New Outlet off Smoke Detector

junkmailholdApril 5, 2010

I need to install a new power outlet in the ceiling of a room. I was wondering if it's possible or allowed by code to "tap" off a hard-wired smoke detector?

If this is ok, what do I do about ground? Do smoke detectors have a ground wire running to them?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Billl

No, you should not do this. For safety reasons, smoke detectors should be on their own circuit. You don't want someone to trip the breaker with a hair dryer or something and cut the power to your home's smoke detectors.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 9:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joed

I don't see a poroblem with this. Not a code issue.
Smokes should not be on a dedicated cicruit. That makes it too easy for someone turn them off or for them to trip the breaker and no one knows about it. They should be on a circuit with often used lights.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 10:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
junkmailhold

My smoke detectors are not on a separate circuit. Each smoke detector appears to be on the same circuit as the respective room they are in (i.e. bed 1 breaker turns off all lights and outlets and smoke detector for that room, bed 2 does the same, etc.).

So does anyone know where I can tap the ground from? Is there normally ground to a smoke detector?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 11:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kudzu9

Is this ceiling accessible from an attic?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 12:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
junkmailhold

Yes, the attic is where I will be gaining access.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 3:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brickeyee

"For safety reasons, smoke detectors should be on their own circuit. You don't want someone to trip the breaker with a hair dryer or something and cut the power to your home's smoke detectors."

That is why AC powered smokes have a battery backup, and should start chirping if the AC is missing.

"For safety reasons, smoke detectors should be on their own circuit. You don't want someone to trip the breaker with a hair dryer or something and cut the power to your home's smoke detectors."

This is actually a better solution, and with the AFCI requirement the smokes need to be on the bedroom breaker anyway since they are an 'outlet.'

The same thing goes for that freezer in the basement.
It should share a light used on a daily basis.
You NEED to know if power is off.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 3:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kudzu9

junkmailhold-
If you have attic access, you could patch into any number of other circuits running through there. One way to do that legally so you don't have a junction box that doesn't comply with code is to make the connections in a new junction box that has a lamp base mounted on it. You'd have an additional source of light for the attic and a legal junction box.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 7:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pharkus

Uggh.

He hasn't defined the purpose of the outlet, but given that it's in the ceiling, I don't think anybody's going to be plugging a hair dryer into it.

junkmailhold, the existing smoke detector should be wired up with the same type of cable used for every other device in your house - meaning that there is probably already a ground conductor there.

I'm with those who are saying the smoke detector needs to NOT be on a dedicated circuit, and even without knowing what you intend to use the outlet for, I'm saying what you intend to do is fine.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 9:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
junkmailhold

Sorry, I didn't think the purpose of the outlet mattered. I am installing a ceiling outlet for a projector in a media room.

So no, it won't be an iron or a hair dryer or vacuum or anything high-draw like that.

Sounds like the smoke detector is a good tapping point then. I asked about it because it's only like 5 ft from where I want the outlet and it's on the same ceiling.

Thanks for the info guys!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 1:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
globe199

Projectors can draw huge amounts of current. It's probably still not a big deal, but they typically are not light-weight devices, electrically speaking.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 11:22AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
How to get garage freezer to work in cold weather
I have a 7-year-old GE refrigerator/freezer in my unheated,...
amyf5
Well this sucks
Just when you thought the idiot popup ads in the gardenweb...
Ron Natalie
Lights Flickering...
We paid an electrician to put in a ceiling light in...
regina_phalange
Too much load for circuit?
I have 200 amp service to the main panel (which has...
zver11
Looking for Ideas For Lighting at base of 300' long driveway
Sorry for the "picture through the screen"...
dixieman
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™