Introduction: Silencing the Verizon Battery Alarm

Picture of Silencing the Verizon Battery Alarm

In addition to cable television and internet service, Verizon provides land-line telephone service. This service uses a voice over IP protocol, meaning it uses the internet service to deliver voice communications. To ensure uninterrupted land-line telephone service Verizon is required to provide a battery backup to keep the line alive during a power outage.

If, during an extended outage, the battery completely drains and cannot be recharged, then this unit will produce a loud shrill alarm. Think smoke alarm shrill and loud. The alarm will sound every hour until the battery is replaced.

Verizon will not replace the battery for free. The official policy is to charge customers 30 dollars for a replacement unless it is covered by a year warranty.

This Instructable will teach you how to silence the alarm. You will be able to permanently remove the alarm feature from the battery backup unit. This is for people who do not want to replace the battery for 30 dollars, and who no longer want to hear the annoying alarm. This Instructable will require you to get your hands dirty, but electronics experience is not required.

This project involves basic electrical safety. You will be required to disconnect some wires before working on the unit. Failure to follow instructions in the correct order can result in exposure to uncomfortable but harmless electric shock.

Note that a backup unit without a battery can no longer provide phone
service during a power outage. You will have to rely on other means of communication (cell phones, telegram, smoke signals) until power is restored.

Step 1: Tools Required

Picture of Tools Required

All that is required are some pretty basic hand tools.

  • Pliers
  • Phillip's style screwdriver

Step 2: Locate the Battery Backup Unit

Picture of Locate the Battery Backup Unit

Find the battery backup unit. The battery backup unit should look something like the picture above. It will be attached to a wall near where the power lines connect to the building. Have your tools ready and clear a space to work. Accessing the unit may involve cramped working conditions.

Step 3: Remove And/or Dispose of the Old Battery

Picture of Remove And/or Dispose of the Old Battery

Remove the cover of the leftmost box in the battery backup unit. This will expose the battery. This should be removed by sliding the red and black connectors off of the posts one the battery. The battery will be somewhat heavy so be prepared and try not to drop it on your feet.

Batteries of this sort are made almost entirely of lead, and should not be simply thrown in the trash. Should you choose to discard your dead battery, be sure to dispose of it properly. Almost any retailer who sells lead-acid batteries of any sort are required to accept old batteries for recycling. This includes automotive outlets. If you are having trouble, or can't find a suitable place to recycle, consult the EPA's website at http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/battery.htm for more suggestions.

Step 4: Open Unit and Disconnect Green Connector

Picture of Open Unit and Disconnect Green Connector

With the battery removed, locate and remove the screws holding the unit
to the wall. Note that you do not have to remove the smaller unit as well, but it may make it easier to work with the unit if you do.

Locate and remove the screws in the recessed hole in the back of the unit. These are the screws that normally face the wall, and cannot be removed without detaching the battery backup unit from the wall. This allows access to the circuit board inside.

Do not touch the circuit board until you have disconnected the green connector (pictured). Failure to disconnect the green connector from the circuit board first may result in a mild and uncomfortable electric shock.

Step 5: Locate the Piezo Buzzer

Picture of Locate the Piezo Buzzer

Find the Piezo buzzer on the circuit board. A Piezo buzzer is thin metal sheet that is encased in plastic. This sheet is shaken extremely fast to produce an annoying noise. They are used in smoke alarms to save people's lives in the case of a fire. They are also used by Verizon to drive people to buy 30 dollar batteries. The Piezo buzzer should be located near the bottom corner of the circuit board.

Step 6: Remove or Disable the Piezo Buzzer

Picture of Remove or Disable the Piezo Buzzer

Grip the Piezo buzzer with your vice grips or pliers. Using a rocking and twisting motion pull the Piezo buzzer off the circuit board. It should pop off with a modest effort. This will permanently remove the alarm feature of the battery backup unit. Note that this will not effect any other function of the unit.

The circuit board should look like the one pictured when done. Where there was a Piezo buzzer there should be a white circle.

Alternately for a less destructive option you can apply superglue or rubber cement to the hole in the top of the Piezo buzzer to permanently silence it as well.

Step 7: Reassemble and Reattach the Unit to the Wall.

Picture of Reassemble and Reattach the Unit to the Wall.

Working in reverse order, reattach the green connector, close and secure the unit, then reattach it to the wall. The Piezo buzzer can't make noise while disconnected to the circuit board. Enjoy your uninterrupted sleep.

Incidentally this procedure for removing/disabling the battery backup alarm can be used with any device that uses a Piezo buzzer. Just keep in mind that alarms are often included in things for good reasons, and not just to annoy people into spending money.

Thanks for reading. When I originally posting this instruction set to Youtube, I got many positive comments. I hope this has help you as well.

Comments

kevyndelva. (author)2017-05-14

thx for the tutorial. was going crazy with the beeping and I wasn't going to pay verizon for another battery out of principle.

DanB229 (author)2017-04-22

I got a Genesis NP7-12 battery to replace the Verizon Fios Portalac PX12072, and the size of the battery is the same, but the connection posts on the new battery are slightly smaller - the thickness of the metal is the same, but the width is about a mm less than the original and it doesn't "lock in": Is this going to work or should I swap it out?

Flash2112 made it! (author)2016-12-18

Thanks to this post, I was able to figure out how to take apart my Verizon box as well (slightly different than the poster's setup) and rip out the piezo speaker. Now I have SILENCE at last after much frustration with going through two batteries and days of annoying beeping. Check out my attached images, which shows how things worked in my case. General approach for me was:

1) Open the top panel area (where the battery is)

2) Remove the battery and remove the bottom area screws (2) with a ratchet

3) Unplug the power from the top area and the side (two different power sources though I think the side power feeds into the top)

4) Disconnect the wires from under the "control panel" (blue buttons) area

5) Take the bottom piece off entirely

6) Remove/loosen the mounting screw (8) from both behind the bottom area that was removed and in the top area

7) Take the housing off the wall

8) Now BEHIND the housing and also behind where the "control panel" is (which houses the circuit board and piezo speaker), there were two screws holding things in place. I had to get a long philips screwdriver to get those screws out (2) and that allowed the circuit board container to come loose.

9) Once the circuit board container box was out, I used a pliers to wiggle the piezo speaker off the board. You can see it in the last shot - it has a shiny metal top in the photo though this is because I accidentally cracked off the top plastic while wiggling it out!

10) Reverse steps

11) Rejoice.

DonF32 (author)2016-07-02

This couldn't be easier and eliminating the piezo buzzer eliminates the problem for good. Great instructions here.

RandyL16 (author)2015-10-08

Thanks for the information. I decided to force glue into the opening and glue plastic over the piezo opening. I did this just in case the glue doesn't silence the piezo enough. The plastic I used was from an old store loyalty card.

Also, I removed the battery before I did any thing. 15 minutes after removing the battery and with the battery still removed, the alarm sounded. That means DanielL18 is correct. I also did a manual reset by pressing the Alarm Silence button for about 10 seconds or until the green System Status button went out. I then release the Alarm Silence button and the unit rebooted. The Replace Battery lamp stayed lit throughout the process.

You may opt to replace the battery if you need the battery back-up to power your landline phone in case of a power outage. In my case, my phones need power from the wall socket and will not work with the battery back-up supplied by Verizon. So I am not going to simply replace the battery. I don't need and cannot use the back-up.

I have yet to hear the beep to know if it is still annoying. I still expect to hear it some. If it is annoying I will cut the piezo out entirely.

em011552 (author)2015-06-03

I don't know what to pull out or off. We r renting and its old equipment. Husband got electricity off of it but now it's beeping probably due to low battery.

Kristeney (author)2015-04-21

Tried superglue as a half measure with limited success. I really got it in there, but it merely muffled the alarm. Went back in and removed the piezo as instructed. Thanks for putting this together!

My only addition for the mechanically ignorant like myself would be to advise care when removing the cover to get to the circuit board. It didn't occur to me that there's a wire connecting it to the main assembly that is relatively short and I could have easily hulled it out of place.

My house is silent, and no batteries were wasted on that silence. Thanks!

Kristeney (author)2015-04-21

buster750 (author)2015-03-04

As a Verizon employee who is trained to work with these. All you have to do is press and hold the alarm silence button for a 5 count. And I'm sure a mega corp like them prefer to not have stuff ripped out.

DanielL18 (author)buster7502015-03-19

I can confirm that this does not work. Your method will silence the alarm for a day or two,but it will continue to beep after a day or two. This is a permanent solution. If Verizon has a problem, then I know Comcast would like my business.

bfarm (author)2015-03-03

12V8AH sealed lead acid batteries are available wholesale for about $13.00. Wouldn't it be easier and better to just replace the battery? Also, the electronics are always floating off the battery which protects you from quick power dips and drop outs.

In a pinch, a small piece of electrical tape over the sonalert is a pretty good sound muffler.

DanielL18 (author)bfarm2015-03-03

The cheapest I could find was 20 dollars. The one Verizon tries to sell you is 20 dollars. You also have to factor in the time it takes to order a battery and wait for it to ship. So, no its not easier by a long stretch. Especially when this thing is waking you up at night. The electrical tape is also a good idea, I mention something similar involving glue in the Instructable. Thanks for the comment!

pfred2 (author)DanielL182015-03-04

If memory serves me when the BBU is acting up all you need to do is unplug it, and disconnect the battery. Then there is no way the alarm can go off, because it has no power to do so. You can pull the battery and hook it up to a battery charger. Once you charge it up the battery should work again for a while. But eventually you just need to replace the battery. Batteries don't last forever after all.

I personally do not think it is a good idea to modify Verizon's equipment in any unauthorized way. They do tell you to replace the battery though, so that is OK.

pfred2 (author)bfarm2015-03-04

When I had to deal with this issue myself I opted for the best battery I could get, not the cheapest one. The difference in price isn't that great, I don't want to spend any more time than I have to messing with any of this either.

tomatoskins (author)2015-03-03

I love this "rip it out" technique. Reminds me of when I worked customer service for an alarm company and a guy I was talking with ripped his security panel off the wall and threw it outside. Just a word of caution, if anything ever goes bad with that VoIP box it may not be covered under warranty because of the missing piezo beeper.

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