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Old 11-27-2011, 12:02 PM   #1
JPM
Bill Traver
 
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InterConnected Fire Alarms


I have a rental property with 15 fire alarms that are suppose to be interconnected. A couple were VERY VERY old so I replaced them. When I did the first replacement (wired in black/white/interconnect), ALL the alarms would sound AND would not go off until I took off the interconnected wire.

Not sure what could be wrong ... do I now need to replace ALL the fire alarms ... and if so, make sure that they are the same brand? I don't have in front of me but I think they are FIREX and should be able to link up to 20.

Thanks,

JPM

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Old 11-27-2011, 12:35 PM   #2
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InterConnected Fire Alarms


Manufacturers like to make things different so only their brand will work as a replacement. Then you have to buy their brand.

Over the years I've seen many different smoke detector interconnection schemes which are not compatible.

Then also different brands can operate differently so far as testing/resetting, etc.

So probably best to get all the same brand / model. I would avoid buying anything made in China.

Read the book: "Poorly Made in China"...
http://www.amazon.com/Poorly-Made-Ch.../dp/0470405589

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Old 11-27-2011, 05:04 PM   #3
JPM
Bill Traver
 
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InterConnected Fire Alarms


Thanks for that info ... I will go all one MFG.

My plan is to take down all the old ones and replace. When I begin hooking up the new ones and interconnect, will I hear the testing beep on all each time I connect the next alarm or only when I push the test button?

Again, thanks for clarifying.
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Old 11-27-2011, 06:16 PM   #4
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InterConnected Fire Alarms


As for a testing beep on all or just the one...

Sometimes they come out with "standards" which require certain things like that.

Then other times there is no standard which requires much of anything beyond a certain point, and manufacturers are free to include certain "features" with their models or with more expensive models.

On the box it will say "Our model does this and that!"

Or "Our DELUXE model does this that and the other thing!"

So I would suggest going to the various smoke detector manufacturer web sites and reading the installation (and testing) instructions for various models.

Also search google.com for that brand/model along with the word "forum". Then you can read what people have to say about that smoke detector good or bad. (My consumer reports!)

Also because you are buying so many, I would suggest buying two, then installing in your house. See how they work for a month or so.

Some are very sensitive - too sensitive! Anyway if they are going to be irritating, best to find out before buying a whole bunch!

FYI - I just googled the words...
firex smoke detector forum
...then found this recall post from 2009...
http://forums.redflagdeals.com/firex...recall-713191/

Then this is interesting from another brand...
"CAUTION: USI alarms and accessories should only be interconnected with other USI alarms and accessories. Connecting devices from another manufacturer to USI devices may result in nuisance alarms, failure to alarm, or damage to one or all of the devices in the interconnect system.

All interconnected USI alarms should be powered by the same fuse or circuit breaker. Smoke alarms shall not receive their power from a circuit that is protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter. Improper connection will result in damage to the alarm, failure to operate, or a shock hazard. " From...
http://www.usielectric.com/app/usi/d...es/front_index

Here are some detector manufacturer brand names...

Kidde
BRK
First Alert
USI Electric

And Firex...
"Attention: Firex Customers: Maple Chase Company, the manufacturer of Firex branded products was recently acquired by Kidde." From...
http://www.firexsafety.com/homedir/e...ces/Firex.html
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