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Smoke Alarm Wire

jrb007

New Member
I'm going to be running the wire for my smoke alarms this weekend. I've tried to find a local vendor (Milwaukee, WI) with fire alarm wire, but the only thing I've been able to find are spools in 1000' lengths. As I'll only need roughly 150', it really doesn't seem to be a cost effective option.

I called the inspector this morning to discuss it. He didn't have a clue what I meant, other than insisting that smoke alarms must be hardwired and chained together. Obviously I'll be accomplishing this by running them to an Elk M1.

Question: Have any of you run into problems in using standard 18/2 general purpose wire? Have you had trouble passing inspection? Does it have to be red? Thermostat wire would seem to do the trick. Is this possible?

Thanks!

Jim
 

Mike

Senior Member

jlehnert

Active Member
Home Depot should also have it. 500 ft. spool IIRC, so it's still a bit of overkill. I don't believe they sell it by the ft. but you can always ask.

As for the inspector not knowing what you are talking about, that's not uncommon. Unless you are in a "high-tech" area, or the inspector has run across it before, they generally only know the "regular" way of doing things. I've found though, that if you take a few minutes to explain what you are doing (ie installing a professional quality residential fire and burglar alarm, using fire resistant wire and supervised smoke detectors), then they are okay with it.
 

WayneW

Senior Member
jlehnert said:
Home Depot should also have it. 500 ft. spool IIRC, so it's still a bit of overkill. I don't believe they sell it by the ft. but you can always ask.
My Home Depot does not have red fire alarm wire by the foot or roll. I don't think my Lowes does either, but not 100% sure.
 

jrb007

New Member
Thanks for the advice guys. I tried everywhere local here - Lowes, HD, Menards, etc... no luck. The best option seemed to be a 1000' spool from Graybar @ $275 or so.

I decided to give the Yellowpages a try. I called up a local security installation firm to see if they had anything in stock. This was a smaller outfit that doesn't really do resale, but considering I'm installing tomorrow, I was really out of options.

This guy went out of his way to check all of his installers' trucks as well as his warehouse to see if he had anything in a small quantity. He didn't. However, he did call a local wholesaler that I don't have access to and found their price and quantity. They had one roll left - 500' @ $68. 18-4 Firewire. Very good price. He ordered it for me and is having it held under my name at willcall.

He spent 30 minutes of his time without making a dime. If any of you ever need a local installer in Wisconsin, let me know and I'll forward you his info.

I know this post isn't really relevant, but I wanted to point out how helpful people can be if you just ask. Just like everyone on this board. Thanks again for the help.

Jim
 
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