How to Replace the Security Alarm in a New Exterior Door

Written by david young
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How to Replace the Security Alarm in a New Exterior Door
Magnetic switches tell the alarm system when a door is open. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Home burglar alarm systems typically use a magnetic-reed switch on doors to detect entry. When the door is closed, a magnet mounted in or on the door closes the reed switch. If the door is opened, the switch opens as the magnet is moved away. When replacing doors in a home with an alarm system, it may be necessary to install the magnet on the new doors. The magnets are either mounted to the surface of the door or mounted in a hole drilled in the side or top of the door.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Flat screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Drill bit

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Instructions

    Surface Mount

  1. 1

    Remove the two screws holding the magnet to the old door.

  2. 2

    Close the new door and locate the switch mounted to the frame along the edge of the door.

  3. 3

    Place the magnet on the inside face of the door, next to the switch on the door frame.

  4. 4

    Attach the magnet to the door with the two screws that held it to the old door.

  5. 5

    Ensure that the gap between the magnet and the switch is less than 3/4 inch when the door is closed.

    Flush Mount

  1. 1

    Pry the magnet out of the edge of the old door with a flat screwdriver.

  2. 2

    Open the new door and locate the switch mounted inside of the door jamb. Mark the inside of the frame where the switch is located.

  3. 3

    Close the new door. Transfer the mark on the door frame to the face of the new door. Open the door.

  4. 4

    Mark the centre of the edge of the door at the same place as the mark on the face of the door. Drill a hole, slightly larger than the base of the magnet, where the mark on the edge of the door is. Slide the magnet into the hole and gently tap it until it is flush with the door edge.

  5. 5

    Close the door. Ensure the gap between the magnet and the switch is less than 3/4 inch when the door is closed.

Tips and warnings

  • The body of the magnet is tapered to ensure a tight fit in the door. Use the base of the magnet to determine what size hole to drill.

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