I want to move my door alarm from a recessed sensor on the interior door to a flush mount on the storm door. My alarm company is not very good so if I make a mistake Ill be without an alarm for a while.
Are there any pitfalls I need to be aware of ? Can I just install the flush sensor and connect the appropriate color wires?
Yes, you should be able to do this. The hard part is the fitting of the parts and physically routing the wires. Nothing complicated about the wiring connections since all the contacts do is make or break continuity. Just connect up the 2 wires...
Slightly more work to disconnect interior door if that's preferred.
On the jamb side of interior door, find 2 wires feeding stationary part of contact. Probably have to remove molding. Disconnect and solder in a run of 2 conductor alarm wire from the 2 wires to new location where exposed contact will go on jamb. Connect to 2 screws on switch.
If you want to ADD the screen door, you will have to splice into existing wire near where you want new contact. Cut one wire and treat 1 wire of new extension that you add as a 'send' (to contact) wire; the other as a 'return from' contact wire. If you can distinguish wires (ie one gold color and one silver color), splice into same color wire as on interior door.
Another good forum:
For added security, some sensors have an "End of Line Resistor" wired in at the sensor. If there is one there, you would need to move that as well.
Some sensors can be "normally open" or "normally closed". In one case a connection is completed when the door is closed. In the other case a connection would be completed when the door is opened. And with an "end of line resistor" wire loop, there can be 3 different states...
Connection open, a "middle state" (reading the value of the resistor), and a shorted state.
Note some alarms can be programmed so that a "delay entry door" causes a short to the wiring loop, however an open state on the same loop would cause an "instant" alarm. (middle state no devices activated - doors closed.)
And then there might be a cable with just two wires run to the sensor. And the sensor could be wired in "series" or "parallel" along with a resistor (depending on sensor type).
Or no resistor used and two wires going to the sensor.
Or there could be a 4 wire cable run to the sensor. Two of those wires could be shorted as a "24 hour supervisory loop" and the other two wires go to the sensor. Or all 4 wires are used for the sensor. Any wire color combination might be used!
High security sensors use 3 wires (not typically in a home).
And note they do all this different wiring intentionally so a burglar would never know for sure which wire is which. They DON'T want to have a "standard" wiring method for every house / business! The "Hollywood" scene of the burglar shorting an alarm wire is a bunch of HOOEY!
Bottom line: Pay close attention to how the existing sensor and wires are connected.
thanks for the information. It was very helpful
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