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My Wiring 3 Kidde Smokes Together Problem

Discussion in 'Security Alarms' started by Robert11, Apr 20, 2005.

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  1. Robert11

    Robert11 Guest


    This relates to the problem I've been having in getting 3 new Kidde PI 2000
    smoke dectors to talk to each other. They replaced 3 very old detectors
    which were apparently wired together also. As described in a previous post,
    when my new ones were hooked up to
    the third wire (red) they all just cycle on and off.

    So, I guess there are two main possibilities, as folks have mentioned:

    a. that there is perhaps another detector on the line somewhere that I am
    aware of. But, I really looked all over, including the attic, and cannot
    find any other.
    Still, it is just about impossible to trace the wires, and maybe there is
    one that was plastered over, or... ?
    30 yr old house, so anything is possible.

    b. I disconnected the red wires from each detector to the red interconnect
    wire interconnecting the 3 new detectors, and measured the voltage appearing
    between the interconnect wire and the white neutral.
    Couldn't believe it. Seems there is about 2 volts AC appearing.

    Of all the weird voltages, this is a tough one.

    It certainly isn't inductive coupling, but might be "leakage" from

    Was wondering if any one might have any thoughts on this.
    What uses 2 V AC ?

    Sure has me stumped. Becoming an intellectual challenge by now.

    Haven't looked into this yet, but just had the thought that perhaps the
    thermal safety
    cutout (that little downward facing wheel coming out of a 4" gang boxy the
    furnace) on the power to the gas forced hot air furnace we have, is
    connected back to the alarms to indicate if it is ever tripped.
    Perhaps leakage thru this if wired in to the detectors ? Anyone here ever
    run across anything like this ?

    Is this something, or a wiring scheme, they may have used way-back-when,
    or not very likely ?

  2. Were the reds hooked up to the old detectors?
    I'm wondering that maybe the old smokes were retro-fitted on a lighting circuit to begin with. 30 years ago...smokes weren't required in many areas.
  3. Robert11

    Robert11 Guest


    Yes sir, the reds were hooked up to the old detectors.

    The old detectors were Rittenhouse, which I believe used to be a part of

    From what I can tell from the old info molded into the case, the
    interconnect wire ran
    on 110 V AC for them.

    The new Kidde's use 9V dc to trigger each other, apparently.

    The 2 V dc relative to the white neutral that I am seeing is with the red
    interconnect wire disconnected from the old ones, and also disconnected from
    the new smoke detectors, so the voltage on the wire should, of course, be 0
    V. Should just be "floating," but apparently isn't.

  4. Weird.

    However, not to long ago I measured 2-4 volts AC on disonnected alarm wires...RFI from nearby AM radio was the only thing we could figure as we were measuring it with all mains juice to the house at all.

    Not saying this is your case.

    Sorry couldn't be of more help.
  5. However, not to long ago I measured 2-4
    I doubt if that was RFI from the nearby tower. You'd have a hard time
    generating 2VAC from RFI unless you were practically touching the
    transmitting antenna.


    Robert L Bass

    Bass Home Electronics
    2291 Pine View Circle
    Sarasota · Florida · 34231
    877-722-8900 Sales & Tech Support
  6. I thought the same thing, until we turned off the main breaker in the house and measured voltage on the loops (which were now disconnected even from the alarm panel) and were still getting voltage. From where? The only thing I could figure is from the AM radio towers a few blocks away was inducing voltage in the wiring. Although I'm still not convinced, it's driving us nuts because it's also intermittant.
  7. I thought the same thing, until we turned
    It's possible that the mains have induced current in them from beyond the
    breaker if there are parallel drop cables. Otherwise, it's anybody's guess.
    The fact that it's an intermittent problem may help you to determine the
    source. Try using the inductive pickup from your tone set to track stray AC
    voltage with the mains off. If this doesn't help, you might have to install
    an (expensive) AC recording device to trace the problem. The printout will
    tell you the times when AC occurs and when it stops. The rest is going to
    be detective work on your part.

    Before you begin you might want to take a close look at any long wiring
    runs. If there's anything close to 110/220 stuff, consider moving it. The
    rest is stuff you already know.


    Robert L Bass

    Bass Home Electronics
    2291 Pine View Circle
    Sarasota · Florida · 34231
    877-722-8900 Sales & Tech Support
  8. No drops, it's not an aerial feed, it comes in underground from the tranformer which is about 25 feet away between this house and the one next door. The higher voltage induced current is the upper level of the home, when we moved the alarm panel from an upstairs closet to lower level the voltage dropped considerably...and that's when it became an intermittant problem rather than chronic. The voltage was high enough to lock up the processor in the panel and also in the keypad!

    It's gotta be coming through the air. We physically disonnected the mains...and still had problem. I mean we completely isolated the house from all main connections including service panel ground.

    I tell ya it's them fucking Belgiums polluting our air waves with rfi muzzling!
  9. No drops, it's not an aerial feed...

    OK, this one beats the mugford out of me. Looks as though you're going to
    need to time-track the events to figure it out. Do you have access to a
    data logging scope?

    I> ...I mean we completely isolated the house
    Dang! This one's a real bugger. Have you tested the mains for induced
    voltage with the breaker and ground open?
    Heh, heh, heh... :^)


    Robert L Bass

    Bass Home Electronics
    2291 Pine View Circle
    Sarasota · Florida · 34231
    877-722-8900 Sales & Tech Support
  10. I ain't gonna touch anything ahead of the breakers...I'm chicky.

    But it makes little sense anyway...what could be induced on the incoming 220 that would affect household wiring that's picking something up when the mains are already totally physically disconnected from the premises? You sound like Paulie on that one ;:-0
  11. You sound like Paulie on that one ;:-0

    Now you've really gone and hurt my feelings. :(
  12. aaahhh...maybe Paulie will share some of his meds with ya ;-)))))
  13. Frank Olson

    Frank Olson Guest

    aaahhh...maybe Paulie will share some of his meds with ya ;-)))))

    Paul's not on "meds". It's those Truffles...
  14. aaahhh...maybe Paulie will share some of his meds with ya ;-)))))

    He can borrow some more from Cracker and give them to the MM. Cracker's had
    way too many and the MM is in desperate need of medication.
  15. Paul's not on "meds". It's those Truffles...

    Heh, heh, heh... :^)
  16. Yes, as much as we could, we disconnected the neutral, hot, and ground from the main panel (physically). The only thing we could not disconnect is the bond ground to rebar in the slab. I suppose the neighbors house could be leaking...?
    Hmmm thats a thought I guess.

    It's driving us crazy though I can tell ya that.
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