ADT Glass Break Sensor Too Sensitive

Two glass doors with plants inside.Two glass doors with plants inside.

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One of the more common devices used in homes with a security system is a glass break sensor. These sensors can detect the sound of glass breaking, based on the frequency of the sound emitted, and activate an alarm if set. ADT offers glass break sensors with most of their home security monitoring packages or bundles, and they are an excellent addition to include with any home security system. But some consumers have said that they are actually too sensitive.

If your ADT Glass Break Sensor activates at the sound of loud noises, then it is likely too sensitive. However, by regularly testing your device, you can adjust the sensitivity as necessary.

Glass break sensors are becoming more common in most home security systems, and for good reason. They can alert a homeowner when someone tries to break through a window as opposed to merely prying one open. Of course, they can only be effective if they are set at the right sensitivity.

Testing Your ADT Glass Break Sensor

First, you will need to have access to your alarm panel and have the ability to set your alarm into a testing mode. With this mode set, the alarm should activate with a simple sensor test, indicating that the sensor works as necessary.

To achieve the desired frequency necessary to activate the sensor, you will need to have a sound generating device or a source to emit the frequency needed to activate the sensor. Fortunately, as opposed to having to break a piece of glass, you can download apps to your phone that can simulate the sound of glass breaking, or there are videos found online that have the sound of glass breaking.

With the alarm system being in test mode, if you play the sound of glass breaking with the volume high enough, the sensor should detect the sound and trigger the alarm; this will help determine if the sensor is working correctly.

If the alarm does not activate, then the sensor’s sensitivity levels will need to be checked. This is testable, but it can be hard to achieve without having a true glass break simulating device.

How Often Should I Test My Glass Break Sensor?

It is recommended that glass break sensors are checked at least every month, along with the entire home monitoring system; this will ensure that the sensor is working correctly when or if an intrusion does occur.

How to Tell Your ADT Glass Break Sensor is Too Sensitive

There are two ways of knowing if your sensor is too sensitive:

  • One is to have your alarm set for a mode that has the sensor activated, such as “stay” or “test,” and if it is activated by fireworks, thunder, and other loud noises, then it is too sensitive and needs to be adjusted lower.
  • Another method of testing the sensor is to have the sound generating method used for testing; this is done either through a video clip or an app with the sound of glass breaking.

With the volume up while the sound is playing, step away from the sensor until you are outside of the room the sensor is in. If the sensor is activated from an area that is further away than the nearest window, then the odds are that it is too sensitive and needs to be adjusted.

Using the same method, get within 12 inches of the sensor with the volume up on your audio device. If the sensor does not activate, then you have a sensor that needs to have the sensitivity adjusted higher or may need to be replaced.

Adjusting the Sensitivity of an ADT Glass Break Sensor

Many glass break sensors can be adjusted if the sensitivity is found to be too high. With most newer sensors, there will be a three to four level adjustment that will help in having the correct sensitivity setting. You will need to speak with ADT to determine if the device installed has these adjustments.

Making these adjustments can be as simple as pressing a few buttons. Once you adjust the settings, it is a good idea to follow the testing method above to determine if the sensitivity is set correctly.

Where Should I Place My ADT Glass Break Sensor?

They are typically located in areas that a home security expert has determined will have the highest chance of a window being shattered and should be strategically placed in specific rooms of a home with a higher likelihood of being broken by someone trying to access the home.

For instance, if you have a window facing a quiet street near the back of the home, this would be an ideal place to have the sensor installed. A would-be burglar will seek the path that has the lowest amount of visibility and the easiest escape route.

When Should I Replace My Glass Break Sensor?

You should replace the sensor when the testing methods discussed here do not work or if the sensitivity cannot be properly adjusted.


Glass break sensors are a great addition to any home security system. If your ADT glass break sensor is too sensitive, it may need to be adjusted to the optimal working level to ensure it works properly in the event of a burglary.

Learn more about ADT, its sensors, and how they work here!

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