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Caddx NX-8E Alarm System - Fire Zone Light On

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Repair' started by Kevin933k, Nov 1, 2010.

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  1. Kevin933k


    Nov 1, 2010
    I have a Caddx NX-8E alarm system and a NX-148E key pad.

    The fire light does not stay off. It is flashing very rapidly.(Red flashing fire light means that a fire zone is in a trouble condition) There are no sirens.

    What I have done is reset the keypad by entering *7 which does work for about 30 seconds the fire light goes off then it comes back. I have checked all the zones and they all report back "Okay". I have cleaned all the smoke detectors with air pressure for possible dust. All smoke detectors emit a green light and all pass a button push with a high schrill.

    What could be causing this red flashing fire light to stay on in a trouble zone? How would I reset this trouble zone? Where would I check to find this trouble zone?

    Thank you,

  2. LTX71CM


    May 23, 2010
    Do you have wired or wireless smoke alarms? How many do you have? Do you have any type of test equipment like a multimeter?

    Sounds to me like a problem with the link between the smoke detectors or to the alarm panel.
  3. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    Like LTX71CM asked, we need more information on wired or wireless system.
    Also, fire detector elements go bad over time. If one of your detectors is bad, you'll get the panel notification in one way or another (like your flashing trouble light).
    Can you turn off individual zones one at a time, and narrow-down the zone that is generating your flashing light on the panel?
    You sound like you're not sure on isolating the trouble zone. Maybe you can take the cover off the control panel, access the individual inputs, disconnect them one at a time to try to isolate the problem circuit?
    It's hit and miss finding someone who has your exact model. Maybe download a manual on your unit from the manufacturer (or call or email them, with description of your problem?)
    If sensors are wireless, battery operated? Maybe a battery low?
  4. Kevin933k


    Nov 1, 2010
    Good Suggestions

    Thank you for the response.

    The smoke detectors are all wired as well as powered by 9V batteries - note installed all new 9v batteries. I have 12 smoke detectors. Yes, I did download the manual and have been using it.

    Your suggestions are great and I will start turning off the individual zones to isolate the bad smoke detector.

    Yes, I have a multimeter but have not used it, also not quite familar on how to use it on the alarm panel.
  5. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    Your alarm control panel will also have a main power, (for power outages), and/or a memory back-up battery. Make sure you change that battery too.
    When you identify the source of the bad input (from whichever zone is causing the problem), check your wired input for loose connection, before concluding a bad smoke alarm sensor itself.
  6. ChosunOne


    Jun 20, 2010

    GAAAAHHHH!!!! :eek:

    Kevin, STOP!! If it's not already too late, stop taking things apart and/or buying things you don't need.

    The first thing you do with an alarm system trouble is read the User Manual/Owner's Manual. If that does't tell you what you need to know, then get the Installation Manual.

    Go to Google or your favorite search engine with the phrase "Caddx NX-8E Installation Manual." You can download it for free, ignore any pay-for-download sites.

    First of all: Your zones are numbered, 1 through 8 for on-board zones, higher for expansion zones. You can have hardwired expansion zones, but the fire zone is usually one of the first 8, and most often zone 8, which supports 2-wire smoke detectors. You need to know whether you have 2-or-4 wire detectors. Each detector except for the last in the series will have either 4 or 8 wires attached: Two in and two out, or 4 in and 4 out. The last one, usually the fartherest from the control panel, will have only 2 or 4 wires connected, and will have an EOLR (End Of Line Resistor) for circuit supervision and possibly a power supervision module if it's a 4-wire detector.

    You should have a zone list somewhere but if you don't, read your user's manual and use the keypad to check the zone status of all zones. Undoing wires in the control is kind of overkill and a marvelous opportunity to get wires mixed up. :rolleyes:

    After you've located the zone number of whatever zone your smoke detector is on, you can take off the wires for that zone loop in the control panel and check it with your multimeter. The most common cause of a fire zone trouble is a loose or severed wire. Your control panel is looking for either 3.3K-ohms or 680 ohms resistance on that zone, depending on whether it has two-wire or 4-wire smoke detectors on it. If it sees a resistance significantly higher than what it's looking for, it will initiate a trouble condition which will not clear until the trouble is corrected. You cannot bypass a fire zone to arm your system.

    Couple of other things: Your alarm system smoke detectors do not have 9V batteries in them. It's a common error to suppose that every detector in the house is part of the alarm system. Your system smokes are powered from the control panel alone, at 12VDC.. Any dectectors with 9V batteries are either stand-alone detectors or 120VAC detectors on your home's line power, not connected to the alarm system. The 120V detectors will have thick electrical wires connected to them whereas your system's detectors will be connected by thin 22 AWG wiring, or 18 AWG at most.

    Your system is powered by a 16.5 VAC transformer (wall wart) plugged into an electrical outlet somewhere and this might be a good time to learn where it is if you don't already know. The system's backup battery is to keep the system working when AC power is out, not for memory backup. Memory is in EEPROM. The system could lose all power, AC and battery, and would retain its memory until the next ice age. Unless your battery is five years old, you probably don't need a new one.

    Once you find your fine zone, first check to see it's connected tight at the control panel and then check resistance on the loop, the two zone wires. Let me know what you find.

    EDIT: I sent you a PM.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010
  7. Tesla


    May 10, 2010
    My Smoke and CM detectors are like this. They were installed as part of the alarm system, and appear to be directly connected, but not really. They are AC powered and have a 9v battery in each.

    Each set (Smoke and CM) use a third wire that connects them together. So, if one Smoke detector goes off, they all sound the alarm.
  8. TrippKJ4BKD


    Oct 24, 2009

    Chosen One is correct as far as the NX-8E is concerned it would only use 2 wire, 4 wire or wireless smoke detectors. The wireless smoke would of a course have lithium batteries. But the hardwired smokes for that system would not have backup batteries. Only the NX-8E control panel would have a backup battery should the AC power fail such as a 12V 4ah or 12V 8ah sealed lead acid battery. The key pad would usally indicate that
    the battery in the control or the battery at the wireless smoke needs attention or if monitored by a central monitoring station, they may contact the home owner to let them know they were getting a low battery signal from the control panel or one of the wireless zones.
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