Douglas Krantz - Technical Writer - Describing How It Works
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How Do I Connect a Waterflow Switch To Smoke Alarms?

A waterflow switch is connected to the smoke alarms through and interfacing relay.

Hi Douglas,

I have to connect a residential smoke alarm to a sprinkler system (Flow Switch) but I don't know what kind of device can be connected to the relay to trig the smoke detector.

The red wire in a 3-wire system residential smoke alarm is only to interconnect the smokes but not to trigger them (make them go off).

Please Help me with this.

Thank you, F E

Check with Help Center for the brand of smoke detectors in your house. Yes, many manufacturers of home smoke alarms have this feature, however, there are some things to consider if you intend to do the work yourself.
  • This is a life-safety property-protection system. If there is a fire, you want the system to absolutely work. If water accidently flows into an unoccupied area of the house, you also want the system to absolutely work. If you aren't totally confident with utility wiring, or if you aren't sure of some of the complicated wiring, get an electrician to do the work. Someday, you may be glad you did.

  • All parts of the system have to be manufactured to work together (compatible), if the added part isn't made specifically for the smoke alarms you have (it will say so in the literature), you will have to change the smoke alarms to work with the part you obtained.

  • Talk to the Help Center for the manufacturer of your smoke alarms to get further details because manufacturers are all different. (Contact information is on the bottom of the manufacturer's website.) If you are having an electrician do the work, have the electrician talk to the Help Center also.

  • Test the system. Make sure it will set off the alarms. I test the work I do; you need to test the work that you and the electrician does. Write down the date and time you test this, along with the results of the test. This record should be kept by the flow switch so you can remember you did the test, and also, in the remote possibility that the fire marshal asks, you can show that you did the tests. Remember, if it aint on paper, it didn't happen. Just to be sure it continues to work, test it every year, and write down what happens.

Good luck with the system.

Douglas Krantz
Based on his electronics training, and his understanding of Life Safety, Douglas Krantz has compiled his knowledge of Conventional Fire Alarm Systems into the book Make It Work - Conventional Fire Alarms. The book covers the basics of the Conventional Fire Alarm System, and shows how Life Safety and internal supervision affects the fire alarm system.

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

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