Brinks/ADT BHS-4000A Question


Old 09-01-15, 07:45 PM
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Brinks/ADT BHS-4000A Question

Hi everybody. I have read the FAQ and have gone over the manual for my alarm, and I have not been able to find a solution to my problem. I was hoping someone here could help out. I recently purchased a home that has a Brinks BHS-4000A alarm system. The issue with the system is the keypads will not turn on. The house is about 8 years old, and from what I could tell there was little to no maintenance done to anything the entire time it was occupied by the previous owners. The electricity in the house was also off for several weeks prior to closing on the house. It has a standard 12v 5Ah back up battery that I assume is dead. Question #1: Would the alarm cease to function completely without a backup battery? I canít imagine the lack of a backup battery would stop the control panels from powering on, but I wanted to rule out the easy stuff first. Question #2: The unit is plugged in and the breaker is on. I have confirmed that the outlet is supplying power to the unit. Is there anything else I can try? The control panels are hard wired so unfortunately I wonít be able to swap the batteries to fix it. Question #3: If I am not able to fix it, who should I call to fix it? I have called ADT, and they wonít touch it without me signing a 3 year agreement. Should I try an electrician, or is there a service company ADT typically outsources work to? Iím at a complete loss, and I am having quite a bit of trouble finding any information about this particular issue online. Thank you in advance for any help!
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Old 09-02-15, 02:42 AM
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First off, the Brinks hardware is proprietary, and you won't be able to reconfigure it at a DIY level without the assistance of Brinks/Broadcom/ADT. As far as the keypads not powering up, check the wiring connections at the keypads themselves; often people will cut the wires so that the keypads stop making noise.

In short, you will need to replace this system keypads and control if you don't want to work with the proprietary brand dealer.
Old 09-08-15, 06:58 PM
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Thanks for the response, and sorry for the delay in getting back with you. I have checked the wiring and it hasn't been cut. I'm guessing when the previous owners stopped paying, ADT cut the system off from their end. I'm assuming from your reply there is no way to use this system as a local alarm, is this correct? If I replace the keypad and control unit can I still use the window and door sensors and fire alarms that are already wired into the house? Is there a particular brand that is known to work well with old ADT/Brinks hardware? Or would I be better off just getting a wireless system like what Simplisafe offers? I'm trying to solve this problem in the most cost effective manner possible. Sorry if these are pretty elementary questions, I'm new to home alarms and don't want to spend money if it isn't necessary and there is an easy fix for the problem.

Thanks again for your help!
Old 09-08-15, 10:08 PM
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That is correct, there is no way to use that system as a local alarm.

The hardwired door, window, and motion sensors (if any) can all be used with any professional-grade alarm system. So can the smoke sensors if there are any, which there may not be. Most homes have line-voltage (120VAC) smoke alarms that have nothing to do with the security alarm system. You should have a zone list written on a pull-out tab on your keypad(s) to let you know what's on the system.

The hardwired sensors actually represent most of the dollar value of the system--the labor to install them cost as much or more than wireless sensors, and the difference is that hardwired sensors are permanent (never become obsolete) and requires no maintenance (no batteries to replace). If you have more than a couple/few doors/windows covered, the labor was more than the cost of the keypads & control panel. It would be a colossal waste to downgrade to a wireless system, and depending on how many zones you have, would probably cost more. (Systems like SimpliSafe aren't made to take advantage of your existing hardwired zones.)

Different technicians have their own pet brands, and my preference is the Honeywell/Ademco Vista series and I've generally found it to be easier for newbie DIYers to program ( other techs may dispute this). Basically, any professional-grade alarm panel/keypad set will work for you. Hardwired sensors are universally compatible (unlike wireless).

Depending on how many zones you have, a Honeywell/Ademco Vista-20P, Vista-15P or even Vista10P will work. Or you can go on eBay and find earlier models like the Vista-20SE or Vista-20, which may work just fine for you.
To replace your keypads, the most common keypad is the Honeywell/Ademco 6150, but you will need at least one Alphanumeric keypad to program the zones (all other programming can be done with the 6150.) The 6160 is usually more expensive.

However, if you know what's on each zone in your existing system--assuming you have a zone list somewhere, either at the keypads or in the control cabinet--then you may find a seller who will pre-program the panel for you.

If you're looking on eBay, I've had good luck there, but I always look for sellers who sell alarm equipment exclusively. Sellers who have a few alarm parts among a ton of amplifiers, hair ribbons, boom boxes and toasters generally aren't alarm techs and don't know if their equipment works or not.

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