Are you familiar with the battery-operated model of the smoke detector? Well, that’s fine because there’s another popular model known as the hardwired smoke detector which is usually attached to the home’s electrical system that also has backup batteries to give an alarm even when the power goes off.
This article will show you how to change battery in smoke detector hardwired. You must change the batteries once the unit indicates that they are low on power to ensure maximum protection from smoke and fires. Once you have a functional system of smoke detectors throughout your house, then you can rest assured of guaranteed protection for yourself and your family.
One of the safety precautionary measures every home should take seriously is having at least two smoke alarms, or even more depending on the house’s size and the number of rooms in the house. A battery-operated or hardwired Firex smoke alarm is a very common alarm. Do you own the battery-operated one? Then, you will need to know how to change battery in smoke detector hardwired at least twice a year.
Ensure you always turn off the electricity while you change battery in smoke detector hardwired. Locate your house’s major electrical control panel. Just before changing the battery, switch off the main power by removing the proper fuse, or turn off the circuit breaker that serves the smoke alarm. Also, remove the smoke alarm cover to change the battery.
You need to connect your hard-wired smoke detectors to your home’s power supply. However, it’s important to change the backup batteries every six months even though the batteries are not the main power source for the device, they are just for backup in case the main power fails. Read on to change battery in smoke detector hardwired.
Types of Smoke Detectors
Although smoke alarms are a bit different from smoke detectors, the wired and battery-operated detectors are available in two main types:
- Photoelectric Smoke Detector: A photoelectric smoke detector usually detects a smoldering fire.
- Ionization Smoke Detector: The Ionization or heat alarms respond better and faster to active flames.
- Combination Smoke Detector: This is the third type of hardwired smoke detector. It can detect carbon monoxide as well as smoke and flames. These alarms can also be interconnected to other smoke detectors to provide complete-house coverage.
Functions of Hardwired Units
The hardwired smoke detectors are multifunctional, in other words, they are interconnected and they sound a speedy alarm once they detect smoke and flames. The following are common functions of the hardwired smoke detector:
- Hardwired smoke detectors give a speedy warning to evacuate the house once a fire starts but they are often interconnected in such a way that when one alarm goes off, they all sound.
- In case you are in the basement and a fire begins in the roof space, you will be alerted by a loud and persistent alarm warning to get yourself and the family outside before becoming a tragic incident.
- Most hardwired smoke detectors use the electrical wires in the house to maintain contact with each other.
- The hardwired units can be interconnected wirelessly.
- Some units have lights to alert hearing-impaired residents, while others provide voice and location alerts.
- The hardwired unit also defines the type of alert and where it is in the house.
Once you know the function of the hardwired unit, you can easily choose the safest evacuation route in your house.
How long do battery last in the hard-wired smoke detector
The confirmed lifetime of your batteries solely depends on how often the alarms are tested or activated, since sounding the alarm draws more power than when the alarms are “waiting” to detect fire.
Ensure you also read your alarm’s manual to enable you to use only the recommended types and brands of batteries. However, if you fail to follow these instructions, it may cause the alarm to malfunction, like not alerting you when there’s a fire outbreak, and this might also invalidate the warranty.
The 9-volt battery in smoke detectors has an average lifespan of six months if properly used and maintained. The Long-life battery smoke detectors last for up to 10 years before requiring a replacement. Since the battery is inbuilt, you may have to change the whole system after 10 years of active usage.
However, the batteries in hard-wired smoke alarms can also last for ten years, although not as the main source of power. Therefore, you may have to replace these batteries every year to ensure the device works effectively and efficiently. Ensure you change battery in smoke detector hardwired carefully with a long-lasting 9-volt battery.
How to Change Battery in Smoke Detector hardwired
FireX recommends changing the battery in your smoke detector at least twice a year to ensure proper functionality. Make sure you only use new 9-volt batteries as replacements. Never use rechargeable batteries! In case the unit is wired to electrical power, an issue with the power supply can lead to false alarms and smoke alarm chirping. Follow the steps below carefully to change battery in smoke detector hardwired:
- Remove the smoke detector: You can do this by turning it counterclockwise to remove it from the mounting bracket. Hold the complete top of the smoke detector with your hand and turn it about a half-inch. This will automatically release it and you can pull it straight off. This will reveal the compartment in which the battery is housed.
- Pull out the old battery: You won’t be able to mount the unit until you have placed in a new battery. This is a safety feature that the manufacturer implemented to ensure you didn’t forget to replace the battery. Open the small door covering the battery. If you pull one end of the battery up a little with your fingernail, you can easily hold it with your fingers to pull it out.
- Place in the new battery: Ensure the polarized ends are facing the right direction. You can confirm this by the + and – markings on both the battery and the smoke detector. The 9-volt battery will have two prongs that need to be tugged into place firmly, while the AA types will face the same direction. Close the small covering door.
- Place the unit back on the mounting bracket: Do this by setting it on straight and turning it clockwise till it sets into the groove, and turn it clockwise about half an inch or till it stops and you can no longer pull the cover off since it’s firm.
- Test the smoke alarm: Do this by pushing the large center test button. Press it down firmly for about five seconds, make sure your ear is not too close to the smoke alarm to avoid damaging your eardrum. It should sound off for about 10 seconds. The little LED light should also blink like every one minute to show normal battery function.
That’s all! You have been able to change battery in smoke detector hardwired successfully.
How to Replace a Smoke Detector Hardwired With a Backup Battery
Since the hardwired smoke detector is a different type of smoke detector which receives household currently as its main power source and has an onboard battery that is used as a backup in case of power failure. Follow the steps below to replace a smoke detector hardwired with a backup battery:
- Turn off the household power to the proper circuit breaker supplying the smoke detector at your home’s electrical service panel.
- Use a ladder or chair to access the smoke detector on the ceiling.
- Remove the smoke detector from the mounting base by turning the smoke detector counter-clockwise. In case the smoke detector does not disengage, it may be because of a tamper-resistant mounting bracket.
- Disengage by pushing the locking pin into the unit. Or, in some units, the pin can be pulled out from between the base and the detector.
- Ensure you do not immediately try to pull off the smoke detector as it is connected with a wiring channel.
- Tilt the smoke detector to the side and look for the wire connector leading into the unit.
- Remove the wire from the smoke detector or mounting base, as applicable.
- Swap the smoke detector’s battery at the door, this is usually located either on the side or the back of the unit.
- Connect the wiring harness again to the unit or base, fasten the unit onto the base and turn the unit clockwise till it engages on the base.
- Switch on the circuit breaker to restore household power to the detector’s circuit.
- Test the smoke detector using the test button.
That’s all! Although the steps are similar and entail the same steps only a few additions are involved.
Can’t get smoke alarm cover off? Try these Fixes!
You may need to remove your alarm to find your model number or replace your alarm or batteries.
However, if the tamper resist feature has been activated on the alarm, ensure to disengage the tamper-resist features before removing the alarm from a wall or ceiling. Follow the steps below to help you get the smoke alarm cover off.
Remove the battery-operated alarm
To remove a battery-operated alarm from the trim ring, simply rotate the alarm in the direction of the OFF arrow on the cover.
Remove an AC hard-wired or interconnected alarm
- Disconnect the alarm from the trim ring by rotating the alarm anti-clockwise, in the direction of the OFF arrow on the cover.
- Remove the AC power harness by squeezing the locking arms on the sides of the quick connector while pulling the connector away from beneath the alarm.
Disengage the tamper-resistant features
The majority of the alarms come with an optional tamper resist feature to protect against unwanted removal of the alarm by minors. Some alarms integrate tamper resist pin, while others use a locking tab mechanism.
- To disengage a tamper-resist pin, use a pair of long-nose pliers, gently pull the pinout of the hole.
- Or you could also disengage a tamper-resist tab, by pressing down on the tamper resist tab and rotating the alarm towards the OFF arrow.
For more info about your particular alarm, you can refer to your user’s manual.
I hope you can now change battery in smoke detector hardwired from the comfort of your home all by yourself without involving a professional technician? Let us know in the comment section below, it encourages us to write more. Thanks for reading thus far!