Smoke alarm connectors

Thread Starter

ApacheKid

Joined Jan 12, 2015
385
Is there a standard name or type for the whit connector seen below, bottom right:

1613924123906.png

I actually want a male connector, that fits that white female connector, but no idea what the specific design of 4 pin connector is called. That white connector is typical of what gets plugged into newer smoke alarms when you install them, the white female connector above is wired to the house wiring.

Thanks
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
5,966
Here is a kit where you can make your own connectors. But with the connector you already have, finding an exact mate will be more difficult. The pins inside the white connector have tiny locking tabs that can be pressed in and release the connector pin (or socket) from the connector housing. You can then likely put the wires into one of these newer connector housings and custom make your own safe connectors.
 

Audioguru again

Joined Oct 21, 2019
3,172
My smoke alarms have never been needed/used (yet) but it is interesting that yours are connected together. If my smoke alarm or CO alarm activates in the basement by a fault in my gas furnace or gas water heater then I would not hear it in my bedroom on the 2nd floor.
I sleep without my hearing aids and cannot hear the beep without them even if I am near the alarm.
Also, I might not survive a leap from a 2nd floor window to the ground even if I landed in the pile of snow there now.

I guess I need an automatic sprinkler and ventilation system.
 

Thread Starter

ApacheKid

Joined Jan 12, 2015
385
My smoke alarms have never been needed/used (yet) but it is interesting that yours are connected together. If my smoke alarm or CO alarm activates in the basement by a fault in my gas furnace or gas water heater then I would not hear it in my bedroom on the 2nd floor.
I sleep without my hearing aids and cannot hear the beep without them even if I am near the alarm.
Also, I might not survive a leap from a 2nd floor window to the ground even if I landed in the pile of snow there now.

I guess I need an automatic sprinkler and ventilation system.
Well I assume they're wired together (that's the red wire you often see) because there is a house intruder alarm system (disabled).

I suspect that any smoke alarm that goes off would trigger that house alarm, but I shut off (seriously disconnected boards) the entire alarm system during a storm once because the power was being interrupted, glitches, a lot and the system went into a state that I could not shut off, very bad, 2am (Saturday night thankfully!).
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
5,966
My smoke alarms have never been needed/used (yet) but it is interesting that yours are connected together. If my smoke alarm or CO alarm activates in the basement by a fault in my gas furnace or gas water heater then I would not hear it in my bedroom on the 2nd floor.
I sleep without my hearing aids and cannot hear the beep without them even if I am near the alarm.
Also, I might not survive a leap from a 2nd floor window to the ground even if I landed in the pile of snow there now.

I guess I need an automatic sprinkler and ventilation system.
15 years ago I bought battery backup 120VAC powered smoke detectors that were interconnected by 10VDC. When one rang they all rang. 5 years ago I bought new detectors with the same arrangement. Only they come with a 10 year battery. I don't think they are recharged by the system, I think the system draws so little power that the batteries would last for 10 years of service without the 120VAC. I had one go bad. The one by the kitchen. The AC voltage would fail on it. When replaced with a new unit it lasted a few years as well. Turned out the failure was due to being close by the swamp cooler (evaporative cooler) and the pins were slowly oxidizing. Instead of replacing it again I just scraped the pins and the sockets. It's working. But I have to keep a regular eye on the AC indicator light.

The wife wants me to find smoke detectors that can be silenced by a common phrase in my house "I'M JUST COOKING!"
 
How old are your smokes? Generally it's good practice to replace them every 12 years because they rely on a radioisotope for operation which decays over time. Any smoke you buy to replace the existing ones will generally come with all necessary connectors. Line, neutral and a switch leg for interconnection. Whole house interconnection and battery backup is mandatory these days.
 
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Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
5,966
The ones I replaced were battery backup with 9V batteries. Had them for about 10 years (roughly). In 2017 I replaced all my detectors, smoke and monoxide. The new units come with a 10 year battery and are 120VAC powered. They are also interconnected so that if one rings they all ring. But now we're getting off topic.

The TS wants information on the connectors.
 
Point being the TS will get new connectors with any new units he buys if his smokes are old enough to warrant replacement. Otherwise I think they use proprietary standards. E.G. Kidde, First Alert, etc. might all use their own specs. Figure out what you have and see if the maker sells replacement connectors.
 

BobaMosfet

Joined Jul 1, 2009
1,767
Is there a standard name or type for the whit connector seen below, bottom right:

View attachment 231126

I actually want a male connector, that fits that white female connector, but no idea what the specific design of 4 pin connector is called. That white connector is typical of what gets plugged into newer smoke alarms when you install them, the white female connector above is wired to the house wiring.

Thanks
Send your image to sales at molex- they can identify it. It looks like one of theirs.
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
5,966
Been my experience that the back side of the detector has three pins protruding. The connector makes contact, and (mine) have locking tabs that both prevent plugging the plug in the wrong way and prevent it from coming loose. Of the two long term detectors I've owned and operated, both sets are from the same manufacturer. However, the plugs are similar but not the same. You can't use one on the other. It comes down to a matter of which connector body they chose and made the PCB to match with pin locations. The newer units have a smaller connector dimensionally speaking but still have the same wire size and contact size.

Engineers have to justify their existence by changing something in the design. Then call it an improvement, then rationalize why. In the case of my detectors, the engineers may have said that it's a smaller footprint so it takes up less space, less material and less shipping weight. The upper management like the idea of lower costs. They also like that you can't reuse the old connectors, so they can justify charging you for new connectors because the old ones won't work with the new units. Trust me, I still have the old detectors on the shelf. And - no - I don't know why I still have them. New detectors are cheap enough AND are more reliable than the older ones. When I get my addition built over the garage I'm going to be installing CO detectors and smoke detectors, and using the communication wire - the one that makes all of them ring at the same time - to power an external alarm. Since the garage is detached I won't hear the alarm if I'm not in the garage. If it's burning I want to know. I want the whole neighborhood to know.

My household detectors don't go off except when the wife is cooking. So there won't be false alarms in the garage because she won't be cooking in the garage or the workshop. At worst she may go up there and move my equipment and roll out mats and hold exercise classes with her girlfriends. Hmmmmm. Think I should utilize that old security camera unit I still have.
 
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