Forum Thread

Sealed lead-acid battery for my Home Alarm system?

MrCookieBar 1,776 1,706 April 7, 2011 at 01:22 PM
My home alarm system started beeping. It emits a “chirp” every 30 seconds or so. The battery hasn’t been replaced in ~7 years, so I figure that I’ll just swap it out myself, and save myself a $150 service call.
I disconnected the battery, and the system makes the same "chirp".

There are no LEDs within the alarm CPU box. I have a little display on the keypad, but there are no error messages.

The battery is marked "12V 7AH".
Amazon sells a 12V 8amp battery for about $25 delivered, so I'll probably buy one of these.

Anyone have any advice here?

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#2
It may help someone if they had the name and model of your alarm system. Maybe see if you can find the service manual?
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#3
Quote from MrCookieBar View Post :
My home alarm system started beeping. It emits a "chirp" every 30 seconds or so. The battery hasn't been replaced in ~7 years, so I figure that I'll just swap it out myself, and save myself a $150 service call.
I disconnected the battery, and the system makes the same "chirp".

There are no LEDs within the alarm CPU box. I have a little display on the keypad, but there are no error messages.

The battery is marked "12V 7AH".
Amazon sells a 12V 8amp battery for about $25 delivered, so I'll probably buy one of these.

Anyone have any advice here?
Do you have a Frys near by?

I've seen them there before.
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#4
A local security/fire alarm supply house that caters mostly to commercial systems may be cheaper, but $25 delivered is probably pretty good. A lot of alarm systems use a battery identical to those found in backup power supplies, like APC's ancient BK300C and their current 550-650 VA models. Oddly, despite the former having half the VA rating, the battery capacities are almost the same, 7-8 amp*hours, but the batteries for the BK300C can be $5-10 cheaper.

12V 7AH means the battery is 12 volts and has a capacity of 7 amp*hours, and it probably measures about 6" x 3.75" x 2.5" The voltage rating has to be exactly right, but the amp*hour rating can be higher.
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Last edited by larrymoencurly April 7, 2011 at 09:10 PM
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#5
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
It may help someone if they had the name and model of your alarm system. Maybe see if you can find the service manual?
It's a ADEMCO Vista-20SE system, if that means anything. I'm afraid I'm over my head...
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#6
Check out motorcycle batteries; sometimes they're used for alarm system. But be careful, some bike batteries are 6 volts, and your system is 12 volts.
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#7
Quote from larrymoencurly View Post :
A local security/fire alarm supply house that caters mostly to commercial systems may be cheaper, but $25 delivered is probably pretty good. A lot of alarm systems use a battery identical to those found in backup power supplies, like APC's ancient BK300C and their current 550-650 VA models. Oddly, despite the former having half the VA rating, the battery capacities are almost the same, 7-8 amp*hours, but the batteries for the BK300C can be $5-10 cheaper.

12V 7AH means the battery is 12 volts and has a capacity of 7 amp*hours, and it probably measures about 6" x 3.75" x 2.5" The voltage rating has to be exactly right, but the amp*hour rating can be higher.
I think that is a pretty good idea. Just take it into their shop and say you need to replace it. Even an Interstate battery might be able to help.
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#8
Are you sure it's the battery - it likely is, but have you taken a volt meter to it?
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#9
What is displayed on the keypad (when the battery is still connected)? This should show you if it is indeed the battery. It should display a "lo" or "BAT" if the battery is low.

FYI some panels are picky (or claim to be according to the manuals) about the battery used (SOC characteristics differ a little), but the vista-20se isn't one of them. Larger capacity is fine. Home depot and lowes may sell some batteries that would do the job near the emergency lighting section, if you can find one that will do the job it will be cheaper than batteries+ etc.
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Last edited by jkee April 9, 2011 at 01:55 PM
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#10
just make sure you dont get some old battery thats been sitting on the shelf for years. when batteries just sit there they form crystals that slowly kill the battery.
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#11
Quote from MrCookieBar View Post :
It's a ADEMCO Vista-20SE system, if that means anything. I'm afraid I'm over my head...
just disconnect the battery and take it to battery plus.

its a 12v 7amp hour battery. you don't "need" to replace it with a 12v 7amp hour battery, you could pop in a 6 or 8 amp hour. its just how long the batter lasts while power is out.
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#12
If you have a local battery store they will test it for you and the cost for a new one is going to be around 20-25 bucks
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#13
Quote from heavylee View Post :
Check out motorcycle batteries; sometimes they're used for alarm system. But be careful, some bike batteries are 6 volts, and your system is 12 volts.
Motorcycle and other unsealed batteries will work well but can give off corrosive fumes that travel far from the battery. The low charging voltage used by most alarm systems should cause a lot less fuming than a vehicle's alternator will, but I'd still worry.
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