Replacing older smoke detectors

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Old 04-21-20, 11:08 AM
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Replacing older smoke detectors

I have a burglar/fire alarm system connected to a private local monitoring company. My 3 fire alarms are quite old and I was going to try to replace them myself as the cost for the company to replace them is a bit high at $125 per device. However, before trying to do this, I have a few questions to help me decide if this is a DIY project or not.

The older devices are System Sensor 4W-B, which are 4-wire photoelectronic devices. In looking at the wiring there are 4 wires which go to 4 separate screws on the device. The company markets these as commercial devices, so I'm not sure it is the best choice for the home. In looking for replacement devices, I was thinking of moving to a more readily available device, most likely the First Alert 3120B, which has both photoelectric and ionization capabilities along with battery backup. However, the wiring on the First Alerts looks to be 3-wire, and all the literature talks about interconnected devices but has no mention of connection to an alarm company. I assume if I am changing just the devices themselves it should have no impact on the central station aspect, but you know what happens when you assume.

If anyone can give me some direction it would be appreciated.
 
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Old 04-21-20, 11:25 AM
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I changed the title to include smoke detectors.

If you want the smoke detectors to still be monitored by your alarm system.....
they must remain a 4 wire device like what was there originally.

You're discussing three wire AC type with battery back up. That is something completley different. Your current wiring would not support a 120v AC type smoke detector.

The System Sensor 4W-B smoke heads are ideal for home and commercial use. They run in the $35 range and are still made so you could just replace them with new ones.
 
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Old 04-21-20, 01:55 PM
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If you never had a problem with the 4wb smokes, I would just buy some brand new 4wb smokes and replace them. They are definitely readily available and Most alarm companies still use 2wb or 4wb for hardwired smokes.


It's a really easy job and you technically could just replace the smoke heads but you might as well replace the entire thing. Make sure you power the system down, battery AND power. You just need to wire the new smokes the exact same way as they are now and your system should be like normal when you power it back on.
 
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Old 04-23-20, 12:21 PM
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Make sure you power the system down, battery AND power.
Exactly what does this mean? The individual units have no battery, so I assume you mean to shut the power to the battery in the control box itself? And then to turn off electric to the units themselves?
 
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Old 04-23-20, 01:01 PM
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He/she is saying disconnect the system backup battery and unplug the transformer.
 
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Old 04-23-20, 05:56 PM
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And, no, you will not lose codes or programming. The most will be a need to reset the system clock.
 
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Old 04-25-20, 03:19 PM
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Followed all the directions and was able to successfully replace the three alarms. Of course as I went to install two of them it turns out they were not 4W-B but were 2112/24S. Same 4 wires so they are working, but the 2 that were not the 4W-B had thermal detectors (one was in the basement and one in upper living area. The 4W-B was in the vicinity of the kitchen and garage area.

I'm pretty sure I can swap out the models from the company where I purchased, and I'm guessing that areas of the house outside of where heat is normally produced such as the kitchen would be better off with a model with thermal sensor built in?

Also, is the 4W-TB a newer model that is more in line with the 2112/24S?
 
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Old 04-26-20, 04:45 AM
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Yes, the 2W/4W series detectors were the replacement for the older 2000 series detectors.

They are all interoperable.
 
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