DSC Security system lockout and factory default walkthrough

DSC lockout and factory default info

I get quite a few questions from people who have purchased a home or business with a security system installed in it and have no idea what their access codes are.  I’ll go over some of the steps you should take to get your Master and Installer codes back so that you have full access to the system.  We’ll also go over the steps to see whether the system is in a lockout state and how to unlock and factory default the system.

If you’ve inherited a system and don’t have any idea about its uses, you can start by taking a look at the User Manuals Here.  Youtube also has some videos on the basics of these systems if you’re unfamiliar.

Default Master and Installation codes for DSC systems

The default master code for these systems is 1234.  Most likely that’s been changed so you will need to get into the programming area of the panel to change it to what you want.  Depending on the type of system you have, the default installer code will be 5555, 5010, 1550, or 1500.  To get into programming you’ll press * 8 then the installer code and then you’ll see a red lock appear letting you know you’re in programming.  The word “Program” may be flashing on the screen as well.  

From inside the programming area, you can change codes, add zones to the system, change delay times, and many other options.  For more information on the programming side of these systems, you can type into a search engine “DSC 1616 installation manual” and it should be the first link that comes up.  Where 1616 is above, you’ll have to substitute your panel type.  It may be a newer power Series panel like the 1616 or 1832, or an older one like a 1550, or 5010.  To get that info, you may have to open up your security panel enclosure and look at the panel inside, it should be labelled.  Our security course goes more in-depth into the programming side of these panels.

Is my panel locked out?

If none of the default installer codes above get you into programming, it’s probably been changed.  The next step is to check if the system has been “locked out”.  To do this, you need to unplug the plug-in transformer from the wall, as well as unplug one of the battery leads from the backup battery in the metal container.  After doing this, your system should power down completely.  At this point, you can plug the transformer back into the wall and the system will power up.  If you hear 8-10 clicks come from the panel, the system is locked out and you will need to get it unlocked or get a new panel.  If you don’t hear any clicks, you can factory default the system and re-program it.  

For newer Power Series panels like the 1616, 1832, and 1864, these panels can’t be unlocked using an unlocker.  You may be forced to get a replace the panel if you cant get a hold of anyone who knows the installer code.  For older Power Series panels, like the 1500 and 5010, and 1550 panels, you may be able to get a local installer with an unlocker to come and factory default it for you.  Honestly though, those systems are quite old and it may be a better idea to put the money you would have used on the service call towards a newer system that will give you many more years of service.

DSC Factory default instructions

Here are the instructions to factory default a panel that isn’t locked out:

1.  Power down the system. You will need to unplug the transformer from the wall outlet as well as disconnecting the wires from the backup battery terminals.

2.  Remove all wires from the PGM1 and Z1 terminals. It is a good idea to label the wires before doing this so you know where they go.

3.  Using a short piece of wire, connect to both PGM1 and Z1.

4.  Power the system back on by plugging the power transformer back in. You can leave the battery disconnected for now. Wait 1 minute.

5.  After the minute is up, unplug the alarm from the AC source again.

6.  Remove the jumper wire from PGM1 and Z1. Then replace the wires that you removed in step 2.

7.  Power back up with both the AC and battery connected. The panel should be fully defaulted.

This process does not default the keypads or wireless receivers. You will still have the previous zone labels saved as well as the serial numbers for the wireless devices.



Our other training videos and articles will show you how to properly install and program a system to keep your valuables safe.

Also, check out our Shop, where we have links to the equipment you’ll need to get a professional system set-up for a fraction of the price.

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