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#2413573 - 12/05/17 11:32 AM Hard wired smoke detectors?
Faust Offline
pro stock

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 1523
Loc: Massachusetts
I have a small apartment building with hardwired smoke detectors. As usual, many tenants get tired of false alarms and toss the detectors. I have a fire department inspection coming up. I have been told that if I don't get detectors from the same manufacturer (now defunct) that the detectors won't work. Is that true? Do I have to replace them all?

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#2413606 - 12/05/17 12:29 PM Re: Hard wired smoke detectors? [Re: Faust]
300rag Offline
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Registered: 07/31/10
Posts: 332
Loc: Alberta, Canada
What manufacturer? Are they tied into a FA system? If so, there should have been a trouble showing in the FA panel. Unless it is an addressable system (not likely)smoke detectors are not brand specific to many basic systems. If they are stand alone units (not interconnected with other units or a panel) then they can be replaced with any available unit.
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#2414632 - 12/07/17 09:11 AM Re: Hard wired smoke detectors? [Re: Faust]
Trulyvintage Offline
Freighter

Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 4125
Loc: Direct Enclosed Transporter
120 volt ac smoke detectors are usually wired in series - if one signals all the detectors annunciate - if you are having failure & false alarms - it means the sensing chambers are contaminated & the detectors need to be replaced.

Wiring pigtails are not universal - you may have to change out the pigtails with the detectors.

Jim drive
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#2415281 - 12/08/17 01:11 PM Re: Hard wired smoke detectors? [Re: Faust]
1971d21 Offline
mopar

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 495
Loc: USA
You will probably have to replace them all.
I had a house revamped 2 years ago, some of the detectors
were bad.
At first the Electrician changed the faulty ones and then they would not communicate with the other detectors so we ended up changing them all.
For Safety I believe they have to be able to sync with all the other detectors.
Regardless, it is cheap if it saves somebodies life.
I also believe if they are over 7-8 years old, they need replace.
Good luck.

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#2415861 - 12/09/17 04:48 PM Re: Hard wired smoke detectors? [Re: Faust]
mopars4ever Online   content
I Live Here

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 11135
Loc: md
I replaced all mine for the same reason. It wouldn`t work when I replaced just one. I really never found out why. Also, the pigtails had to be changed also.

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#2415869 - 12/09/17 04:54 PM Re: Hard wired smoke detectors? [Re: Faust]
Faust Offline
pro stock

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 1523
Loc: Massachusetts
Thanks for all the info. I guess I will have to change them all out, and pig tails, an $1800 bill I had hoped to avoid. Probably not a choice, I think new code requires smoke & CO in living units, still just smoke in hallways. At 80 bucks apiece, it will hurt more when the tenants throw them away after the first false alarm.

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#2415878 - 12/09/17 05:22 PM Re: Hard wired smoke detectors? [Re: Faust]
Moparnutcase Offline
mopar

Registered: 10/28/06
Posts: 530
Loc: New Jersey
120V smokes and C/O's almost always have to be the same brand. If mixed they either will not work or possibly take out the existing ones. It is recommended they be replaced every 10 years. What the hell brand are you buying that is $80 a pop??!! I get my smokes for about $11 a piece and smoke/CO combo units for around $45 each from my local electrical supply house. Granted, I get a better price being a contractor, but you are being charged way too much.
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#2415900 - 12/09/17 06:10 PM Re: Hard wired smoke detectors? [Re: Faust]
DAYCLONA Offline
I Live Here

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 15946
Loc: Mass
Originally Posted By Faust
Thanks for all the info. I guess I will have to change them all out, and pig tails, an $1800 bill I had hoped to avoid. Probably not a choice, I think new code requires smoke & CO in living units, still just smoke in hallways. At 80 bucks apiece, it will hurt more when the tenants throw them away after the first false alarm.



Security Deposit, regardless of the rental terms/lease

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#2416085 - 12/10/17 02:29 AM Re: Hard wired smoke detectors? [Re: Faust]
69Dartman Offline
master

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 3404
Loc: Portland Oregon
I replaced the hard wired one at my rental years ago, later the new property manager brought in 3 new ones and asked if I could install them, they had 10 year batteries and did smoke and Co2 combined, probably still there.
Most of the battery powered ones I see aren't more than 15 to 30 bucks each and most are combination units. Why can't you buy a bunch of those or is it because you figure the tenants wont replace or pull out the batteries. I think the ones at my rental the batteries weren't removable and when they die in 10 years you replace them so maybe ones like that would work. My new house they mounted two units on the living room and main hallway to the extra bedrooms. The batteries last about a year and the hall way one has gone off twice for no reason in 5 years. It gets dusty or a bug crawls inside it and it goes off. Great to be woke up at 3am to a loud alarm and find nothing wrong anywhere. Anyways research your options before you spend money you don't need to but most places require them in all living areas now.
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#2416576 - 12/10/17 09:50 PM Re: Hard wired smoke detectors? [Re: 69Dartman]
Faust Offline
pro stock

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 1523
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By 69Dartman
I replaced the hard wired one at my rental years ago, later the new property manager brought in 3 new ones and asked if I could install them, they had 10 year batteries and did smoke and Co2 combined, probably still there.
Most of the battery powered ones I see aren't more than 15 to 30 bucks each and most are combination units. Why can't you buy a bunch of those or is it because you figure the tenants wont replace or pull out the batteries. I think the ones at my rental the batteries weren't removable and when they die in 10 years you replace them so maybe ones like that would work. My new house they mounted two units on the living room and main hallway to the extra bedrooms. The batteries last about a year and the hall way one has gone off twice for no reason in 5 years. It gets dusty or a bug crawls inside it and it goes off. Great to be woke up at 3am to a loud alarm and find nothing wrong anywhere. Anyways research your options before you spend money you don't need to but most places require them in all living areas now.



Here, buildings over 3 units have to be hardwired, 120V. So battery units won't do. Here's a slice of life. I had given a guy a room with kitchen on the second floor of my house. In exchange for a few days a week helping me restore this place (1770 colonial). He moved a woman in. I guess she called the cops on him the night before Thanksgiving, the cops beat him unconscious and had to call an ambulance (fire department). They reported not seeing a smoke detector on my second floor (no walls either). The fire dept. called to inspect and threatened a $100 a day fine. I asked why they didn't report a guy beaten unconscious. Anyway I got a battery unit (10 year, required) smoke & CO at Home Depot about $70.00. I tend to take this seriously. About 15 years ago the fire dept. sent a notice to have my detectors inspected. They sent it to a 15 year old address, which had burned. Since I didn't answer, they filed a criminal complaint; also sent to the hole in the ground. When I didn't answer that, the court issued a bench warrant. Cops arrived at my house, dragged me out in cuffs and whacked me around in the street in front of my house. Don't want to go through that again.

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#2416646 - 12/11/17 01:19 AM Re: Hard wired smoke detectors? [Re: Faust]
69Dartman Offline
master

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 3404
Loc: Portland Oregon
Well that certainly sucks, might be worth talking to whoever you have to once you get everything up to code so they can't screw with you over anything else.
I always try to be polite with the cops and not answer questions they don't ask but sometimes they have something against you and your not going to win no matter how in the right you are.
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#2417541 - 12/12/17 04:45 PM Re: Hard wired smoke detectors? [Re: 69Dartman]
Faust Offline
pro stock

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 1523
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By 69Dartman
Well that certainly sucks, might be worth talking to whoever you have to once you get everything up to code so they can't screw with you over anything else.
I always try to be polite with the cops and not answer questions they don't ask but sometimes they have something against you and your not going to win no matter how in the right you are.


You're right about that. The time I was arrested I quickly realized it was a "training mission" when the "trainee" showed up. She was a cutie and it was obvious that he was showing her how a "tough street cop" operates. Since they wouldn't tell me what was going on, I just kept my mouth shut. I did slip once. In the car he gave me "I bet you didn't think we would find you". I did say "What did you do? Look in the phone book?" Later, while I was in the tank with cuffs and leg irons, a court officer I know showed up. I told him I didn't know why I was there. He came back and told me I hadn't had my smoke detectors inspected. He let me out of the chains and got me out of the tank.

"Don't answer questions they don't ask" Right, and be careful about the ones they do ask. "Do you know why I'm stopping you?" They're looking for you to say something they didn't already know.


Edited by Faust (12/12/17 04:47 PM)

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