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Prewire zone - method?

Discussion in 'Security Alarms' started by Gus, May 21, 2004.

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  1. Gus

    Gus Guest

    I have seen it recomended that each window or door contact be run all
    the way back to the alarm box. That would take a lot of wire!

    The basic zone loop for the windows is a series circuit and the simple
    way seems to be to run a loop connecting to each window switch and
    back to the box.

    This house is going to have a gable roof so there is only one chance
    to do this right.

    What is the best way to wire a zone?


  2. alarman

    alarman Guest

    The correct way to do it is to run a separate wire from each door and each
    window back to the alarm control. This makes troubleshooting much easier,
    and allows you to put only one or two contacts on a zone.
  3. Bossman

    Bossman Guest

    You said it right, there is only one chance to do this right. If you
    never had a problem, series in the wall would work just as well. When
    you have a problem, you will wish you had spent the the extra hour or
    two and the $25 for the extra wire. In fact, I suggest you use
    jacketed 4-conductor on all openings. The additional cost is nothing
    and you will be glad you did...when that problem never comes up.

  4. Gus

    Gus Guest

    Thanks JS - one contact per zone!

    I will have 5 doors and 15 windows.
    I was going to make the decision as to what alarm to buy later but
    thought I could make due with a 8 zone unit.

  5. Gus

    Gus Guest

    Robert: I like the idea of using the expansion modules you suggested.
    Would you use one per zone, or each side of a house, or a group of

    If the idea of using these modules is to make trouble shooting easier
    then all modules would have to be grouped near the attic access
    door....this is a gable roof and I may not be able to crawl very far
    to a module. Also the insulation is R-38, about two feet of blown

    I am having a problem finding a expansion zone module on your and
    other web sites. I assume these are just some kind ot terminal block.

    Thanks for your help, I was thinking of a simple 8 zone alarm.

  6. Frank Olson

    Frank Olson Guest

    Zone expanders can be mounted at any location (inside a closet for instance).
    You don't even have to know how many you need and can expand the system at any
    time (as long as you've run all the individual zone wires to each expander
    location). On a three story house, you may require only eight zones for the top
    floor for instance. Accessible windows or doors, smoke detectors, and glass
    breakage sensors. You may even consider wiring your main control unit in the
    master bedroom closet. Don't forget to run some CAT 3 telephone wire from here
    to the main telephone drop at the side of the house. On the main level you may
    need more zones and I would suggest putting the zone expanders required in a
    metal lockable enclosure in another closet on that floor. If you figure you
    need an additional power supply, run an 18/2 cable for the low voltage AC you'll
    need for it. You can buy enclosures that are sized to accept an additional
    battery. Most expandable controls use supervised power supplies. Don' forget
    to run an extra 18/2 cable between the main control and any expansion cabinet so
    you can common the negatives of the panel's aux power and the extra power
    supply. The same goes for the basement. Some clients have opted to build a
    "mortgage helper" suite in their home and wiring an expander into it would be an
    excellent choice (along with an extra keypad run).

    There are several other online dealers you might consider as well. Some are
    listed here:

    Which is *not* a good idea. You can go "cheap" if you want, but I'd suggest
    sizing the alarm control to the number of possible zones in the system. The
    cost of the control and expansion modules you'll need are not significant. Good
  7. Frank Olson

    Frank Olson Guest

    Don't forget smoke and heat detectors. Do you have an attached (or detached)
    garage?? You might wish to wire any external man door and contact the windows
    there as well. If the garage is detached, a zone expander drop might be

    Think about where you might want to have keypads as well.
  8. alarman

    alarman Guest

    1 contact per zone is ideal, but not necessary. The important thing is to
    run individual wires to each contact so you have that option. No splices
    inside the wall.
  9. Gus

    Gus Guest

    Since I will have 5 doors and 15 windows I thought you just take, for
    example, an 8 zone system and divide the number of switches by 8 and
    make 8 series loops for 8 zones.

    Plus PIRs,smoke & fire detectors.

    Now you guys say I should make 20 zones which requires expansion
    modules. For a pre-wire I guess a 22/4 cable will be fine to run
    between the module and the control box.

    You guys have been a great help, I will locate the control box inside
    the master bedroom closet and not in the garage. This closet is on
    one end of the house and will require long runs for window and door
    switches at the far end of the house.
    All bedrooms and closets are located on one end of the house and the
    garage at the other.

    It seems that I should run all the wires to the closet and also put
    an expansion module there also since I have no closets closer to the
    center of the house.
    I will also put an electrical outlet box in the closet.

    Thanks again,
  10. G. Morgan

    G. Morgan Guest

    No they don't. Geeze.
  11. So i just did a house where the electrical breaker panel is near the back
    door which is the end of the kitchen. So i should stick mine near this? I
    think its bad enough the electrician stuck it there but why would i want to
    do the same? I think it all depends on the house.
  12. Jackcsg

    Jackcsg Guest

    He said knowledgeable. There you go assuming your part of another group
  13. Frank Olson

    Frank Olson Guest

    That may work in your area of the country, Robbert (and perhaps even
    Connecticut) but in Vancouver, most electricians locate the main breaker panel
    in the garage. That's *not* the best place to locate the common control for
    your security system. It's rare these days to find a system that's been
    properly grounded (I find most installers tend to ignore this). Run a stranded
    14 gauge wire from the control cabinet to the same ground rod your electrical
    contractor provided.

    Don't put the common control in the garage!!
  14. G. Morgan

    G. Morgan Guest

    Did you get that camera installed yet dopey? I didn't think so. Go
    make up more stories about chasing away bad guys with conduit benders,
    and implying YOU were the one who took the pictures of the birds
    taking quarters. You're the new Bass Jr.
  15. G. Morgan

    G. Morgan Guest

    Exactly. You wouldn't. Why would you want someone to be able to
    unplug the Rj-31X jack (which goes OUTSIDE of the can everyone), or
    beat the hell out of it in the kitchen? Sometimes the breaker panel
    just happens to be in the same good place where the control would go,
    but locating a control panel based purely on getting a good ground
    from the breaker box is nothing short of ridiculous. bAss is an
    idiot, don't listen to him.

  16. Earth ground. bleah. I've had more panels be damaged from the earth ground
    than anything.
  17. G. Morgan

    G. Morgan Guest

    It's not even a consideration for "knowledgeable" installers, much
    less a rule (soft or slow, hard or fast). Sell anymore Paradox "dual
    tech" DG-75's today? You moron.
  18. Jackcsg

    Jackcsg Guest

    It's up and working great there cracker boy.
    Who took the pictures smart ass?
    Just because you found a link, you have all the answers?
    Guess again.
    I didn't imply's factual information.
  19. Jackcsg

    Jackcsg Guest

    Well if you said "common sense" cracker boy would have been out casted. It's
    better to let him argue with everyone so he feels further impotant.
  20. G. Morgan

    G. Morgan Guest

    You're right Bass Junior, I have no common sense. I should put all my
    controls by the breaker box. You wanker.
    Speaking ebonics are we, Junior?
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