120V wired smokes recommendation


New Member
My house is heading toward the finishing stages (painting now) and I need to buy the smoke alarms. Reading through here the discussions seem oriented toward low voltage. The electricians wired for 3 wire 120V AC and told me that is what had to be done to meet code. It is too late to rewire at this point.

Anyway - what I would like to know is what smoke alarms to buy. I was thinking dual devices that each have photoelectric and ionization detectors. I was told that these things are unreliable and generated a lot of false alarms. I also rather like the idea of the units that use a TV remote to silence an alarm. Particualary useful in the kitchen area.

Please recommend a brand and type if you can with a reason for the selection if you would be so good.
Not too familiar with the 120V smokes, you would have to search around for the features you are looking for. If you have a security system and are not going to 'duplicate' smokes with 12V ones, then I would at least recommend a 120V smoke with a relay so you can trip an alarm zone.

I went with the ESL (GE) 350 series. They are 120v with 9v battery backup with up to 12 in tandem which meets code. My electrical wiring is the same as yours, 3 wire for tandem.

I did not have time to do the smoke alarm low voltage wiring before the dry wall went up. I still wanted to have my smokes trigger my HA setup and luckily one of the smokes was right outside of my equipment closet. The ESL 350 series has one of it's models with a relay that will trigger if any of my 7 smokes goes off. I just ran a 22/2 wire from that one smoke to my Elk M1. The others were the cheaper non-relay models.

I selected the ESL 350 series for the following reasons:

- One of the few that meets standard code, i.e. 120v, battery backup, tandem where if one goes off they all do *AND* it had a relay for connection to my alarm system.

- It has a user replaceable optical chamber for easy cleaning/replacement instead of buying a whole new unit.
I just bought a house that is only five years old that is filled with the three wire kidde 1275 alarms. I have already found one with bad AC connection and one incessant beeper. If these things are really as much trouble as people say, I really would like to replace them all with something else.
Where were you able to buy the GE ones that you used, and what model number are they? I would really like to hook them up to my M1G as well, so if you have any advice about that I would really appreciate it.
Each of the 350 models is 120v, 9v backup, 3 wire tandem wiring:

350 - No relay

350CC - Form A/Form C relay - Relay only responds when that specific detector goes off (not any of the others connected in tandem)

350CX - Form A/Form C relay - Relay activates if ANY of the tandem smokes goes off.

Right now I have 7 in tandem (all 350's with 1 350CX). The 350CX is just hooked up to a regular Elk M1 zone input.

If my memory is correct, I believe I got them from Worthington but several web based stores have them..

P.S. Sorry for the delay in responding but I travelled up to my place in the mountains. No cable, no dsl and phone lines with an absolute max of 28.8 dial-up. So I only get on-line when feeling masochistic...
If all of your smokes are wired on one breaker and there is nothing else on the loop you can remove the power from the electric panel and use the 2 of the 3 wires for 12volt smokes on your alarm system....... you just need to run a 2 wire from one of the ends to your alarm panel and put the EOL of the other end.
Thanks for the help.
I will see what deals I can find.
Perhaps I will go for the 12V solution, but I will have to check the wiring first.