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Smoke Detector Wiring Connections

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Summary: Homes are now required to have Interconnected Smoke Detectors in most locations, and you will notice that the interconnected smoke detectors require special wiring especially for the red and yellow wires.

How to Wire the Red Wire for the Smoke Detectors

Electrical Question about Wiring Smoke Detectors:

My hard wired smoke alarm system has red black, white wires leading to the smoke alarm.

Does the red have power to shock me?
Should I connect the third wire in the smoke detector to the red wire (inter-connect)?
I have connected white to white and black to black.

Thanks, John.

Hi John - Great Electrical Repair Question!
The red wire most likely attaches to the inter-connected line, however I would need to know the exact make and model of the smoke detector you are installing. The brand I install uses a yellow wire for the interconnect

Typically when the smoke detector goes into alarm the interconnect wire becomes energized, so yes you could get a shock in that situation.
Dave Rongey, Licensed Electrical Contractor, Assisting with Home Electrical Troubleshooting and Electrical Repairs


Be Sure to Get Your Copy:
Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring
Perfect for Homeowners, Students and Electricians
Methods for Home Electrical Wiring
Wiring Diagrams for Smoke Detectors
Interconnected Smoke Detector Wiring
Wiring Methods for AFCI Circuits
Electrical Codes for Smoke Detectors
....and much more.

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