How Do I Install a Magnetic Door & Window Contact?

You can install a magnetic door and window contact by mounting the sensor on the door or window frame and the magnet on the door or window itself. The magnet should ideally be in direct contact with the sensor when the door or window is closed. Test the contact sensor after installation.

Most door and window contacts consist of two parts. These are a sensor and a magnet. The sensor is normally installed on the door or window frame, while the magnet is installed on the actual door or window itself. When the door or window is opened, the magnet will become separated from the sensor. This will release a reed switch inside the sensor. The sensor will then send a transmission to the panel to let it know that the door or window was opened.

For the sensor to work properly, its reed switch needs to be able to detect the magnet when the door or window is closed. That is why the magnet should be installed as close to the sensor as possible. If the sensor and magnet are more than half an inch apart, the device may not function properly. Most installations leave the sensor and magnet in direct contact when the door or window is closed. This is how these devices get the name "contacts". Also note that some sensors have indentations that indicate which side should be facing the magnet.

There is an important reason why the sensor is normally installed on the stationary frame and magnet is normally installed on the moving portion of the door or window. The sensor is the most expensive piece of equipment, and you don't want it to become damaged when the door or window is closed. The magnet is easily replaceable and less likely to be damaged. That is why installing the magnet on the moving portion is best practice.

The process below assumes that the door and window contact sensor has already been enrolled with the panel. If it hasn't then you will need to enroll it first. See your panel's installation manual for more information. Complete the following steps to install a magnetic door and window contact:

1. Mount the sensor. Install the sensor on the door or window frame. If the sensor has indentations indicating which side to place the magnet, make sure they are facing the door or window. You can use screws or double-sided foam tape to complete the process.

2. Mount the magnet. Install the magnet on the door or window itself. It should be within 0.5 inches of the sensor. If possible, leave the sensor and magnet in direct contact. You can use screws or double-sided foam tape to mount the magnet.

Below is an example of a door and window contact that has been installed successfully, in this case a 2GIG DW10. Note that the battery tab at the bottom would normally be removed.


3. Test the sensor. Open the door. See if the panel acknowledges the faulted zone. Then close the door. Check to see if the fault has been cleared. If the panel responds correctly, then the sensor was installed properly. If not, you may need to bring the magnet closer to the sensor or check the programming settings.

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