Smoke detectors

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I have some 20 y/o hard-wired smoke detectors that I want to replace with newer hard-wired ones. How do I figure out which circuit breaker to trip or is this an issue with smoke detectors?
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

If it's not marked in the box you'll have to trace the circuit either electronically or manually.
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.

. WEARING SAFETY GLASSES (and maybe leather gloves!) just in case some hot metal from the spark heads for your eyeball. Two copper wires shorting together and sparking 20 amps at 120 volts or so = 2400 watts of hot 'welding' metal.
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Also known as the "Jesus method". I've seen it done. Not tried it (intentionally) yet.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

When I was a kid in high school, I stripped the end off of an old line cord and arced the wires together to look at the sparks. My friends were always impressed, and I thought it was pretty cool.
It di require frequent resetting of the breaker, however. Fortunately, I ended up learning about Tesla coils and used them instead for my spark fix.
Jon
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Just curious, why replace them, they still work right.
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ransley wrote:

Hmm, Not after 20 years!!! Would you trust that old detector?
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New doesnt mean better to me, to me it means Made in China and maybe defective. On my hardwired alarm system yes, mine are more than 20 and get tested once in a while and they are im sure better made than new chinese crap.
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ransley wrote:

Hi, Test button test is not real test. Use real smoke and flame(candle) to test it. Or spray made for testing. Commercial guys use it. I replace them every 10 years. Mine are hard wired with 10 year Li. battery back up. I do same with gas detectors.
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Tony Hwang wrote:

So, do you replace them because: a) It's been ten years, or b) Because they failed the smoke-in-a-can test?
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HeyBub wrote:

Some fails some does not but to be on the safe side. Doesn't cost a lot to replace them all.
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Tony Hwang wrote:

Makes sense. At least it keeps you from blowing smoke.
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The radioactive isotope goes flat after a while. Normal decay, you know.
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On Oct 24, 11:19am, "Stormin Mormon"

Decay of isotope, isnt that for Co detectors? Who says 20 years, the Manufacturers of course. I have heard of no independant saying 20 years.
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Is the NFPA independent enough for you? http://www.nfpa.org/itemDetail.asp?categoryID=1647&itemID=39905 It's unwise to base advice on things that you haven't heard of - very possibly because you just haven't looked.
The isotope decay is not the reason that the detectors need to be replaced. This Wiki article gives an overview: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_detector
As far as locating circuits, I find a circuit breaker tracer invaluable. http://cgi.ebay.com/BRAND-NEW-SPERRY-CIRCUIT-BREAKER-FINDER-CS-500A_W0QQitemZ250517283209 A useful addition is a six inch piece of Romex with alligator clips on both ends of the black and white wires. It makes it easy to use the tester on wires instead of receptacles. Clip one end on to the wires you want to test, and the other onto the receptacle plug-in tester.
R
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Maybe I missed it, but false alarms seems to be the reason replacement was recomended, not failure to alarm.
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http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files//PDF/OS.SmokeAlarms.pdf From page 59 of that report:
"Aging Home Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms are appliances, just like toasters, stereos and furnaces. Unlike other appliances, these devices function quietly in the background. Its alarm, in response to a real smoke situation or to testing, is the only evidence that it works. A stereo that does not play will not lead to tragedy, but a worn-out smoke alarm, failing to sound in a fire, could.
Roughly half of the smoke alarms collected as inoperable and studied in the National Smoke Detector Project were more than 10 years old, hence older than the currently recommended replacement age. Alarms designed solely to detect smoke should be replaced every 10 years."
I find it kind of amazing that you thought there is any electrical (particularly safety) equipment that would last indefinitely. Nothing lasts forever.
R
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I know nothing lasts indefinatly , I never said that. Mine are about 150$ each, they are Honywells and I test them every year or so. They have false alarmed several times but cleaning them with compressed air fixed them. Now how many "unoperable" units do you think might have been just dirty, im willing to bet dirt or bugs would be a major issue nobody discusses, or its the only real issue. My alarm panel is over 20, should I replace that also, yea right, if you pay for it. When Honywell comes out they always try to give me that crap about how I should replace everything, but of course the teck needs his commision and the alarm co needs to make some money and its all workin and doin fine.
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Are you *quite* sure about THAT? Perhaps *you* could contact the NFPA (already capitalized) and ask to SEE their data. I'm *sure* that statistically SPEAKING one could determine the *likelihood* of HALF of the *inoperative* smoke DETECTORS being over TEN *YEARS* OLD. It is *very* UNLIKELY that it would be a *random* occurrence.
Your words carry no more weight with the unseemly emphasis than usual. The NFPA - silly folk with a predilection for creating arbitrary standards - have absolutely no data with which to back up their recommendation. You should write an angry letter. Use a lot of emphasis to show you really mean it.
R
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If NFPA takes replacement figures from companies like Honywell, ADT etc, and im sure they do, then the figures are BS considering what has happened to me at several buildings. I get a false alarm, I would call my alarm co. They would send out a tech who would immediatly keep the complete conversation on how its best to replace all sensors because of age. This started about 15 years ago. After a few false alarms I started cleaning the detectors myselfe but realised my failures were bugs or dust, In about 25 years with the same sensors, all false alarms were bugs or dust.
Understand the motive the tech has, he can likely make 5x more every day, in kickback, if he can sucker you into replacment of a part ranther than charge for just time. At the 150$ I was quoted per sensor there is enough padded in that price, [ probably 7-9x markup] to give the tech a nice incentive bonus to sucker you on a new unit.
My opinion is those figures, and the fear of replacement are pure BullShit. I look at it like a new car dealer, take any new car in after 15-20000 miles driving and if you tell them just fix everything, you will always walk out $500-2000 poorer.
I say test your detector and blow them out every 6 months, save your money, its possible to get defective chinese crap anyway.
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