ELK Install - Code Help


I'm installing an ELK panel for a friend and I could use some help making sure I'm following code.  I live in upstate NY and it's a single family new construction.  The system will include the M1, XEP, 3 keypads, 73 Echo speaker, 2 glass breaks and 3 contacts.  I will be using one of the ELK enclosures.  I'm assuming board power will handle what I have planned for the system.   

I have a few questions:

1 - For LV wire, I assume I can use in-wall rating (like CL2 or CL3 or CM) vs riser or plenum rating, correct?  I will not be running wire in any hvac ducts.

2 - Wiring will be run to a closet in the master bedroom which will be drywalled.  Should I put the enclosure within the studs or should I hang in on the wall? 

3 - How should I supply power to the enclosure?  If the enclosure is in-wall I guess I would run electric into the bottom of the enclosure but what type of electrical outlet do I use to plug the transformer into?  I've looked at the installation pictures on the site but I can't figure out the exact wiring for supplying power to the transformer.

4 - For the battery, can I place it in the bottom of the enclosure or do I need to use the Elk battery shelf?  Do I need a fuse in-line with the battery?

4 - Is it acceptable to put other non-alarm wiring into the enclosure?  For example could I place a 4-port network hub in the enclosure and run some cat5 to it?

Thank you for the assistance!


Active Member
#0 - Your friend might consider more sensors, at least some motions.  Now is the time to do it if you can run cable with the walls open.
The XEP has a separate power supply / wall wart.  The XEP also comes in a "doorbell" box.  What's with that, anyway?  You can take the board out of the box, mount it in the enclosure using SWGs, and bring in a Cat5 cable in to connect it.  I can probably snap some pics next week if you're interested. 
You need to read up on the RS485 bus wiring and decide if you want to daisy chain the keypads manually or use an M1DBH hub. 
An ELK-965 low battery cuttoff / master power switch really helps.  You can turn the entire alarm system off to work on it with the flip of a switch, and not have to mess with unplugging the xformer and disconnecting the battery.  
You should home run a phone line to the enclosure from the telco demarc.  Even if your friend isn't going to use phone monitoring, the next people in the house might.
#1 - The M1 is a class 2 device, so all you need for a single family home per NEC is CL2 cable.  Anything above and left of CL2 can be substituted.
  CL3P  CL2P
  CL3R  CL2R
  CL3   CL2
#2 - Your choice.  Inwall obviously looks better and doesn't get in the way as much.
You can't really completely flush mount it because of the way the cover is hinged.  Best you can do is have the box about 1/2" out and the cover will sit on the drywall.  There is a 14" flush mount cover, but if its like the 28" cover its still going to stick out from the wall.
#3 - You can plug in the xformer almost anywhere and run some 16/2 from it back to the panel.
There's also a receptacle sized knockout in the bottom right of the enclosure.  See instructions.  Its been a few months and I don't remember exactly what I did, but I think the electrical box didn't fit through the enclosure as illustrated so I attached it from the bottom using 8-32 x 1/2" screws and nuts.
#4 - Depends on the enclosure.  The 14" is small and the only place the battery will fit (if you install the receptacle) is on the bottom left.  I used a 28" enclosure and made a battery shelf over the wall wart using "L" brackets.  No fuse required.
#4B - The 14" enclosure is too small to mount any extra stuff in, and I personally wouldn't do that anyway.  Keep your alarm stuff separate from your network stuff.


Senior Member
Good advice above all around; a couple things I learned along the way:
  1. The battery has to be within a certain distance of the M1 otherwise it needs to be fused; the battery shelf helps with that, although 4 years after installation, my battery blew up and leaked so I was glad nothing was mounted under it... also the battery shelf is kinda weak - I ended up wrapping velcro tape around the battery/shelf to add stability.
  2. The 14" can was too small for my taste - on my first install I saved the 14" enclosure and used it as a sub-panel in the garage with a separate set of inputs/outputs for sprinklers, garage door control, halloween prop control, etc...  very happy with the extra flexibility, and it leaves room in the garage with the databus for a keypad or other items as well.  I installed a 28" in my master closet as close to flush as the door would allow - then caulked the gap and painted up to the edge of the enclosure - it looked awesome and had more than enough room to spread things out.  I also used the knockout in the bottom to put a Leviton decora outlet in the bottom.   I'm having a hard time finding the link, but I think the one I used had a metal back box with it that all fit perfectly into that spot in the bottom and kept the outlet in a nice back box.  I did have to use one of those 1-foot extension cords to get the wall warts to all fit in the bottom; some people mount power strips for all that.  In this house, I did a 50" CV enclosure above the 20" that came with the house, so the 20" is for power and closes up; the 50" is for the rest, although it's way too big and only 1/3rd full.
  3. I personally don't care much for a  single centralized speaker - I like the KP2's with the SP12 speakers behind them - that way any time you hear audio, it's coming from the point of alarm interaction and feels much more natural.  It also tends to provide better coverage around the house for the audio.
  4. Use speakers instead of sirens for any outdoor sounds - they just make more sense, even though the panel can accomodate both.
  5. If your can is big enough, you can use a single one for alarm and other LV - and I think I started down that path when I put in the 50" here, but at the end of the day, I agree with keeping security and everything else separate - even if the enclosures are right on top of each other or side by side.  But, it can be done with everything in one can too if need be.


Thank you both for the sage advice.  I will add the ELK-965 to my list and discuss motion sensors with my friend.  I plan to manually daisy chain the keypads and run a phone line to the enclosure.  

Regarding the enclosure, I do have two of the ELK 14" cans.  I could stack these into the same bay. How would I connect the two cans?  Conduit of some type?  I could put power and the battery in the lower can.   It looks like ELK wants you to buy the SWFD14 Flush Mount Door for a better finished look.

Regarding power, I will use the lower knockout and look for the decora outlet Work2Play referenced.  I was planning to use the ELK battery shelf. 

I have the KP2's in my home with speakers behind them.  I am hoping my friend picks the same keypad so I can put speakers behind them.  The larger LCD KP has a speaker but the Nav Touchscreen does not, correct?

Since the system list is growing I will start a new thread for questions on the configuration/setup.  I will use this thread if I have any more mechanical and/or code questions.

Once again ... you guys are awesome!  Thank you for your time and help. 
A: An Elk LBC switch is not necessary for the M1. It has one built in.
1. Wire type is correct. You are not allowed to run wiring in any ducts no matter what.
2. Personal preference. Inwall is typically going to have a rough finish around the door by the rockers. You can't really trim around it because the door needs to open a full 90 and should also be removable.
3. Standard metal old work box (type that uses madison clips and is adjustable). You would screw or nut/bolt to the bottom of the enclosure holes after knocking out the opening. HV would be romex to the electrical box, then the system transformer plugs into the normal duplex outlet inside. I wouldn't use an "integrated" outlet in anything but a 28" enclosure. Too tight. If you're putting the unit into the wall, don't forget about slack and service loops. The cans fill up fast with cabling.
4. With the stock enclosure, you can put the battery in the bottom. In a larger enclosure, it's up to you, but if you extend the leads, it needs to *technically* be separated from the LV wiring as it's not power limited (fused). No external fusing is needed. I always liked using the shelves once I figured out how an M1 goes into a 28" enclosure with the peripherals (SWG's are the key, as is board location). Once you see how it all works with a 28" Elk enclosure, it really makes sense and you can really put a big system in a small footprint.
5. You could do as you wish, but IMHO, I like to keep security separate from LV structured cabling.


Active Member
DELInstallations said:
A: An Elk LBC switch is not necessary for the M1. It has one built in.
Now you tell me.  That's what I get for ordering stuff before reading the manual.
Reuse it for an aux power supply that you're most likely going to need with a typical M1 install.....as long as you don't use an Altronix or Honeywell power supply (the tech note buried on the documentation and site are because of what I discovered after about 6 hours on the phone with the 2 manufacturers and engineering).
sda said:
Now you tell me.  That's what I get for ordering stuff before reading the manual.