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Questions tagged [smoke-detectors]

Device for detecting smoke and/or fire.

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26 votes
3 answers
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Why should we replace smoke alarms every 10 years?

I'm having a hard time understanding a requirement to replace smoke detectors every 10 years (or whatever the manufacturer suggests). With previous generations of ionization based detectors, I ...
dannosaur's user avatar
  • 363
1 vote
2 answers
3k views

Red wire in ceiling box: traveler or smoke alarm interconnect?

I have an electrical box in the ceiling, currently with all the wires capped and a blank faceplate over it. Two cables coming in, both with four conductors (black, white, red, and bare). I don't know ...
undermountain's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
1k views

Are all of these smoke detectors required?

My house has eight smoke detectors; one in the basement, one in an upstairs bonus room, and six on the main floor. The main floor is "T" shaped; the bedroom area forms the top of the "T", and the ...
fixer1234's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
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Smoke detectors & backup generators

My home was built in 2014; California code requires hardwired smoke detectors. I also have a 10kW Generac whole-house standby generator. Whenever I lose power, every smoke alarm in the house gets ...
Joan Merriam's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
649 views

Is it permissible to install a low-voltage fixture over an existing ceiling box?

I inherited an installation of several wired AC smoke detectors. They're three-wire units (AC hot/neutral, plus an interconnect wire). At some point a previous installer removed one of the detectors, ...
smitelli's user avatar
  • 611
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

How can I verify the integrity of smoke detector interconnect wires?

I inherited an existing installation of four smoke/CO detectors. They are all First Alert 3-wire AC-powered units. The test button on each detector produces some weird behaviors: Some detectors only ...
smitelli's user avatar
  • 611
1 vote
4 answers
10k views

Chirping from a hard-wired fire alarm

I know that when you hear a periodic chirping noise from smoke detectors, it means the battery needs to be replaced. I had been hearing such a chirping noise in my apartment building for a few hours, ...
Derek's user avatar
  • 111
0 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can a smoke detector circuit be GFCI and CAFCI protected?

I purchased a dual GFCI/CAFCI circuit breaker to place on my circuit that contains only smoke, CO, and heat detectors inside my house. Is there anything wrong with this or can I install it to have ...
J. Andrews's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
246 views

Explain different type of fire detector?

I bought a house and just replaced 8 hardwired smoke alarms that were 10+ years old units like this. They had the typical high voltage red/white and red interconnect wires, with thick wires. However ...
philfreo's user avatar
  • 246
0 votes
1 answer
208 views

Is it possible to use a single wire smoke alarm with an alarm system?

I'm in the process of installing an alarm system that supports 2 or 4 wire low voltage fire alarms. The house is wired with high voltage single wire smoke alarms. As I understand it, there are ...
Steve's user avatar
  • 287
3 votes
2 answers
207 views

Nuisance smoke alarms

Recently, four of the six battery-operated smoke alarms in our house have started going off every few days, for no obvious reason. The four that have been going off are of three different models, ...
WeaselSpoon's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
752 views

Smoke Detector wiring - impacted by 2 breakers?

dig if you will the picture of one of my smoke detectors and the curious (for me) wiring. Actually, I've taken many pictures, but each is just a mess and I think will make it harder. We have ~7 ...
Kel Way's user avatar
  • 21
4 votes
3 answers
316 views

Continue to use hardwired smoke detectors?

I am going to replace all the old hardwired smoke detectors in my house. In my research I have found some of the features available include 10-year batteries and dual sensor types (photoelectric &...
ePhrygian's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
706 views

Smoke alarms start beeping after switching on the mains

I have two smoke alarms in my flat. Recently I had to change the battery for one of them, so I switched off the mains, disconnected the alarm, replaced the battery, tested it, and reconnected the ...
3lbom's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

electrical - preparing smoke detectors for rough inspection

To get past the rough inspection, should I have the wiring for smoke detectors just pulled through the ceiling box (and stripped, pigtailed etc) or should I have the mounting bracket (for the detector)...
Catherine's user avatar
  • 211
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Removing 1 connected smoke detector ok?

We have a 2 story house that currently has the following interconnected Firex smoke detectors: Basement First Floor Second Floor Unfinished Attic We've been having issues with the one in the ...
netnothing's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
2k views

Help installing Nest Smoke/Co alarm to capped ceiling light wires

I am trying to install a Nest Protect (co/smoke alarm) and need to connect a black wire to the power line (which is the the one with the red cap after I used a voltage detector) and the white wire to ...
NicoleV's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
517 views

4-Wire smoke detectors with home runs

Our house has 10 wired smoke detectors. They are currently 2-wire sensors - but each is on a separate home run back to the panel...each has an EOL resistor at the detector. The old panel (a DMP I ...
noelep's user avatar
  • 55
1 vote
1 answer
3k views

Smoke Detector Alarm keeps on beeping

I have 6 inter-connected smoke alarms and one of them won't stop beeping. I replaced 4 of these alarms. The 2 I haven't replaced were newer ones installed by the previous owner in 2008. I have ...
abhi's user avatar
  • 233
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

What should I do about this smoke detector that beeps constantly?

My smoke detector beeps constantly when connected. Looks like I need to change the battery. But I have no clue where to put in the battery or how to change. Your help will be appreciated. The unit ...
John's user avatar
  • 165
0 votes
2 answers
1k views

Using FPL (18/4 ) cable for 120v Smoke detectors

Currently have 18 smoke detectors inter-connected to a Vista 20 panel with 18/4 FPL cable. We are selling (sold) the house, but have to replace all detectors since they are more than 10 years (...
JG99's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
6k views

Need help with correct wiring when replacing a hardwired smoke detector

I was wondering if someone with some electrical experience or experience with these particular smoke detectors can assist with the replacement process. I have a home security alarm system that has ...
methon.dagger's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
5k views

Is it typical that smoke detectors in adjacent apartments be linked?

I rent the downstairs apt of what used to be a garage. There is one other unit located on the second floor. My smoke alarm was going off frequently without my knowing why. Landlord finally told me ...
Dawn's user avatar
  • 11
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

Install fire/smoke alarm directly to stud or in electrical box?

I am installing (6) brand new smoke alarms in my home, including running all new 14/3 wire to each alarm. I have purchased "old work" electrical boxes for all of the alarms. However, the existing ...
StephenH's user avatar
  • 252
5 votes
3 answers
40k views

What type of electrical box do I use for a hard-wired smoke detector?

I am considering adding hard-wired smoke detectors to my house. Due to other in-process remodeling projects and the structure of the house, I have access to get behind the drywall at each location ...
user avatar
11 votes
7 answers
12k views

How to PROPERLY test that your smoke detectors work?

I installed two new smoke detectors in my house a few months ago and have been testing them using the 'test' buttons. Today I decided to give them a more realistic test by placing a burning and then ...
James's user avatar
  • 231
0 votes
1 answer
2k views

Old house--no neutral wire for Nest Protect?

I'm not particularly electrically inclined, but am giving a go to setting up a wired Nest Protect where an old smoke detector was installed. The device says to connect its white wire to the white (or ...
turboladen's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
83 views

Is Black & Decker's "Codes for Homeowners" (3rd edition, 2015) a useful resource? [closed]

Is the Black & Decker "Codes for Homeowners" worth buying as a home improvement reference work?
Phil Esra's user avatar
  • 718
1 vote
1 answer
5k views

Turning light on turns power to fire alarm off

I have a ceiling fan connected to a two way switch. When I turn the ceiling fan/light on, the power to the hard wired smoke detector is cut off, whereas turning the fan/light off returns power to the ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 13
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can an electrician run wiring to convert battery powered smoke alarms to wired alarms?

I recently purchased a 2001 built condominium unit with original battery powered smoke and CO2 alarms. Since I have to replace all the alarms at this point anyway, I'm curious how invasive a procedure ...
Billy ONeal's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
46k views

High pitched beep in house every 15 minutes [duplicate]

Can anyone help? I keep hearing a 3 second high pitched beep but can't quite tell where it is coming from n our lounge where our home theatre system is, i.e. LED TV, receiver, speakers, blu ray player,...
user35550's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
10k views

Integrating hard-wired smoke detectors with fire sprinkler waterflow sensing

If you are in a house with interconnected smoke detectors (hardwired or hardwired/battery combo), can you interconnect them with the waterflow switch for a home fire sprinkler system, or do you need ...
ThreePhaseEel's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
3k views

Should smoke alarms be on AFCI circuit?

I'm migrating my smoke alarms from the main panel to a generator-backed-up subpanel so I'll have fire protection during a power outage. I'm simultaneously replacing the old smoke detectors. I read ...
Michael H's user avatar
  • 419
2 votes
1 answer
805 views

Why would I have two wires feeding one smoke detector?

I found a smoke detector in my house that appears to have two wires feeding it from two different circuits. Is this OK?
Darrin's user avatar
  • 29
5 votes
6 answers
78k views

How to open this smoke detector in order to change battery?

I need to change battery for my home smoke detector, but I have no idea how to open this model. I found many video tutorial on google, but have not seen any model similar to this one. Does anyone ...
huocp's user avatar
  • 181
-4 votes
6 answers
25k views

How do I disable smoke alarms?

I'm going to have a party and I had experiences previously with a smoke machine triggering smoke alarms, so I want to disable them temporarily during the party. How do you do that? This is what the ...
Pablo Fernandez's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
193 views

Efficient way to test smoke detectors

I just got done wiring boxes for my hardwired smoke detector system and am about to start installing detectors. When testing in the end, I heard they sell some test aerosol spray which is the ...
amphibient's user avatar
  • 7,515
0 votes
1 answer
646 views

Finding and installing a carbon monoxide/natural gas detector

I am looking at installing a carbon monoxide and natural gas detector on the ceiling of my house. I cannot find one device that combines both types of detection and that is supposed to be mounted in ...
Dante's user avatar
  • 153
0 votes
0 answers
134 views

Smoke detector giving false alerts

At home, we have two smoke detectors: one on the ground floor and one on the first floor. The problem is that the one at the first floor gives a lot of false alerts (and the one at the ground floor ...
ProgramFOX's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
444 views

Do modern energy saving light bulbs class as "fluorescent lighting"?

I am about to replace an ageing smoke alarm. The current one is battery powered, but I was thinking that it might be good to replace it with a mains powered one (no need to change battery, cannot be ...
adrianbanks's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

How can I tell where water is leaking from?

I live in Wyoming and for the past few days we had below zero temperatures and tons of snow. Many people reported pipes breaking but we seemed to be fine. Today it also warmed up a bunch to around the ...
CAS_Kicks's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
762 views

How can I safely test my (optical) smoke alarm?

My landlord has recently reinstalled my smoke alarm. It is labelled on the smoke alarm as an "Optical" type. The smoke alarm appears to be working - it's powered by both mains electricity and battery ...
Andrew Ferrier's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can I upgrade my hardwired smoke detector in apartment without triggering central alarm? [closed]

I'm living in an apartment building and would like to upgrade one of two detectors in my apartment from an older hardwired detector to the new Nest Protect. I purchased the battery-operated version ...
Ryan's user avatar
  • 101
5 votes
6 answers
66k views

What besides smoke might trigger a hardwired smoke detector?

Sometimes my hardwired smoke alarm goes off for a few seconds for no apparent reason. For example I am not cooking or burning any substance. It is 3 years old and has a new battery. Other than ...
ucsky's user avatar
  • 307
2 votes
1 answer
4k views

What would cause a hardwired smoke alarm to give one short beep when appliances are turned on?

I have hard wired smoke detectors. I've noticed that when I plug my tablet into a power strip connected to an outlet in my living room it caused the upstairs detector to emit a quick beep. I now ...
Andy's user avatar
  • 220
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

What happens when you test a smoke detector?

When you press the test button on a smoke detector it obviously beeps, but I'm assuming it doesn't just test the speaker. So, how does the test work? I can't see a practical way to release smoke ...
DarkLightA's user avatar
9 votes
11 answers
43k views

Should a smoke alarm be installed in the attic?

I installed hard-wired and interconnected smoke alarms through the house. I wondered, though, if a fire spread through my attic I might not know about it until the ceiling or roof collapsed. Should I ...
Matthew's user avatar
  • 9,867
3 votes
3 answers
14k views

What to do with these tiny exposed wires?

We discovered a non-functional smoke detector that's hard-wired into the electrical system of the house we recently bought. I removed the smoke detector and am replacing it with a battery operated one....
Sarah's user avatar
  • 31
7 votes
5 answers
12k views

What's the signalling voltage on hardwire smoke detectors? Mix and match?

What is the signalling voltage on hardwire smoke detectors? Is it acceptable to mix brands? Is it acceptable to have detectors on different electrical circuits, connected only with an interconnect ...
Bryce's user avatar
  • 10.9k
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

How can I install a wired smoke detector without compromising the fire rated sheetrock?

We have a connected garage with a bedroom above. It has proper fire rated sheetrock and a fire rated door. We use it for storage (including some paint and other normal chemicals). For this reason I'...
Bryce's user avatar
  • 10.9k