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ADEMCO Vista-10SE alarm will not disarm.

PRV

Jan 6, 2023
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Jan 6, 2023
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I have a ADEMCO Vista-10SE that I armed but came back it the house before it armed, I tried to enter the code and press the OFF key
but it did not work. The countdown finished then the alarm went off. I tried the master code and the off key, but it doesn't work.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
 

ChosunOne

Jun 20, 2010
486
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Jun 20, 2010
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I'm going to interpret that as "I armed the system in "Away" and left the house, but came back in before the Exit Delay expired, entered Code + OFF (the “1” key), but it didn't disarm and the alarm tripped when the Exit Delay expired."

I can think of a couple of ways your system _might_ be failing to Disarm:
  1. You _might_ have been trying to disarm in a hurry and bollixed entering the CODE the first time, while the Exit Delay was running out, and you _might_ have a low Control Panel battery. If the alarm trips before you manage to disarm it, and the Panel battery is low, sometimes the siren(s) draw(s) enough current to drop the system voltage down to where the CPU can’t process the Code on subsequent attempts to Disarm; and the User is unable to disarm the system until the Panel gets a fresh Battery. That’s the 4 or 7 Ah SLA (Sealed Lead-Acid) battery in the cabinet where your Vista-20SE Panel lives.

  1. You _might_ be using the system Installer Code (IC) to Arm and Disarm, thinking it’s the Master Code. I’ve seen that happen a few times where the User gets the Installer Code (Used for System Programming) instead of the Master Code, and s/he can use it for years, until…..


Question, HOW did you arm the system? The User can Arm Away by (1) entering a 4-digit CODE + AWAY, or (2)Pressing one of the A,B,C, or D buttons (assuming you have a keypad that includes those 4 buttons and assuming the Panel if programmed for it), or (3) Pressing # and Away, or (4) Using a Keyfob or other RF remote to arm.
2nd Question: Are you certain you’re using the system’s Master Code to Arm and Disarm? There are 3 principal kinds of Code that can Arm the system: The Master Code, other (optional) User Codes, and the Installer Code. All these codes can be used to Arm the system, but the Installer Code can Disarm only if it was used to Arm.
I.e., if you arm the system by any means other than IC (Installer Code) + Arm, then the IC can’t Disarm the system. That’s a safety feature that prevents the Installer or serviceman from having to know your Master/User Code to work on your system.

I presume you’ve powered down your system by pulling the plug-in transformer from its electrical outlet and taking at least one wire off the Panel battery. When you power back up, the system will boot up either Armed or Disarmed, depending on how it was programmed. You can’t get into System Programming to check on your Codes while the system is Armed, so getting it Disarmed (if possible) is the first thing we need to do.

So power the system back up and see if it boots up Armed or Disarmed, and we’ll go from there. If you haven’t changed the Panel Battery in the last 5 years, it would be a good idea to have a fresh battery when you power up. Also a good idea to make sure all doors & windows are closed and nobody is moving in front of any motion sensors: If it boots up Armed, you don’t want the siren sounding—aside from annoying neighbors, it tends to draw down the Panel Voltage and skew system tests.

Let me know what happens, Armed or Disarmed, and we’ll go from there.
 

PRV

Jan 6, 2023
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Jan 6, 2023
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Thanks ChosunOen for your reply.

1. I was arming the system with the installers code and then pressing Away.

I followed your instructions in a previous post and was able to reset the system. but I am unable to set up new users off the keypad using
the installer code 8-3 (no beeps either). I reverified the installer's code by pressing # +* at power on and then #20. I also can use the installer code + 80 to get into the programming menu. Is there a field entry like #20 where I can enter a User's code? Or do you have a better way of doing it? What am I doing wrong?

Thanks!
 

ChosunOne

Jun 20, 2010
486
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Jun 20, 2010
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Glad you got it disarmed, that means you can work with it to get your Master Code and any Secondary User Codes you want to add. I strongly recommend having _at least_ one extra User Code.

You sound like you may have an Installation Manual, but just in case...
https://www.manualslib.com/manual/802850/Ademco-Vista-20se.html?page=79#manual

Installation manuals for professional-grade systems like the Vista-20SE are written for professionals with the assumption they'll have some familiarity with system programming, and might be confusing for novices, so here's the quick description of programming your User Code(s):
First of all, this is done in Normal Operation mode, not Installer Programming mode, so I recommend you stay out of Installer Programming unless you need to go in (which you DID need to do to verify your Installer Code).

In Normal Operation mode, enter [4-digit Installer Code] + [8] + [01] + [desired 4-digit Master Code]
Just FYI, the "[01]" in that sequence means that the Master Code is the first User Code. All other User Codes will be numbered [02] and higher.

Do NOT test this code by arming the system!! I strongly recommend NOT ever Arming until you KNOW you have a working User Code to Disarm.
Test the new code by toggling the Chime feature (Key 9) on and off. If that works, then the Code has been accepted and you can Arm/Disarm with it.

To add any Secondary User Code(s), in Normal Operation mode, enter:
[4-digit Master Code] + [User Number] + [desired 4-digit Code]
The User Number will be 02 or 03 or 04, depending on how many extra you want.

Please let me know how you make out.
 

PRV

Jan 6, 2023
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Jan 6, 2023
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Great, it worked! thank you!
I was able to set up the master code.
 

ChosunOne

Jun 20, 2010
486
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Jun 20, 2010
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Glad to hear it. Just to reiterate, if you haven't changed the Panel battery in 5 years, it's overdue and a weak battery can cause unpredictable problems.

That system is at least 15 years old. Kudos to you for keeping it going. That's a good model.
 
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