Honeywell VISTA: Program *20, Change Installer Code

Frankie shows us how to change the installer code on a Honeywell wired security system.

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The installer code is what installers have traditionally used to get into programming on a security system. For the most part, end users have been kept out of this section of programing as it allows control of the system's zones, and much more. While not providing access to many of the security functions, and being different than the code that a homeowner can set to program the system itself, the installer code allows whoever can access it to lock an user out of the installer programming, or modify the fields that are traditionally meant to be set by an end user's security company. In this video Frankie shows us how to change the installer code. While the default for Honeywell wired systems is 4-1-1-2, an end user can easily change his or her code with a few presses of the buttons.


Hi, DIYers. This is Frank at Alarm Grid. We're back in the video lab today working on the VISTA-21iP, specifically the 6160RF keypad. We're going to do some programming here.

So, what I'd like to start with is changing your installer code. So, the installer code is star 20 field, and what I'd like to do is get us into programming and show you how to do that. So, we still have our panel on the default installer code, which is 4112. So, we're going to go ahead and enter 4112 800. That'll put us into programming and will show us installer code 20 on the keypad.

This is actually the first field of programming when you enter. Just for our own due diligence, I usually like entering star and then the command to get into that field, although you already technically are in this field. So, let's enter star 2 0. You'll see installer code 20 again. Now, we can enter the new installer code. I'm just going to set it back to 4112. Since this is our lab panel, we like keeping things default here. But you can set it to whatever four digit code you like. After you enter the four digit code, you do not have to hit star or anything else. It will automatically take it, triple beep like it just did, and bounce to the next field, which is our quick arm field. That is how you would program your installer code on your VISTA panel.

This will be the same thing on the Vista 15-P, 20-P, and 21-iP. On any of these keypads, any 6160 alphanumeric keypad will show that same way. If you have a fixed English keypad, something like a 6150 or a 6150RF, or V model, it won't it will show you quite as much detail. It will just show you a 20 on the screen. But you can technically change the installer code on those fixed English keypads by doing the same thing, it's just going to look a little bit differently on the keypad display.

After you've changed your installer code, you can go ahead and hit star 99 to exit out of programming. Give the system a few seconds. It'll go back to disarm, ready to arm. And then you can test that installer code by trying to arm with it and disarm with it. Keep in mind that the installer code should never be used to arm and disarm your panel. Only for testing, really. The installer code cannot disarm any other code, so if you arm with your master code or any other sub-user code, you will not be able to disarm with the installer code. So, that's for security reasons, so that your installer can't come in and disarm your panel.

Since this is a DIY situation where you are probably your own installer, that's why you want to keep the installer codes separate, because of those programming settings. You really want to have your own master code, your own set of user codes to arm and disarm, and your installer code is only to get you in and out of programming. So, now that we have the installer code changed, we can move on to our other programming that we'll do here in a moment. But, if you have any further questions on changing or managing your installer code, you can email us at, and don't forget to subscribe to our channel.