Installing a hardwired smoke detector is one way of optimizing the security of your home. After all, these devices play a pivotal role in alerting you in case there is smoke in your home. This not only ensures that your loved ones remain safe but also your valuables. As the saying goes, ‘where there is smoke, there is fire’. The smoke might be an indication that there is a potential fire causative in your home. Therefore, this device will alert you and thus enable you to take appropriate actions in good time. Just like any other equipment you have at home, your hardwired smoke detector needs to be repaired or replaced at some point. This means that it has to be disconnected from where it is mounted. In this article, we shall look at how to disconnect a hardwired smoke detector and other related facets.
- What Is A Hardwired Smoke Detector?
- Reasons To Disconnect A Hardwired Smoke Detector
- Understanding The Wiring System Of Your Hardwired Smoke Detector
- Process To Disconnect A Hardwired Smoke Detector
- Final Words
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What Is A Hardwired Smoke Detector?
Unlike other models, this one is a smoke alarm system that is interconnected to a 120-volt circuit. Therefore, these models hardly rely on batteries for them to function. As long as there is power in your home, these models will function optimally. Just like a battery-powered model, this one will sound an alert whenever it detects smoke in your home. If you have other alarms in your home, they will also sound an alert as well.
It is important to note that hardwired smoke detectors are ideal for people with large homes and commercial buildings. However, homeowners who have small homes can also take advantage of the interconnectedness nature of these detectors. Generally, they will add an extra layer of protection to your home, regardless of the size of your home.
Reasons To Disconnect A Hardwired Smoke Detector
There are many reasons why you may opt to disconnect your hardwired smoke detector. Some of these reasons include:
1) You want to repair your current model
Just like any other appliance or device you may have at home, the hardwired smoke detector may get faulty due to one reason or another. In an attempt to repair it, you may have to disconnect it from the mounting bracket. Since these devices are delicate, it is essential that you delegate this duty to a professional. He or she will diagnose the problem and fix it accordingly.
2) You want to replace it with a newer model
Sometimes, the current hardwired smoke detector may not be functioning optimally as it used to several years ago. To be on the safe side, you should upgrade your current model and install it. If you want to install a new model, you have to disconnect the current model from the mounting bracket and install a newer one.
3) You want to paint your wall or ceiling
Since the hardwired smoke detector is usually mounted on the wall or ceiling of your house, you may have to remove it whenever you want to paint these surfaces. After all, these devices occupy space, and for uniformity purposes, you need to disconnect them and paint the entire surface and finally reinstall them.
4) You are relocating
If you are moving to a new house, you may have to disconnect the device from your wall or ceiling. Once you get to the new house, you can reinstall these devices so that they can continue offering the much-needed protection from smoke.
Understanding The Wiring System Of Your Hardwired Smoke Detector
Before we outline how one can disconnect a hardwired smoke detector, there is need for you to understand how the entire device is connected. To start with, there are 3 wires that originate from the alarm system.2 of these wires are white and black in colour. Technically, these are the wires that provide the much-needed 120 VAC power to your hardwired smoke detector.
The third wire is usually red in color and usually connects the smoke detector to the other home alarms that may be present in your home. In case there is smoke in your house, other alarms will be alerted on the go as well.
Process To Disconnect A Hardwired Smoke Detector
Just like any other wired device, you should shut off the circuit breaker so that your detector remains power free. This is because you may be electrocuted and even get injured unawares. If you want to check whether the wires carry any current, you should use a non-contact voltage tester in order to make these verifications.
All you need to do is to turn the hardwired smoke detector in a counterclockwise direction so as to unscrew it from the mounting plate. By doing this, you will leave the wires exposed and thus, you can carry on with your testing. Once you test and confirm that there is no current flowing through the wires, time is ripe for you to remove the old smoke detector from the wires.
You just need to pull the connector and then separate the wire from the detector. Depending on the model you have installed, the connector may be different. However, most of them usually come with a quick-connect feature that allows you to connect the wires seamlessly.
After that, put the detector aside and then unscrew the two screws that hold the mounting bracket to the wall or ceiling. Check how the mounting bracket has been positioned so that you can have an easy time in case you have to install a new mount next time.
Once you remove the mounting bracket, you can leave the screws in place in case you may want to paint the area and so forth. Also, this helps you know where you had positioned the hardwired smoke detector, in case you may want to install it again. In addition, ensure that you tuck in the wires safely into the hole next to the detector to avoid unwanted interference.
Disconnecting a hardwired smoke detector is not as difficult as one might think. All you need to do is to follow the procedure mentioned above, and you will be good to go. If you need assistance, you can check the user’s manual or even hire an electrician to help you out. Consider the procedure mentioned above today, and you will not encounter any hiccups as far as disconnecting the hardwired smoke detector is concerned.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Should I hire an electrician to disconnect a hardwired smoke detector for me?
Not really. If you have all the skills and knowledge in disconnecting a hardwired smoke detector, you can go ahead and do it all by yourself. However, if you are not sure of where you should begin, hiring an expert does not hurt. You will not only save time but also prevent potential accidents such as getting electrocuted and so forth.
Are hardwired smoke detectors dependable?
Yes. Hardwired smoke detectors have proved to be more dependable than their counterparts. This is because some of them usually have a battery backup in case there is a blackout in your home. Therefore, such models can continue functioning even in such circumstances.
Besides this, they are usually interconnected. Therefore once the alarm sounds an alert, other alarms will sound an alert too and thus ensure that everyone in the house remains alert and takes an appropriate action.
When should I replace my hardwired detector?
Ideally, you should replace your model after every 10 years or thereabout. This will ensure that you get the latest model and thus better coverage for your home.
Will the hardwired smoke detector work without a battery?
Yes. Since modern hardwired smoke detectors are usually wired on one circuit, be sure that it will still function well even when they do not have batteries.