January 2008 Tech Talk Online Q & A

Q:  I have a customer who wants me to modify some UL-listed panic hardware with a nonlisted retrofit kit. Does this void the listing on the panic hardware?

A: According to Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the UL-listed panic hardware is to be installed in accordance with its installation instructions. Unless the installation instructions indicate it can be modified in some fashion, UL cannot confirm that the modified hardware continues to comply with the listing requirements. It is up to the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) to determine the acceptability of the modification.

Q: I have a customer that recently complained that his keypad was beeping when there was no alarm. When I got to the house, the keypad, which is near a back entrance to the house, was all wet inside. The customer swears that he did not get it wet. Because it is near a back garage door, could it be condensation from outside moist air and inside cold air? Any ideas?

A: You are on the right track and some keypads are more susceptible to moisture from condensation than others. What it might be is that the back conduit or box might not be sealed properly and outside air and moisture is getting into the box. I would make sure that your electrical box is sealed well. You might want to check for any gaskets and use some RTV to help seal the back box properly. If it is surface mounted, you may want to make sure the wall board is sealed properly behind the keypad and not allowing moisture to seep in.

In places that have humidity such as marinas and cold weather areas, you can sometimes spray the keypad’s circuit board with a special coating spray that you can get at an electronic supply house. You can also look at low wattage heater strips such as those used in CCTV enclosures to help remove the moisture in those very extreme situations.

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