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Locating wiring for hardwired smoke detectors

Q. We are trying to locate wiring for hardwired smoke detectors in a 1987 Bridgeport Manor manufactured home.  We are renting and the owner capped wires off and drywalled over.  Any suggestions ? My husband used an electrical tester , but no luck.  Any help is greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

A.  They would be hard to locate with out the proper location equipment used by electricians, these are called circuit tracers. I would check near and over doorways in the bedrooms and near center of the hallway about 6 to 12 inches from the ceiling. They of course may have also been installed in the ceilings. You may also want to pay particular attention to areas above existing outlets and switches, where power may have been pulled from. If you can not locate the old locations you can use snap-in boxes and install new outlets easily by junctioning at existing outlets and switch locations and "fishing" the power up through the wall to install them. 

Now with all that said I have always preferred the battery operated types over the hardwired. The hard wired types will not operate with the power off and in the case of a fire they usually start because of electrical  problems. They may have battery backup but I don't trust them. The battery operated types are cheaper and easier to install. 

The thing no one ever tells you is that smoke detectors wear out and should be replaced every 5 to 10 years., making the battery type more reasonable to own. I do highly suggest that you have smoke detectors in every room possible. Smoke detectors are rated for location such as bedroom or kitchen etc. So read the packaging. Remember to test them every month, set up a schedule, and replace the batteries every time the time changes.

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