What’s Better: Battery-Powered or Hardwired Smoke Detectors?

What’s Better: Battery-Powered or Hardwired Smoke Detectors?

By: answerout95328756


Smoke detectors are the unsung heroes of every household. It doesn’t matter whether you have had a major fire break out in the kitchen or a bad case of a carbon monoxide leak. These little devices stuck to the ceiling protect us, and alert us just in the nick of time to any potential threat. 

That being said, we tend to pay little to no attention to smoke detectors – it is almost as if they are irrelevant. But it is probably because some are hardwired, so we never tend to notice unless there’s actually an alarm blaring; and then there are battery-powered ones that only catch our attention either when the alarm is ringing in the case of danger, or when it needs a battery change. And that beeping is hard to miss. 

But the question is, when it comes to First Alert smoke detectors, which one is better: battery-powered ones or hardwired smoke detectors? It depends on a few factors like what you’re able to afford, which one is more convenient, which one you personally believe will be long lasting, etc. 

Here’s a brief intro on what each type of smoke detector features, and how to install them.



Battery-Powered Smoke Detectors

A battery-powered smoke detector, as its name suggests is powered solely through interchangeable batteries. It is recommended to change the batteries at least twice a year because weak batteries could mean poor operations. So if there were to be a potential danger, your alarm would sound but only till the remaining battery supports it – chances are with low battery smoke detectors tend to stop working halfway while sounding the alarm.

Battery-operated smoke detectors are also usually not interconnected to the rest of them around the premises. But with the help of sensors, it can get the job done – detecting any smoke or gas leaks in other rooms with sensors in place. 

The good news is that these are easily installable, so it can literally take you a few minutes till your smoke detector is ready to work. Here’s how to install them.

How to Install

1. Find an appropriate place to install the battery-operated smoke detector. It could be in the kitchen, the hallway or the garage even. If you’re planning on installing sensors then place the smoke detector where someone will hear it for sure.

2. Place the mount on the wall and mark its drill holes.

3. Drill the holes and then place the mount to screw it in.

4. Put a battery in your smoke detector before hanging it onto the mount

5. Once the battery is in, install the smoke detector into the mount by either twisting it clockwise/anticlockwise as stated in the manual and use a little force to fit it into the mount. It's done!


Hardwired Smoke Detectors

Hardwired smoke detectors connect to the home or the main power supply wherever they are being installed. This way any and all smoke detectors installed become interconnected, so if one alarm were to go off, all devices would start to ring.

These smoke detectors do not require battery changes like the battery-powered ones since they are connected to the main power supply that is its source. However, they do come with battery backups in the case of power breakdowns, to prevent any hindrance from the device doing its job while the electricity is out. 

It’s a little complicated to install hardwired smoke detectors because wires and electricity are involved, but here’s how it’s done.

How to Install 

1. The first thing before installing any device that includes wiring and electricity, including hardwired smoke detectors, is to turn off the power supply to that specific outlet from the main circuit breaker.

2. Once the power is shut, it’s time to mark the points for the mount where you would place the smoke detector.

3. After drilling, place the mount and screw it in.

4. Make sure the wires are taken out through the center space of the mount so it is easy to connect to the smoke detector.

5. Connect the wires to their designated ports on the smoke detector. Follow the instruction manual, or call in a professional if you need help.

6. Once the wires are connected, it’s time to place the smoke detector into its mount. Gently place the wires back into the outlet without disconnecting it from the device, and use a little force to push the device into the mount.

7. Switch the power back on from the circuit breaker and test your device. 


So Which One Is Better?

Hard to really say which one is better because it always depends on personal preferences and reasoning, but Hardwired Smoke Detectors are more long-lasting and reliable than battery-operated ones. More so because of the fact that you don’t have to worry about their battery running out. Even in the case of a power outage in your area, these devices have backup batteries that allow them to keep working even with no power. 

One thing that must be kept in mind, however, is if at any point you’re unsure of how to go about installing these devices, especially hardwired smoke detectors, it's best to call in a professional. Better safe than sorry right?


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