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Hey guys. This may be a stupid question, but with anything electrical I like to double check.

Went out and bought 5 new Kiddie smoke detectors to replace the original USI units that came with our house 15 years ago (yes, I know I waited too long). Figured this would be an simple honey-do project that wouldn’t drag on for days like other diy projects.

I was wrong, of course. Apparently my smoke detectors use some archaic wiring harness that came over with the Mayflower and are no longer compatible with any system today. . . so no adapters are available to hook up the old wiring with the new detectors.

Is there anything wrong with me just splicing the old wiring harness to the new one? Figured it would be easier for me to pull off the old detectors and do all the splicing at my workbench rather than at the top of my ladder.



 

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A "Handy Husband"
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Why add unnecessary splices and possible failure points? You are only looking at installing 3 wire nuts while you are on the ladder.
 

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What is it with people wanting to solder and shrink wrap???

OP- don't reuse the old harness. Splice the new harness directly to the wires in the box.
maybe op wants to be able to remove smoke detectors without undoing wiring and just unclip a clip..whats the issue, they were built that way in the first place...if you dont know how to solder and use shrink wrap then you can do it your way..let the op give what he wants in his house..
 

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JW
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maybe op wants to be able to remove smoke detectors without undoing wiring and just unclip a clip..whats the issue, they were built that way in the first place...if you dont know how to solder and use shrink wrap then you can do it your way..let the op give what he wants in his house..
Not sure where you got that impression, but oookkkaaayyy.

No electrician uses solders splices. Wirenuts are quick, easy, and dependable.
 

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JW
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Not sure why anyone would solder anything to a smoke alarm. Doing so would void the listing and the warranty, and could result in the detector not functioning correctly. This is a life safety device, not a science project.

Any electrical inspector that saw the old harness used in conjunction with the new smoke detector would fail that part. The unit was not tested like that, and as such would not be code compliant bc it's not installed according to the instructions.
 

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maybe op wants to be able to remove smoke detectors without undoing wiring and just unclip a clip..whats the issue, they were built that way in the first place...if you dont know how to solder and use shrink wrap then you can do it your way..let the op give what he wants in his house..

They need to undo the old wiring to splice it to the new harness and then resplice. The picture as shown does not have a free end to splice back onto the premise wiring. Talk about complicating a simple job.

To OP, lay the new wire next to the premise wiring and twist on a wire nut. Check connection with a slight tug.
 

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correct for wiring throughout a house, this is internal wiring of the smoke detector for the clip...so the detector can be taken down for a battery change or cleaning...
The alarm can be remove when the harness is used properly. No need for the old harness to remain and cluster up the box.
 

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The new harness is a different configuration than the old so the harness needs to change to fit the new alarms.
 

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I was wrong, of course. Apparently my smoke detectors use some archaic wiring harness that came over with the Mayflower and are no longer compatible with any system today. . . so no adapters are available to hook up the old wiring with the new detectors.
That wiring harness isn't necessarily archaic. Every smoke detector manufacturer has its own wiring harness design and some as you found out just don't use a wiring harness.

You would actually be much better off to just remove the old wiring harness from the wiring in your ceiling and direct wire the new detector to the wiring in your ceiling. By doing that you will have a minimum number of splices in the system for your detectors.
 
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