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Old 03-11-2012, 10:47 PM   #1
green.bubbly
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Default Wired smoke/fire detectors

Anything special about wiring smoke/fire detectors? I want to install 5 detectors and have them all go off if one detects an issue.

Do the detectors have to be on a separate circuit or can they get power from any circuit.

I am assuming I must use 12/3 wire with the red wire being the interconnected wire between the units.

Any thing else?
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: Wired smoke/fire detectors

my installed system is all wireless but i have a monitoring company along with a burglar alarm and i dont need to worry about it being heard thru out the house because the speaker screams lol you cant miss it ive set it off a few times by accident.

You should have it on a seperate circuit as matter of fact it may be code, i know in multi family dwellings in NJ you have to do it that way and also have a lock on the breaker so it cant be shut off. If we test an alarm in the basement we have to be able to hear it all thru the home. In a private dwelling new construction I believe its a requirement now as well.

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Old 03-11-2012, 11:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wired smoke/fire detectors

I don't have much to add to your questions, but they are pretty easy to replace.

We needed a new one in our rental (The renter packed it and took it. Grrr. long story). I was dreading figuring out how to replace it, but it was a non-issue. there are $15 replacements for wired fire alarms at Home Depot. They seem to all have one or two standard power plugs (which come in the replacement detector). Just unscrew the old mounting ring, screw on the new mounting ring, plug the new detector in, and fit the detector into it's mounting ring.

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Old 03-12-2012, 12:13 AM   #4
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Default Re: Wired smoke/fire detectors

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Originally Posted by green.bubbly View Post
Anything special about wiring smoke/fire detectors? I want to install 5 detectors and have them all go off if one detects an issue.

Do the detectors have to be on a separate circuit or can they get power from any circuit.

I am assuming I must use 12/3 wire with the red wire being the interconnected wire between the units.

Any thing else?
Use 14/3, the smoke detectors barely use any energy... 12/3 would be a total waste.

Nothing special... on the Kidde at least, the white/black are the standard AC wires and the red is connected between all of them. You can buy relays that connect to external alarm systems as well.

I suggest installing them on a separate circuit, but the models you'll find are battery backup, so you could install them on something existing if necessary.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: Wired smoke/fire detectors

DO NOT INSTALL WIRED SMOKE DETECTORS ON THEIR OWN CIRCUIT!!!!!


Putting them on their own circuit facilitates turning the circuit off if there is a problem with one of the units.

Putting them on a commonly used circuit will require fixing the problem correctly.

Find a 15 amp circuit, and take a piece of 14-2 to the first detector, then take 14-3 to the rest. the red wire is for the interconnect.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:11 AM   #6
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Default Re: Wired smoke/fire detectors

Something else to consider, is to install a EOLR (End Of Line Resistor) to the smoke / co detector. This assumes this system is being monitored as well.

The intent is to ensure a measure of safety and security at all times with respect to the integrity of the fire system.

Should any of the units encounter a fault, bad wiring, etc. Using a EOL resistor will immediately detect such a fault.

Not using a EOL resistor will reflect a false sense of security for the home owner.

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GRX: Judging from past experiences my guess would be Racoons. They can easily jump onto the lid if the can is too heavy to knock over. Either that or Man-Bear-Pig.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: Wired smoke/fire detectors

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Originally Posted by Teken View Post
Something else to consider, is to install a EOLR (End Of Line Resistor) to the smoke / co detector. This assumes this system is being monitored as well.

The intent is to ensure a measure of safety and security at all times with respect to the integrity of the fire system.

Should any of the units encounter a fault, bad wiring, etc. Using a EOL resistor will immediately detect such a fault.

Not using a EOL resistor will reflect a false sense of security for the home owner.

Teken . . .
I was under the impression that EOL resistors were only for security systems - thus an EOL resistor is of little value on a straight interconnected fire alarm system. To be used on a fire alarm system, the security system must monitor the fire alarm system. Is this not the case?
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:31 AM   #8
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Default Re: Wired smoke/fire detectors

What he said...
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Wired smoke/fire detectors

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Originally Posted by Gooch View Post
DO NOT INSTALL WIRED SMOKE DETECTORS ON THEIR OWN CIRCUIT!!!!!


Putting them on their own circuit facilitates turning the circuit off if there is a problem with one of the units.

Putting them on a commonly used circuit will require fixing the problem correctly.

Find a 15 amp circuit, and take a piece of 14-2 to the first detector, then take 14-3 to the rest. the red wire is for the interconnect.
For the residence these are battery backed-up alarms, there would be no advantage to turning the breaker off.

The 14-3 should be run to an access point if you ever plan on integrating with an alarm system, as you need to connect to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teken View Post
Something else to consider, is to install a EOLR (End Of Line Resistor) to the smoke / co detector. This assumes this system is being monitored as well.

The intent is to ensure a measure of safety and security at all times with respect to the integrity of the fire system.

Should any of the units encounter a fault, bad wiring, etc. Using a EOL resistor will immediately detect such a fault.

Not using a EOL resistor will reflect a false sense of security for the home owner.

Teken . . .
If it's a Kidde or similar home interconnected system, these are RF units and there is no point in using an EOL resistor. Not contact closure/opening. Not even sure what would happen if you did. You don't make a direct connection to the interconnect circuit, you have to use a relay module. (Two, if you had smoke and CO interconnected as I do.)
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Wired smoke/fire detectors

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I was under the impression that EOL resistors were only for security systems - thus an EOL resistor is of little value on a straight interconnected fire alarm system. To be used on a fire alarm system, the security system must monitor the fire alarm system. Is this not the case?
Yes, as I stated above. This assumes the user is having the fire system monitored.

I can't really envision why anyone would have an alarm system and not have the smoke / CO portion not monitored.

But, many people do, so it is what it is . . . As it was also stated, employing a EOL resistor will enable fault detection. Not, deploying said device will give the user a false sense of security when there is not.

This is why it is called a life and safety device . . .

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GRX: Judging from past experiences my guess would be Racoons. They can easily jump onto the lid if the can is too heavy to knock over. Either that or Man-Bear-Pig.

Last edited by Teken; 03-12-2012 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:02 PM   #11
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Default Re: Wired smoke/fire detectors

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For the residence these are battery backed-up alarms, there would be no advantage to turning the breaker off.

The 14-3 should be run to an access point if you ever plan on integrating with an alarm system, as you need to connect to it.



If it's a Kidde or similar home interconnected system, these are RF units and there is no point in using an EOL resistor. Not contact closure/opening. Not even sure what would happen if you did. You don't make a direct connection to the interconnect circuit, you have to use a relay module. (Two, if you had smoke and CO interconnected as I do.)
Don't know where this wireless talk came from. I was speaking about *wired* smoke alarms. For the OP this is also what he is speaking of. Now, if he is going to use a wireless smoke / CO then of course this has no play in the conversation.

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GRX: Judging from past experiences my guess would be Racoons. They can easily jump onto the lid if the can is too heavy to knock over. Either that or Man-Bear-Pig.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:13 PM   #12
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Default Re: Wired smoke/fire detectors

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Don't know where this wireless talk came from. I was speaking about *wired* smoke alarms. For the OP this is also what he is speaking of. Now, if he is going to use a wireless smoke / CO then of course this has no play in the conversation.

Teken . . .
I never mentioned wireless either, where did you get wireless from?
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: Wired smoke/fire detectors

We have hardwired heat detectors and 2 hardwired smokes on our alarm system, with a couple battery operated ones as well.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: Wired smoke/fire detectors

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If it's a Kidde or similar home interconnected system, these are RF units and there is no point in using an EOL resistor.
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I never mentioned wireless either, where did you get wireless from?
RF = Wireless . . .

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Old 03-12-2012, 01:13 PM   #15
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RF = Wireless . . .

Teken . . .
Nope. RF refers to a particular portion of the frequency band which is often wireless, but not necessarily. In the consumer world it's often used to refer to wireless, but RF is no more always wireless than a tissue is always a Kleenex



Kidde also makes a wireless system, though I have no experience with it. I just installed the complete hardwire system in my house.

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Yes, as I stated above. This assumes the user is having the fire system monitored.

I can't really envision why anyone would have an alarm system and not have the smoke / CO portion not monitored.

But, many people do, so it is what it is . . . As it was also stated, employing a EOL resistor will enable fault detection. Not, deploying said device will give the user a false sense of security when there is not.
It's simple, if I'm in the master suite and one of the furnaces starts emitting CO in the basement or bursts into flames, I want to know. I have R-38 between all the floors and it's not possible to hear the basement alarms on the second floor, and probably many of the first floor alarms from areas in the opposite end of the house. Interconnected is a step above individual alarms.

When I install a security system, I have the alarm connected to a steel box before it goes into the load center... I'll just stick the two modules in and be good to go with two separate signals to identify whether it's smoke or CO by assigning a zone to each. Security system is low on the priority list.
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: Wired smoke/fire detectors

Thanks for all the information.

I will not have a monitored alarm system and no need for CO detection either. I live in the country and by the time the monitoring service gets the alarm signal and the fire department showing up, there will not be much left so no need to spend the 30 bucks per month.

I had mentioned the 12/3 since that is what I used through out the entire house. I could etiher run a new dedicated circuit using 14/3 or tie into another circuit using 12/3.

I did speak to an electrician this morning from my area in our area, it does not need to be a dedicated circuit but they mucy be interconnected.

I saw wireless systems mentioned a couple of times in this thread. Anyone familiar with them? Reliable? Pros-Cons?
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:31 PM   #17
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Nope. RF refers to a particular portion of the frequency band which is often wireless, but not necessarily. In the consumer world it's often used to refer to wireless, but RF is no more always wireless than a tissue is always a Kleenex



Kidde also makes a wireless system, though I have no experience with it. I just installed the complete hardwire system in my house.



It's simple, if I'm in the master suite and one of the furnaces starts emitting CO in the basement or bursts into flames, I want to know. I have R-38 between all the floors and it's not possible to hear the basement alarms on the second floor, and probably many of the first floor alarms from areas in the opposite end of the house. Interconnected is a step above individual alarms.

When I install a security system, I have the alarm connected to a steel box before it goes into the load center... I'll just stick the two modules in and be good to go with two separate signals to identify whether it's smoke or CO by assigning a zone to each. Security system is low on the priority list.

Your missing my whole point. Lets stay on topic here for a moment shall we. I stated that ideally the OP should have is smoke / co monitored with his home security system.

If it is great . . .

Now, to bolster that system, is to install a EOL resister to the smoke / co interconnected system.

This will ensure that if there is a fault no matter what it is. It will be detected, and be made aware to the user / monitoring station.

With respect to RF, you will not hear anyone mistake a smoke / co detector with a frequency. It is always referred to as it being a wireless device.

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GRX: Judging from past experiences my guess would be Racoons. They can easily jump onto the lid if the can is too heavy to knock over. Either that or Man-Bear-Pig.

Last edited by Teken; 03-12-2012 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:37 PM   #18
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I saw wireless systems mentioned a couple of times in this thread. Anyone familiar with them? Reliable? Pros-Cons?
Having and deploying them in your home is the smartest thing you can ever do. The following reasons for this are:

1. Mixing RF devices with wired interconnected smoke devices allows you flexibility. Anywhere were there is NOT existing wiring or where it is hard to do so. Using a wireless module will allow you to deploy them anywhere.

2. Wireless devices will not be affected by a surge / spike condition. Rendering your device useless if and when you need to count on them.

3. They are all interconnected the same as wired devices. One sounds and they all sound.

I use the First Alert One Link combination smoke / CO detectors. As stated above it provides you redundancy, scalability, and a isolated system.

All the while it can be monitored via a alarm company. Regardless of monitoring this hybrid system will provide you the most robust system with out any weaknesses.

Of course they are all battery operated and they also speak to indicate where the fire / CO is happening.

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Old 03-12-2012, 02:04 PM   #19
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Default Re: Wired smoke/fire detectors

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Your missing my whole point. Lets stay on topic here for a moment shall we. I stated that ideally the OP should have is smoke / co monitored with his home security system.

If it is great . . .

Now, to bolster that system, is to install a EOL resister to the smoke / co interconnected system.

This will ensure that if there is a fault no matter what it is. It will be detected, and be made aware to the user / monitoring station.

With respect to RF, you will not hear anyone mistake a smoke / co detector with a frequency. It is always referred to as it being a wireless device.

Teken . . .
No... you're missing the point. EOL resistors are used for security systems which use contact closures or resistance. In this way, the security system can determine if there's a wiring fault (broken wire OR short circuit). Chances of it happening are slim, but it's there.

These systems DO NOT wire directly to the security system, there is NO REASON for an EOL resistor because it's a different type of signal. They are not a normal security system add-on, they are designed #1 to interconnect with each other. The module I showed you a picture of converts things to a normal signal the security system can consume the signal.

This is why you do not see an EOL in any of their diagrams, installation instructions, etc. etc. etc.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:41 PM   #20
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No... you're missing the point. EOL resistors are used for security systems which use contact closures or resistance. In this way, the security system can determine if there's a wiring fault (broken wire OR short circuit). Chances of it happening are slim, but it's there.

These systems DO NOT wire directly to the security system, there is NO REASON for an EOL resistor because it's a different type of signal. They are not a normal security system add-on, they are designed #1 to interconnect with each other. The module I showed you a picture of converts things to a normal signal the security system can consume the signal.

This is why you do not see an EOL in any of their diagrams, installation instructions, etc. etc. etc.
Are you saying that there is no one monitoring their smoke alarms with their alarm system panel??

Monitoring your smokes is the same as monitoring the sump pump, low temp, water zone.

The difference comes down to whether the user is deploying a low voltage 2 / 4 wire system. Now since this is a 120 VAC system the wiring is indeed different but the same principles still apply.

Having the ability to monitor the the working status of a smoke / CO device is not just a nice to have. It is a measure of safety and knowing things are actually working!

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