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How to Test and Repair a Smoke Detector Circuit

How to Repair Smoke Detector Wiring Problems: Hardwired Smoke Detectors with Battery Back Up, Testing and Troubleshooting a Hardwired Smoke Detector Circuit.

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Troubleshooting Smoke Detector Wiring
Electrical Question: I have 2 hard-wired smoke detectors in the front hallways of a 3-storey house, 3 in the back hallways and 1 in the basement.

Thanks a lot.

This home electrical repairs question came from: Jay, from Irvington, New Jersey.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring and troubleshooting question Jay.

How to Repair Smoke Detector Wiring Problems

smoke detector wiring problems

Application: Smoke Detector Circuit Wiring
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Hand Tools and Safe Ladder.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal experience and the number of smoke detectors and access to them.
Precaution: Smoke Detectors are required by code to be installed in specific areas of the home. Never remove or leave a smoke detector disconnected or never leave the smoke detector circuit power off.
Notice: Smoke detector type alarms should be tested frequently to make sure they are functioning correctly and the 9 volt battery should be replaced every year. Installing or upgrading electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “How to Test and Repair a Smoke Detector Circuit”
  1. Renate Glinskas says:

    How can you turn off a hardwired smoke detector that chirps every hour other than tripping the electrical breaker?
    One of my hard wired smoke detectors started to chirp loudly every hour on the hour. I changed the battery, blew out possible dirt, can only stop by tripping the electrical breaker, but I need to turn that back on as it serves other parts of the house.
    All other smoke detectors are ok.
    Any suggestions are welcome!

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Renate,
    A smoke detector will chirp as an indication that the 9 volt battery needs to be replaced, so this would be the first priority. If that does not work then the smoke detector needs to be replaced. Do not disconnect or remove a smoke detector because this is the first level of defense your family has in the case of a home fire, and besides that removing a smoke detector would be a code violation.