ADT motion detector problems and simple solutions

As part of your ADT security package you most likely have an ADT motion detector.  I have noticed that I sometimes have false alarms with my motion detector and was wondering how these motion detectors from ADT work and what I can do to fix them.

As you may have found out, if you call up ADT and ask for a service person to come out and adjust your motion detector or work on it, that will be an additional charge. Most security companies charge you a fee of around $75 dollars to come out and work on your equipment. You would think that there would be no charge, since you are paying for it every month. However, that is not the case.

Here are some common problems you can have with an ADT motion detector or any motion detector for that matter.

1. It doesn’t detect motion at all.
2. It detects too much motion (i.e set off by pets).

Typically the request that gets the most calls from people is the second one, pets setting off the motion detector. If you call up ADT on the phone they will tell you that they will need to come out there to adjust the sensitivity of the motion detector. That sounds like a complex process involving a trained technician, right? Wrong, it is easy to change that yourself and this article will show you how you can change that.

Your motion detector will have a small dial on the bottom where you can adjust its sensitivity.  You can turn the dial one way to be more sensitive or the other way to be less sensitive. Here is the procedure that I follow.

1.Get a ladder if you need to and climb up to where you can see the motion detector easily.
2. Adjust the sensitivity to the middle of the range.
3. Set the alarm.
4. While the motion detector is in that range, have your pet walk through the room and past the motion detector. I’ll usually do this process with the owner because they can sometimes have a treat there to get the dog or cat to come to them. The owner would need to be out of the motion detector range though so they don’t set it off. Most of the motion detectors are heat based PIR systems.
5. If the alarm goes off, then lower the sensitivity by turning the dial to the less sensitive end.
6. Turn back on the alarm and repeat this step until the alarm doesn’t go off.

Now, here is an important item to note. Make sure that the detector still detects humans walking through the environment. Set the alarm and try to walk past the detector. Try walking past the detector at different distances as well to see if it goes off. If it doesn’t go off, then you have made it too sensitive and you are no longer getting any advantage from it.

If your adt motion detector is bad or you accidently break it like some people I know with ladders and painting, then you can get a replacement for it. The motion detector will send out a small signal to your base unit. It doesn’t have to be an official ADT motion detector unit. You can substitute another brand. If you do get another brand, try getting one that will make it easier to deal with the pet false alarms that I mentioned above.