jonny_gogo's profile

Tue, Aug 17, 2021 2:51 AM

Keypad Keeps Showing Alert that Sensor is Open

I have two doors very near each other on the side of the house opposite the base station. I mean, the doors are so close, you have to be careful opening both at the same time or else they'll hit each other. The keypad is secured to the wall right between them.  Both doors have entry sensors on them.

We open both doors a lot each day.

The keypad frequently has that little exclamation mark notification that, when I click it, says the side entry door os open and that it will be monitored when closed. This will appear even on days when we have not turned on the system at all.  

I'm not understanding what situation causes that notification to appear. Is it that the side door is left open for too long?  If so, what's the threshold of time the door can be open before the notification appears?  

Or for some reason is the sensor not registering when it's been closed?  If not, why not?  The keypad and other entry sensor on the other door both seem to communicate just fine with the base station so distance and location doesn't seem to be the issue.

Could the issue be that we are opening and closing the doors too fast for the system to properly keep track of the doors' current state?

Why does this notification appear even when the alarm is off?  The sensor isn't being monitored anyway (except for the beep it makes when opened).

Everything else works perfectly and I've put the system into test mode and the "problem' sensor has always worked when tested.

Advocate

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108 Messages

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You could try moving that sensor- swapping it with another known good sensor.  This could help narrow it down to the sensor or the location.  If the sensor continues to give the error in a different location, it could be a bad sensor.  
I believe the base station "pings" the sensors regularly to check communications.  So while they aren't monitored for the sake of the alarm when the system is off, the base is still looking for communication from the sensors.

Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

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Hi Jonny Gogo,

More good advice from hondaman88 there. I would just clarify that the sensor sends a signal ever time it's opened, as well as when it's closed (i.e. when you see the light blink). If the system gets an "open" signal, it will assume the entry is open for as long as it doesn't receive that corresponding "closed" signal.

Another thing to check - how far is that problematic sensor from its magnet? If it's at 2 inches away, it might be just on the border of detection, so it might take opening and closing a couple of times for it to register.
The same could happen if the sensor is placed on top of a metal surface - primarily iron or steel - since that can affect the magnetic field.

But you also mention, there are actually two separate sensors that are near each other. I would have guessed that there's some connectivity issues, where the signal from the trouble sensor doesn't always get to the Base Station. But if there's another sensor nearby not having the same issue, that's less likely.

- Johnny M.
SimpliSafe Home Security

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The distance between the sensor and magnet is within 2'. I have four exterior doors, all metal, with the same wood trim around the frame and the same setup of sensors. I don't think it's the placement of the sensor and magnet. Could be though, because this door closes into its frame a little more than the others. I'll double check the distance there. I'll have to try swapping sensors with the problem door and another door.

I have only attached the sensors using the sticky tape they came with. To switch sensors, can I just slide the top portion of the sensors off their bases, leaving those bases affixed to the doors, and place them on the "new' base?

Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

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Jonny Gogo,

Yep, just slide the sensor off its mounting bracket.

- Johnny M.
SimpliSafe Home Security

50 Messages

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It was indeed very simple to swap sensors between those two doors that are within a couple feet of each other.  And I confirmed that the issue is NOT the sensor, but the placement on the "problem" door.  Even after swapping sensors, the same door kept throwing an error by causing the keypad to show the alert that it was open.

The distance from the bottom of the magnet (which is on the wood trim around the door) to the top of the sensor (which is on the steel door) is about 1.25" - so it's well within that 2" limit.  I have three other sensors with the same configuration, also on steel doors and none of those have problems.  

There is something unique about the problem door though.  It shuts a little bit more deeply into the frame than the other doors, and so the sensor and magnet are not exactly on the same plane, if you know what I mean.  So that must be the issue.  I wonder if moving the magnet a little closer - there is room on the wood trim to move it - might help.  Otherwise . . . I guess I could figure out a way to build up the door under the sensor so that it WAS on the same plane as the magnet.

Something I'm not sure of: just because the keypad shows that alert, does that mean the alarm will not sound if that door is opened?  Would that alert go away on its own if the sensor reported to the base station that it is indeed now closed?

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One other question.  In order to reposition the magnet on the "problem" door, what kinds of adhesive do I need to have?

It looks like the magnets do not use the 3M tabs, so what have folks used instead?

Once I get everything in a position that I know works during the hot summer months (check) and during the cold winter months (pending), I plan to use the screws.  I have a few months though before doing that.

Captain

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4.7K Messages

@ Jonny Gogo highly recommend 3 M command strips, the small ones, cut to size. If you really want to play it safe,  you can also use the 3M strips with velco. You can get them that hold 1 pd, 5pds etc. Just make sure the surface is clean and clear of any residue from the old tape.

Advocate

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636 Messages

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I believe Jonny Gogo is referring to the Adhesive Tape for Entry Magnets, Captain. As Captain said, Jonny Gogo, 3M strips will work just fine. But if you want the foam-type tape the system comes with (specifically the magnets), you can order them from the "shop now" page on the site.

Go to https://simplisafe.com/alarm-sensors

Click on 'EXPAND YOUR SimpliSafe Gen 3 (latest).' Next, you scroll down to 'Adhesive Tape for Entry Magnets (4)' and click 'add to cart.'

Captain

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@Shiherlis I used the 3M velco for my entry sensors on my garage doors and they worked great.  I was concerned about vibrations and the swing of the door hinges so wanted something a bit more heavy duty.

Advocate

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636 Messages

Do you use the 3M Velcro on the magnets, Captain (instead of just the sensor portion)? When I gave away my SS2 system, I reinstalled it for the individual, and I bought the tape to replace the kind that initially came with the magnets on their behalf. But I suppose I did not know if the 3M strips would work, and I did not want to trim to fit (I tried to install the system for them as quickly as possible).

I am asking for future reference (in the instance I need to relocate an existing sensor). I found the specific Adhesive Tape for Entry Magnets to be the best option at the time as they had proven to stay affixed. However, since one must order them, the 3M strips working on the Entry Sensor Magnet portion would be great. I presume you have not had any issues?

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I had an issue this past weekend for a couple days that it would say entry sensor open but not tell me which on in the app.

we are constantly getting the ones like the OP described where we turn on the system and it tell us either a sensor open or sometimes a specific one is open so we have to turn off the system, open and close that door and re arm it.  VERY annoying!

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Hey thanks for heads up that they've got those entry sensor magnet adhesives in the store. I might grab some of those. I have been pleasantly surprised by how cleanly those 3M strips come off even after a long time stuck on a wall . . . I guess it will depend how cleanly the existing magnet adhesive comes off the door trim when I move it.   In any case, my plan is to have them affixed with an adhesive just for a year, then screw them in.

One odd thing about our entry "sensor is open' notification, is that the sensor continues to cause a beep when it's opened. It's like that notification remains on the keypad even after the sensor has told the base station "I'm closed'.