Which breaker controls my smoke detector

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  #1  
Old 01-31-05, 03:34 PM
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Which breaker controls my smoke detector

This is sort of on the same subject -
I was about to add a smoke detector to the bedroom we're putting in our basement. We have the same brand detector and enough wire - what I haven't figured out yet is which circuit breaker they are all on so I can safely add this new one.

I'm guessing it's up to the original electrician to where they connect to the breaker panel but was wondering if there's a common practice that could hint me to which breaker I should shut off to safely add a new one.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-31-05, 03:42 PM
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lol

Yes, I thought it would be a dedicated circuit also....only to find out it was added with the lighting for the upstairs hallway. Of course mine was not labeled. It is labeled now!

You probably will just have to flip them until you find the correct circuit.
 
  #3  
Old 01-31-05, 03:44 PM
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I'm going to beat racraft to the punch here. He always admonishes people for not knowing what is on which breaker. He would suggest (and me too) that you spend a few pleasant hours on a Saturday afternoon figuring out what is on what breaker. Just turn them off one at a time and make a list of everything that goes dead. Sure you'll have some clocks to reset, but it's worthwhile. Post the list you create next to the panel. Make sure you account somewhere for every receptacle, every appliance, every light and every fixture (including smoke detectors).
 
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Old 01-31-05, 03:51 PM
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Yeah he's already gotten on me once for not knowing the full path of my GFCI breaker but that's ok. I certainly understand the need to know these things but it is a learning process. Thanks for the continued advice guys.
 
  #5  
Old 01-31-05, 06:08 PM
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Smokes are seldom put or allowed to be on their own circuit. This eliminates the habit of turning off the breaker for false alarms and not turning it back on. If some of the lights also go off you won't leave the breaker off too long.
 
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Old 01-31-05, 06:50 PM
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Well, I won't beat a dead horse...
 
  #7  
Old 02-01-05, 06:57 AM
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that's a good

thing I reckon.

See, I thought they were crazy and actually they are just trying to save my life!
 
  #8  
Old 02-01-05, 11:48 AM
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It is interesting that Joed says smokes are seldom put on their own breaker. I work in industrial electrical design and have quite a lot of experience, though not much in residential, with fire alarm systems. NFPA 72, the Nat'l Fire Alarm Code, says the circuit must bear a label next to the breaker which specifically says "Fire Alarm Circuit Control". Anybody who sees that breaker off is definitely going to think about it.

NFPA 72, Article 11.6.3 (4) says that "AC power shall be supplied from either a dedicated branch circuit or an unswitched portion of a branch circuit also used for power and lighting." (5) says that operation of a switch OR a GFCI shall not cause interruption of primary power to the detector. But there is an Exception: Where all circuits in the house are GFCI protected.

I do not find a labeling requirement for residential circuits containing smoke detectors, but for an industrial/commercial fire alarm system it says the breaker handle shall be marked red. A little bright red nail polish would do nicely. To me, this just seems like a really good idea for dwellings.

Hope that helps.

Juice
 
  #9  
Old 02-01-05, 11:55 AM
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good

you make some good points, but you have to remember that most homeowners are idiots when it comes to electricity and smoke alarms.

How many times have you heard that a house burned down and the batteries for the detectors where removed?

Having a dedicated circuit for industrial makes perfect sense b/c your average 'Joe' is not going to have access to the panels to shut them off.
 
  #10  
Old 02-01-05, 05:54 PM
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And in an industrial building it is not only smoke detectors. It is a fire alarm control panel. That includes bells, pull stations, Air Conditioner shut down cicuits, door unlocking cicuits, auto dialers, etc.
 
  #11  
Old 02-02-05, 10:40 AM
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Joed, of course you are right. Given that this was a residential inquiry pertaining to smoke detectors only I did not want to confuse the poster by getting into all the "bells & whistles" of a full blown fire alarm system.

Juice
 
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