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Old 01-17-2012, 04:59 PM   #1
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Trace House Alarm Wires


Okay long story short, bought a flipped house. The people who flipped it had replaced the back door as it had been water damaged. (With really nice hurricane doors)

Problem...
When the replaced the frame they didn't run new alarm contacts through the frame, to add this my exterior walls are block so it's not like running a new wire is all that simple...

Does anyone know a practical way to locate the wires so I can drill through my frame within a close enough area to wire in the alarm contacts?

I used to contract networking and have used toners and such in the past (don't own any atm, but I can buy one if it'll work) My concern is the alarm was installed when the house was built, I know there is a layer of drywall before block, but are alarms normally run inside the block wall or between the brick and drywall? If running it inside the block is normal will a toner even pentrate that?

And the thing I am fairly certain I won't like the answer to. Running a new wire where it's not visible would require me to tear down drywall to run it into the ceiling then replace it wouldn't it... (Show mercy)

Your advice is greatly appriciated!
New Home owner,
Eric

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Old 01-19-2012, 07:57 PM   #2
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Is the drywall attatched directly to the block or is there a 2x4 frame in between? I have traced alarm wires with the $40 tracers from Lowes/HD and they can penetrate drywall for the most part, but it is not super easy. I don't know what your door looks like but you may be able to remove the casing on the inside of the house and be able to see the wires hanging in the space between the jamb and the wall where the shims are. Then you would know where to cut a hole in your jamb.

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Old 01-20-2012, 10:25 AM   #3
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Thank you Frylock, after some digging I found an old wire tracer in some of my boxes (Thought I got rid of it when I stopped contracting)

I was able to find the wire along the door and the (Omitting colorful language) house flippers just cut the lines at the wall and filled the wall with insulation. (IE left me zero slack to work with)

I had to completely remove the door frame and all to even get to it (Cause the drywall appears to go directly to block) I was able to sauder on new leads, run it along the frame, and connect the new alarm contacts. I've not got the panel reprogrammed yet, but confirmed the contacts wiring is good at the box.

(I did this all late last night so first change I had to respond)
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:50 AM   #4
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Might have been easier to get a new panel that allows for wired and wireless transmitters. My house is all wireless, even the panel is cell based.
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:54 AM   #5
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I'm sure it would have been easier to go wireless, but it just didn't make sense to me to spend the money to replace the panel + two wireless sensors price wise when I already have the entire rest of the house wired in and it would be just the doors.

So it was a call between $ and easy of installation. Either that or like making myself suffer *shrugs*

It's done so now I just have to reprogram my zones and all... Which is going to be terrible since the interface is basically 1 - 7, and a warning light... :/
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by istmajor View Post
I'm sure it would have been easier to go wireless, but it just didn't make sense to me to spend the money to replace the panel + two wireless sensors price wise when I already have the entire rest of the house wired in and it would be just the doors.

So it was a call between $ and easy of installation. Either that or like making myself suffer *shrugs*

It's done so now I just have to reprogram my zones and all... Which is going to be terrible since the interface is basically 1 - 7, and a warning light... :/
I think you like making yourself suffer. My wife likes making me suffer. I have spent countless hours fixing things only for her to replace them a few weeks later. My best was I overhauled our dishwasher a decade ago, as we were on a budget. I got it working for 20 dollars, I was ready to install it back in when she pulled up out front with a new unit. She figured as long as it was taking me it couldnt be fixed so she went and bought one.
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:15 PM   #7
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Do you know the programming codes for your alarm? They're pretty easy to do if you have an installers manual. Did someone delete your front door zone or was it just always open or bypassed closed?
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:30 PM   #8
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When I moved in the alarm was just disabled (powered but not armed), no code was left for us (we think those who were foreclosed on were the only ones who knew it) and the guys flipping the house just essentially ignored it entirely. It took some hunting, but I managed to take a serial number from the main board and track it back to a model, and get all the documentation that way. I've already successfully factory reset it and put in my own codes, just have to take the time to setup all the zones, etc. Which as stated the display is rather lacking in feedback, so it's more an annoyance then a real problem.

I work as a programmer for a living, so when you're used to being able to make your device/software tell you specifically what's happening figuring out what a blinking 7 after a 3 means is a tad annoying...
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:16 PM   #9
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It sounds like you got all the really hard parts out of the way getting it back to factory default. On the alarms I have worked on there are different settings for windows and doors so that the alarm does not instantly trip on a door sensor but will on a window. Good luck with the programming.

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