Smoke Detectors confusion


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Old 11-19-15, 03:27 AM
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Smoke Detectors confusion

Hello,

I Have a house that is about 8 years old which we built. we have some smoke detectors in the upstairs that are first alerts. in the basement they are a different brand i believe. This being the case they will not talk so if there would be a fire in the basement the alarms upstairs would not know?

I bought some new first alert detectors here:
https://www.lowes.com/webapp/wcs/sto...ductId=4780109

Wondering if i put these in the basement will they talk with the ones upstairs?

Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 11-19-15, 03:59 AM
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I don't understand how individual smoke alarm would talk to each other since they are not on a network. Am I missing something?
 
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Old 11-19-15, 05:06 AM
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I thought that if you had all the same detectors that if a fire started in a downstairs bedroom lets say that alarms throughout the house would then be triggered even though there is not a fire or smoke in an upstairs bedroom lets say. Does that make sense and it is possible i am misunderstanding how they work too.
 
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Old 11-19-15, 05:11 AM
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I think they have such bluetooth systems of detectors that are tied into your local WIFI . . . . but this doesn't appear to be one of them.

Did the salespeople suggest that it was ?
 
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Old 11-19-15, 05:20 AM
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I wouldn't depend, on a wifi connection. That doesn't make sense.
 
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Old 11-19-15, 05:30 AM
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I didn't talk to any sales folks I guess. I bought it more that it was first alert which is what i have upstairs in my house and that it is fire/carbon monoxide detection which we don't have really today. My hope though was that it would work with my other first alert stuff i guess in the scenario i mention that if a fire was in on location it would let all detectors know through that third wire or however that works.

Maybe me introducing this is only complicating my issue and I should replace all or nothing perhaps?
 
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Old 11-19-15, 05:48 AM
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I would have replaced the batteries, if they are not the sealed type. That's about it.
 
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Old 11-19-15, 06:27 AM
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There are battery operated smoke detectors that talk to each other over their own wireless "network". They are expensive but give you the convenience of locating them anywhere and not needing to run a data wire connecting them all together.

These wireless ones have probably been around for 8 or more years but the only way you will know for sure if yours are that type would be to look up the model numbers online. Odds are they are standard inexpensive "stand alone" units. It's recommended that detectors be replaced every 10 years or so.
 
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Old 11-19-15, 11:15 AM
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Are you sure the upstairs and downstairs smokes are not connected? Are they powered with house A/C? Test them.

I believe code (in most areas) requires that when one alarms, they all alarm. If they do not, I would check the code to see if the builder skipped out on that.

You are correct that one of the wires is used to communicate with the others.
 
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Old 11-19-15, 12:43 PM
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I believe they are and i say that only that i remember when the house was built the basement was unfinished but there was a single detector down there tied in to the upstairs they said. When the basement was finished they tied in to that location to then power the additional detectors added in the basement. At the time the basement was finished the same detector as what we had upstairs could no longer be purchased so a different brand was put in.

It is code here too i am nearly certain.

When i click the test button on any of them only the single alarm goes off. If i hit that are they all supposed to go off?

That is what I am confused by if these detectors need to all be the same brand. If only buying the 3 or 4 that I did is worthless unless i replace everything in the house?

I am trying to make it safer in here not the other way around.
 
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Old 11-19-15, 02:01 PM
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You are supposed to change out smoke detectors every ten years. That said, I am now changing mine after twenty years. Check your detectors for a third wire, which is supposed to be the interconnect between units to set all of if one unit alerts.
 
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Old 11-19-15, 02:19 PM
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I see the third wire in the 2 i checked up and 2 down so that is there. I guess i didn't even check to see if the unit i reference in the initial post even had that. I know it was wireless but would be nice to have both was my hope and i guess assumption.
 
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Old 11-19-15, 10:27 PM
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All alarms connected via a third wire DO need to be from the same manufacturer because different manufacturer's may use a somewhat different scheme to relay the alarms among all units. You DO need to make certain that the third wire does indeed exist. In my house the smoke alarm has the three-wire connection but the third wire is cut off in the mating plug/jack where it connects to the house wiring.

Also, depending on the manufacturer, the model, and the year manufactured the local test button may not actually cause the other units to alarm. You can do a dynamic test using some kind of smoke source; a lit cigarette, smoldering match or a spray smoke alarm tester, to put a unit into a real alarm and then see if all units sound the alarm.
 
 

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