I am trying to replace a hard wired smoke detector in a room. The wires are colored black, white and yellow. The new connector on the detector is colored red, white and black making it hard to determine which wires are which to be connected to which. Any advice how to solve this riddle to be able to properly connect it?
Hello. Welcome to Just Answer.
The power wires are the black and the white. The communication wire on the unit is the yellow. The communication wire going into the ceiling from the box is the red.
I see....to confirm, the red wire from the detector connects to the yellow wire?
Yes, it sounds like that's how it should be.
Good...then the red wire of the smoke detector is not a ground wire like in most instances.
connect the black and white to black and white and the red from the detector to the yellow wire in the ceiling?
Are there any other ceiling wires?
Red would not usually be a ground wire.
no...those are the wires that are connected to the old Connector which we will not be able to use anymore.
Other wires are capped offf.
Are you able to post photos here?
Good question...never tried that before.
is there another address I can send those to?
You can post them to www.tinypic.com if you don't want to post them here. If you can save them to your computer, you just click the paper clip icon on the toolbar to browse to the location where they are stored.
I will try that...
working on tinypic.com. thanks for your patience.
No problem at all. Take your time.
Almost done uploading
You can check out photobucket.com under harleyhogger1 album which is public. Let me know if you find it.
I'll look now. Be right back.
Page is loading... slowly.
New harness red wire replaces old harness yellow wire. Or, if harness with yellow wire is new, yellow wire replaces red from the old harness.
I see...I can connect the yellow wire to the red and cap it?
Do you mean yellow from harness to red box wire?
Yes...we have black, white and yellow descending from the ceiling and the white, black and red from the connector to the smoke detector.
Is it the harness with the red wire that is the new one? It looks like it is, because the red wire on the harness in the photo has a cap over the end of it.
Yes...that is the one that came with the detector.
So, the harness with the yellow wire will be coming out, correct?
Yes...it is in the ceiling and has an old cap that does not connect with this new detector.
OK, for the purpose of swapping out the old connector for the new, just treat the new red wire like it is yellow.
The red wire on the new harness, that is.
Okay...the red connects to the yellow, the white to the white and the black to the black. I believe that makes it straight!
Sounds good. Now, before you go...
Please push the test button on the new unit, and see if all other units respond.
I am curious as to why the harnesses are different. It concerns me that it could potentially cause the units to fail to communicate, if the actual detectors are different.
okay...I will do that. I am not actually installing the unit right now. But I will try that. If they all go off then we are good. If not, there should be some futher troubleshooting.
I am as well. The units are about nine years old, things have changed since then.
Not so much troubleshooting... more of a matching issue. All units really should be same make and model.
Ahhh....so it may be prudent to replace all of the units in the house.
It is vital (to me) that interconnected smoke detectors actually communicate. I would hate to have a fire in an unoccupied part of your house, and you are sleeping in another area, unaware of it.
I agree. I will consider replacing all of the units in the house since they only last for a few years. I will not replace the unit until I replace all of them with the same brand.
I will not replace this unit until that time.'
Great. I much prefer being safe over being sorry.
Absolutely and I very much appreciate your advice and insight.
That's very kind. My pleasure, really.
The pleasure was all mine. Thank you for your time.
Over 15 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.