Removing a sensor’s adhesive backing from the wall

  • updated 1 mth ago

If you want to move a sensor to a location to a different room of your home, you’ll need to also remove the adhesive backing that came with your sensor. This article contains the instructions you’ll need to remove that adhesive from your wall.


Tools Required: 

  • Small flathead screwdriver for door/window sensor removal

  • Small Phillips-head screwdriver for Motion sensor removal

  • Hair dryer/Blow dryer

  • Thin and sturdy tool for scraping (such as a butter knife)


Step 1

Open and remove the sensor so that only the sensor's casing is left. Below are the instructions for opening each of the sensors.


  • Door/Window Sensor—Locate the larger piece of the sensor. Depending on how the sensor is mounted to the surface, you should see a small slit either on the top or bottom of the sensor. Place your hand over the sensor in order to catch any pieces that may fall. Now, place the small flathead screwdriver (or similar tool) into the slit and turn it sideways, either direction is fine. This should release the outer casing and the electronics inside. BE CAREFUL: Do not lose or drop the electronic piece as this could damage the sensor. There is no need to open the smaller magnet piece of the sensor.

  • Glass Break Sensor—Grasp the glass break sensor and twist it counterclockwise until you can no longer twist it then pull it out. The mounting plate should be left if done correctly. 

  • Motion Sensor—On the bottom of the motion sensor, you will see a small rectangular indent, possibly with a small phillips-head screw in it. If so, unscrew the screw, and lightly press the plastic inside of the rectangle while at the same time pulling the sensor outward as that is a clip meant to hold it together.  

  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector—Grasp the smoke and carbon monoxide detector and twist it counterclockwise until you can no longer twist it, then pull it out. The mounting plate should be left if done correctly. 


Step 2

Use a hair/blow dryer to warm the surface at the edge sensor's casing. The hot air should hit directly between the tape and the wall, and it will loosen the bond of the tape. Heat the tape for 10 seconds, alternated with 10 seconds of no heat. Heat just until the wall/surface is hot to the touch. Make sure you are not heating the casing so much that it becomes misshapen. Gently pull on the sensor/leftover tape little by little until the tape gives way. This is a slower process than you may think, so be patient as you pull the tape. It will come off.  


Step 3

Once the sensor casing comes off of the surface, immediately put the sensor back together. We strongly suggest you do not wait to put the sensor back together.


Step 4

If any foam residue from the sticky tape remains, use a thin and sturdy tool (such as a butter knife) to scrape off any leftover sections of tape while heating the sticky tape with the hair/blow dryer. Take care not to scratch painted surfaces because this could cause permanent damage. Be gentle and patient. It will come off. 


Step 5

If any glue residue remains, apply a solvent/adhesive remover. WD-40 is a common household chemical that works great to remove glue residue without harming the paint. You will want to leave WD-40 on the residue for approximately 15 seconds before wiping it off. Afterward, wipe any leftover WD-40 oil off the surface with some water. If you don’t have/ want to use WD-40, there are a plethora of solvent/adhesive remover options available online or in retail stores. Ensure you are using paint-safe solvents. 

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