false alarm

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Old 11-10-15, 01:08 PM
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false alarm

I was working down on the bottom end of my property this afternoon when I heard the alarm go off. It probably took me 5 minutes to get to the house. Everything appeared to be ok. When I turned off the alarm, zones 1 [front door] and 2 [back door] where blinking. I opened the front door to enter the house and turn off the alarm. Both doors were secure.

Any ideas as to why the alarm would have went off? It's a hard wired system. I don't know if it's related or not but several months ago the key pad claimed the back door was open [it wasn't] I finally figured out that the connection above the door was bad and I redid it. Installed a new back up battery a few weeks ago.
 
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Old 11-10-15, 02:18 PM
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One door going into alarm happens. Two at the same time is not normal.
 
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Old 11-10-15, 02:29 PM
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I don't have any window contacts, just motion and glass breakage. I assume zone 1 was activated when I unlocked the door [my eyesight isn't good enough to tell thru the door glass] but there is no reason that zone 2 should have been activated.
 
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Old 11-10-15, 03:28 PM
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Maybe there is still a problem at the back door. Do you know how to put your alarm in monitor/chime mode ?

That's when the alarm isn't set and when you open a door or window the keypad beeps briefly.
I'll usually do that when I'm hunting down intermittent problems.
 
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Old 11-11-15, 04:14 AM
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I don't know how to switch it to chime mode but I'm sure it's covered in the installation manual .... if I can find it. It's a cheap Rokonet system I bought online. The back door does get 'tested' several times a year, mostly by my wife forgetting the system is armed

Could the connection above the back door have lost connection and then somehow got it back on it's own? Everything is working fine now.
 
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Old 11-11-15, 06:23 AM
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As MrRonFL said, two zones falsing is not normal.


Because of even minor condensation when warm air and cool air mix at a door, its not that unusual for a connection or splice to develop high resistance over time. As the resistance approaches the threshold point of the panel you can get unexplained alarms. Check the contact terminals and the wire.


A green patina is a definite sign of corrosion, while a dark patina on just the wire indicates incipient corrosion. Trim the conductors back to shinny copper and re-terminate.


I'd bet zones 1 & 2 share a common terminal at the panel, so check that terminal. If they do share a terminal and the wires are twisted together, a poor connection here would cause both zones to alarm simultaneously. I always recorded loop resistance inside the panel as a service reference. I'd also check for high resistance grounds on all conductors, particularly the positive sides of the loops.
 

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Old 11-11-15, 06:30 AM
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Just to be clear, zone one will blink once the front door is opened prior to shutting down the system. My eyesight isn't good enough to read the panel thru the door. Zone two blinking isn't normal.
 
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Old 11-11-15, 10:20 AM
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If most of your devices are motion detectors, the condition of the backup battery becomes critical. If the battery is weak, but not yet low enough to trigger a low battery alert, a momentary AC power flicker will be enough to cause the alarm relays on such powered devices to open and cause a false trip.

The best way to test this is to arm the system, kill the AC power, and check the battery with a meter to see how much it drops.

Another test you can do of your door contact is to turn on your chime, and see how much play the door has, when latched. If you can get a chime with the door latched, that means that the magnet is not quite centered on the contact. The door could have warped or sagged, or the magnet itself is losing some of it's magnetism.
 
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Old 11-11-15, 12:39 PM
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Came back from town this afternoon and shortly after I got out of the jeep the alarm went off. My wife was also unable to see which lights were lit on the keypad but after I got in the house I noticed that zone 1 was blinking and zone 2 was a steady light. It's possible it was that way yesterday. Again I couldn't find anything wrong and I was going to resplice the wires going to the back door contact but couldn't find my little connectors so I just squeezed the old ones with pliers. Everything seems to be ok now ..... but I'll start using the 'stay' button to arm it as often as I can while home to verify it won't go off again. If it does, I'm thinking I need to replace the contact at the back door.

The battery is brand new, I just replaced it a few weeks ago. The way my system works is the keypad has an intermittent beep when the battery is low/failing. I install the security system 8-10 yrs ago and have never had any false alarms until now.


I just doubled checked the back door. It has no play and even beating on the top portion of the door failed to trip the alarm.
 
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Old 11-11-15, 01:15 PM
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Edit: I started to ask about the door moving but I see that you already covered that. Disregard.
 
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Old 11-11-15, 02:51 PM
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Zone 2 being lit steady means that it's _bypassed_ and so cannot create an alarm. You either have a failing door contact on zone 1 or bad wiring between the door and the head end.

Pull the door contact out and twist the wires together. If you don't get false alarms, the you need a new door contact. If you do get a false, you need to pull new wire from the door to the panel head end.

Remember, these things are basically fancy switches.
 
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Old 11-11-15, 03:06 PM
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I can access the wires from the contact in the attic - that is where I pinched them together more with pliers. Is that sufficient or do I still need to dig the contact out of the jamb? At this point I figure I'll let it ride and if I get another false alarm I'll replace that contact.
 
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Old 11-11-15, 04:18 PM
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Good enough, for now. That will tell you which end of the wire the problem is on.
 
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Old 11-12-15, 03:11 AM
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Thanks for everyone's help!
My wife tested the back door alarm this morning it works, she opened the back door as I was getting out of bed - what a way to wake up
 
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Old 11-12-15, 07:26 AM
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I'm sure she said it was an accident
 
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