07:07AM | 04/11/03
Member Since: 04/10/03
2 lifetime posts
I just purchased a new home (built about 5 years ago) and it has been pre-wired for an alarm. I found the bundle of wires where the alarm box goes, and found wires near the doors where magnet switches can be installed, but don't know where all the other wires go. Can anyone recommend a good wire tracer or another way to find where the wires go? If I called the builder, do you think they would be of help?

Jim D

12:25AM | 04/14/03
Member Since: 01/06/01
345 lifetime posts
Anogee - hi, it sounds like you've done a fair amount of sleuthing so far. Depending on how many wire pairs are left that you haven't fully traced, here's a couple thoughts.

1. Windows on the first/ground floor.
2. Attic and basement areas.
3. Garage doors.

Yes, your builder may be of some help on this as well. They may either have the wiring plan for the alarm system, or at least they should be able to point you to the alarm company/subcontractor who installed the wiring to begin with.

Purchasing a decent wire tracer would help you as well, although the outlay may never totally pay for itself. Some good ones I've used in the past ran almost $100. The transmitter end clips across one end of the pair (hopefully, you can tell which ends are paired without too many problems!), and it generates a tone on the line. The receiver end has to come in fairly close proximity to the pair before you get the tone on the receiver. Depending on how many pairs you have left to trace, you're in for a lot of walking.

If wires aren't visible at the areas I described above, then I'd recomend teh call to the builder before plunking down the cash for the wire tracer. I hope this helps some - good luck! Jim D/Heathsville, VA


06:14AM | 04/14/03
Member Since: 04/10/03
2 lifetime posts
Thanks Jim

That was very helpful. Over the weekend I did some digging and things are getting clearer. The installer actually installed a little plastic plug in each sliding window where a contact can go. I just have to find a thin magnet to fit between the metal fins on the window. Also, a few of the wires are marked in a cryptic way, and some I can tell by kind of wire, eg. the smoke alarm wire is red, phone line, etc.

I guess I can't complain. When I was shopping for houses this one was a negative because it didn't have an alarm and wasn't wired for one (or so I thought.) I budgeted $2000 just to wire it. Then I bought the house and surprise, it was wired. I was very happy.

I ordered a wire tracker because I don't see how I ever could do this without one, and it will probably be good to have. Even if I find the window and door wires, I'll never find ones for things like the keypads without one. My last house also was prewired, and I hired someone to install the alarm, so I have a good idea where things should be. Just will take some digging.

Thanks Again.



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