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New Outlet off Smoke Detector

Posted by junkmailhold (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 5, 10 at 13:01

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?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: New Outlet off Smoke Detector

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.


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RE: New Outlet off Smoke Detector

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.


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RE: New Outlet off Smoke Detector

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?


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RE: New Outlet off Smoke Detector

Is this ceiling accessible from an attic?


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RE: New Outlet off Smoke Detector

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


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RE: New Outlet off Smoke Detector

"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.


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RE: New Outlet off Smoke Detector

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.


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RE: New Outlet off Smoke Detector

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.


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RE: New Outlet off Smoke Detector

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!


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RE: New Outlet off Smoke Detector

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.


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