How to Program a Code on an Ademco Alarm System

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You can program a code on your alarm system.
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Honeywell Ademco alarm systems are easy to use and are found in homes and businesses worldwide. If you choose, you can program your alarm system yourself. By following a few simple steps, you can access your alarm system's programming menu, enter a code and change its programming in a way that's specific to your needs.


Your Honeywell Ademco alarm system is easy to program by using the data codes listed in your system manual. To access its programming menu, enter your installer or master code on the digital keypad and then enter the programming code applicable to the changes you wish to make.

Accessing Your System's Programming Menu

The best keypad to use for programming your alarm system is the Honeywell 6160 Deluxe Keypad. This particular model is an alpha keypad that shows all of the digits or values you'll need to see while programming. An earlier version like the Honeywell 6150 will not show the complete value display, as it is a fixed English keypad.


To get into your system's programming mode, input your installer or master code if you know it plus "8" and "00." You'll know you've accessed the right mode when you see the message "Installer Code 20" or "20" displayed. If you don't know what your installer code is, you can get in via your system's back door. To do this, press and hold the * and # keys at the same time within 50 seconds of powering up your system.

Your installer or master code is a four-digit number programmed into your system during its installation. This code is known only to you and the previous homeowner if the system was already in place. Each person you allow to use your home security system can have a code that's user-specific with different limitations and authority levels.


Programming With Honeywell Alarm Codes

After accessing your alarm system's programming menu, press * and the data field number. To know which data field number is specific to which action, consult your system's programming guide or manual. There, you will find a full list of numbers applicable to the changes you wish to make using Ademco keypad programming. As an example, by entering *32, you'll be able to access the system's fire alarm sounder timeout and program it to your specific needs by using key commands to change the settings.

After you've made the necessary changes, you will hear three beeps from your keypad and see the next data field. This means that you've succeeded in changing your alarm system programming. When you're done making changes, press *99 to exit the programming menu.


When programming your Ademco system, make sure to press each key within four to five seconds. If you wait any longer, the system will not accept the code. Also, don't panic if you've hit the wrong key. Your alarm system will reset itself, and you can start the process again. If your alarm system is online, and you have any questions or concerns about programming it, you can contact your security company to walk you through the process.

Changing Your Installer Code

Should you choose to change your installer or master code, unplug the alarm system transformer from the wall outlet. If you don't know where the transformer is, you can remove the wire from Terminal 1 of the panel. Then, unplug the system's backup battery by sliding the red or black wire off its clip. Wait 10 seconds before plugging in the battery again.


Within a minute, you'll see "20" or "Installer Code 20" on the keypad's digital display. From there, press #20 and the system will display the current code one digit at a time. Press *20, enter your new master code numbers and exit the programming menu by pressing *99.



Michelle Nati has written DIY and home improvement articles for The Farmers’ Almanac,, and She holds a B.A. in Communications and English from Niagara University.

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