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Author Topic: Replacing smoke detectors AND alarm system  (Read 5470 times)

Yaas

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Replacing smoke detectors AND alarm system
« on: August 22, 2005, 07:32:48 PM »
I'm in an interesting situation.

Moved into a house that has a ITI Concord Express with wireless sensors and (I believe) hardwired to the smoke detector. Don't have master code, only access code.

I want to replace the alarm, so that I have a more flexible and reconfigurable system.

I think I want a hybrid wireless and hardwired system. Maybe the Ademco Vision 20 series?

Can anyone make any recommendation on replacement of smoke detectors (At the same time, so they are compatible with the Vision)? From what I've seen, most 120V detectors are 3 wire (Kiddie) - and yet most alarm systems use 2 wire or 4 wire. I've learned that I have Dicon 330L detectors, and Dicon went out of business about 1993... and they are incompatible with other detectors.

Thanks again!

Security Monitor

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Re:Replacing smoke detectors AND alarm system
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2005, 08:46:46 PM »
Can anyone make any recommendation on replacement of smoke detectors (At the same time, so they are compatible with the Vision)? From what I've seen, most 120V detectors are 3 wire (Kiddie) - and yet most alarm systems use 2 wire or 4 wire. I've learned that I have Dicon 330L detectors, and Dicon went out of business about 1993... and they are incompatible with other detectors.

The a/c powered interconnected smoke detectors are not designed for use with an alarm panel.  You can replace them all with alarm system smokes, go wireless, or add a few as supplemental.

Before you do, I ask that you do one thing.  The a/c interconnected smokes are installed to the fire codes of your community.  Replacing them may or may not be allowed.  You need to check with either your AHJ or a qualified fire alarm installer to determine if it's a code violation.   If you decide to replace them, also consider that recent elevated enforcement have found a violation often overlooked before.  Letís say your home has eight a/c interconnected smokes installed to meet local codes.  If you replace 2 with an alarm system smoke, you still had the eight. But your AHJ may say that the a/c interconnected smokes and alarm smokes are two systems and neither have the full eight required.  So check first to play it safe.

Yaas

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Re:Replacing smoke detectors AND alarm system
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2005, 07:23:30 AM »
Yikes. I've opened a can of worms.

It seems like the more I think I know, the less I do. I now wonder if there are *any* smoke alarms on the current security system. I think that all the ones that I saw (beyond the CO detector) are the 3 wire 120V Dicons. I'm own the house, but I'm not living there quite yet, so I'll have to look around more. I had a strange feeling that the 3 wire weren't designed to be compatible, since it seems like Kiddie, Firex, etc all seem to have proprietary interconnects.

I'll get in touch with soemone or the AHJ to find out what my options are.

I found some new "American Sensor" plug in repacements, that replace the Dicon. I would think that new plug in replacements would be entirely within code, but I don't want to make assumptions.

Thanks for all of your input!

sonyguy

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Re:Replacing smoke detectors AND alarm system
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2005, 06:54:30 PM »
I've had experience with the GE concord systems. I really dont like anything ITI. yeah, honeywell panels are my fav. a half hardwired and half wireless is what I'd do.

Electricians generally install smoke detectors that are 120 volt and sometimes they have Co2 detectors built in, even though Co2 is a heavy gas that floats around the ground and not up high like smoke.


dave

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Re:Replacing smoke detectors AND alarm system
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2005, 04:07:48 PM »
It's not Co2, which is carbon dioxide (like what is in soda and fire extinguishers) but CO which is carbon monoxide, which is the deadly killer (granted CO2 can displace oxygen and cause problems as well)
 ;)

Keep in mind the proper location for CO detectors is based on the manufacturer's installation instructions, as plug in types are located near the floor, while hardwired alarm types are located higher....Maruco for example is located at 54" while the ESL/GE ones are located in the same height requirements as smoke detectors (4-12" from flat ceilings, 3' from peaked ceiling's highest point). ESL's own rep also stated a lot of their height requirements are due to keeping them away from 'unauthorized' hands and damage, and not any difference in detection.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2005, 04:11:37 PM by dave »

security101

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Re:Replacing smoke detectors AND alarm system
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2005, 08:22:08 PM »
I cant remember where I saw it (but it was a reputable government site) where it stated that at 70 degrees, CO will be in the 2' to 6' height on the wall and the heavier concentration will be at the 5' to 6' area!

Hummh??

So now who do you listen to??

Does temp matter???

I follow each diff manufacturer's recomendations and the all differ...

Any scientists out there??
Jim
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dave

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Re:Replacing smoke detectors AND alarm system
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2005, 12:28:26 PM »
I'd say that each manufacturer has their own settings based on the electrochemical element and inherent sensitivity of their devices.

My guess is a lot has to do with the nature of an alarm system CO detector and falsing vs the plug in noisemakers and nuisance alarms.

My conversation with ESL (now GE) at the time was with them alluding to keeping the devices from getting damaged as well as from people pressing the button on it (and possibly generating a false alarm)

People also have to keep in mind that a lot as far as CO concentrations go have to do with where it's being generated and if it's being moved about by a HVAC system or general house construction.

Noremac

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Re:Replacing smoke detectors AND alarm system
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2005, 05:36:04 PM »
I cant remember where I saw it (but it was a reputable government site) where it stated that at 70 degrees, CO will be in the 2' to 6' height on the wall and the heavier concentration will be at the 5' to 6' area!

The density of CO is virtually identical to Nitrogen (molecular weight is 28.0101 for CO, and 28.01348 for N2).  Other properties like diffusivity matter, but in general this means that CO will mix uniformly in N2 and therefore in air.  I like Dave's answer that factors other than concentration height are more important with respect to placement of CO detectors.

security101

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Re:Replacing smoke detectors AND alarm system
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2005, 08:56:11 PM »
I also agree with Dave, I think placement has a lot to do protection of the device and detection of CO.

And I guess with what Noremac said (if I understand you right) is that height may not matter too much as CO mixes good with air (and therefore would be kinda everywhere?) except in drafts etc, of course.
Jim
Perseverance:  "Continuing in a course of action without regard to discouragement, opposition, or previous failure"
Will Smith (movie Hitch)

Smile:)!

 

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