11 ADT Alarm System Known Problems (Solved)

TechGenuinely is supported by readers. When you buy with our links, we may earn a commission.

ADT is one of the oldest brands in the home security industry. This brand has established its name in the industry thanks to its reliability and consistent improvement. But just because it’s a big name doesn’t mean it’s without problems. 

If you’re considering the ADT alarm system or you already have one and are experiencing problems, here are 11 known problems you should look out for and easy ways you can fix them. 

Let’s begin!

adt alarm knowing problem

1. ADT Alarm Not Working

To address this issue, you’ll need to identify your problem with the ADT alarm. This could range from battery problems to connectivity issues.

Below are some steps you can take depending on the specific scenario you are faced with.

Alarm Panel Not Responding or Malfunctioning

If your ADT alarm panel is not responding or is malfunctioning, a reset might help. However, depending on the specific model, there are different ways to reset your ADT alarm. Here’s how you can reset the various ADT panel models:

Ademco Lynx

Reset Method: Enter your security code followed by the OFF button (usually labeled as “1” or “Disarm”).

Vista Series

Reset Method: Input your security code followed by 1 (the “Off” command).

DSC Models

For a Soft Reset, Press “*” followed by “3.”

Enter your security code for a Full System Reset, followed by the “Disarm” command.

General Guidance for Other Models

Standard Procedure: Typically involves entering your security code followed by a specific command (e.g., “Off” or “Disarm”) to reset the system.

Model-Specific Instructions: Refer to the system’s user manual for precise reset instructions for models not listed, as the procedure can vary significantly.

Pro Tips: If unsure about your panel model, check your user manual or the MyADT portal for details.

After resetting your alarm, test your system to ensure it’s operating correctly. To prevent false alarms during this process, consider placing your system in “Test Mode” via the MyADT website or app.

However, if problems persist post-reset or the panel does not reset successfully, professional assistance from ADT’s support may be necessary.

By following these model-specific reset instructions, you can often resolve non-responsive or malfunctioning issues with your ADT alarm panel, restoring your home security system’s functionality.

Control Panel Beeping (Low Battery or Other Alerts)

Another reason your ADT alarm might not be functioning properly is battery issues or a different malfunction within the system.

Suppose the panel is beeping and displays messages like LOW BATT or BAT. In that case, this indicates that your alarm’s battery is low.

You can usually silence the beeping by pressing and holding the OFF or buttons. Replacing the battery in the control panel or sensor might be necessary.

Connection Issues (e.g., ADT Pulse Unavailable Message)

If you’re facing issues with your ADT Pulse system, ensure the hub is plugged in and give it five minutes to reboot. 

Verify the ethernet cable connection between the router and the gateway and ensure your router is operational. Power cycling both the router and the gateway may resolve connection issues.

To power cycle the system, unplug it and the battery, wait a minute, and then reconnect them to reset the system.

Sensors Not Working

Door/Window Sensors: Ensure the sensor and magnet are no more than one-fourth of an inch apart. If the problem persists, replace the battery and reset the system from test mode.

Motion Sensors: Check the battery (if wireless) or wiring connections. You might need to contact ADT customer service for wiring issues.

Additional Tips

System Test: Put your system into Test mode and follow the steps to ensure all components work correctly. This can help identify specific issues with sensors or communication.

Consult the User Manual: If your system model wasn’t listed in the initial instructions, refer to ADT’s online user manuals for specific troubleshooting steps.

ADT Customer Support: If the issue persists after trying these steps, contacting ADT customer support may provide further assistance, especially for specific error codes or hardware issues not covered by basic troubleshooting.

Identify your system model correctly using your online MyADT dashboard for the most accurate troubleshooting steps, and always follow safety guidelines when working with electrical systems.

2. ADT Alarm Won’t Shut Off

If your ADT alarm won’t shut off, here’s how to resolve the issue efficiently

Standard Disarming

  • Enter your user code followed by the OFF key (usually labeled “1”). This action should disarm the system, turn off the alarm, and deactivate sensors and detectors.

If the Alarm Continues

  • Re-enter the Code: Sometimes, the first attempt might not be registered correctly. Re-enter your user code, followed by the OFF key.
  • Power Outage or System Beeping: If the system is beeping due to a power outage or low battery, enter the keypad code and press the Disarm button to clear any alerts. 

If You Forgot the User Code

  • Manual Reset Needed: Without the correct user code, you’ll need to reset the system to disarm it physically. This usually requires professional assistance from ADT.

Turning Off the Alarm Permanently

  • You must contact customer support for guidance on permanently deactivating your alarm. This might involve cancellation fees and a written request to terminate your service.

During a Power Outage

  • Disarm with Keypad: Enter your keypad code and press Disarm to clear alerts caused by the battery backup during a power outage.
  • Troubleshooting Alerts: For alerts like “Common Trbl,” disarm your system using the keypad code. 

If issues persist (such as a “TROUBLE” indicator), after 24 hours of power restoration, the system’s backup battery might need replacement.

By following these steps, you should be able to address the alarm issue, whether it’s a temporary malfunction, a forgotten code situation, or a power outage-related problem.

3. ADT Alarm Reset After Power Outage

There are different ways to reset your ADT security system after a power outage. Below are some efficient solutions you can apply.

Update the Battery of the ADT Alarm

Replacing the battery is an excellent way to reset your ADT alarm after a power outage. 

  • Enter Test Mode: First, put your system into test mode to prevent sending false alarms.
  • To replace the Battery, Open the panel (you may need a key), remove the old battery, and install the new one, ensuring it’s correctly connected.
  • Exit Test Mode: After closing the panel, remove your system from test mode. The battery might take up to 48 hours to fully charge. If the low battery warning persists after this period, contact ADT for assistance.

Reset the ADT Alarm System

  • Find the Reset Code: The reset code is in the keypad’s user manual or the documentation provided by the installer.
  • Input the Reset Code: Carefully enter the reset code on the keypad and wait for the system to restart.
  • Re-arm the System: To confirm the reset, arm and disarm the system using your security code.

Reset to Factory Settings (If Necessary)

If you’ve lost the user code and cannot reset the system using the steps above, you may need to factory reset the panel. 

This is a complex procedure that typically requires professional assistance from ADT. Contact ADT to arrange for a technician to help with the factory reset.

Reset ADT User’s Access Code

If you know the master code, you can reset a user’s access code:

  • Enter Master Code: Press the “*” key followed by the “5” digit, then enter the master code.
  • Enter User Number: Input the two-digit user number.
  • Set New Code: Enter a new user code to replace the old one, and then press the pound key (#) to save it.

For Specific ADT Alarm Systems

Some specific models have a different method of resetting. 

  • DSC ADT Impassa: Enter your password. If the system is in “sleep” mode, press any key before entering the passcode.
  • Command Smart Security Panel by ADT: Press the shield icon with an “x” in the center and enter your PIN to reset.
  • Ademco Vista Series from Honeywell: Enter your passcode followed by pressing the “1” or “OFF” button.

Suppose these steps do not resolve the issue, or you are unsure about any procedure. In that case, it’s advisable to contact ADT customer support or consult with the professional who installed your system. 

Ensure you have your master code and necessary identification documents ready when you call for support.

4. How to Disarm ADT Alarm Without Code?

If you need to disarm your ADT alarm system without a code, you can do it in three simple steps. However, these steps can be technical, and you might require some assistance.

Unplug the Transformer and Remove the Battery

  • Locate the 12v DC transformer connected to a standard 120v outlet in your home.
  • Unplug the transformer to cut the power supply to the ADT alarm system.
  • Simultaneously, the battery should be removed from the command panel of the ADT system to stop the beeping.

Locate the Breaker Providing Power to the System

  • Open your electrical panel and search for a breaker labeled for the alarm system.
  • If not labeled, trace the wire from the alarm system’s outlet; it should enter the panel from the side.
  • Identify and locate the breaker that powers the 120v outlet for the security system’s transformer.

Turn Off the Breaker to The Alarm System

  • Turn off the breaker associated with the alarm system in the electrical panel.
  • Confirm that you’ve removed the backup battery, ensuring a complete power cut.
  • The alarm system should go silent after the transformer and breaker are deactivated.

After these steps, your ADT alarm system will be disarmed without a code. 

Remember that restoring power to your ADT alarm system will reset it to its default settings, and you’ll need to reconfigure your alarm system code. 

Remembering the code is very important to avoid this situation in the future.

5. How to Reset ADT Alarm Without Code?

To reset an ADT alarm without a code, particularly for the Honeywell Vista-20P models like WA3000 or WA3001, follow these steps:

Setting the Installer Code

  • Disconnect the backup battery located inside the panel.
  • Unplug the power source from the outlet.
  • Ensure the system is turned off.
  • Reconnect the power to the system.
  • Allow 60 seconds to pass.
  • Simultaneously press and hold the * and # keys.
  • Check if the keypad prompts for the installer code.
  • Input *20 followed by a 4-digit code of your choosing.
  • Wait for the confirmation beep.
  • Press *99 to exit the programming mode.

Establishing the Master Code

  • Use the alarm keypad to set the master code on your ADT system.
  • Enter the installer code + 802 followed by your chosen 4-digit code.
  • Wait for the confirmation beep.

Testing Your Alarm System

  • Ensure all doors and windows are securely closed.
  • Test the master code to ensure proper arming and disarming of the alarm.
  • Confirm the functionality of both the master code and any user codes.
  • With the master code, you can also create additional user codes.

Pro Tip: If you encounter challenges or require further support with your security system, it is recommended that you contact ADT security.

6. How do you get rid of the FC code on the ADT alarm?

The ADT error code FC, “Failed Communication,” is a common issue that signals a disruption in the system’s communication with the monitoring company. 

This error typically appears on Honeywell and Lynix panels. However, it doesn’t always require immediate ADT contact and can often be resolved independently.

Various factors can contribute to the FC error, such as:

  • Damaged phone wiring
  • Incorrect panel wiring
  • External interference
  • Poor connection
  • Service timeout
  • Problems with equipment (faulty devices)

Troubleshooting Steps

Inspect System

  • Check wiring for damage.
  • Ensure the phone line is functional.
  • Verify all connections are secure.
  • Power cycle the central alarm unit if needed.
  • For WiFi-connected systems, check internet connectivity.
  • Confirm timely payment for uninterrupted service.

Address Equipment Issues

  • If equipment is visibly damaged, contact ADT for replacement per the contract.

Reset the Panel

  • Disarm the alarm by entering the System Master Code and the “off” button (1).
  • Re-arm the alarm system to clear the FC error.

Alternate Reset Methods (Honeywell Panel)

  • Enter [Installer Code] + [800] + [*41*] + [*42*] + [*54] + [#15] + [*55] + [1] + [*99].
  • This clears programmed phone numbers and adjusts signaling settings.

Pro Tip: If independent efforts are unsuccessful, ADT can dispatch a technician to resolve the issue. Understanding and addressing the root causes and appropriate resets should help clear the FC error on your ADT alarm system.

7. How do I fix the bF code on the ADT alarm?

The ADT error code bF, sometimes mistaken for 6F, indicates a backup failure related to the alarm system’s communicator. When this issue occurs, it might be displayed as “Check 103 LngRng” on alphanumeric keypads. 

The communicator plays a crucial role in sending and receiving signals, and a bF error signals a disruption in communication with the ADT monitoring center.

Common Causes of ADT Error Code bF

Internet Connection Issues

  • Check for internet outages or instability.
  • Reboot the router and inspect cable connections.
  • Ensure the internet works by testing on other devices.

Cellular Signal Problems

  • Verify cellular signal strength.
  • Check for cellular outages in your area.
  • Inspect panel cables for any looseness or disconnection.
  • Consider upgrading to an LTE communicator if using older networks.

System-related Problems

  • Address tamper cover issues.
  • Ensure proper registration of the communicator.
  • Verify communication between the panel and module.
  • Check for power and battery problems.
  • Confirm system activation and registration with ADT.

8. Clearing ADT bF or Check 103 Error

Acknowledge and Fix the Problem

  • Once you’ve identified the cause, fix the underlying issue based on the identified cause.
  • You may also need to perform necessary repairs or upgrades.

Double Disarm to Clear Error

  • Disarm the system by entering the security master code followed by 1.
  • Repeat the disarm sequence ([Master Code] + [1] + [Master Code] + [1]). After this, the error code should disappear. 

Contact ADT for Technical Support

  • If issues persist or if you are unsure about the resolution, contact ADT.
  • ADT can send a technician for further assistance.

By addressing the root causes and performing the necessary steps, you can effectively resolve the ADT bF error and ensure the proper functioning of your alarm system.

9. How to Turn off ADT Alarm Beeping?

There are different methods of turning off your ADT alarm beeping. Below are some of the methods you can apply

Basic Methods

Press the OFF Button

  • Locate and press the OFF button on your ADT alarm keypad to silence the beeping. (Check issue 1 for how to turn off the different models)

Press # Key

  • Alternatively, press the # key on the keypad to stop the beeping.

Refer to User Manual

  • If the basic methods fail, consult your ADT alarm system’s user manual.
  • Follow the manual’s instructions to stop the beep.

Model-Specific Key Combinations

ADT Command All-in-one

  • Click the Disarm option.
  • Enter your security code.
  • Select Disarm again and enter the code.

ADT Command Hybrid/2×16

  • Enter the security code.
  • Click OFF to cancel the beeping.

ADT Simon XT

  • Select the STATUS option to stop the beeping.

ADT ITI Concord Express:

  • Click one on the keypad.
  • Enter the security code.

ADT BHS 3000/4000:

  • Click CANCEL twice.

ADT Concord 4, ADT DSC PC

  • Click the “*” button.

ADT Ademco Lynx:

  • Enter the security code.
  • Press OFF to stop the beeping.

If none of the methods above works and the beeping persists, you may need to contact technical support.

10. What Is a Master Code on ADT Alarm?

The Master Code, or the security code, is essential to ADT alarm systems. 

It plays a crucial role in managing users and adjusting authority levels within the system. You must enter specific sequences on the keypad to perform tasks like adding or removing users. 

The exact sequences vary depending on your system model. You can find the details in your system manual if you’re unsure. 

The Master Code is essential for customizing and controlling ADT alarm systems based on your specific security requirements. 

Consulting the system manual provides clear and tailored instructions for different system models.

11. How to Make ADT Alarm Louder?

To increase or decrease the volume of your ADT alarm system, you should identify the specific model you have. 

With various ADT panels available, the process may differ. Start by determining your ADT system model. 

To identify your ADT keypad model, you can use either of the following methods:

Online Method

  • Log in to your ADT account.
  • Navigate to the System Information section on the main overview page.

Visual Identification

  • Check the logo’s location on the keypad.
  • Identify the presence of a flip-down door.
  • Look for a visible speaker.
  • Determine the number of auxiliary buttons next to the numeric keypad.
  • Note any other distinguishing features.

By checking off the features of a given model, you can accurately identify your ADT keypad model, ensuring precise troubleshooting and a better understanding of your security system.

After identifying your specific ADT panel model, locate your ADT Home Security Manuals and User Guides. Download the user manual associated with your panel model to obtain precise instructions on adjusting the volume.

Following the instructions in the manual tailored to your specific ADT panel model will guide you through effectively modifying the volume settings to meet your preferences.


ADT is a highly reputable brand known for its reliability and demonstrated competence over the years. Although the security system might encounter occasional issues, you can trust that it will perform effectively. 

If you encounter any problems, the troubleshooting methods mentioned earlier should be sufficient to resolve them. However, if you encounter more complex issues beyond your capability or if the attempted solutions don’t work, do not hesitate to contact customer support for assistance. 

They are there to guide and help ensure your security system’s continued functionality.

About Author

I'm Maroun, the seasoned technology writer crafting compelling tutorials and posts since 2013. With over a decade of versatile experience spanning the IT, Security, and High-tech industries, my main qualities are adaptability and perfectionism. Join me in this journey, where every word is a masterpiece!
Read more about Maroun

Need Help: We hope you were able to solve your problem and find answers to your questions. Not really? Contact us.