nuclear smokealarm?

Old 07-21-03, 08:33 AM
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Talking nuclear smokealarm?

I just bought a home that was built in 1981. My wife and I have gone through the house updating various items. We noticed that our smokealarm was beginig to churp so I thought a new battery! Well I pulled off the cover and foud that the smokealarm was hard wired. The firealarm has a nuclear sysmbol, not sure what to think of that?

Anyhow, I bought a new FireX smoke alarm that can be wired and has battery back up. There is only one smoke alarm that is hard wired in the house. Here is the question:

The old smoke alarm has 4 wires leading into it: green, black, white, yellow.

The new smoke alarm has three wires: white, black, yellow. Yellow is to be used if the the smoke alarm is connected with other smoke alarms. What do I do with the other 2 wires?
Old 07-21-03, 09:54 AM
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I think,,, that black is the power, white to white, the yellow is the interconnecting wire and the green isnt needed with this alarn as it doesnt need a ground wire. Probaly all plastic parts.
Old 07-21-03, 11:34 AM
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The nuclear symbol is because it is an ionization type. It uses a very small piece of ???. Don't sweat the nuclear symbol in this case.

The yellow wire on the existing leads me to think that there is another smoke detector else where in your home that sounds simultaneously with that one.
Is the box that the detector mounts to, metal? If so, then green to metal box. White to white, blach to black and the yellow would go to yellow if there is an interconnecting device. If no interconencting device, then wirenut the wire in the box for future.
Old 07-21-03, 12:25 PM
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Its usually a small amount of Americium 241 or Radium 226. This nuclear material ionized the air around it. Ionized air will allow a small current flow, smoke when present will prevent this current flow and electronics monitoring the current flow will set off an alarm.

Dont worry about this Americium or Radium fissioning or fusioning if you were to drop it or do anything else funky with it (ie Atomic Bomb) but it often does contain an amount of radioactive material that can be dangerous.

The typical smoke detector contains a few microcuries of the element whereas in this case picocuries of the element can be hazardous.

Dont fear it, but dont play with it either!

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