Gremlins in my security system

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Old 08-22-16, 05:37 PM
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Gremlins in my security system

OK, here'a strange one. The monitoring company calls me at work and tells me my system has been been tripped. They tell me it is Zone 6, which is my Master Bedroom. On this zone is two windows and the sliding door. A neighbor who has access to my home, goes over and checks everything out. No indications of a break in. I tell the monitoring company to not call the police.

When I get home, the memory has been been cleared, so I can't get anything from that. I check the two windows and the sliding door. When I pen the front window, the system does not recognize the open circuit; same with the back window on that zone. When the slider is opened the system recognizes that it is open. OK, so I assume that the two windows are tied into the same line that feeds the control panel, and all I need to do is replace two bad contacts.

Here is where it gets confusing (to me). If a line feeding the two contacts went bad (possibly from a squirrel chewing through it; which has happened before) that would explain why the alarm tripped while I was at work, indicating to the monitoring company an intrusion via Zone 6. All good so far, but the alarm will set without me having to bypass the bad zone. So the system thinks Zone 6 is secure, the system does not recognize that the windows are open when they are in fact open. This would indicate something other than a chewed wire such that the system thinks the windows are closed even when they are open....but they why did the system trip indicating an intrusion?

Maybe I'm just stupid, but I can't figure this one out. And now my head hurts...so maybe I am stupid. Thanks ahead of time for any help anyone can provide.
 
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Old 08-22-16, 11:57 PM
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If the two windows and the sliding door ARE on the same zone and they used to work normally..... replace the switches. There's a good chance a lightning storm hit in the area and damaged them.

I have a customer in a mansion up on a big mountain. I've been there several times from false alarms and damaged switches from nearby lightning strikes. The magnetic reed contacts are somewhat fragile.
 
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Old 08-23-16, 02:56 AM
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Well that's exactly what I did after I posted this thread. I have a bunch of replacement contacts on hand for just such occasions, so I replaced one of the window contacts, and with the window open, the system does not recognize it's open. I'll go ahead and replace the the other window and the slider and see what happen.

But I'm curious PJMax why you would ask if they ARE on the same zone. Maybe I'm missing something. I'm about 95% positive they are because when I programmed the panel using my keypad, I labeled Zone 6 as Master Bedroom, even though there are three switches in the bedroom (the two windows, and the slider). Even if these three were NOT on the same Zone, the system should still see an open contact, right?
 
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Old 08-23-16, 05:13 AM
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Don't know if this applies to you. But my first alarm system back in the 80's keep having false Alarms. After several weeks of company coming out to find out what was wrong they found out when sun hit a sensor iit would heat up and trigger the alarm.
 
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Old 08-23-16, 04:14 PM
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OK, thanks pugsi. I'll keep that one in mind.
 
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Old 08-23-16, 05:27 PM
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If the sensors are all on the same zone (run in series), it sounds like your original two sensors that weren't faulting when opened may be fused shut.

To eliminate the variable of a bad switch, just remove the two switches from the equation and test the wires themselves. It's probably best to try them one at time.

When the wires are touching, it would be simulating the window being closed and when any are disconnected, you should see a fault on the zone they are set to. If they are showing zone 6, you know they are tied into the same zone as the slider. If another zone is showing, that would help us figure out what's happening. If no zone faults when the wires aren't touching, that could be a programming issue.
 
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Old 08-23-16, 08:27 PM
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A not uncommon form of wire failure, is the zone wiring being crushed by shifting building framing. This can create the confusing situation of the zone showing closed even with the contact open, yet randomly breaking the loop for a false alarm.

If this zone worked correctly in the past, the odds of it being a programming error are vanishingly remote. Systems don't generally have spontaneous software alterations.
 
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