a clue to this as not adequate : voltage to drive the siren.
: Check the fuses on the panel main board too.
: If not one of the above, it could be a failing and intermittent : semiconductor device on the main board. : If thats the case, might be most cost effective to replace the main panel : and keypads. If a wired system then the
: let me know what you find out
Thanks to all who answered. After "getting over myself" and my fear of the rats, I went up in the attic and found the power source and battery backup. Battery must be dead after 3 years!! Unplugged from power and presto, all is well and quiet.
Thanks again, Tammy
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Tammy:
T > : I'd start by looking at the various sensors around the house, such as t T > : windows and doors, and motion detectors. Maybe there's a window not fully T > : closed, or something such as leaves, a flag, etc. moving near a motion T > : sensor. Also check the smoke / CO sensors. Look for disturbed wires or lo se T > : connections at the different sensors. A systematic approach will very lik ly T > : help solve the problem. T > T > Thank you, Joe. The sound is emanating from the attic, so I guess that's T > my starting point. Maybe my ending point too :-)
I'm wondering if there is a siren in the attic which has fallen off it's mount and is being muffled by the insulation in the attic? Or perhaps a critter has built a nest in the alarm housing (we had this happen at the store ==> birds made a nest in the outside bell!).
- barry.martinATthesafebbs.zeppole.com
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