How to Link Smoke Detectors

Written by nichole liandi
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How to Link Smoke Detectors
Many smoke detectors can be linked together. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Most smoke detectors on the market are built to work independently. However, some hard-wired models are built to work together, linked in a chain connected to a central alarm system. While this is a more elaborate configuration than found in most homes, the basic principles behind linked smoke detectors and the actual wiring that's employed is relatively simple. The wiring can be accomplished with basic tools.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Screwdriver
  • 4.7K 1/8W resistor

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Turn off the power going to the smoke detector circuit at the alarm control panel.

  2. 2

    Remove 1/2 inch of insulation from the ends of the red and black wires leading from the control panel, using your wire strippers.

  3. 3

    Loosen one (+) screw terminal and one (-) terminal on the smoke detector's power input block. There are two of each on the input block. Slide the red wire under the (+) terminal and the black wire under the (-) terminal and tighten the screws.

  4. 4

    Remove 1/2 inch of insulation from both ends of the red and black wires leading from the first smoke detector to the second, using your wire strippers.

  5. 5

    Loosen the (+) screw terminal and one (-) terminal that haven't yet been used on the smoke detector's power input block. Slide the red wire under the (+) terminal and the black wire under the (-) terminal. Tighten the screws.

  6. 6

    Loosen one (+) screw terminal and one (-) terminal on the second smoke detector's power input block. Slide the red wire under the (+) terminal and the black wire under the (-) terminal. Tighten the screws.

  7. 7

    Repeat Steps 4-6 to connect additional detectors. Connect a 4.7K 1/8W resistor across the open (+) and (-) terminals of the last smoke detector in the series.

Tips and warnings

  • Never work on a live electrical circuit.

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