I recently bought a house where the previous owner had an ADT alarm system. Since home alarms are next to useless, I didn't continue the service. Recently, I had a power outage due to hurricane Matthew. I left the house and came home a few hours later to the alarm system beeping like crazy. It had to go.

I removed the keypad with no issues. I unscrewed everything in the control box and removed it. Unfortunately, nothing was labeled. There are eight sets of 22/4 wires (not 100% sure on gauge, but it doesn't matter). I'm sure one set went to the keypad, one set to the motion sensor, one set to the front door. But that leaves, 5 sets for... who knows? Obviously, one is for power. While removing the control box, a red and black touched and I saw a small spark. Its getting power from somewhere. Where do I look to disconnect the power?

  • Was a battery in the control box? Oct 11, 2016 at 0:29
  • @spicetraders there was, but it wasn't connected to anything
    – Keltari
    Oct 11, 2016 at 0:36
  • 1
    Most alarms are very low power/ voltage and will blow a local fuse at the power supply or transformer, I have removed a couple of systems that we could not find the source so I shorted it out until the fuse blew. One was in the garage in a locked cabinet the new owner did not know was there another in the attic neither tripped the branch circuit it was connected to and both were dead after a 1-2 second short. Some may say this is dangerous but the system a limited power system with this size wiring at low voltage would have a tough time lighting anything other than gasoline on a rag IMO.
    – Ed Beal
    Oct 11, 2016 at 0:44
  • Sirens often have backup batteries so they'll continue to annoy the neighbors even if the bad guys cut your electric power. If you don't have one mounted externally, there could be one in your attic.
    – Niall C.
    Oct 11, 2016 at 0:45
  • See if there's a breaker specifically labelled for the alarm system. If so, kill that :-) . In the meantime, I recommend you cap off each wire separately with a wire nut and if there's no junction box in the wall, put one in to contain the wire ends. Oct 11, 2016 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


Well, I ended up going into the attic and tracing the wires. Hot and sweaty work, but I believe I found the power lines. They ended up terminating to a powerbrick that was run through the ceiling of my garage, next to the garage door motor plug.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.