Most people know the Master Code for their alarm, but have no idea about the Installer Code, or even that it exists at all. Both codes are used for programming the alarm, but at totally different levels. For every day use, this is not a problem, but, if you need to change your alarm configuration, or you are shifting into a new house, not knowing the Installer Code can end up being expensive!
The alarm's Master Code is similar to any other User Code (the normal arming and disarming codes) in that it can be used to arm or disarm the alarm. The difference arises when using the Program function of the alarm. The Master Code allows programming access to change the User Codes.
For example, if you have guests staying, it's good practice, and better security, to add a new code to your alarm instead of giving them your personal code that you use all the time. This way, you can delete their code when they leave, removing their access to your alarm.
By following the directions in your alarm's user manual, the Master Code can be used to add, change, or remove User Codes from the system. Of course, if you have a Monitoring Plus alarm monitoring account, you should also log-on to the web portal and update the names associated with each user code as well.
The Installer Code is also use for programming, but for much more than changing User Codes. This code should only used by a qualified installer, because it's very easy to scramble your alarm settings if you don't know what you're doing. There are many reasons why an installer will need this code, the most common of which are changing monitoring service or adding a new sensor.
Even though you don't need to use the Installer Code, it's still important that you know what it is. Some alarm install companies don't give the Installer Code to their customers sighting security reasons. The practical result is that, if you need something changed on your alarm, you are forced to call that same company, because they are the only ones who know your Installer Code to gain access to program your alarm.
Similarly, if you are buying property with an existing alarm, make sure you get the Installer Code from the vendor. If you don't, and you want to set-up new alarm monitoring, your alarm installer may have to completely reset your alarm and re-program it from scratch. This will cost the installer a lot of time, and you a lot of money! What's more, some install companies completely lock the alarm so it can't be reset without sending it back to the manufacturer, wasting more time and money!