Can I Replace My Home Alarm Keypad?

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Long-time homeowners and first-time home buyers may have something in common. They may find their house using a home security system that no longer provides the functionality it once did. Additionally, older systems may not offer the comfort and convenience of smart home automation.

With all the convenient ways to shop, you might think you can go to the big box store and buy a new one. There's no shortage of DIY and “install-it-yourself” security devices advertised online. There are considerations you should make when deciding to replace your home security system, especially a new keypad.

Check Your Contract

If the home security system that you presently have installed is professionally monitored, then trying to self-service your equipment may pose some additional risk. The signal delivered to and recorded by your security company may be configured to the specific devices previously installed.

In cases where a professional installed the system all those years ago, there is a good chance that your contract stipulates you must buy replacement parts from the approved supplier and have it installed by their professionals.

If you own the hardware outright, and there is no maintenance clause in your contract, you can try and troubleshoot the situation yourself; however, it’s a good idea to contact your security provider company to confirm equipment you purchase is still compatible with your system.

Troubleshooting Battery Operated Vs. Hardwired Systems

If you haven’t used your security panel for a long time the first thing to check is if it’s receiving power. If you have an older keypad, it should respond to a specific button press. Newer panels are likely to be touchscreen pads that respond to a quick tap; however, they may also have physical buttons on the side you need to press to boot the system back up.

Once you determine that the keypad or touchscreen pad is unresponsive, it’s time to check the power source. If an AC power supply is connected to an external outlet, such as a nearby wall socket, you may want to test the outlet with another device to see if the problem is simply the outlet itself. Simply plug in something, such as a lamp or a phone charger, to verify it works. Also, ensure it is not connected to any switches that can easily cut power to the socket. If the outlet does work, look at the panel to see if it also uses a backup battery.

Newer panels often lead power to a battery first, which in turn supplies the device. An unresponsive panel might be fixed by simply replacing the battery. Many panel batteries are uniquely designed power packs specifically intended for that device. Replacements should be available through your professional monitoring company or from a specialty battery retailer. If you replace the battery there is still no response from the keypad, it’s time to replace the panel.

For fully hardwired systems, unless you have experience in security system installation and maintenance, you probably don’t want to tamper with the system. Wiring running through the walls to an unknown destination may provide either power or may transmit signals to and from connected sensors and other devices. It’s too easy to crosswire a new panel resulting in damage to the panel or other components in the system.

Additionally, these hardwired legacy systems may require reprogramming and access to the master code. This might be a good indication that it’s time to change out your old security system for a wireless package from a reputable company like Brinks Home™.

Check Compatibility Before You Begin

Finally, while many keypads made by different security companies function in the same manner, it doesn’t mean you should go out and get any box on the shelf and think it will work in perfect conjunction with your system.

Your keypad is the brain—the central processing unit for all connected equipment. It needs to work with any devices you plan to keep using, such as door/window sensors, glassbreak sensors, and motion detectors. It should also work with any devices you would like to add in the future, such as life-safety devices, home security cameras, and smart home automation.

Research the equipment staying in place for compatible keypads that will work before spending any money. An owner’s manual may provide you with a list; however, it will only be as up-to-date as when it was produced. Paper manuals, or unchanged online manuals, may not give you current-generation replacement options. In this case, it is also recommended that you consult a professional monitoring security company.

Giving Up and Starting Over

It is entirely possible to have a system so old that there simply isn’t a keypad out there that can easily be integrated with it. It could be time to invest in a completely new security system. In this case, we do recommend that you work with a professional monitoring company about your options.

When you want to add to your system or upgrade, with our latest panel you can:

  • Access your system through a mobile app.

  • Enable voice assistant commands, such as through Amazon’s Alexa.

  • Integrate home automation.

  • Add cameras and a video doorbell.

  • Upload clips automatically to the cloud.

  • Stream camera feeds remotely.

Contact us at Brinks Home to speak with a Security Consultant, and get expert service backed by a Five Diamond Certified Alarm Response Center.

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