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Ask the Technician

Douglas Krantz -- Fire Alarm Engineering Technician, Electronic Designer, Electronic Technician, Writer





S Wrote:

We have a fire alarm system installed ~ 2000, it started beeping trouble, runs through all the points as troubles, then restores to normal. Fire alarm technicians cannot figure it out.

It started doing this after a very cold weekend (temps less than 10), and the trouble monitor seems to be getting more frequent, now ~ every 15 minutes. It has been of course driving the people in the building it is located crazy.

Douglas Krantz Wrote:

You need to know whether the panel is having problems or something in the rest of the building is having problems. Start by dividing the panel from the building fire alarm system.

Disconnect all wires from the panel; see if the panel becomes stable. If, with all wires disconnected, the problems persist, the panel may have problems and needs repair or replacement. If the problem stops, start connecting the wires, one pair at a time. Find what wires cause the problem and continue to troubleshoot from there. When doing this, take pictures before doing anything, and carefully mark all wires so they can be landed on the same terminal they came from originally.

Just use standard troubleshooting procedures; assume the problem is somewhere, and do what it takes to find it and then fix it.






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Douglas Krantz

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Electrical Flow


On this website, most references to electrical flow are to the movement of electrons.

Here, electron movement is generally used because it is the electrons that are actually moving. To explain the effects of magnetic forces, the movement of electrons is best.

Conventional current flow, positive charges that appear to be moving in the circuit, will be specified when it is used. The positive electrical forces are not actually moving -- as the electrons are coming and going on an atom, the electrical forces are just loosing or gaining strength. The forces appear to be moving from one atom to the next, but the percieved movement is actually just a result of electron movement. This perceived movement is traveling at a consistent speed, usually around two-thirds the speed of light. To explain the effects of electrostatic forces, the movement of positive charges (conventional current) is best.

See the explanation on which way electricity flows at www.douglaskrantz.com/
ElecElectricalFlow.html
.