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Old 10-12-2012, 03:19 PM   #1
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using existing wires for smoke detectors


I hardwired in BRK's throughout the house in 2002. I was going to replace all of the detectors with new ones in the coming year but I have decided to use the fire zones on my security system and install all new low voltage detectors which are much less prone to false tripping than line voltage type. I am planning on running new 18/2 fire alarm cable but I was wondering if it would be acceptable to disconnect and remove the 14/2 NM from the power source and run the fire alarm cable from the alarm panel in it's place. I would then use two of the conductors in the remaining 14/3 NM (red and black capping off the white conductor) throughout the house for the low voltage detectors. Any technical or code reason why I should not do this?

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Old 10-12-2012, 05:08 PM   #2
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using existing wires for smoke detectors


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Originally Posted by teamo View Post
I hardwired in BRK's throughout the house in 2002. I was going to replace all of the detectors with new ones in the coming year but I have decided to use the fire zones on my security system and install all new low voltage detectors which are much less prone to false tripping than line voltage type. I am planning on running new 18/2 fire alarm cable but I was wondering if it would be acceptable to disconnect and remove the 14/2 NM from the power source and run the fire alarm cable from the alarm panel in it's place. I would then use two of the conductors in the remaining 14/3 NM (red and black capping off the white conductor) throughout the house for the low voltage detectors. Any technical or code reason why I should not do this?
Check with your local building department before removing the existing detectors. Your local codes may require they remain.

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Old 10-12-2012, 06:23 PM   #3
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using existing wires for smoke detectors


I know the local code they do not have to remain.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:05 PM   #4
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using existing wires for smoke detectors


Well....a simple internet check came up with this....

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According to the carbon monoxide regulations, you need to have a detector on each finished level of the home. Further there must be a detector placed within ten feet of all the bedroom doors. The detectors do not need to be hard wired. A plug-in or battery operated detector meets the requirements and usually the most viable choice. Here are all the types are carbon monoxide detectors that are allowed:

• Battery powered with battery monitoring;
• Plug-in (AC powered) units
with battery backup;
• AC primary power (hard-wired
– usually involves hiring an
electrician) with battery backup;
• Low-voltage or wireless alarms
with secondary power; and
• Qualified combination smoke
detectors and CO alarms

The inspection for both the smoke and carbon detectors are done by the local fire department prior to closing. The certificate of compliance will need to be brought to the closing. The lenders attorney will most certainly ask for this document and you will not be able to close on your property without it!


So....I guess you can do what you want....since you already know the code.....
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:23 AM   #5
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using existing wires for smoke detectors


Thanks for the replies. I am not asking about detector requirements or placement. I have a photoelectric smoke inside every bedroom as well as one in the hallway within ten feet of each bedroom doorway. I could have installed only one in the hallway and have met the code but I put one inside of every bedroom as well. CO's are allowed to be separate from the smoke detectors and can be either battery, hardwired, or the plug in type. We have a plug in type on every level of living space within the home as allowed by Mass Law as well as the local AHJ.
I am asking about using the NM conductors for the low voltage smokes or if it would not be allowed to use such a cable and if I would be required to pull new 18/2 fire alarm cable.

Last edited by teamo; 10-14-2012 at 10:30 AM.
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