Equipment FAQs

Questions on how ADT technology works? Find out what other ADT customers want to know about their ADT Pulse services and compatible equipment and find answers to your questions below.

1. How does my ADT alarm system work?

You alarm system may be armed in either “Away” or “Stay” mode. Once the system is activated, each monitored zone has the ability to recognize a violation, i.e., a door or window opened or a motion sensor crossed. Once a zone has been violated, the alarm system communicates with ADT by transmitting a signal through a telephone line or cellular backup, if one is equipped on the system. Once the signal has been received by our ADT monitoring centers, the alarm system will wait to send another message if another zone is tripped. Entering a valid user code and disarming the system will end this process.

You can also watch the video below to get step-by-step instructions to show you how to identify your system model.

2. How do I know what system I have?

To identify the system installed in your home or business, log into MyADT.com and refer to the the System Information box located on the overview page.

3. How often should I test my system?

ADT recommends that you test your system every 30 days and after any changes to phone or Internet service or any home renovations. If you find that a part of your system is not working properly, please call the troubleshooting number located on our Contact ADT page.

4. What if my system is not working properly?

You can refer to your system manual for system specific help or search the MyADT Help Center for answers to common troubleshooting questions. If you need additional help you can call the residential or business troubleshooting number located on our Contact ADT page.

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

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

6. How can I arm and disarm my system using the Pulse app?

After logging into the Pulse app, you'll see a large red or green icon on your dashboard.

  • To arm your system, tap the green icon. 
  • Choose if you'd like to arm your system stay or away.
  • To disarm your system, tap the red icon.

Watch this video and learn how to arm and disarm your system using the Pulse app.

7. How do I change my security code?

Refer to your online security system manual for help with changing your security code.

8. Why would I need to reset my keypad?

Occasionally, a security system keypad may need to be reset due to a power outage or battery replacement. Learn how to reset your keypad here.

9. How do I reset my keypad date and time?

You can find out how to adjust the volume on the system by referring your system manual.

10. Why does my keypad display "no ac"?

An alarm panel will display “no ac” when the system has lost electrical current. Your system is now operating on backup battery power. The outlet should be checked to verify that it is operational. If the outlet is working properly and your area is not experiencing a blackout or any other power fluctuations, a service call will be needed. Please call our residential or business service number located on our Contact ADT page.

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

Yes. In a power loss, the back-up battery will activate and will operate your alarm system for several hours. In the event your system battery is or becomes low, a low-battery signal will be sent to ADT’s Customer Monitoring Center. Your system will also show an indication of the low battery by displaying a message (e.g., LOW BATT or BATT) on the keypad or frequently beeping.  

Learn what steps to take for a low-battery signal.

12. What happens when I press the panic or fire alarm buttons on the keypad?

If you hold down the panic or fire alarm buttons on the keypad for 1-3 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 cancelled.

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13. Can I move my keypad?

No. Your system keypad is wired into the security panel bus. Only an ADT technician can move the keypad. He or she will ensure that the keypad is wired correctly and working properly in its new location.

14. How do I add equipment to my security system?

If you are interested in incorporating additional equipment into your security system, please call the residential or business service number located on our Contact ADT page to speak with an ADT representative.

15. Can I get additional keypads?

Customers can purchase additional keypads though ADT, however an ADT technician is required to program it with the service. To order a keypad, call our residential or business service number located on our Contact ADT page.

16. Can I replace my remote/key fob?

Customers can purchase replacement key fobs from ADT, however an ADT technician is required to program the key fob. To order a key fob, call the residential or business troubleshooting number located on our Contact ADT page.

17. Should I recharge or replace a low battery?

A low battery status means that your battery must be given a chance recharge itself. In the case of power loss, a battery will have the opportunity to recharge itself only once AC power has been restored. If your low battery signal does not disappear after your backup battery has had 24-48 hours to restore, you may need to replace it. Find the right battery for your peripheral device on our Battery Identification page.

18. How do I replace my system battery?

Replacing your system battery is a simple process, however it is imperative to follow the instructions correctly in order to ensure that your system works properly. 

Use these helpful videos to find out how to replace your 6V, 7.2V or 12V system battery.

19. How do I replace peripheral device batteries?

Peripheral devices, such as smoke detectors, motion sensors, and door and window sensors will eventually require battery replacements. While the process is simple, it is imperative to follow the instructions correctly to ensure each device is working and communicating with your system. Watch the following videos to learn more about smoke detector, motion detector, and door and window sensor battery replacement.

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

Most alarm systems provide a delay period of a defined amount of time to disarm the system before setting off an alarm. This allows users to comfortably disarm their system in plenty of time. The delay period can range from 30 seconds up to 3 minutes.

21. Why is my Alarm Activity report empty or incomplete?

Events missing from your Alarm Activity report may be due to communication issues between your system and ADT monitoring centers. An alarm system may lose communications for several reasons, like the telephone line the system communicates through becoming inoperable or equipment on the alarm system not functioning properly. Alarm systems should be tested once a month and after any changes to your phone, internet or cable service.  

Stay on top of your system’s communication with our monitoring centers by signing up for our Monitoring Reports.

22. If needed, can you turn my system off from the ADT offices?

No. Your system is an independent unit and can only be managed from your control touchpad or through your ADT Pulse Portal (if you have an ADT Pulse system).

23. 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 and such a message is displayed, it is likely that your system was left in programming mode. Call the residential or business service number located on our Contact ADT page for assistance.

24. Will my satellite and wireless broadband Internet service charge fees based on usage?

Possibly. Both satellite and wireless broadband Internet services are more likely to charge fees based on usage. With these types of services it is possible to exceed your data limit and receive overage charges.

25. What cable or DSL speed do I need for use with the ADT Pulse security system?

Generally, any cable or DSL speed that is equal to or higher than 256kbps up/1.5mbps down is expected to work with cameras connected to the ADT Pulse system.

26. What kind of equipment do I need in order to use ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions?

For the basic suite of services, such as remotely arming or disarming your system and having supplementary notifications and alerts sent to you remotely by ADT, you do not need to install anything special in your home or business. ADT will install the complete system and you can access it from almost any web-enabled PC or web-enabled cellular phone. 

For the advanced suite of services, such as remote control of lights and thermostats or video applications, ADT will need access to your high-speed Internet connection. This could be a cable modem connection, DSL, FiOS, U-verse or other high-speed Internet connection. The installer will need to connect the ADT Pulse gateway to an open port on your router. If an open port is not available and you have broadband service, ADT will add a network switch to provide additional connection capability at a nominal charge to you.

Learn more about ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions.

27. Can I use an aircard-based wireless broadband Internet service with my ADT Pulse security system?

No. Aircard-based wireless broadband Internet service is generally intended to be used in conjunction with a mobile device, such as a PC. It would not provide the 24/7 availability required for ADT Pulse.

28. We are about to have inclement weather. What can I expect from my system and peripheral devices?

Inclement weather can momentarily effect your system’s operation. Use our Severe Weather guide to prepare yourself ahead of time.

29. How do I fix my system’s wireless connection?

Please refer to your system manual for further assistance.

30. Will cameras slow down my Internet connection or interfere with my computer?

No. Any effect on your standard broadband system is expected to be minimal. Video cameras generally "push" video out of your home or business and use a portion of your broadband connection to send video, sometimes referred to as the “upload” or “upward path.” Video cameras only push video out when a pre-determined event occurs or when you log in to view live video.

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31. How do I reactivate the existing ADT system in my home?

If you moved into a home with an ADT system from the previous homeowner—you are one step closer to helping protect what matters most. 

Now that you already have the system installed in your home, all you need to do is call ADT. Most times, if the system is in working order, we may be able to get it reactivated when you Contact Us directly by phone (Add Contact Page link to “Contact Us”) If the system is not working properly, a security professional will test the system during the phone call and help resolve any technical issues. 

To get reactivated now, visit the ADT official Safe Move website.

32. I received a letter/email about a 2G update for my alarm system. What should I do?

If you received this letter from ADT, it is very important to update your security as soon as possible. Call the number listed in the letter/email you received. A representative will explain the program to you, and schedule a service appointment for a technician to visit your location. Visit our 2G FAQ page to learn more.

33. Does ADT Pulse work with Ring or Chime? Which Pulse level is required and how does it work exactly?

Yes. Customers must have ADT Pulse Control service level or higher in order for Ring and Chime to connect with the Pulse mobile app. Customers can arm their security panel, lock their door locks and turn on their lights. Read more about video clip storage, how to connect Pulse in Ring, and what is Chime on our Ring FAQ page

34. I received a Contact Repair Kit to reattach my sensor/magnet for my doors and/or windows, what do I do now?

Your sensor or magnet mounting instructions can be downloaded on this PDF reference sheet, or you can watch the instructional video below. You can also visit our detailed Contact Repair Kit instruction page.

Watch this video: How to Reinstall Your Door & Window Sensor

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