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Old 06-21-2011, 02:17 PM   #1
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wiring smoke detectors


New house construction. I have 6 smoke detectors throughout the house. I wired them all seperately. They all have 2 wire w/g coming into the box. Most of them have separate power circuits.

Now I find out the code requires all of them to be wired in series so that when one goes off, the rest chime in also. I now know that they should have been strung together with 14-3 wire with the orange or red wire being the common link.

My question is, can I just run a single wire connecting them all or does the input power have to be from the same circuit also? What is being carried through that orange wire, is it just a low voltage control signal?

Thanks.

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Old 06-21-2011, 02:23 PM   #2
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wiring smoke detectors


Hi and welcome to the forum.

Code required us to use interconnected detectors, all on their own AFCI protected circuit.

You may need to buy new detectors if they do not allow connecting.

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Old 06-21-2011, 04:58 PM   #3
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wiring smoke detectors


Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post

Code required us to use interconnected detectors, all on their own AFCI protected circuit.
Is this what the NEC requires, a dedicated circuit for smoke detectors and an arc fault.

If so I see two things that are dangerous with this situation, someone gets annoyed with the alarm and flips the breaker, no more smokes and no one can tell.

What happens if the arc fault trips without you knowing it, once again you have no smokes.

I know smokes are suppose to have battery backup but I wouldn't trust batteries with my life.

The CEC requires us to put smokes on with a circuit that has lights on it for you know if your smokes are not on.
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:29 PM   #4
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wiring smoke detectors


Been asked this before, but truly don’t know the answer.
New house construction….drywall up/get your rough inspection yet? Before you do anything, you should contact your inspector and ask. You might have to re-string them. Also check if you have to have a circuit for the smokes alone, or if you can tap off a bedroom, or somewhere that’s already on an AFCI breaker.
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:48 PM   #5
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wiring smoke detectors


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Is this what the NEC requires, a dedicated circuit for smoke detectors and an arc fault.
Dedicated circuit, not NEC, but possible local codes. NEC doesn't address smoke alarms, unless it's part of a fire alarm system that has it's own 'brain box'. Arc fault only because they are attached to an outlet (as defined by NEC) in rooms required to AFCI protected. Most of the time in my area, we tap off a bedroom and string them together through the house. Then they are AFCI'd, and their load is barely measureable. The smokes aren't going to overload a circuit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darren View Post
If so I see two things that are dangerous with this situation, someone gets annoyed with the alarm and flips the breaker, no more smokes and no one can tell.

What happens if the arc fault trips without you knowing it, once again you have no smokes.
I did a house a few months ago that 'chirped' if the AC is lost and the battery is good. Of course, that'll only last til the battery dies. Lol...I just checked my house's (older ones), they don't 'chirp' when AC is off. The red LED went out though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by darren View Post
The CEC requires us to put smokes on with a circuit that has lights on it for you know if your smokes are not on.
Nice
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