While some home security system repairs are within the capabilities of a homeowner with DIY skills, if you have any doubt at all, you should call your home security system provider and have a professional take care of it.
Here are 5 things you should know about home security system repair.
1. Stay on Top of the Terms of Your Warranty
Ideally, you should read over your security system's warranty before you sign the contract; but if you did not, go ahead and get it out and read it carefully. If there is anything you don't understand about what's covered and for how long, call your provider and ask. Some home security system providers offer limited extended warranties that will take care of labor and parts charges for certain repairs. For non-warranty repairs, expect to pay $150 to $200 for labor if a technician comes to your house. Parts can range in price from a few dollars to over $100.
2. Keep Your Owner's Manual Handy
Reading your security system owner's manual can be extremely helpful should you find your system malfunctioning. Your manual may have helpful troubleshooting instructions that can help you isolate the cause of a security system malfunction. When you can identify the cause of the problem, a service technician should be able to fix it more quickly.
3. False Alarms Can Have Numerous Causes
Faulty wiring, damage or corrosion can cause false alarms, as can sensors that are calibrated incorrectly. Vibration detectors can be tripped by high winds, storms or waving tree branches hitting windows equipped with these sensors. Sensors may need to be recalibrated, moved or replaced to reduce false alarms. Your owner's manual may walk you through various diagnostics to test components of the system. If so, you should try these to see if they help. Also, if you have a passive infrared motion detector, check it to see if its lens is clean.
4. You May Be Able to Test Sensors to Find Which One Is Faulty
Those with DIY skills may be able to figure out which sensor is failing. But if you dare to do this, it is critical that you read over your warranty first. You don't want to take actions that will void the warranty. Replacing a sensor generally requires that you have basic tools -- like screwdrivers -- and understand how to use a multimeter. If you don't, don't take chances: call a professional repair technician or your home security provider.
5. Keypads Can Wear Out Over Time
Sometimes, one of the numbers on the keypad stops working, or the entire keypad may malfunction. You should not have to reprogram the system. As with other home security system repairs, don't attempt to replace a keypad until you find out if it is covered by your warranty, and if you have any doubt about your ability to do the repair, call a professional.