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Alex, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 1783
Experience:  Owner of independent electrical contracting company. Licensed Electrical Contractor in CT.
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I want to disconnect a smoke detector that is poorly located.

Customer Question

I want to disconnect a smoke detector that is poorly located. There is a black wire in the square plug in the cover, as well as a white wire and a red interconnect wire that is not connected (there is only one smoke detector in the house). Is it as simple as removing the square plug from its slot? What happens if I remove the black wire and the white wire and connect them together? Does this complete the circuit and bypass the smoke detector?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Alex replied 7 years ago.
Please look in the box and see if there are more wires including the wires that are spliced with wire nut. Why do you want to take the smoke detector down? Smoke detector are really important for your safety.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes, there is a red and a black wire connected with a wire nut. I am wanting to disable this smoke detector because it is placed too close to the kitchen and boiling water or heating anything on the stove sets it off.
Expert:  Alex replied 7 years ago.
I would advise you to relocate farther from kitchen but not to eliminate. However if you still want to eliminate it just remove the plug tails from the wires in the ceiling box and put the wire nuts on them. Do not disconnect or connect any wires in the ceiling box besides the tails from smoke detector plug. Then you can install round or square depending on the shape of ceiling box) blank cover plate.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I haven't touched any of the wires in the ceiling box. I am talking only about the smoke detector itself. There is in the detachable portion of the smoke detector a rectangular socket with 3 male terminals in it labelled white/neutral, interconnect, and black/line. In this socket fits a corresponding plug with 3 female connectors labelled similarly.

Something tells me if I just unplug this connection it will disable the device, but it doesn't screw neatly back into the base unit in the ceiling unless it is plugged in, so I thought if I removed the black and white wires from this plug and connected them together it would complete the circuit and bypass the alarm.

Is this logic correct, or is this asking for trouble in some way.

Expert:  Alex replied 7 years ago.
That is a line voltage hardwired smoke detector. You do not need to splice anything to complete the circuit. You can proceed the way I told you in the previous post or if you want to just disconnect the detector and put it back you can just unplug the female plug.
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Expert:  Alex replied 7 years ago.

If you proceed with disconecting the smoke detector, Please install other one farther from the kitchen. As I advised the smoke detectores are really important for safety. Thank you for accepting my answer. You can bookmark my profile for your future electrical question. That way you could find me easy.



Edited by Alex the Electrician on 5/9/2010 at 6:41 PM EST