DSC System False Alarm


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Old 06-01-18, 12:08 PM
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DSC System False Alarm

Hello! New to this forum. Long and short of it...

I am a homeowner with a 9 year old DSC Power Series system. It has worked flawlessly until last week. Twice, one of the zones (a window), tripped the system. No break in. We blew out sensors thinking the recent winds was interfering with connection. Then a few days later the motion detector zone tripped, even though it was in 'stay mode' after setting alarm for the night, as usual.

This makes me think its not a connection issue with the window, but maybe a panel going bad? If the motion detector was tripped in 'away' mode that would make sense, maybe (dust/debris/animal moving). Any similar/known issues with aging panels? Any input is helpful...thank you!
 
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Old 06-01-18, 02:15 PM
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When troubleshooting a falsing problem, it's really helpful to know what you're working with, and the specific symptoms of the problem, and the specific actions you took. Troubleshooting remotely by text is a lot harder than being there seeing what's happening.

The model number of your control panel from 9 years ago is normally printed somewhere on the door of the steel cabinet housing the panel. It looks like PC5010 or something similar.

Do you realize that typing, for example, "Zone 12" is actually shorter than typing "One of the zones"? A zone number of a falsing zone can be helpful in trying to diagnose what could be happening. There are more ways a zone might be falsing than you want to hear about.

If the falsing zone were, for example, Zone 6, we would immediately know that it's probably one of the panel's on-board hardwired zones and the ways it can false are limited to a few possibilities. If it were, for example, Zone 12, then we'd know that the sensor is either a zone of a hardwired zone expander, or a wireless zone. In either case, there are falsing possibilities that are different from one of the panel's 6 or 8 (depending on the panel model number) on-board zones.

So could you tell us the zone numbers and what kind of sensors you're having trouble with, on the window and the motion? Hardwired or wireless?

I really don't know what you mean when you say "...blew out sensors..."....? The only thing that comes to mind is using canned air to clean smoke sensors, but you were talking about window and motion sensors.

As for the motion tripping in "Stay" mode, was it a full ALARM that happened (loud siren wailing to alert the neighbors), or a Trouble alert (sounds only at keypad)? Sometimes the keypad beeping right next to you will drown out the siren wailing from the other end of the house, and if you turn it off right away, you may assume the siren was sounding. IF (because I don't know yet) the motion sensor is wireless, it can generate a tamper-trouble condition regardless of the Armed status of the panel. But I'm just tossing darts in the dark here until I can get specific symptoms on specific kinds of sensors.
 
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Old 06-01-18, 02:28 PM
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Hi ChosunOne,

Here are more details, as you requested...
  • Model number is PC1832
  • Zone 13 - Bedroom Window (siren sounded 2 separate occasion)
  • Zone 16 - Motion Detector (sounded 1 time)
  • The siren wailed. Loudly.
  • Manually cleaned one part of sensor on window, and used canned air to reach the other
  • Not sure if motion detector is wired or wireless but my guess is wired (is there a trick to knowing without removing it from the wall?)
Please excuse inaccurate vocabulary. Just a simple homeowner looking for some answers. Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 06-01-18, 05:11 PM
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Is there a white box as part of the bedroom window sensor or is the switch drilled into the frame and the magnet is drilled into the window ?

Does the motion sensor take a battery ? If yes.... it's wireless.

Those two points can be wired thru a zone expander or wireless.
Do you know if you have wireless devices in the house ? They would have batteries in them.

Pictures can be very helpful..... How-to-insert-pictures
 
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Old 06-02-18, 12:48 PM
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I think the latter...I've attached a pic with the window open.

No, motion sensor doesnt take a battery so I guess it wired. No other wireless devices.

Thanks for the help!
 
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Old 06-02-18, 11:59 PM
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Hardwrired contacts can, and do fail. The little magnetic switch inside is the size of fine pencil lead, and the metal can simply fatigue fail. Motions can false for any number of reasons (failing system backup battery + brief power flicker; a large moth landing on the detector lens; etc.).

The contacts are just magnetically actuated switches. They cost less than 8 dollars for a set, and are pretty easy to swap out. False trips from hardwired switches can also be from simple things like the magnet falling off; or the door/window not being mechanically aligned in it's frame.
 
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Old 06-04-18, 09:46 AM
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Thanks for the insight! I will look into swapping out that contact set and report back. Thanks again!
 
 

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