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Workmen next door managed to cut our phone, cable and internet lines (FIOS) several day ago.  Repair to the line was done yesterday.  Zone 4 trouble light is on.  Manual reads "the panel has failed to communicate with the central station."  What does this mean and who do I call to fix it?  

Hello Catherine, and thanks for your question.

When your alarm control has an event that it needs to report, it dials out to your monitoring center. If that call is answered and confirmed through a digital handshake, the message is passed to the monitoring center. If the call is not answered or confirmed, your control will hang up, and try again -- up to ten times.

If none of those outgoing calls are successful, then the control reports a trouble that it failed to communicate with the monitoring center (which is the Central Station).

This is entirely consistent with having your communications lines cut.

Now that repairs have been made, the next call that your control makes to the Central Station will be successful -- and the trouble will clear automatically.

On the other hand, if the repairs were not done correctly, then the alarm control will not be able to communicate, and the trouble will persist.

My suggestion is for you to call you monitoring company, tell them what's happed, and then tell them you want to transmit a test signal. You MUST call them first, so that when they do get a signal, they won't call the police. You monitoring center will be able to give you advice on how to sent the test signal (depending on your system and its setup, it may be as simple as pressing the keypad panic button -- but let them guide you, lest you get to meet the local constabulary at the front door!).

If the test is successful, then the trouble light should go away.

If the test is not successful, then the repair was not done correctly, and you should contact your provider (I think that's Verizon).

I hope this helps, and if you have more questions or you can't resolve the problem, please drop me another note.

Best Regards,


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Dave Neuweiler


The design and application of burglary and fire systems for homes and businesses. Helping alarm owners understand how their system works. Helping to troubleshoot false alarm problems. Questions about monitoring issues.


Over a quarter century in the industry. Experience in installation, service, and monitoring centers. Training manager for a national protective services company; director of education and training for a national trade organization for for alarm dealers.


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