Adding on a second smoke and a carbon monoxide detector


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Old 04-15-05, 08:58 AM
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Adding on a second smoke and a carbon monoxide detector

Have recently renovated my basement and would like to replace an old battery charged smoke detector down there with a new wired one and add it in series to my system one on another floor so when one sounds they both sound. I believe there's no problem with doing that but was wondering, at the same time, if I added a carbon monoxide detector in the furnace room, could that be also added in series to the smoke detectors or would it require it's own seperate zone?

I have a DSC 832 - PC 5010, 8-zone system. Currently all zones are filled but notice I have motion sensors on 1st and 2nd floor on separate zones. Since I could care less about knowing which internal sensor was triggered, if it was possible I'd simply put them on the same zone and wire up the CO monitor to the now free one. Does this sound doable? Also, am I required to place a resistor inline with a CO detector similar to the smoke detector? If it's going to be a big deal I can just leave it as a stand alone that it is now and save $50 bucks or so. Thanks.
 
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Old 04-15-05, 04:26 PM
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Ideally, the smokes and the CO detector should be on separate zones. If your system is just local only (no formal monitoring) it's not an issue to combine them.

I would lump the detectors together before I would combine motion detectors. Multiple motions, especially in separate areas, on the same zone can turn into a false alarm troubleshooting headache. At least when smokes and COs go into alarm, they latch, and you can look at the LED on the device to determine the source of the problem.

The last detector in the string should get the resistor. The best way is to extend the existing loop from the existing detector, but there are ways to get around that problem, electrically (hint, it takes an extra pair of conductors if you have 4-wire smokes).
 
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Old 04-18-05, 07:27 AM
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Thanks for your help!

Thanks MrRon, you answered my question and made the decision fairly easy.

Right now the system isn't formally monitored but we want it to be, so if the CO detector shouldn't be with the smokes and the motions should each be on they're own zone ... the answer's fairly easy. Forget about the CO and save myself the extra cost. I was thinking it might be a good idea because my current detector is probably 10 yrs old and probably past it's life expectancy anyways. If it was simple that's one thing, but if it's going to present problems then it's not worth it and I'll leave it as a stand alone.

Only thing I've noticed is that the resistor for the smoke is joined inside the panel between the zone 8 and the common. Given that it's supposed to monitor line integrity, doesn't that sort of defeat it's purpose connecting it at that point? Or maybe that's fine to connect it there for a single smoke, but with 2 or more it should be placed between the contacts at the end of line device?

Thanks again,

Dave
 
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Old 04-18-05, 03:25 PM
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Yes, it should be at the last device, but without using the end of line relay device, it really doesn't do much more than monitor the integrity of the actual alarm loop. The point of the relay is to make sure that all the smokes on the line also have power as well.

Again, for a small home system, it's a little less of an issue, but it is the way the fire code, and hardware makers specify.
 
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Old 04-18-05, 05:37 PM
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just a quick thought if your keypad is one of the z types ie 5500z 5501z you can grab an extra zone there
 
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Old 04-19-05, 04:01 PM
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Not sure of keypad type

Thanks for your response SteveFl (Florida I would assume ... I'm way north in Toronto Canada).

To be honest with you, I've had the system disabled over 2 years while I demolished the old basement and rebuilt it anew by myself (it's awful scary some of the things you see when the walls are down and everything including the electrical is totally exposed, but that's another story). Since then, I've moved the control panel and just got things up running again a few weeks ago I had looked for the old instruction manual but couldn't find it so I downloaded, I guess, a generic one off the internet that seemed to work just fine. Still have a trouble light #1 indicating but have a new battery on the way from the Home Security Store that I saw online for $18. Radio Shack here wanted $47 for the same product - what a ripoff !!!

In any case, here's my zone layout to see if it can be of help.

1) Front Door - Delayed Entry
2) Motion - 1st Floor
3) Motion - 2nd Floor
4) Glass Break
5) Main Floor Windows and Sliding Door
6) Garage Doors and Window
7) Basement Windows
8) Smokes - 1st & 2nd Floor

Now on order from this store. among a few other things, is another smoke/heat detector for the basement (fire code) and a new 12V 4ah battery. I didn't order the CO Monitor because it sounded like a 'don't do' for monitoring purposes. I originally thought about joining the motions together but was warned about the false alarms, but now see the easiest way here is just to add the basement windows to the main floor windows on zone 5 and open up zone 7 completely.

But before I go ahead and order a $70+ monitor here, in your opinion is it really worth going to all this trouble to hook up a CO detector online? As far as I know CO poisoning is generally due to prolonged exposure of the gas and for the most part wiring it online for instantaneous detection by a monitoring station might be a bit of overkill. Those devices sound pretty loud anyways and a standalone in the basement would probably wake me immediately. Now that I know I can do this, the question that comes to mind is whether or not it's really worth it in the end. Being someone in the business I'm sure you've come across this many times before. Your thoughts would be appreciated.
 
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Old 04-19-05, 04:21 PM
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I hadn't thought about using a keypad zone, myself. Good idea.

As far as the CO detector is concerned, the main advantage is that the system type ones (like system smokes) are generally better made, and have an overall longer lifespan. You also get the advantage of the alarm system battery backup, which is generally a bit longer than the typical 9v.

The easy way to tell if your keypads support zones is to look at the back. The row of terminals for the keypad data will have an additional one labled Z. You don't really want to use them for anything other than a couple of contacts, but you could possibly put your entry door (if it's close to the keypad) on that one, and have yet another free zone on the main board.

It does take a little program tinkering to make the zone work, but it's no worse than anything else you are trying to do.
 
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Old 04-21-05, 04:19 PM
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Thanks SteveFL and MrRonFL for your suggestion on the keypad. I took a look tonight and saw that there were infact 5 contacts on the keypad itself; 4 used for the wiring and 1 open and unused. However there was no 'Z' designation of any sort next to the one one. My only concern right now is getting to that keypad with a new wire. It was much easier to get at before I finished that area of the basement, now it's going to take some work to get a new wire there. A joist over and it would be a piece of cake but now there's the two furnace pipes running between the joists and drywall covering it all up. I'm thinking more and more that moving the basement windows from zone 7 onto zone 5 with all the mainfloor windows and doors would be the easier option in the long run.

I ordered the CO detector today so it should take a week or so to arrive. I had thought about the higher quality only after my last email while walking the dog, but it's good that you mentioned it as well. Before this CO detector arrives I'll have to install the new smoke in the basement and change the battery. Once I get all that running the CO will be next on the list. Will the zone definition for this be a '13' for 24hr gas? Thanks again.
 
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Old 04-21-05, 05:23 PM
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The z marking is there, it's just hard to read. It's in faint lettering on the keypad's PC board.

The 24 hour gas is the definition I've used in the past.
 
 

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