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Maria Gill

Risco eurosec CPX wireless alarm system

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I would appreciate it greatly if someone could advise me about an issue with the above system. We purchased this system 21 months ago which has worked fine up until neighbouring builders disturbed an underground electricity cable. We were left without electricity for approximately 30 hours until National Grid dug up our garden to resolve the issue. The alarm did not kick back in despite power being restored and the installer said it was nothing to do with the electricity cable being cut but that the failure was down to the system not having been serviced so the sensor batteries had gone flat. Call me cynical but that is a massive coincidence. Anyway, apparently the main battery was fine so he said he only had to replace the sensor batteries (5 small Panasonic lithium batteries for which he charged £50, plus call out (total £104 which we want off the builders)).

 

I was told over the phone that we would need two batteries at £25 each. I understood that the wireless batteries lasted two to three years. Is this correct?   Also, why didn't the alarm start working again when electricity was restored? The engineer is adamant that it is our fault for not having a yearly service but I just see this a ruse to get more money out of us. Again, call me cynical! We have never had issues with previous (different) alarm systems and had one for 10 and another for 15 years with no problems.  We have no intention of paying £104 a year to those guys to replace batteries when we paid £450 for the system. 

 

Was as it the power failure (cut cables) that caused this or was it the wireless batteries (coincidentally) running out at the exact same time that caused the issue with the system? We just don't understand why the system did not kick back in when power was restored. 

 

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks 

Edited by Maria Gill

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Being a house basher it sounds about right

 

Regardless of power outage I would do the same change batteries in sensor and any others that need it

 

£450 is cheap for the system 

 

And £104 for the repair is a very good price 

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your £50 visit was cheap, £10 each for a sensor battery was dear

 

We'd be more than £104 & if non contract we'd might not come at all

 

By contrast

 

A daytime visit for my house telephone would be £120+vat if my equipment is not at fault

 

The business telephone line went off some months ago £450+vat for an engineer to attend on Saturday morning I declined, they fixed some days latter at the exchange (there a bunch of clowns)

 

I pay call costs & line rental.... you've provided no income for your alarm co. since the install

 

I'd change lithium radio alarm battery's every 2 yrs & the lead acid battery every 5yrs unless they fail earlier

 

In your case I'd **assume** the end station, radio expander & keypad ect... stopped working after 10hrs or so.

when powered back up it recharged its battery but shows L! for every radio device or something ? The batterys may not need replacing at this point but I'd expect who however replace them has measured them & found there down on volts?

 

 

 

Any fault with your CPX will appear in the log, view it ?


Mr:)

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It's possible for the panel not to kick back in , and also it doesn't really matter to be honest almost everyone who doesn't service there system yearly has this issue of similar types there's nothing an engineer could do to make your alarm not come back on unless for example there's an engineer's reset required 

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1 hour ago, al-yeti said:

Being a house basher it sounds about right

 

Regardless of power outage I would do the same change batteries in sensor and any others that need it

 

£450 is cheap for the system 

 

And £104 for the repair is a very good price 

Thank you for your reply. They upgraded the old (different) system when we bought it so they didn't provide the main battery hence the cost. I personally don't think it was a good price as it takes them less than 5 minutes to get to our house and it took less than 10 minutes to replace the batteries. That's all they did. It wasn't a repair.  I don't understand how the 30 hour power outage could possibly have  had no bearing on the system failing.  I can understand the main battery running out because 30 hours is such a long time but when it recharged after having been reconnected to the electricity supply why didn't the system work? We were told the sensor batteries would last 2 to 3 years not 21 months. It's too much of a coincidence that the sensor batteries failed at the exact  same time that the underground electricity cable was cut by the builders. There had been no issues whatsoever before that. I genuinely believe there is more to it but I don't know the answer. Having said that it concerns me that the sensor batteries can stop the whole system from working. That can't be right. What if they failed whilst on holiday?

1 hour ago, al-yeti said:

Being a house basher it sounds about right

 

Regardless of power outage I would do the same change batteries in sensor and any others that need it

 

£450 is cheap for the system 

 

And £104 for the repair is a very good price 

 

Just now, Maria Gill said:

Thank you for your reply. They upgraded the old (different) system when we bought it so they didn't provide the main battery hence the cost. I personally don't think it was a good price as it takes them less than 5 minutes to get to our house and it took less than 10 minutes to replace the batteries. That's all they did. It wasn't a repair.  I don't understand how the 30 hour power outage could possibly have  had no bearing on the system failing.  I can understand the main battery running out because 30 hours is such a long time but when it recharged after having been reconnected to the electricity supply why didn't the system work? We were told the sensor batteries would last 2 to 3 years not 21 months. It's too much of a coincidence that the sensor batteries failed at the exact  same time that the underground electricity cable was cut by the builders. There had been no issues whatsoever before that. I genuinely believe there is more to it but I don't know the answer. Having said that it concerns me that the sensor batteries can stop the whole system from working. That can't be right. What if they failed whilst on holiday?

T

 

1 hour ago, al-yeti said:

Being a house basher it sounds about right

 

Regardless of power outage I would do the same change batteries in sensor and any others that need it

 

£450 is cheap for the system 

 

And £104 for the repair is a very good price 

 

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Thank you all for your replies however I'm still none the wiser  as to why the main battery didn't kick back in to make the alarm work once electricity was restored. There wasn't a fault with the alarm per se and there wasn't a repair. The underground cable was cut which resulted in the power outage. There is no way that that wasn't related to the alarm problems we experienced. Call me dumb but I just don't understand why it didn't come back on or why sensor batteries that were less than 2 years old suddenly ran out at the exact moment in time that the outside cable was cut. It' has to be all connected. I see no logic in any of it. I appreciate you all taking the time to comment though

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doesnt make sense for them not to provide a new system battery if replacing main controls

 

however doesnt change the fact most would change all the sensor batteries and the system battery at this stage and £104 cheap fix

 

i seen some come back and say sorry panel or wireless repeater has been spiked i have to put a new one in cost total now £450 again , so he did well on that charge 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, al-yeti said:

doesnt make sense for them not to provide a new system battery if replacing main controls

 

however doesnt change the fact most would change all the sensor batteries and the system battery at this stage and £104 cheap fix

 

i seen some come back and say sorry panel or wireless repeater has been spiked i have to put a new one in cost total now £450 again , so he did well on that charge 

 

 

Thank you for your reply however it still doesn't explain how the cut cable and alarm failure were in no way connected or why it didn't come back on once power was restored. Thank you any way

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Hi

regardless if the battery is new or old ,no alarm will last a 30 hour power cut once the battery is completely exhausted. . ie flat they will never recharge from the control panel

the design is to  provide approx. 8 hours battery power and then recharge within approx. 24 hours  once the battery is flat the control box does not have the capacity to recharge it

with out damage to the circuit board  so a replacement battery is the cheaper option.  The wireless battery  replacement is often done early as precaution whilst on a service call 

otherwise people complain  about paying twice when the low battery warning starts only a few months after the last visit

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56 minutes ago, Maria Gill said:

why it didn't come back on once power was restored. 

 

A deeply discharged battery may prevent the controls from restarting cleanly as it pulling the voltage down...


Mr:)

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1 hour ago, Maria Gill said:

I personally don't think it was a good price as it takes them less than 5 minutes to get to our house and it took less than 10 minutes to replace the batteries.

 

If they traveled further it might have costed more ?

 

they on site in normal working hrs (mon -fri in 9-5 hr)


Mr:)

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I must admit if I'd been told straight up that a battery had been deep discharged for 30 hrs or so, I would probably replace it, though I suppose if I then attended the system some hours since the power was restored,  and my ACT tester was showing 7ah (I.e OK) I possibly wouldn't rush to replace it..

 

Also if I turned up to any job and was told it hadn't been serviced in years, I too would assume this meant all batteries were ancient nd would offer to replace them as a matter of course.

 

However,  I have now just re-read your post and didn't realise the system was only 21 months old (I'd still recommend device battery changes though, Scantronic suggests 3 year life absolute max. for most devices...) nor that you'd invited back the original installer.

 

Bit of a funny one, price not really outrageous if I'm honest, possibly a slightly odd approach re. Device batteries, and yes, I would pass invoice to builders esp. If NOT itemised!

 

Unfortunately not a very good system in the first place, and I assume your previous systems were not wireless and *should* have been regularly serviced.

Edited by datadiffusion
  • Upvote 1

So, I've decided to take my work back underground.... to stop it falling into the wrong hands

 

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£50 is too cheap and £10.00 per battery is to dear but £104 is still reasonable, we would have charged £76 for the call out and around £4.50 per battery plus VAT so about the same. Sounds expensive but name a profession that isn't expensive, and your not paying for how far he travels or how long he was there for, you're paying for someone to do something you could not do yourself. 

 

The lithium batteries would not necessarily be influenced by the mains failure, the main control panel would have been and it would have taken a full 24hrs to recharge.

 

Its difficult to surmise the exact events after power was returned to your panel, but I would guess that the battery would have pulled the system down until the battery was fully charged and the system had been restarted, and that would be when the low batteries in the detectors would have been discovered.

 

In my experience Lithium batteries rarely last three years despite what the manufactures tell you, we change batteries yearly because its cheaper than calling us out between service visits.

 

You could argue with the builders that the batteries would have not needed to be changed so soon if it not for the power incident, but they will be claiming on their insurance anyway. I suspect food in your freezer and fridge was spoilt, and you have suffered inconvenience no hot water, lights, etc, on top of the alarm problem, the insurance negotiators will be used to dealing with this sort of thing.

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20 minutes ago, PeterJames said:

You could argue with the builders that the batteries would have not needed to be changed so soon if it not for the power incident, but they will be claiming on their insurance anyway. I suspect food in your freezer and fridge was spoilt, and you have suffered inconvenience no hot water, lights, etc, on top of the alarm problem, the insurance negotiators will be used to dealing with this sort of thing.

 

Realistically if the invoice just states 'to get alarm working after power failure, change batteries, £104' which it probably will, if it's even that detailed, then you have no need to worry anyway. Had it had a zero on the end, no doubt futher investigation would have been made by the builder and/or claims handler!

 

Most board company excepted I have come to realise few if any other trades issue such detailed and itemised invoices as us, for our size at least...

Edited by datadiffusion

So, I've decided to take my work back underground.... to stop it falling into the wrong hands

 

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Remember on the CPX the system needs time to recharge the battery up to 11.8v and over to function or you will get Batt/Fuse fault.

£114 to get the system serviced and new batteries is about the standard price Imo.

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It's not the price that is bothering me so much as the engineer saying the damaged outside electric cable had absolutely nothing to do with the system failure. That's far too much of a coincidence. He also put that on the invoice and also put that the failure was due to the system not being serviced and that the sensor batteries had failed because of lack of service. He had no right to put any of that. There is no way they are not connected. Cable gets damaged by builders resulting in power outage for nearly 30 hours and that is the reason for the alarm failure - not because it wasn't serviced after its first year. I just don't believe him and I need someone to explain how it could be sheer coincidence that these things happened at exactly the same time?  I need a plausible answer please! 

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32 minutes ago, Maria Gill said:

It's not the price that is bothering me so much as the engineer saying the damaged outside electric cable had absolutely nothing to do with the system failure. That's far too much of a coincidence. He also put that on the invoice and also put that the failure was due to the system not being serviced and that the sensor batteries had failed because of lack of service. He had no right to put any of that. There is no way they are not connected. Cable gets damaged by builders resulting in power outage for nearly 30 hours and that is the reason for the alarm failure - not because it wasn't serviced after its first year. I just don't believe him and I need someone to explain how it could be sheer coincidence that these things happened at exactly the same time?  I need a plausible answer please! 

 

Write him a short, polite note stating that in the interests of quick, hassle free payment, a much 'plainer' invoice will be useful...

 

However, again, events like this whilst probably nothing to do with the power cut, DO show that there is good reason to have your system regularly serviced. Perhaps by someone a little less passive-aggressive, but serviced none the less. 

2 years is pretty much your limit on RF sensor batteries, 3 at the most on some door contacts unless high traffic. As above, many would recommend annually, which we do on certain sites (e.g. fully comprehensive cover) but as a minimum 2 years.

Edited by datadiffusion

So, I've decided to take my work back underground.... to stop it falling into the wrong hands

 

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From what I gather on your posts above I would say:-

Not many systems are designed to last 30 hours with no power.

If the control panel battery is exhausted then your system may not power back up when the mains restores.

Your sensor batteries are separate from the mains failure/control panel battery failure, if they where failing you will never truly know now.

 

I would recommend radio sensors batteries are replace annually, they never last as long as the manufacturer claims.

There is no way I wouldn't recommand a full service to a non-maintained customer if it had not been serviced within 12 months.

If this isn't explained you'll be back again within 12 months to swap the batteries and the customer would expect this to be FOC.

 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, james.wilson said:

I don't know the gear but was it all sensors or just 1 or 2

5 wireless sensors I'm guessing with 5 batteries having been replaced. I just don't understand why the system didn't kick back in once the main battery recharged after the outside cable was repaired. He's absolutely adamant that the power outage was nothing to do with the system failure. We're now concerned that should there be a power failure again, the system won't kick back in once the main battery is recharged. None of it makes sense to be honest. What are the odds on the wireless sensor batteries failing at the exact same time as the power outage? Many thanks for your reply

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13 hours ago, sixwheeledbeast said:

From what I gather on your posts above I would say:-

Not many systems are designed to last 30 hours with no power.

If the control panel battery is exhausted then your system may not power back up when the mains restores.

Your sensor batteries are separate from the mains failure/control panel battery failure, if they where failing you will never truly know now.

 

I would recommend radio sensors batteries are replace annually, they never last as long as the manufacturer claims.

There is no way I wouldn't recommand a full service to a non-maintained customer if it had not been serviced within 12 months.

If this isn't explained you'll be back again within 12 months to swap the batteries and the customer would expect this to be FOC.

 

 

 

 

T

 

1 minute ago, Maria Gill said:

5 wireless sensors I'm guessing with 5 batteries having been replaced. I just don't understand why the system didn't kick back in once the main battery recharged after the outside cable was repaired. He's absolutely adamant that the power outage was nothing to do with the system failure. We're now concerned that should there be a power failure again, the system won't kick back in once the main battery is recharged. None of it makes sense to be honest. What are the odds on the wireless sensor batteries failing at the exact same time as the power outage? Many thanks for your reply

The engineer said that the main battery had recharged itself and was fine but the wireless sensor batteries were dead due to not having had a service. A bit too much of a coincidence that they failed at the exact same time that the power was cut. As I said I don't believe that was the issue. Too much of a coincidence. We had no choice other than to call an engineer. We would not have purchased the system if it could fail in this way as its not fit for purpose. I get that it was off for 30 hours which is probably highly unusual but nontheless the main battery did recharge so it should have kicked back in.  We don't want a system that, for want of a better word, is so 'flakey'. We also set it at night and not just whenever we're out and not just for security but also to comfort our son, because we were burgled in our last house when he was 5 and it caused night terrors that lasted 10 years. 

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18 hours ago, Hillbilly said:

Remember on the CPX the system needs time to recharge the battery up to 11.8v and over to function or you will get Batt/Fuse fault.

£114 to get the system serviced and new batteries is about the standard price Imo.

Yes that's the message we got but when the main battery recharged we had no choice but to call an engineer as it still wouldn't work. He said it was our fault for not replacing the wireless batteries which were dead. It wasn't our fault. The system was working perfectly fine until the power outage. 

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I don't install Risco kit, so can't help you very much here, but I'm just wondering what the protocol is for a detector that has "lost" comms with the main panel?

is it possible that the detectors were polling more often for a reply from the main panel hence depleting whatever charge was left in the batteries?

again I'm no expert on Risco so wondering what the other engineers think but I would say the batteries must have been low in the first instance, we change batteries each year on RF kit to maintain consistency of the system.

 

 

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As above, if the panel was dead the detectors may have been  polling (looking for it so to speak) this would tie in with all needing new batteries, but also on the back of this having a wireless system without a service contract is not a great idea imo 

  • Upvote 1

Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.


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