Even today, the official information from ADT about removing ADT panels is lacking.
What’s more, after calling ADT, you may be surprised to find out that they do not offer equipment removal services.
If you have grandfathered an old ADT system, you may be in the clear to do whatever you want with it. However, if you or the homeowner are still under contract, make sure to double-check with ADT and the current owner if it is okay to remove the panel before taking the steps outlined below.
Luckily, the process is very easy and can be accomplished even by beginner DIYers.
Generally, there are two main reasons why you would need to do this.
- The first is that you may want to replace your ADT panel battery.
- The second is that you may want to remove the ADT panel entirely.
I will cover both cases below.
Before we start, it will be helpful to mention that over the years ADT has used several different panels.
Typically, their installation and removal follow similar steps with some minor differences. Those will be addressed when relevant in the steps below.
To remove your ADT panel, follow these steps:
Power off the ADT Panel
Newer ADT panels are not hardwired. The way they are powered is through a transformer that is usually plugged into a nearby outlet.
Find the transformer that provides power to the panel and unplug it. You do not want to be working with the panel while there can be live wires.
Always make sure the panel has lost AC power and is running on the backup battery power.
Once the panel is unplugged, a big red plug saying “AC Loss” will show up on the newer 7″ touchscreen panels. However, it can take a couple of minutes for the power loss notification to show up on the screen.
On some of the older ADT panels, the trouble indicator will light up (a little triangle on the right-hand side of the display) when the transformer is unplugged.
That said, some ADT panels (and security systems) are hardwired. All the wiring and the backup battery may be found in a control box. This is usually the case with older ADT systems, as newer ones use a simple transformer that is found in a nearby outlet.
Locate the ADT control box and make sure to cut off all power to the ADT panel, including the battery backup.
This video provides a good example of what you may need to look for if you are dealing with an older ADT panel (the Safewatch Pro 3000) with a control box.
Shut Down the ADT System
You might be able to completely power off your ADT security system if you have one of the newer panels.
This is kind of an optional step that can save you some headaches.
Doing it will allow you to remove the front panel without triggering the anti-tamper alarm.
- Press the arrow on the right-hand side of the touchscreen.
- Select Tools.
- Enter your 4-digit Master Code.
- Choose Advanced.
- Choose System Shut Down.
This 3-minute video offers a quick visual explanation on how to remove the ADT Smart Security Panel, which is pretty common nowadays.
Do not skip this step if you have the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 because this can cause a few different issues, such as panel failure, data loss, and even void of the warranty.
However, your mileage may vary depending on which panel model you have.
If possible, try to shut it down, and if you can’t move on to the next step.
Remove the Front Panel
If you have the 7″ touchscreen panel (also applicable for the ADT2X16AIO, ADT TS Keypad, and some other panels) there will be one screw holding the front and the wall mount together.
It is located on the bottom of the panel and you will need a small Phillips screwdriver for it.
Now, the way the front panel detaches from the back wall mount can vary depending on the panel you have.
- The front panel of the newer 7″ touchscreen panels slides up and off the back wall plate.
- On the Qolsys IQ Panel 4, the bottom part goes out and away from the wall while the top part is held by a small latch.
- Safewatch QuickConnect Plus panels have two locking tabs on the top that need to be pushed in order to separate the front panel from the wall back plate.
- Lynx and Simon panels usually have tabs on the top too but some models also have tabs on each side.
- Here’s another quick video that shows how to easily remove the ADT TS panel.
- If you have the DSC Impassa panel in addition to the screw on the bottom of the panel, there will be two slots to the left and right-hand side on the bottom side of the panel that you will need to push to disengage the clips and open the panel.
Carefully detach the front panel from the wall mount. There will be wires, and some panels will also be held together by a plastic strap that will allow you to easily hang the front panel off the wall.
Important note: If you have not shut down the system the moment you slide the front panel off the wall mount, the anti-tamper alarm will sound.
There is no reason for concern.
You should still be able to stop the alarm.
For example, with the newer 7″ touchscreen panel, simply tap on the “Cover Temper” alert that showed up on the touchscreen and enter your code to stop the beeping.
This will give you enough time to completely power off the panel by taking out the battery, which is explained in the next step.
Disconnect and Remove the Battery
The majority of the panels used by ADT are built similarly.
To disconnect and remove the battery follow these steps:
- Unscrew the plastic battery retainer keeping the battery in place. You will need a small standard Phillips screwdriver.
- Remove the retainer.
- Carefully take out the battery and disconnect the battery connector. Grab the battery connector by the base; do not pull on the cables.
Once the battery is removed, the panel will completely shut down and you will not have to worry about the anti-tamper alarm anymore.
Depending on your initial goal, you can now either continue and remove the wall-mounted back plate or replace the battery.
Replacing the Battery
If your goal is to replace the battery, then you can follow the same steps in reverse order.
- Insert the new battery pack and put the plastic cover back on. Make sure the battery connector is connected to the front panel.
- Push the panel flush and slide it back on the back wall plate. You should hear a very distinct click. Inspect the panel ensuring it is inserted properly into the back wall plate.
- If applicable, put the bottom screw holding the front plate to the back wall plate in.
- Connect the AC adapter or turn on the power from the ADT panel and give the panel a few minutes to turn on.
Remove the Wall Mount
If your goal is to completely remove the ADT panel, proceed with removing the wall mount. It is usually held to the wall with a few screws. Make sure to save the screws.
Attach the front panel and the wall mount together.
And place everything back in the original box if available.
At this stage, depending on which panel model you had and how it was mounted to the wall, you may have to do some patchwork to cover the holes. The power cable from the transformer may also have been run through the wall, which can add more problems to deal with.
If you have one of the hardwired panels, make sure to not leave any live wires loose.