Asked by: Rodel Obermanns
home and garden smart home

How are hard wired smoke detectors wired?

Last Updated: 19th April, 2020

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A hard-wired smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm is wired to a 120V household electrical circuit and is connected to other detectors throughout your home. These alarms sound simultaneously, on all levels of your home, when a single unit detects smoke or gas.

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Then, are hard wired smoke detectors on a breaker?

If, by “hard wired” you refer to the type that is connected to the mains (with a backup battery in the smoke alarm), then yes — unless you enjoy running the risk of electrocution. However, if it's a detector connected to a fire alarm control panel the answer is no.

Also, are all hardwired smoke alarms interconnected? Hardwired smoke alarms must be connected to your home's power supply. While more work is required to install them, hardwired smoke alarms can be interconnected, meaning if one smoke alarm is activated, it will engage all other alarms in your home.

Keeping this in consideration, how do you stop a hardwired smoke detector from beeping?

  1. Locate the reset button on the surface of the smoke detector.
  2. Hold it for 15–20 seconds and then release.
  3. Wait a couple of minutes and listen for the chirping noise again.

Do hardwired smoke detectors need their own circuit?

Smoke detectors can be battery operated or connected to an electrical circuit. The power circuit providing electricity can be a dedicated circuit, which means it is the only device powered by cables that run directly back to the circuit box.

Related Question Answers

Nemesia Vivas

Professional

Will a hard wired smoke detector work without a battery?

Smoke Alarm Power Sources
Without the battery, neither of these units have the power to go off. Hardwired alarms often have a battery backup just in case the electrical power goes out. If you take the battery out of one of these units and your power goes out, the alarm will fail to sound and warn you of the danger.

Miguela Sastrearena

Professional

Can you mix brands of hardwired smoke detectors?

There are some detectors that are compatible across brands, but not all. There are even detectors that aren't compatible across a single brand. It is best that the detectors are of the same brand and within the same model family. It's not worth messing around, just do them all.

Zulaika Fliegenschnee

Explainer

Why does my hardwired smoke detector keep going off?

Electrical Power Surges. A change in the electrical current to the wired smoke alarm will cause the smoke alarm sound to go off when there is not smoke in the air. A loose wire in the smoke detector can also cause it to go off as the electrical current is cut off and then restored to the alarm.

Caiping Vyborny

Explainer

How do you wire an interconnected smoke detector?

The smoke detectors are hardwired as follows:
  1. 120VAC power is provided by the hot (black) and neutral (white) wires.
  2. Interconnect alarm signaling is carried by the red wire.
  3. The ground (bare copper) wire is not used by the smoke alarms and no connection is required.

Jaganatha Vivien

Explainer

How do you test a hardwired smoke detector?

But, in general, the USFA states most battery-powered and hardwired smoke detectors can be tested in the following way:
  1. Alert family members that you will be testing the alarm.
  2. Station a family member at the furthest point away from the alarm in your home.
  3. Press and hold the test button on the smoke detector.

Dessislava Madrona

Pundit

How much does it cost to install a hardwired smoke detector?

The cost can vary widely, depending on where you live and on the type and number of units to be replaced, where they're placed and the condition of the wires. Service providers we contacted charge a wide range of prices, from $35 to $40 per detector, plus a $50 for service charge, to $135 to $155 per detector.

Eustasia Merabet

Pundit

Milagro Hillebrand

Pundit

How do you reset a hardwired smoke detector?

To reset a hardwired unit with a battery backup, perform the following steps:
  1. Turn off the power to the smoke alarm at the circuit breaker.
  2. Remove the smoke alarm from the mounting bracket and disconnect the power.
  3. Remove the battery (for a sealed-battery model, see Battery Settings for a 10-Year Alarm to learn more).

Romaissae Voht

Pundit

Are all smoke detectors on the same breaker?

Assuming they were installed correctly, are the 6 identical smoke detectors in my house on the same circuit? Normally yes, but it doesn't necessarily have to be that way. If they're the newer interconnect then it's easier to simply loop one line throughout the house (people almost always take the easy way out).

Yanying Zigge

Teacher

Why is my hard wired smoke detector beeping no battery?

As annoying as a smoke detector beeping can be, the most common cause is a low battery—a problem you can remedy without any hassle. It doesn't matter whether the alarm runs entirely on batteries or is hardwired and has a battery backup—either way, you're going to hear chirping when the battery goes dead.

Romaisae Mokhtari

Teacher

Why does my hardwired smoke detector keep chirping?

Smoke detectors are intended to make a chirping noise once the battery needs changing. This usually occurs in electrical powered smoke alarms with a battery backup. When this happens, the way to stop the chirping noise is to reset the smoke alarm to manually clear the error from the processor.

Ezequiela Rivillo

Teacher

Why does my mains wired smoke alarm keep beeping?

This beeping most commonly starts at night due to the drop in temperature causing a decrease in battery power. If a smoke alarm with sealed backup battery is not out of date, shows the green light and still beeps occasionally, press the test button for more than 10 seconds to reset the alarm.

Jianzhong Mintegi

Teacher

Why does my hardwired smoke alarm keep beeping?

If the battery doesn't fully power the smoke detector, it can't function properly. A consistent beep that happens every 30 to 60 seconds may be a sign the battery is dying. If your backup battery is low, your hardwired detector may beep until you change the battery.

Sharita Schimansky

Reviewer

How do you silence a smoke detector?

Reset the Smoke Detector
  1. Turn off the power to the smoke detector at your circuit breaker.
  2. Remove the detector from its mounting bracket and unplug the power supply.
  3. Remove and replace the battery from the smoke detector.
  4. With the battery removed, press and hold the test button for 15-20 seconds.

Iliana Sherwood

Reviewer

How long will a smoke detector chirp before it dies?

Usually, when a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm is chirping (one quick little beep every 2 minutes or so), it means the battery is dying.

Jerrica Pfening

Reviewer

How do you get a smoke alarm to stop chirping without changing the battery?

1. Reset the Smoke Detector
  1. Turn off the power to the smoke detector at your circuit breaker.
  2. Remove the detector from its mounting bracket and unplug the power supply.
  3. Remove the battery from the smoke detector (if there is a battery).
  4. With the battery removed, press and hold the test button for 15 to 20 seconds.

Betsabe Tholking

Supporter

Why do smoke alarms go off at night?

This battery characteristic can cause a smoke alarm to enter the low battery chirp mode when air temperatures drop. Most homes are the coolest between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. That's why the alarm may sound a low-battery chirp in the middle of the night, and then stop when the home warms up a few degrees.

Ouassima Renault

Supporter

Can I disconnect a hardwired smoke detector?

If there are no wires connecting it to the ceiling or wall, it is a battery-operated unit and there are no wires to be removed. If there are connecting wires, it is a hard-wired unit and the wires can be disconnected. Dismount from the ladder and flip the circuit breaker switch that controls the smoke detector.

Icaro Uiop

Supporter

Why would a hard wired smoke detector beep?

Most hard-wired smoke detectors include a 9-volt backup battery that's supposed to kick in if your home loses electricity. If that battery is running low, your detector alerts you with a high-pitched beep. Remove the old battery and replace it with a new one. Press the “test” button and listen for a beep.