Intermittent alarm system

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Old 08-19-16, 07:12 AM
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Intermittent alarm system

I have a unmonitored 20P system installed by me about 3 years ago and have not had an issue till now.

I am zone doubled and am getting an intermittent alarm on zone 14 (master bedroom) It happened 2 nights ago and again last night. the display shows no faults.

Zone 14 is a hardwired zone, I have nothing wireless.

I have no idea where to start trouble shooting and I am to leave on vacation on Sunday.

What are my best options, where do I start? Jim
 
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Old 08-19-16, 01:24 PM
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Do the contacts have screw terminals or flying leads? How is your wire connected to the resistor?
What kind of contacts did you use?
Take zn 14 off the panel and using a multimeter measure ohms, you want a reading of less than 20 ohms
This might help... How to Troubleshoot Alarm Panel Wiring
 
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Old 08-19-16, 07:30 PM
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Screw terminals, Resistor is at contact, it is soldered and shrink wrapped, with one lead under a screw on contact.

I now remember that I had an issue with this zone once before, I could find nothing wrong so replaced the contact.

The contact is a surface mount mini with the letters ULC on top. I used a wide gap contact as the gap is almost a full inch. I have the same setup on another window that has not caused any issues.

zone 14 shows 6.28 ohms on the 20k scale on my meter

Will look at trouble shooting link.

I had a good alarm guy but he moved to the east coast of Florida.

Your response is greatly appreciated. Jim

After thought, could I leave the wires unhooked and install a resistor in the terminals, temporarily? This is an impact window in the front of house so unlikely would be used as an entry.
 

Last edited by jjrbus; 08-19-16 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 08-19-16, 08:36 PM
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Yes you could put the resistor in the panel. When you replaced the contact did you replace the magnet? Sometimes the magnets lose a little of their magnetism especially on wide gaps.
Is this on a wood, vinyl, or metal door?
 
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Old 08-19-16, 10:02 PM
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I have a handful of 3k resistors and no 6k, took 6k from window and put in box. So I am up and running for the time being. Would assume if alarm goes off now, I have a panel issue or a bad resistor.

Murphy got me as I closed box alarm went off, zone 7, wire for zone 7 broke off as I closed box. Did not need that!

My 6k resistors are blue red red gold, I will need a new one and do not see this color anywhere. any suggestions on where to find them?
 
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Old 08-19-16, 11:55 PM
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Blue, red, red, gold is 6.2K at 5%. (which is what the panel requires for zone doubling)

You can get 1/2 watt resistors at any electronic store.
Online there are places like....
MCM electronics
Mouser
Even Amazon... amazon/6-2K-Ohm-Flameproof-Resistor-Pcs/dp/B0002KR60U
 
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Old 08-20-16, 03:38 AM
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Two 3k resistors wired in series equal 6k. Two 6k resistors wired in parallel equal 3k.
 
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Old 08-20-16, 07:28 AM
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Thanks for the input, always greatly appreciated. This hopefully will get me through vacation. Then I can resume trouble shooting.

I can see this contact when I sit at computer and noticed the other wire is now broken off the contact. Did I do that when removing resistor, was it the problem right along, do I have a faulty contact, bad wire, do Gremlins hate me.

Color me confused. Jim
 
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Old 08-20-16, 10:39 AM
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The wire at the contact may have been nearly broken before causing the intermittent alarms. I'd recommend re-doing all connections at both end and making sure they are good and then if it continues to false alarm, replace the sensor.
 
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Old 08-20-16, 10:42 AM
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It could have, depending how you strip the wire, it can get nicked or partially cut which will cause problems at some point. Measure ohms on the contact in the open and closed position several times. Give the contact a slight tap and then re-measure to see if the resistance changed
 
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Old 08-21-16, 05:30 AM
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With 2 broken wires it is time to change the way I strip the wires. I have a small stripper made for tiny wires. I have only done 2 alarm systems with it, maybe it is worn out?.

I used to heat the end of wire with a lighter and pull the insulation off, think I will toss the stripper and go back to that.

I would have preferred stranded wire, but was at a church sale and bought 2 box of solid for $5 each, now will pay the price for my savings.
 
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Old 08-21-16, 06:15 AM
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Everyone has their own way of stripping wire, I used to use a wire stripper similar to what you describe when I first started out. Within 3 months I was using a pair of dykes(like everyone else I worked with) and never had an issue. Been doing it for almost 20 years
 
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Old 08-28-16, 09:48 AM
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Due to the whim of the Veterans Administration I had to cut my trip short. Last night zone 5 went off, a hard wired surface mount mni contact for no apparent reason. Now zone 3 a hardwired glass break detector in the garage is saying check.
So I had to come and find the checking alarm panel link. Jim
 
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Old 08-28-16, 10:28 AM
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Short of an impending system failure (highly unlikely), you most likely have a field wiring problem. It could be vermin (squirrels or other critters in the attic) damaging wires, or building framing shifting to crush wires to the same effect.

The simple and most basic test, is to disconnect the field wiring for the problem zones and dummy them off with just an eol resistor. If the zone stays stable, then you troubleshoot the wiring.
 
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Old 08-28-16, 11:47 AM
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Thanks Ron, greatly appreciated. You read my mind I had that sinking feeling it was rodents however a multi meter and continuity test tell me the wires are ok.

It appears that the #5 zone has a malfunctioning contact, which just happens to be the other large gap contact in my system. It shows as good and then when window is opened and closed,won't reset. If I put a spare contact magnet next to the contact it will reset. Another bypassed zone so I can go on vacation!

So now a question, I cannot find anything wrong in the glass break circuit. But the glass break has become redundant by replacing garage window with impact. Would I have any programming issues replacing the glass break with a regular surface mount wired mini contact. I had planned on doing this someday so there is plenty of wire to reach window.

When I say programming issue's I am useless at programming and happily pay to have it done, so due to time constrains it will have to be a program less change over.
 
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Old 08-28-16, 12:00 PM
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If the zone is already defined as a perimeter zone, then the system doesn't care what kind of switch is at the end of the wire. All the system looks for is a normally closed circuit that opens when violated (it's actually a little more complicated than that, but for 90% of applications, that what it boils down to).

I think you may have simply gotten a bad batch of contacts (or bad magnets). The synthetic magnets they use for these switches have been known to lose their magnetism, especially on metal framed windows and doors.
 
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Old 08-28-16, 01:04 PM
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Of course I could not find any issues, I confused the glass break zone 13 with the over head garage door zone #3.

Check zone #3 went away so I have no idea how I fixed it?

Will store contact changing info for when I have more time. Many thanks Jim
 
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Old 08-28-16, 01:07 PM
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Is there a better/preferred brand of contacts available?
 
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Old 08-28-16, 04:02 PM
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Contacts are something of a commodity item. All of the major names, like Honeywell, Amseco, GRI, GE, etc. are all pretty much the same, it's the no-name import stuff that can be hit and miss.
 
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