03 Nov 2015
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A great way to protect your home from burglaries is by installing a reliable security alarm system. This will deter intruders even before they set foot on your property. However, every homeowner needs to make sure that the alarm system is always in optimal working condition. One of the things you should check is the battery levels as the battery provides backup power to your alarm system in cases of outages. This complete DIY tutorial will give you fast answers to your questions on how to replace DSC alarm batteries. “How often should I replace my DSC security alarm system battery?”
Karl-Ludwig Poggemann via Flickr, Creative Commons
In general, the original power capacity of alarm system batteries goes down to about 80% after 3 to 5 years. Because of this, you have to replace your batteries as needed. Doing this ensures that your batteries will provide backup power to your system for longer periods. Also, a low battery can trigger a false alarm, so having consistent battery levels will spare you from this inconvenience.
“How will I know if I should replace the battery?”
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You will know when your battery needs a replacement when your alarm system beeps and displays a low battery trouble code. This is one of the most common problems in beeping DSC alarms. However, if you recently had an outage in your area, wait 24 hours first after the power returns to normal because the battery may just need to be recharged.
“How do I double check if I need a battery replacement?”
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You will have to get a digital voltmeter or multimeter to know the current voltage in your battery. To do this, first, unplug the transformer from the wall outlet. If the transformer is not accessible, you can just disconnect the corresponding wire in the control panel. This is done by opening the panel box, which you will do anyway to locate the battery inside.
Once the power is off, find the battery, which is a big box that looks like a mini car battery. Position the battery on its side so that you can access the terminals on its top. Then, set the DC Volts (or DCV) on your voltmeter or multimeter within 12 volts. Check the meter’s probe to each terminal for about 4 to 5 minutes. If the voltage reading is below 12 volts, it is time for a battery replacement.
If your battery has an extensive damage (is swollen or split, has a leak or corrosion etc.), it is an automatic signal for you not only to replace the battery, but also to have a technician look into your alarm system immediately.
“Now, how do I replace the battery?”
Replacing the battery in your alarm system is a basic — and a very easy — task that you can do on your own. First, if your alarm system is monitored by a central station, call your security company and give them a heads up that you are replacing your battery. They will put your alarm system on a “test” mode, meaning they won’t act on any alarms that the battery replacement may send to them.
Next, take out the battery by removing the connectors. Then, put in the new battery, which should be of the same voltage as the old one. To install the new battery, connect the wires to their corresponding terminals. Remember, the red wire goes into the positive (+) and the black goes into the negative (-) terminal. Afterwards, test the new battery to see if it works fine. Lastly, close the control panel door and call your security company again to let them know that you are done with battery replacement.
“How do I test the new battery that I have just installed?”
Take out your trusty voltmeter or multimeter again and check the voltage. You will notice that the reading progressively climbs. Give it a few minutes as your security alarm system adjusts to the new battery. Also, give the new battery 3 up to 24 hours to fully recharge.
“How come the new battery is not working?”
Giles Williams via Flickr, Creative Commons
If your new battery is not picking up on the voltage after approximately 5 minutes, make sure that the wires to the power and the transformer are connected properly. If they are, you could have a busted transformer that you need to replace.
If your transformer is good and the new battery still does not work, give your security company a call to trace what is wrong. The problem could be with your alarm system itself. If you have had the alarm system for a long time now or if you got it from the previous owners of the house you just moved into, consider opting for a newer and more advanced alarm system.
“Any hacks or reminders that I should remember when changing my alarm system batteries?”
Power up with the DSC BD412 System Backup Battery valued at $18.75, but now on sale at $15.95.
Once the new battery is installed and is deemed good to go, write the current date so you will have a reference in the future. To readily spot the date on the battery, put a strip of masking tape to write the date on.
Also, different DSC alarm systems may have different specific battery replacement instructions, so it is always a smart idea to keep a copy of the user manual handy. If you still have the hard copy, put it somewhere near your alarm system control panel. If not, you can always download and save a copy on your computer or mobile device.
Lastly, here’s a friendly reminder to save the earth: recycle your old batteries responsibly. Find a recycler in your area that collects batteries and other technological waste. Proper disposal of such materials will prevent unsafe substances from contaminating the environment.
There you go. Again, changing the battery on your DSC alarm system is an easy step to make sure that your system is up and running even during power failure. Should you need help with DSC battery replacement instructions or with your alarm system altogether, contact the Alarm System Store for expert assistance.