ADT Home Security FAQs

We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding your home security. If your questions or concerns have not been addressed in any section of the FAQs, please call 1-888-238-7374 (888-ADT-RESI) and an ADT representative will assist you.

How does my ADT alarm system work?

The alarm system may be armed in the “Away” or “Stay” mode. Once the system is activated, each monitored zone has the ability to recognize a violation. Once a zone has been violated, the alarm system then dials ADT and transmits the message through a telephone line. Once the signal is received, the alarm system will wait to send another message if another zone is tripped. Entering the code and turning off the system will end this process.

Why is my motion sensor providing false detections?

A motion detector may activate falsely for several reasons. It could be the result of improper installation of the device, such as placing it above a heater or furnace. A false detection could be caused by the movement of objects such as balloons, blinds, and curtains within the range of a motion detector. If false alarm activations continue the motion detector may require relocation or adjustment by an ADT technician.

Why does my keypad display "no ac"?

An alarm panel will normally display “no ac” when the system has lost electrical current. The outlet should be checked to verify that it is operational. If the outlet is working properly a service call will be needed.

Why does my alarm system take so long to notify ADT?

The alarm system provides a delay period for the user. This delay period allows the user to disarm the system in order to prevent alarm activation. The delay period can range from 30 seconds up to 3 minutes.

Why is my system not communicating correctly?

An alarm system may lose communications for several reasons. It could be that the telephone line the system communicates through may be inoperable or equipment on the alarm system may not be functioning properly. It could be possibly due to operational malfunctions within your phone company or ADT may also be possible reasons for communications failure.

I have call waiting on my phone line. Can that affect my service?

No. The ADT system is designed to seize your phone line in order to call the ADT Customer Monitoring Center. It will then release the line in order for the Customer Monitoring Center to notify you that an alarm signal was received.

Why does my keypad display "not ready"?

Your keypad is informing you that the alarm system is not ready to turn on (arm). Common reasons for this are that a door or window is not completely closed, a motion detector may be sensing movement, or a previous alarm has not been cleared out of the memory. Once you correct the condition, the alarm system will be ready to arm.

What is an undefined signal?

Your alarm system is capable of sending many types of signals to ADT, which is why we spend a lot of time during the installation testing the alarms. In very rare cases a system will send a signal that is not clearly defined in our database. This will require us to update our information.

What happens when I press the panic or fire alarm buttons on the touchpad?

If you hold down the panic or fire alarm buttons on the touchpad for 1 to 3 seconds, an alarm is transmitted to the ADT Customer Monitoring Center, and emergency services are dispatched immediately. An alarm received in this manner cannot be canceled.

If I lose power, will my alarm system still work?

Yes. In case of a power loss, the back-up battery will activate to maintain your alarm protection for several hours. In the event your battery is low, a low-battery signal will be sent to your Customer Monitoring Center so you can be notified.

Will VoIP work with my security system?

The answer to this and other important VoIP/Digital Phone questions can be found here.

What should I do if my technician does not show up as scheduled?

Your time is important and our technicians strive to arrive promptly as scheduled. If we miss an appointment and have not contacted you, please call 1-888-238-7374 (888-ADT-RESI) and select the option to inquire about a pending service request. An ADT service dispatcher will quickly assist you.

Why does my system show that ADT is "still working on it"?

If an ADT technician or installer is not currently working on your alarm system, it means that your system was left in a programming mode. Call ADT at 1-888-238-7374 (888-ADT-RESI) and speak to an operator for instructions on exiting the programming mode.

What if my system isn't working right?

ADT will be happy to investigate any problems you’re having with your equipment. Just call 1-888-238-7374 for any service-related issues.

If there is a problem, can you turn my system off from the ADT offices?

No. Your system is an independent unit and can only be turned off at your control touchpad.

My alarm when off accidentally, but I quickly put in the code and shut it off. I expected a call from ADT, but no one called. Why not?

The system allows a brief period for you to turn off your system before an alarm signal is sent to the Customer Monitoring Center. This gives you enough time to cancel the signal and prevent a false alarm.

Am I responsible for testing my system regularly?

Yes. It is your responsibility to make sure that your system is in good working order. It’s easy to test your system; just refer to your owner handbook or call 1-888-238-7374 and follow the simple instructions. If you find that a part of your system is not working properly, call ADT at 1-888-238-7374 to request repair service.

If I have an emergency, should I call ADT first?

No. If you have an emergency, call 911 first. If you are unable to call 911, then depress the panic or fire alarm button on your touchpad, and ADT will request emergency services.

Who do I call for Alarm Monitoring Issues?

You can call ADT at 800.588.2159.

Who do I call to Schedule Service for my Security System?

You can call ADT at 800.588.2159.

When my system was installed, I wrote a check to ADT, but it's not reflected on my first bill. Is there a problem?

Sometimes, because of billing cycles, your first bill is issued before the payment has been posted. The payment should appear on your next bill; if it does not, call ADT at 1-888-238-7374 (888-ADT-RESI).

Can I extend my warranty?

Yes. ADT offers a special Extended Limited Warranty/Quality Service Plan (QSP) which will cover the repair or replacement costs of the equipment for just a few dollars each month. To get the Quality Service Plan for your ADT system, call 1-800-238-7085.

How do I change the people listed on my call list?

Just call the ADT Customer Monitoring Center at 1-888-ADT-RESI (1-888-238-7374) or visit with your changes. Have your personal identification code ready in order to make your changes. Make sure to tell everyone on your call list what to do in case they receive a call from ADT.

If I move, will I have to pay again to put a security system in my new house?

If you’ve already enjoyed ADT services for at least two years, ADT will provide you with a $100.00 discount on the home security installation of an Essentials Plus system in your new home as part of the Relocation Discount Guarantee.

How do I know if I need an alarm permit?

As an ADT customer, you need to understand the police registration and permit requirements for your jurisdiction. Permit requirements vary by state, county and/or city. In order to avoid emergency responder dispatch delays or fines, visit your local police department’s website to learn more about the alarm ordinance in your area.

How do I make sure ADT has my alarm permit number on file?

Please send us your permit number, along with your name, address and ADT customer account number to or call 888.778.2315.

Is ADT responsible for updating my alarm permit?

No. As an ADT customer, you are responsible for keeping your alarm permit current with your local jurisdiction and renewing it, as needed, in accordance to your local alarm ordinance. Additionally, you must provide ADT with your alarm permit numbers and expiration dates.

What happens if my alarm permit is not up-to-date?

The permit on your account must be valid and in good standing. Premises without a valid permit may receive a fine from your local police office. Unless your permit is current, the police may not respond to a burglar alarm from your premises.

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