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Smoke Detectors: Battery-Operated vs. Hardwired

By WenSue |

Smoke detector alarms are a must for all the houses and buildings. It is essentially recommended for all living places especially exposed to fire like kitchen or steam like washrooms. There are two types of smoke detectors. One runs on batteries, and the other plays its detective role with the help of the main supply. Both have their pros and cons. If you are confused between “Hardwired vs. Battery-powered smoke alarms---which is for you?” You need to go through the following article. It will help you make a better decision.

Battery-operated Smoke Detectors

1. 9 Volt Battery Smoke Alarms:

Cordless technologies have brought a revolution with them. You can carry such devices anywhere. However, the downside of these alarms is as they run on batteries, you need to keep an eye when they run of charging. So, if you want to have your smoke alarm up and running for long, this type of smoke alarm is not for you. Another thing to keep in mind is your native law; some local legislations do not allow them anymore. So, do your homework before you proceed!

2. 10 Years Lithium-Ion Battery Smoke Alarms:

The types of 10-year battery smoke detector which can work for ten years long and no need to change the batteries. The smoke alarms come with remarkable features like no wiring, no reminders for annual replacement of battery, and above all, comfortable and cheap installation. But what does not make it a complete package is it, unfortunately, has a single supply source. In contrast to other types that offer the convenience of double power supply, it runs on the single power source. Thus, do a thorough study before you buy these relatively expensive alarms.

Hardwired variety of Smoke Alarms

1. Hardwired Smoke Alarms:

Not only does their name sound rigid and robust, but they are strongly powered with 240 volts of the main supply. Besides, they also have a 9 volts battery to make it work smoothly and continuously as a backup battery source. 

They have some very advanced and modernized models, such as photoelectric and ionization ones. They are the ones that have been allowed for installation in the legislation. So, you won’t face any change of plan if you pursue them as the smoke detector during your construction time. 

Yes, you are thinking on the right track. Since it has to be wired and you prefer wiring and cables that are not roaming about in your house like vines, so you should install them while construction of your home or building is underway! Nevertheless, you can install them later at any time.

2. Hardwired plus Rechargeable Battery

This is a handsome package, and as it is said, everything has a cost, so yes, it has a price that is on the higher side as compared to its counterparts. But this type has combined the strength of 240 volts main supply with the backup of a rechargeable lithium battery. Thus, it will continue to serve your purpose as long as for a minimum of ten good years.

Longevity, reliability, and durability are good enough to convince you to spend extra bucks on them. Invest in them as Kenner Electrics strongly recommend them.

The Differences Of Battery-operated vs. Hardwired Smoke Detectors

Though a lot of things must have become evident with the brief description of both types, we would like you to dive in deeper with respect to each of them. So let us explore their differences!

  • Easy Installation: Here are the main reasons that may bother you a bit. It requires the services of a skilled electrician in case you have opted for the hardwired alarms as they depend upon the main supply, so a good network of cables is required for connecting the mains with the device at its installation site. Well, no such problem with the battery dependent devices. A beginner or a person with no beforehand knowledge can easily install it using the manual.
  • Reliability: Hardwired is, no doubt, reliable as they are a dual-source with a back up so no worries. On the contrary, you cannot depend on the battery ones for longer than their due date of replacement.
  • Need for Maintenance: Again, at the time when you want to look for some fault or any other maintenance job with the hardwired smoke alarms, you ought to have a skilled wires man to deal with putting off the main supply and checking the connector cables. However, in the case of battery dependent smoke alarms, you have to change its batteries manually. In case you forget and its time is due, it will start showing tantrums in the form of false alarms and malfunctioning. Even you have to keep it dust and cobweb free for a better sensor system.
  • Ease of use with respect to connection: Imagine a cable network or any other system which is interconnected. It will give you the benefit of combined working, but a jam in the current flow of anyone will compromise the working of all. Hence, hardwired alarms at different locations in the building are interconnected, so they may start ringing in case of smoke at multiple sites and may all become dormant in case of any fault in their power supplies.

Whereas battery operated are individual entities so, a problem or battery expiry in one won’t stop others from sniffing! 

Which is Best for You?

Benefits: To make things easier for you to decide and spend on. In a nutshell, Hardwired smoke detectors are connected to the main supply, and in case you get some problem in the main supply, a back of lithium battery is there to keep the things rolling smoothly. They can be wired to other devices in the same building.

The battery-powered smoke alarm is a choice that you won’t regret if you are looking for a cheap option and easy installation. You can prefer lithium-based alarms over the ordinary ones as they need replacement annually.

Which is Better?

You know, at the end of the day, you should go with your gut feeling, not what others suggest. The one that tailors your needs should be preferred over others. So, if you want cheap, easy installation, individually monitored device, close your eyes and go for battery operated. But, if you are building something new, and interconnected supply doesn’t bother you, then you should spend on hardwired smoke detectors.