How to Replace a Security System Backup Battery


Security systems have a backup battery in case of power outage or an intruder disabling your power. Backup batteries are designed to power your system for six to eight hours in the event of a power outage. Security system batteries typically last from three to five years. Replacing your security system battery is a simple task that takes only a few minutes. If your system displays "Low Battery" on the keypad, the battery needs to be replaced.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Regular screwdriver
  • Key to your control panel (if applicable)
  • New battery
  • Felt-tip marker
  • Call the company that monitors your system and tell them to place your system in "test" (when in "test," your monitoring facility will still see all alarms on your system but they will not take action on those alarms).

  • Remove the power from your system by unplugging the power transformer or turning the circuit breaker off.

  • Open the control panel with a screwdriver or key (if applicable).

  • Disconnect the black lead on the battery, then disconnect the red lead. These leads are often difficult to remove; turn the battery so the leads slide off toward the wall and push them off with a regular screwdriver.

  • Connect the new battery. Make sure your plug the red lead into the battery terminal with the red mark. Then plug in the black lead (it is normal to hear a chirp from your siren when you plug in the battery).

  • Mark the battery with the current date, close the control panel and reapply the power.

  • Call your monitoring company and have them take your system off of the "test" mode.

Tips & Warnings

  • Security companies recommend you test your system once a month. It will take about 24 hours for your battery to become fully charged. Control panels are typically located in the master bedroom closet, the laundry room or the basement.
  • Security system backup batteries contain lead and acid, so they should be disposed of properly.
  • If your battery is leaking, wear gloves to protect your hands, and clean the control panel box with a strong solution of water and baking soda (baking soda neutralizes battery acid).

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