Replacing Mains Smoke Alarms

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by micktheminer, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. micktheminer

    micktheminer New Member

    I`m a newbie to this forum and unlike a lot of you guys only a competent DIY`er, but I would welcome help with this one please.

    I have two mains wired smoke alarms in my house, one up and one downstairs that are now 12 plus years old and I want to "simply" replace them for this reason. The units are "Newey/Newlec" make that are now obsolete and the problem I have is that the mains wired push-fit plug that comes through the ceiling (from a junction box) into the back of the alarm also forms the cover for the back up battery, so it wont fit new units.

    Do new units such as the BRK ones (S/F 81969) come with a prewired push-fit plug for connection into the junction box or what is the normal routine for replacements?

    I would be grateful for any help please.
  2. Jitender

    Jitender Screwfix Select

    Look at Aico smoke alarms, they are available in optical, ionisation and heat types.

    Once they have been wired into the bases, the units can be replaced very easily without all the hassle of rewiring.

    They normally have a lifespan of 10-11 years.

    Best to have them interlinked, which will require 3 core and earth from the first to second alarm position.

    Also invest in the lithium battery version, which will not require a battery replacement during its lifetime.
    micktheminer likes this.
  3. Smokey

    Smokey Active Member

    Alarms that use a cable harness will always come with new one, when you buy new. Newlec alarms made by one of their Chinese accessory suppliers, not a mainstream smoke alarm manufacturer.
    There are number on market now, that no longer need cable harness, but have terminals to hard wire into, on alarm base plate.
    micktheminer likes this.
  4. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    Stick with Aico, the best.
    micktheminer likes this.
  5. Lectrician

    Lectrician Screwfix Select

    A sparky will change the pair for you with ease. Ring a spark, ask for two smokes to be replaced with Aico smokes. Hours work, tops. Is it worth faffing around yourself?
  6. JP.

    JP. Screwfix Select

    If you know what you are doing Lec, and can verify the finished smoke installation - then yes it is worth faffing around yourself.

    However if you don't know what you are doing and start faffing about - then calling in a qualified sparks would be the pertinent option..:rolleyes:
    micktheminer likes this.
  7. JP.

    JP. Screwfix Select

    Concur 100% - Aico smokes and co's are the biz - the forum recommended them to me (it was either Lec or Un who recommended them) and they are brill.

    Very easy to take the head of alarm off the mounting plate and to reinstate. Lovely stuff.
  8. Risteard

    Risteard Screwfix Select

    They are the best in the market for domestic detection - quality Irish engineering by Ei Electronics in Shannon, Co. Clare.
  9. Smokey

    Smokey Active Member

    Risteard; think you may have a vested interest in promoting, in view of where they're made:eek:
  10. Risteard

    Risteard Screwfix Select

    I don't work for Ei Electronics or their wholly-owned subsidiary, Aico.

    I just recognise that the quality Irish engineering is the best in the market for this product!
  11. Lectrician

    Lectrician Screwfix Select

    Irelands Lake Communications also used to manufacture many BT phones and PBX phone systems. It was easier to get tech support direct from the manufacturer than BT! Even though BT rebranded their products, telecom installers could ident products made by Lake by the style used, and by other similar products resold to other countries under other names.
  12. peter palmer

    peter palmer Super Member

    Has anyone got hold of the new style aico ones yet, the last ones I fitted from Denmans still had the stupidly small terminals in them.
  13. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    Been trying for quite a few months now without success to get Aico Ei166e, but still old stock available.:(
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
  14. Risteard

    Risteard Screwfix Select

    I do completely agree that the wiring space could be better in them (which apparantly the new models are).
  15. JP.

    JP. Screwfix Select

    I don't know because I am only a diyer - but I didn't have any trouble terminating 2 x 1mm into the wiring space tunnels tbqh
  16. Risteard

    Risteard Screwfix Select

    Unfortunately much of the time the wiring will be 1.5mm^2 though, which is tighter.
  17. JP.

    JP. Screwfix Select

    I suppose it would be Mr R - why would 1.5mm be used in domestic installations?

    I mean the way I did mine for my extension was that I ran a feed to the smoke alarm from utility room lighting circuit loop, and then from the smoke to the co in utility room - this entailed a 3 + e from smoke to co as well as the 2c + e from loop to smoke, all in 1mm.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
  18. Risteard

    Risteard Screwfix Select

    For several reasons:

    (1) People often use 1.5mm^2 for lighting (here it is pretty much solely used - if you want 1mm^2 it would be a special order from England).
    (2) If it is a dedicated circuit which is not a lighting circuit 1.5mm^2 minimum must be used.
    (3) In pretty much every other jurisdiction 1mm^2 cable is not permitted, so people there have no choice. This includes Shannon in County Clare where the alarms are manufactured.

    I don't wish to criticise them as they are an excellent product (the best in the market).

    I do however look forward to seeing the increased wiring space in the new models when I finally come across one.
  19. peter palmer

    peter palmer Super Member

    Its not that they are awkward to wire, they just could be better, like the JCC7's, they now come with a bigger terminal area compared to the first type and are now much easier to fit.

    Having said that I one had to terminate 3 x 1.5 3 cores into an Aico smoke over a high gallery landing where I had to reach out over the scaffold - absolute mare that one.

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