How to Install First Alert CO5120BN Hardwired Carbon Monoxide Alarms:
In this guide, we'll be showing you how to install First Alert Hardwired Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms. Here are a few items you'll need before starting the installation process: Needle-nose pliers or utility knife, screwdriver, wire stripper, wire nuts and a ladder.
Hardwired Smoke or Carbon Monoxide Alarm Requirements:
- 120V household electrical circuit (unswitched 120VAC)
- Standard wiring junction box to a 4 in. (10 cm) size, on either the ceiling or wall
- Selecting an appropriate location to install your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms (see below guidelines for additional information):
- When installing an alarm on the wall, the top edge of an alarm should be placed between 4 in. (100 mm) and 12 in. (300 mm) from the wall/ceiling line.
- When installing an alarm on the ceiling, place the alarm as close to the center as possible.
- In either case, install the alarm at least 4 in. (100 mm) from where the wall and ceiling meet.
- First Alert Smoke Alarm FAQs
- First Alert Carbon Monoxide Alarm FAQs
Connecting First Alert Hardwired Alarms to 120V Wiring
To begin, turn off power at the junction box and connect your alarm to the building's electrical wiring.
- Locate the junction box and turn off power
- Remove the power connector from the new alarm's packaging
- Using wire nuts, attach the hot (black), neutral (white), and interconnect (orange) wires
|Attach to black wire on power connector
|Attach to white wire on power connector
Standalone (single-station) alarm: This wire is not needed; tuck the orange wire into the junction box.
- Strip 1/2 in. from the orange wire on the connector
- Use a wire nut to attach it to the orange wire in the junction box (see image below).
Mounting First Alert Hardwired Alarms
- Secure the mounting bracket to the ceiling or wall using screws (included in the package)
- Insert the power connector into the plug on the back of your alarm
- Tuck any hanging wires into the junction box
- Position the base of the alarm onto the bracket and turn it clockwise until it's secured
- Remove the pull-tab to activate the backup battery
Installing Additional and/or Interconnecting First Alert Hardwired Alarms
If you are installing more smoke or carbon monoxide alarms, you'll want to repeat the process throughout the building. Interconnected smoke and co alarms must meet all requirements:
The same fuse or circuit breaker must power all interconnected alarms.
Up to 18 compatible detectors can interconnect, with a limit of 12 smoke alarms.
The total length of wire interconnecting the alarms should be less than 1,000 ft. (300 meters). This type of wire is commonly available at hardware and electrical supply stores.
All wiring must conform to all local electrical codes and NFPA 70 (NEC). Refer to NFPA 72, NFPA 101, and your local building code for more information.
Interconnect wiring diagram:
If you have any doubts or reservations about these interconnect requirements, please contact an experienced electrician to install your wiring and hardwired alarms.
Restoring Power and Testing Hardwired Alarms
Once you've installed your hardwired alarms, you'll want to restore power to the junction box. Under regular operation, the power indicator light on the alarm will shine/blink to indicate that it is receiving AC power.
Here's how you can test standalone or interconnected alarms:
Standalone Alarms: Press and hold the Test/Silence button until the unit triggers an alarm.
Interconnected Alarms: Press and hold the Test/Silence button until the first unit triggers an alarm. All interconnected detectors should sound off. Repeat this process to test each alarm in the interconnected series.
Q: How do I get my carbon monoxide alarm to stop chirping?
A: If your carbon monoxide alarm keeps chirping, the battery may be low or weak. On First Alert carbon monoxide detectors, check to see if the battery light is yellow or green. If the alarm is chirping and the light is yellow, it means the battery is low. The way to get a carbon monoxide alarm to stop chirping is to replace the battery.
Q: Where should I install carbon monoxide alarms? What is proper carbon monoxide alarm placement?
A: It is very important to install carbon monoxide alarms near or in each separate sleeping area. Many states now require that a carbon monoxide alarm is placed in each bedroom. For added protection, placement of an additional carbon monoxide alarm at least 15-20 feet away from the furnace or fuel burning heat sources is recommended. Also, install carbon monoxide alarms at least 10 feet from sources of humidity like bathrooms and showers. In two story houses, install one carbon monoxide alarm on each level of the home. If you have a basement, carbon monoxide alarm placement is recommended at the top of the basement stairs.
Q: Is there anywhere I shouldn't install carbon monoxide alarms?
A: Do not install carbon monoxide alarms in garages, kitchens, furnace rooms, or in any extremely dusty, dirty, humid, or greasy areas. Do not install alarms in direct sunlight, or areas subjected to temperature extremes. These include unconditioned crawl spaces, unfinished attics, un-insulated or poorly insulated ceilings, and porches. Carbon monoxide alarms should not be installed in outlets covered by curtains or other obstructions. Do not install in turbulent air-near ceiling fans, heat vents, air conditioners, fresh air returns, or open windows. Blowing air may prevent carbon monoxide from reaching the CO sensors.
Q: How many carbon monoxide alarms should I have in my home?
A: So how many carbon monoxide alarms should you have in your home? The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that you should have a carbon monoxide alarm centrally located outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedroom. For added protection, you should have additional carbon monoxide alarms in each separate bedroom and on every level of your house, including the basement. Some states now require that you have a carbon monoxide alarm in each bedroom of the house. If you install only one carbon monoxide alarm in your home, place it near or in your bedroom.
Q: What is the proper way to do a carbon monoxide alarm test?
A: The following procedure is the proper way to do a carbon monoxide alarm test - Press and hold the Test Button on the front of the alarm until the alarm sounds. Be sure you hold the button down long enough; it can take up to 20 seconds for the alarm to respond to the test.
Q: Is it a false alarm when my carbon monoxide alarm sounds and there doesn't seem to be a problem?
A carbon monoxide alarm false alarm should not occur if your alarm is in working order. Remember, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas. If your carbon monoxide alarm went off, it detected potentially harmful amounts of carbon monoxide. After the professionals have evaluated the situation, make sure no one has any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Here are a few situations that may cause a carbon monoxide alarm "false alarm:"
The carbon monoxide alarm needs to be relocated. Carbon monoxide alarms should be located 15-20 feet away from all fossil fuel burning sources like furnaces and stoves. Alarms should be located 10 feet away from sources of humidity like showers.
Fossil fuel burning appliances may not be burning fuel completely. Check pilot lights/flames for blue color. Appearance of yellow or orange flames indicates incomplete combustion-a source of carbon monoxide.
Q: Will carbon monoxide alarms detect explosive gas leaks?
A: No, a single function carbon monoxide alarm reacts to carbon monoxide only. To detect explosive gas, you need an explosive gas detector. Different kinds of explosive gas can be detected and it is recommended that any home that utilizes natural or propane gas have at least one explosive gas leak detector.