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Topic # 160471 7-Jan-2015 20:43
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UPDATE: this is resolved, the thread is only updated because I posted a conclusion. See the marked answer.

 

 

 

I had a call from my home alarm company this evening, telling me my backup battery was 2 years old and offering to replace it for free if I paid for a $99 servicing. I thought that was a little fast, so I did a bit of research. The battery (picture attached below) is SLA 12V 7AH and is meant to run the alarm for a week, and has "5 year life" written on it. However battery university tells me:

"The optimum operating temperature for the SLA and VRLA battery is 25°C (77°F). As a rule of thumb, every 8°C (15°F) rise in temperature will cut the battery life in half. VRLA that would last for 10 years at 25°C will only be good for 5 years if operated at 33°C (95°F). The same battery would endure a little more than one year at a temperature of 42°C (107°F)."

The roof space obviously gets hot, perhaps 40 degrees on a hot day. Let's say that's 1/3 of the year and 8 hours a day it gets that hot, so each year that would reduce the lifespan by say two months. That means a two year old battery with a stated 5 year life might last around 4 years. So replacing every two years seems a little too often, but not really too bad. 3 years might be better but that'd reduce their revenue. Any thoughts from people in the know?

I could buy a battery for $30 and do it myself, I wonder if there are any downsides... it's not a condition of my insurance (the discount was too little to bother) and it's relatively easy to access.

What would an alarm service do anyway? Check the sensors and alarms I guess.

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NOTE: this question has been updated with a conclusion, see the answer.





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  Reply # 1210157 7-Jan-2015 20:45
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No downsides at all.

$99 is a pretty standard rate and is pretty much just a way of getting ongoing revenue from customers.





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  Reply # 1210158 7-Jan-2015 20:51
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Yeah, I wonder if they'd say "hey we can't guarantee anything we don't do, and can't guarantee the alarm if someone else touches it". It's probably out of warranty anyway.




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  Reply # 1210177 7-Jan-2015 21:31
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service would be to test all the sensors are working and potentially the area they cover, if its monitored check that, also check the log for faults and replace the battery.

those batteries probably cost the alarm company no more than $20 so if you think the other $80 is worth it then go for it, but you can generally do most of  it yourself


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  Reply # 1210195 7-Jan-2015 21:42
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Haveing worked in a company that did Alarm, Surveillance, Automation and Structured Cableing Serviceing - a 2yr cycle for alarm maintanence is common - included would be battery swap out, sensor testing, responce testing and most importantly clock reseting

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Reply # 1210198 7-Jan-2015 21:44
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Just been through the same process. Alarm monitoring company rang to say that a signal from our alarm panel advises a flat battery. They said they would come out and install a new one. I declined their offer as I could do it myself. Went and bought a new 12v 7amp hour battery the same as in your photo and proceeded to fit it. I was foiled as I could not gain entry to the panel. Rang the man who supplied and installed it and he said he always kept the keys of all his installs but he would drop it in to me. He did and it took me two minutes to do the change over. However I rang the monitoring company first to warn them I was opening the panel incase it was micro switched.

Cost was considerably less than the $30 you quoted for battery. I got mine from Ideal (Rexel) were I used to work before retirement.

Those batteries tend to last for ages and take a lot of abuse. The panel is in the roof space with high summer to low winter temperatures and the old battery was about seven years old. Before LED lamps came on the scene we also used them with 35watt TH lamps to do night riding on our mountain bikes. Stuffed the battery in the drink bladder pack. Not designed for that sort of load or treatment but Mine lasted for about ten years before it died.

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  Reply # 1210205 7-Jan-2015 22:10
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Do it yourself ! Just remember to switch off the mains first then disconnect the battery. Sometimes there's second battery at the external siren.

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  Reply # 1210207 7-Jan-2015 22:15
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A battery is $10....



C'mon mate. Do it yaself!

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  Reply # 1210220 7-Jan-2015 22:52
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You could also test the battery and possibly save you the cost of a replacement battery.

One easy to do this is to turn off the power to the alarm and time how long the battery lasts.

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Reply # 1210238 7-Jan-2015 23:09
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our alarm system was fitted in 1995 after we were burgled. It is a monitored alarm and the monitoring firm has changed about 4 times. At Easter 2008 the alarm was beeping often and the company rang to say the battery needed replacing.  Because it was holidays it was going to cost around $300 to have someone come out and fit a new one.  I said no, and through work got one for $60 from my supplier. Took all of 5 minutes to fit it and didnt have to worry about disposing the old one as supplier takes them away. Certainly had good run out of the old battery even if it did give out at inconvenient time




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  Reply # 1210303 8-Jan-2015 03:15
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graemeh: You could also test the battery and possibly save you the cost of a replacement battery.

One easy to do this is to turn off the power to the alarm and time how long the battery lasts.


The panel usually does something like this regularly. The system switches itself to battery power and monitors voltage over a period.The neighbours system uses a battery every 5 year left to that self test.

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  Reply # 1210310 8-Jan-2015 06:22
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Goosey suggested to turn off the power first - Don't!
you'll only have to set the time again, and some panels only the installer can do that. - Royal pain.

I spent over 10 years doing domestic and commercial alarms.
A 12 7AH battery should last 5-7 years in a domestic environment (typically).
However a hot ceiling will reduce the lifespan, but usually only to the lower 5 years or so.

If you wanted to, wait until the keypad tells you that the battery is low (if your panel lets you know this sort of thing - mine does via email - its a flash one bro... :-) ) and then replace it.

You paid for the alarm panel, it is yours (unless you're on a pay nothing for three years but pay for monitoring) change it yourself, it's simple.

Just make sure you get the polarity of the battery right!
And also check the terminal size as well, the battery you mention has Two terminal sizes available!

The outside siren enclosures that have batteries usually have a 12v 3.2AH battery in it, they usually last upwards of 10 years.
These also tend to leak before they go flat, requiring new terminal leads to be fitted. - Really annoying when they are mounted in difficult spots.

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  Reply # 1210314 8-Jan-2015 06:46
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Bung:
graemeh: You could also test the battery and possibly save you the cost of a replacement battery.

One easy to do this is to turn off the power to the alarm and time how long the battery lasts.


The panel usually does something like this regularly. The system switches itself to battery power and monitors voltage over a period.The neighbours system uses a battery every 5 year left to that self test.


That's a cool feature, I'm not sure if mine does that, I might have to re-read the installation and instruction manual to see if it does.



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  Reply # 1210320 8-Jan-2015 07:19
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Thanks for the thoughts :) I'm not convinced the battery needs changing, I might give it a year then change it, and if I can work out how to test it first I will. The alarm is Bosch, it does give some information though not sure it would tell us about battery status. The alarm's monitored and I suspect they get more information than we do.

When the time comes what's a good battery supplier? Most places I found were $30 - $35 for a good brand battery like Panasonic, plus $10 for delivery no doubt.




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  Reply # 1210331 8-Jan-2015 07:49
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NZSpides: Goosey suggested to turn off the power first - Don't!
you'll only have to set the time again, and some panels only the installer can do that. - Royal pain.

I spent over 10 years doing domestic and commercial alarms.
A 12 7AH battery should last 5-7 years in a domestic environment (typically).
However a hot ceiling will reduce the lifespan, but usually only to the lower 5 years or so.

If you wanted to, wait until the keypad tells you that the battery is low (if your panel lets you know this sort of thing - mine does via email - its a flash one bro... :-) ) and then replace it.

You paid for the alarm panel, it is yours (unless you're on a pay nothing for three years but pay for monitoring) change it yourself, it's simple.

Just make sure you get the polarity of the battery right!
And also check the terminal size as well, the battery you mention has Two terminal sizes available!

The outside siren enclosures that have batteries usually have a 12v 3.2AH battery in it, they usually last upwards of 10 years.
These also tend to leak before they go flat, requiring new terminal leads to be fitted. - Really annoying when they are mounted in difficult spots.


My bad! I forgot about that.

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  Reply # 1210341 8-Jan-2015 08:45
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Hope I'm not hijacking the thread too much but since its on the subject of home alarm system batteries I thought I would ask a question.
We have an alarm system that we don't use and is not currently monitored. The previous security company kindly sent me instructions on how to disable comms so it does not send them alerts or service info anymore.
Now the battery is failing. On hot days it has started beeping with a battery alert which I can acknowledge to stop the beeping. However, as the temperature changes the battery alert will clear itself and then occur again causing the beeping to start up again.

Am i correct in assuming I can just switch off the mains, disconnect the battery, switch mains back on, acknowledge the battery alert and then be left in peace?

Ideally I'd like to disconnect the power to it altogether but unless it's on a fuse by itself I would probably need a sparky to do this?

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