I am looking at a house to buy and after seeing it the owner stated he wired the smoke detectors with 14/2 instead of 14/3 if I buy the house could I replace them with battery only and can they still be interconnected. Do they sell detectors like that?

  • 2
    This previous question seems to answer yours: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/128126/…
    – Armand
    Jul 19 at 3:23
  • After some research the plastic boxes in the ceilings can not be used to mount the 10 year or any other detectors with battery power they seem to trigger due to air flow behind the ceilings, I’m skeptical about that comment. Also the boxes can not be covered permanently don’t know what I can do now.
    – Tom
    Jul 19 at 13:48

1 Answer 1


If I was buying a home today and intending to replace all the smoke detectors, I would purchase ones with a 10 year battery and wireless connectivity such as Z-Wave or whatever (there are lots of wireless schemes). No wires, no changing batteries, and lots of options for what to do when one goes eg send alerts to everybody's cell phones. If you have or intend to install a home security system you should buy smoke detectors that can be integrated with it, so you can use its bells, sirens, and monitoring services.

Note, smoke detectors need to be replaced after 10 years so one with a 10 year battery never needs it to be changed.

  • Big problem with the wireless smoke alarms is that I don't know of any that provide the ability for a contact-closure to trigger the alarm, which makes integrating them with a waterflow switch...not work so well Jul 19 at 11:43
  • I agree with your suggestion, but I'm not sure it answers the OP's question. Sure, a lot of people are going to smart home, but there's no indication that the OP is. Of course, "do they sell detectors like that?" is borderline "shopping" and we've closed questions asking that in the past...
    – FreeMan
    Jul 19 at 13:48
  • OP asked if he could work around the cabling limitations by getting battery devices that are interconnected. The answer is yes, I just add that installing an all-new system of interconnected smoke detectors that are connected only to one another and nothing more, seems regressive, and especially so if you are making a point of replacing all of them for just this purpose.
    – jay613
    Jul 19 at 15:18

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