Nashville Home Inspection - Residential Security System Battery Issue - 10.3.10

Home Inspector with HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

Residential Security System Battery Issue

So you wake up one night and you hear the security system in your home making a beeping noise.  Since it is intermittent and unusual because it does not stop, you know it is not an intruder.  What can that be all about?  So you go to the control panel and you see what is in the picture below. 

HINT:  Most security systems have a backup power source.

Security System Trouble Light

In the picture above you can see the "TROUBLE" light is illuminated.  But what trouble?  There are no other lights illuminated.  So you remember you have a manual for this system.  Once (if?) you find the manual, you look under troubleshooting to find guidance for these symptoms:  the "TROUBLE" light is ON and the system is beeping intermittently.  The manual has you enter a set of keys to interrogate the system.  For this ACE system the keys are *2.  You do that and you see the following indication on the control panel.  (NOTE:  The manual can also be found on-line for most manufacturers.)

Trouble Shoot Light 

In the pic above you can see the "TROUBLE" light is still ON but that the #1 light is also ON.  Again back to the manual, #1 indicates a "weak battery"  Battery, what battery?  This system is hard-wired electrical isn't it?

ANSWER:  Yes the security system is electrically hard-wired to the house electrical system, but with a battery backup for when the power goes out.  So the security system monitors the battery and if it loses ability, the system signals the error with a "TROUBLE" light and intermittent beeping to draw your attention to the problem.  But where is the battery?  See the pic below.

Closet Security Panel

This panel is usually behind a bunch of personal items in a hall closet and rarely given a thought.  So you open the panel to look for the battery.  See the pic below.

Security System Battery Connections

AHA, a battery!  Now what do I do?  Well, you can either call for a technician to replace the battery, or you can disconnect the battery and take it in for a replacement yourself.  If you do it yourself you'll save yourself the technician fee.  The replacement battery is about $50.  A technician fee can add $100.  To replace the battery yourself, simply disconnect the two cables at the top by pulling on them.  You will not hurt or impact the system by doing this.  Remember, the battery has failed already anyway.  So removing it now won't make things any worse.  Take the battery to a local dealer and get a replacement.  Once the battery is replaced the system should automatically return to normal.

Thank You,

Richard Acree


Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, and contributing members of the Active Rain Real Estate network, and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings.  HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill and more!  In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis.  Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at, or call 615-376-2753. 

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain , WordPress and Blogger and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors.  All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one.  You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook or Linked.  Thank you!


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