Douglas Krantz - Technical Writer - Describing How It Works

How do I Connect the Elevator to the Fire Alarm Panel?

By Douglas Krantz | Maintenance

How do I Connect the Elevator to the Fire Alarm Panel?


How do I Connect the Elevator to the Fire Alarm Panel?


Greetings Douglas,

When connecting elevator to an addressable Fire Alarm Panel, what relay from the panel needs to be used for this arrangement?

Also do you need to send 24Vdc to the elevator shaft or dry power?

Thank You, WC

What relay is connected to the elevator depends on what is being done.

The smoke detectors and heat detectors use the fire alarm control panel to:
  • Because "Where there's smoke, there's fire", guide the elevator to a smokeless floor

  • Because soon it might stop between floors, warn the firefighters to get out of the elevator car

  • Because heat indicates fire, stop the movement of the elevator (shunt the power)

The relays are:

  • The Egress Floor (Primary Floor) Elevator Lobby Smoke Detector Relay - it sends the elevator to the alternate floor - The addressable fire alarm panel should be programmed so only the smoke detector in the primary floor elevator lobby will activate the egress floor relay.

    If there's smoke detected in the egress floor, rather than letting passengers off on a floor where there's smoke, the elevator becomes "Captured", and goes to the alternate floor, letting let the passengers off.

  • All Other Elevator Lobby Smoke Detector Relay - The addressable fire alarm panel should be programmed so only the smoke detectors in the elevator lobbies, that are not on the egress floor, activate this relay. Sometimes the smoke detectors in the machine room and in the elevator shaft (if there's a detector there) are included.

    If there's smoke detected in the Egress Floor, rather than letting passengers off on a floor where there's smoke, the elevator becomes "Captured", and goes to the primary egress floor to let the passengers off.

  • Firefighter's Hat Relay - The addressable fire alarm panel should be programmed so only the smoke detectors in the machine room and in the elevator shaft (if any) activate this relay.

    The relay activates the red flashing "Firefighter's Hat" light inside the elevator car and on the call button panel on the egress floor. The purpose of the flashing light is to warn firefighters that smoke is in the machine room or elevator shaft, and the elevator may stop. A stopped elevator will trap anyone inside.

  • Shunt Relay - The addressable panel should be programmed so only the heat detectors in the elevator machine room or the elevator shaft activate this relay.

    Should there be a fire in the machine room or the elevator shaft, this relay activates the "Shunt" circuit breaker for the elevator motor to stop the elevator dead in its tracks.

    So the heat detectors detect heat before the sprinkler head gets too hot and activates, spraying water. Inside the machine room or the elevator shaft, the heat detectors are supposed to be mounted within 2 feet (0.6 meter) of any sprinkler heads.

  • Fire Alarm Control Panel Relays

    On the actual printed circuit boards, very few fire alarm control panels have this many programmable relays. For this reason, addressable control panels are required, and the relays are addressable control relays that are attached to the Signaling Line Circuit (SLC). This is the same SLC that has the smoke detectors and heat detectors.

    Also, the relays for smoke capture are supposed to be mounted in boxes within 3 feet (1 meter) of the elevator control box in the machine room. This is to keep the wires for the elevator control panel as short as possible.

    The relay for the elevator shunt is also supposed to be mounted within 3 feet of the shunt circuit breaker. This also keeps the control wires for the shunt very short.

    Talk to the Elevator Installers

    There are many variations to the installation. To find out, you need to talk to the elevator installers before mounting the relays, and before wiring them.

    They will also let you know exactly what is needed as far as normally-open or normally-closed contacts. Each elevator manufacturer has a different requirement.

    Also, the elevator inspector may have ideas of what should be done. The elevator installers will have received instructions from the inspector. Again, talk to the installers.

    Pre-Test the Elevator Capture Before the Inspector Arrives

    Pre-testing of the elevator capture is almost mandatory. It is never good to fail the elevator inspection because something isn't right.

    Usually, so a pre-test is be performed and any problems can be corrected, a day or two before the elevator inspection, pre-test the installation with the elevator installers. If you wait until the day-of the elevator inspection, you need to be very confident you did the installation correctly, and the elevator installers also have to be very confident in your work.

    Dry Contacts or 24 Volts

    Dry power out of a relay, or dry contact from the relay is means no voltage, and no current emanates, or comes from the relay contacts. If you hold a relay in your hand, or hold a waterflow switch in your hand, and there are no wires attached to either the switch or the relay, the output contacts on the relay, and the contacts on the switch are dry contacts. Shorting two wires together is exactly the same as using (or closing) dry contacts.

    Almost always, the elevator company needs dry contacts from the relays. You will have to work with the elevator installers to find out how the relay outputs are supposed to be programmed and wired.



    Douglas Krantz

    facpdoug@douglaskrantz.com
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