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Thread: Interconnected smoke detectors - different brands?

  1. #1
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    Interconnected smoke detectors - different brands?

    I saw something new the other day- a Kidde smoke/CO combo interconnected to non-Kidde smoke detectors, and they appeared to work fine. I know that Kidde, Firex, etc are all listed for interconnection with the what is listed on the particular product. Does any one see any issue with doing this?

    What confuses the issue for me is that I saw a Kidde adapter that snapped onto the back of the unit at the SH that made Kidde smokes inteconnect with any other brand (I think it was for the older models with 120 volt inteconnect). So does the listing and branding of the smokes/CO detectors really even matter as long as all the units work when you test them?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter d
    So does the listing and branding of the smokes/CO detectors really even matter as long as all the units work when you test them?
    I think that with life/safety equipment, it's best to follow the letter of the instructions. I wouldn't want to be the guy having to explain why I didn't follow the instructions and the system failed to perform when it should have. You've gotta know the finger will, rightly or wrongly, point to you if there's ever a future addident or death.

    I think that there are a couple of brands that are made by the same people, and presumably use the same guys. Maybe First Alert and BRK?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdshunk
    I think that with life/safety equipment, it's best to follow the letter of the instructions. I wouldn't want to be the guy having to explain why I didn't follow the instructions and the system failed to perform when it should have. You've gotta know the finger will, rightly or wrongly, point to you if there's ever a future addident or death.
    Yeah, that was one of the first things that came to my mind. But then what if (uh oh...what if :rolleyes you use all the same brand, and one of them fails and someone dies? Then the end result is the same - you get sued.

    Out of curiosity, will different brands work together because they all use 9v interconnect nowadays?

  4. #4
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    Peter
    Most likely (I do not know for sure) the items you have mentioned have not been tested as part of the listed assembly. Therefore it is not known how they will actually work with the brand product. That being said, I would not install them. And as Marc has mentioned, life safety devices get a lot more attention.
    Instructor, Industry Advocate

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter d
    But then what if (uh oh...what if :rolleyes you use all the same brand, and one of them fails and someone dies? Then the end result is the same - you get sued.
    Yeah, but at least you'll have a leg to stand on. You did everything right.

    Quote Originally Posted by peter d
    Out of curiosity, will different brands work together because they all use 9v interconnect nowadays?
    I believe that is correct, but I know that some of them use a stutter pulse to indicate certain things like a CO condition, and I'm not sure how that would be interpreted with mixed brands. I think you'd be nuts to consider it, anyhow.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdshunk
    I think you'd be nuts to consider it, anyhow.
    I agree. I would not mix brands, nor have I ever done so. I would not advise anyone to either.

    I just thought the whole thing was pretty weird so I was curious how it even worked.

  7. #7
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    If I ever ran into a home where it had smokes I could not get, I would spend a little dough and just replace them all so there would be no compatibility issues with the ones I added.

    Besides, smokes should be replaced every ten years anyway, right?

  8. #8
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    480sparky.,,

    Yes it will be good idea to replace the smoke dectetor every 10 years because the sensor chamber over the time it will reduce the senevity to the point it will not able function anymore.

    basically every year the smoke dectors i check i always write a date on it and what i useally do is change the back up battery [ if have it ] check the connection, check the cleanness see if alot of smoke or dust or derbies or even somesorta of critter living in there.

    i take one of the spraycan that have only compressed air only and give them a quick puff noting more useally that will kick alot of dust out of it but smoky film that diffrent i just go ahead and swap unit no question asked.

    Merci, Marc
    Marc
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    "Pas de problème, il marche n'est-ce pas?" (No problem, it works doesn't it?)

  9. #9
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    I was just looking at smokes in one of the big boxes (can't remembr which one) and one of the brands had a "compatibility" list. Wish I could remember which one though... must have been gnawing on too much wire lately :grin:
    Last edited by pbeasley; 01-14-08 at 02:03 AM.

  10. #10
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    I'm with the majority on this in not mixing brands irrespective of the fact that they may work together but only from the standpoint of legal responsibility. If it ever came down to a situation where a specific device didn't work during a smoke condition both manufacturers would throw their hands up and say that devices were mixed and they should be held harmless because of that.

    One of the biggest problems I see with this is that an electrician may install the smoke alarms that his supply house stocks (say BRK). Then two years down the line a homeowner decides go to a big box store that stocks the Firex brand and replace a device with a Firex brand smoke alarm. Who's on the hook then ?

    It is my opinion that these devices should be compelled by law to be made compatible with each other otherwise I think it borders on a restraint of trade. Wouldn't it be a sad situation if you were forced to use all the same brand of switches or receptacles on a job just because a manufacturer says they won't hold up a warranty if you mixed theirs with another brand ? The recessed can manufacturers are doing this with fixture trims. You buy a Juno can and they insert a label stating that use of non-Juno trims will void warranties. I don't mean to stray off the original subject but I believe this to be a restraint of trade - pure and simple.

    Why do breaker manufacturers make breakers that will fit (exactly) into other manufacturer's panels but don't list them for use with other brands ? My opinion - if you don't want to go through the expense of listing them with other brands then manufacture them so that no other breakers will fit into your panel (like Sq D-QO). Then you'll have the prestige of having a high quality panel but less of a sales share in the total market. You can't have it both ways unless you list your product for use with other brands.

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