Typical household smoke alarms use a black wire for detecting smoke, a white wire as the common conductor and a red wire that communicates with other smoke detectors in the home. Learn how to wire a smoke detector properly in this free video on household electrical wiring.
Good morning, I'm Nick Marra with CJS Electric. And today, I want to show you how to wire smoke alarms. The tools you're going to need are, a screwdriver, I personally like the one, a seven-in-one screwdriver. That has two Phillips, two straights slots and a five sixteenths and quarter inch hex head. These are the most commonly used screwdriver parts in the electrical field. This particular smoke alarm has been pre-wired. And as you can see, it has three wires, three different colors, red, black, and white. The black is your constant hook, and it hooks up to the smoke alarm and determines, senses the power for smoke. White is the neutral, a white conductor is the common conductor. And the red is the communicator wire that communicates with all the other smoke detectors in the home. Now, that's most standard. This particular smoke detector is a carbon monoxide rated smoke detector. Because it's close to the garage and there is a chance of carbon monoxide entering the house. So that also detects carbon monoxide. First thing you want to do, is make sure there is no power. Turn off the power at the breaker, check the power with a voltage tester between the black and the ground wire. Grounding is the most important part and you should check between the ground and neutral, the white wire with the black. These are the tow that will show voltage. It's important to have a good voltage tester, also. Once you determine you do not have power, then it's basically color to color. Basic smoke alarms come with this little tail, it has a red, a white, and a black wire in it. We can make that splice in the box, one at a time. Tug on the wires a little bit, make sure they're firmly connected underneath the wire nuts here. And then, put the plate on, there is a mounting bracket plate, with the two screws. Line up the two screws with the plate, clip on the pigtail under the smoke detector. And then, insert the smoke detector into the mounting plate, turn it and it locks in, and you're all set. And that's how you wire a smoke alarm. When in doubt, give me a shout, Nick Marra, CJSElectric7.com.