: Home Alarm Battery needs replacing...
2009-01-22, 12:03 AM
I have an alarm system for which the battery needs replacing. I have been quoted an exorbitant price by a subcontractor of the monitoring company, for what I suspect will be 5 mins work ($160 including call out charge and labour). Is there a way to do this myself or at least find a cheaper option?
I live in Toronto.
I replaced mine once. Take a look at your user manual and see what voltage the battery is, or look at the actual battery itself, and see what voltage it has. Go to The Source web site where they used to have these battery (sealed lead acid). It would be about $20. You just pull the old one out and put the new one in.;)
2009-01-22, 12:48 AM
Interstate Batteries sells more than auto batteries and they have a Web site too. A typical 12V lead acid alarm battery is around $20.
2009-01-22, 01:24 AM
Odds are that it's a 12V 4Ah gel cell. You're best bet it to simply disconnect it by pulling the leads off (won't hurt the alarm panel) and taking it into a place like Interstate. They will likely also dispose of the old one for you.
Like others said, $20 should be an easy price to find. Anyone with any buying power at all (i.e. 20 foot containers at a time) can make a handsome margin at that price.
Crosstown Battery in Toronto is another inexpensive source of batteries. 21 Musgrave St. (416) 691-2712. They recycle.
2009-01-22, 08:44 AM
Co-worker once told me about a similar story. Alarm company wanted too much for a simple replacement... but they actually told him he could do it himself much cheaper. I believe he said he found a replacement battery at Home Depot (but we live in a small town, so few options... TO should have many other options.) He said it was a very easy replacement... but didn't mention how he disposed of the old battery.
2009-01-22, 09:30 AM
I get mine at Total Battery in Ottawa. Just disconnect your old one and take it with you to a specialty shop like that; they'll almost certainly have a match in stock.
Ditto for most user-replaceable UPS batteries - they're much the same as alarm batteries.
2009-01-22, 11:44 AM
One thing you have to do is make sure you let the monitoring company you are doing this. Some panel have tamper switch and as soon as you open the panel, it will go to alarm. Acquire your battery first and as you mentioned it takes approx. 5 mins to do.
2009-01-22, 12:32 PM
I was specifically told that I could NOT do it myself as it would invalidate my monitoring contract! This was with ADT.
Naturally, I went to BEAM vacuum dealer in Mississauga that also sold DSC alarm systems and bought and installed the battery myself. 5 minutes work and a fraction of the price. ADT was none the wiser.
2009-01-22, 12:45 PM
When faced with a similar situation, I decided to look at changing to a new alarm company. I found one that would change all the equipment in my home for less than I was quoted to change the battery, and the monthly monitoring would be less to.
I then call my current alarm company to cancel my service - they offered to change my battery for free, and lowered my monthly fee.
Worth a shot.
2009-01-22, 12:58 PM
Nicely done, Larry! Only problem is, the battery in these things seems to have a habit of failing right in the middle of a service contract period!
2009-01-22, 01:16 PM
If you are going down the route of changing the system, go to a new sub division and get some #'s (i.e. off a lamp post). They are usually quite aggressive with pricing and are flexible on the monitoring fees. (often cheaper than what you might be paying now)
2009-01-22, 05:01 PM
Maybe this should be obvious, but don't you need a key (which I don't believe that I have) to open an alarm panel to access the battery?
2009-01-22, 05:06 PM
Our alarm panel (monitored system) is in our front hall closet behind some coats. The cover is secured by a couple of screws.
2009-01-22, 07:32 PM
My alarm company pays for the batteries.
I bought the system outright, they installed it, I pay a monthly fee for service (~$11 or $12 I think) and they pay for any needed repairs/battery changes.
I really can't complain at all.
2009-01-22, 09:16 PM
Maybe this should be obvious, but don't you need a key (which I don't believe that I have) to open an alarm panel to access the battery?As previously mentioned, home alarm systems don,t require a key and only have a screw a the top and one at the bottom. The only alarm systems that would use key are commercial (stores etc...) and other public buildings. The key to open them can be acquired at a provider and will work on most alarm systems locks are they are met to be used by just about any service technicians. Those panels are typically the ones that would use tamper switch (thus the need to let the alarm company you will be working on the system).
2009-01-25, 11:35 AM
As previously mentioned, home alarm systems don,t require a key and only have a screw a the top and one at the bottom.
Thats not always nessessarily true. The System intergration company that i work for, all our alarm panels commerical or residental we put cam locks on them.
bought and installed the battery myself. 5 minutes work and a fraction of the price. ADT was none the wiser. sometimes the company will know, they would get a battery trouble from the panel, so they would know something happened.
I know when i'm in a bind and need batteries fast i goto interstate for batteries.. .they will have them there... depending on your system you'd need a 12v7ah
2009-01-26, 11:45 AM
Yup, it was actually ADT that called to tell me my panel was reporting a weak battery condition. But when I replaced the battery myself - against their wishes - they never called and never mentioned it again.
2009-01-26, 01:12 PM
The System intergration company that i work for, all our alarm panels commerical or residental we put cam locks on them.
Some ways to keep clients out of the panel? or Do you provide client with a key? If the panel is a service contract (rental of some sort) fine since it belongs to the company. However, if client owns the panel I sure hope they are provided with the key. If otherwise, I would definitely not go for this! NO company controls MY equipment for their benefit sake!
Bet when I replaced the battery myself - against their wishes - they never called and never mentioned it again. The problem with those companies is their greed and they sure express it if you want to do it your self. The big $$$ are made on service calls (IE: Possibly 1 hr service call charge to start + 1 hr minimum usually to replace the battery + battery with a hefty mark-up!). Their fees are usually somewhere in the area of 75$ an hour (if not more) during working hours while the poor technician's wage is in the area of possibly 15 - 22$ an hour if lucky!
My advice, don't panic and make sure you check what the potential problem could be before calling these people! Doing so can save you a bundle! Most people will panic and not take the time to think and simply give the go for a service call and wind up with hefty tab to pay for their visit. Please don't panic but think instead!!
Our panel in the place we used to live in had a key, but we had the key. We replaced the battery ourselves (bought it at Crosstown, mentioned earlier). Very easy and cheap. If the alarm company won't let you do it yourself, switch companies!!