I would like to hear comments from other regular installation companies on what standards they personally use before "taking over" alarm systems installed by other companies or individuals. Since I have been doing far more takeovers lately, AND I am also now "cherry picking" my clients, I have worked out a rough guide I use called the "three strikes, you're out" rule ! It gives me something to use other than my gut instincts. If you can add to it, I would like to hear your comments. If you disagree with specific points, please tell me / us why with rationale.
In looking over an installation, if I can assess three strikes against it, I walk away rather than "take it over" and more often than not save ending up buying myself a bushel of future trouble.
One strike if there is no wiring diagram in the can Two strikes if the connections to the panel board don't leave at least six inches of spare wire on each zone loop to work with in the future (this guarantees you can expect trouble with service at the other end of the loop) One strike if the EOL connectors are in the can rather than at the end of the line where they belong (a sure sign of an amateur) One half strike if the installation was done by someone who only installs casually, or does it in conjunction with other services such as video, or home automation in which he specializes One half strike if the home owner had the installation done by a friend One half strike if the installer has used the smallest can possible on a system that is very expandable One half strike if the panel can is located such that it cannot be easily accessed for service. One half strike if the home is totally finished in the basement AND it was done by the casual installer above, so wiring errors and drywall nailing problems are impossible to fix Three full strikes if it was installed by certain companies which we all know about in our local areas (in my area, for example, we call this guy "Jimmy the slease") One full strike if every point of contact is NOT home run One full strike if doors are contacted using magnetic contacts on the heel of the door Three full strikes if motions are wired in series AND they come back to the can on one single wire
I am sure there are other points I have missed