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RE: Alarm system (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: sniffdog on 02.13.2009 at 07:44 am in Building a Home Forum


Here is a quick primer. I did my own security system and it is pretty easy:

1. even though wireless sensors are available, hard wire is best when walls are open. wire is cheap, no batteries to replace. Use wireless to augment the system if you need to add sensors later. Most security contollers provide both wired and wireless interfaces.

You will need more wire than you think due to snaking up/down walls and through trusses.

2. Motion sensors and Glass break sensors require 4 conductors (power, ground, common, and normally open or closed contact). So it is best to run 22 guage 4 conductor wire everywhere. Magnetic contact sensors only require 2 conductors - so 2 will go unused. But why buy two wire types - the 4 conductor wire is not that much more than 22/4. MAKE SURE THE WIRE IS STRANDED - much much easier to work with than solid. Pay the extra for the stranded wire.

3. Use glass break sensors to cover a series of windows instead of magnetic sensors on all windows. For example, my dining room has 3 window sections and a transom. Rather than use magnetic sensors on each window, I used 1 glass break sensor in the dining room ceiling to cover all windows in that room. The glass break sensors have a range of about 20 feet and are quite sensitive. Using them will reduce the number of sensors you need.

I would not recommend wiring magnetic sensors on all windows since this is very labor intensive. The only benefit of this is it will tell you if you have left a window open when you are getting ready to set the alarm. Most crooks will break the glass - unless you happen to leave a winow or door open. If you find out later that you want that - this is a good place where wireless sensors can be added.

You can run the wires for the glass break sensors to a spot in the ceiling where you want to install them later. I highly recommend using a piece of 1 inch inside diameter PVC pipe strapped/glued to a ceiling truss that protrudes 1/2 inch below the truss. When the drywallers install - have them cut holes so these little pices of pipe pop through and are flush with the ceiling. Tape the wire inside the pieces of pipe so you can pull them out later. Purchase little covers for the pipe holes until you install the glass break sensors. Use the Honeywell Glassbreak sensors in the small sized packaging (they are a few dollars more than the larger size which look like small smoke detectors - but much more attractive than the larger versions).

You want the galss break sensor to be about 10 to 15 feet back from the glass and in the ceiling.

NOTE: do not adjust the sensitivity too high. Birds crashing into windows will set the alarm off (I found this out the hard way!).

4. Use magnetic contacts on doors. This is the one sensor that you need to install right now since you will have to drill through the door frames, and doing that after drywall will be a mess.

5. Use motion detectors as a second barrier. The best place for these is on the wall about 7 feet up. They have a range of about 25 to 35 feet. Use motion sensors to cover the second floor - one in the hallway should work. Crooks know that most people only alarm first floor and will use ladders to break in.

Download the spec on the motion sensor you will use so you can get the pattern of coverage. Large rooms may need 2 sensors to cover all entry and exit points.

6. Definately install CO sensors - at least 1 for each floor.

7. Do home runs from each sensor location to a central location where you will install the panel. Make sure you label each wire so you know what sensor each wire is connected to.

8. There is a way of interfacing the smoke detectors in your home to the alarm system. If you use the link below and buy from them - their tech support will send you a small interface module that you tie into the last smoke detector in the chain - which is typically in the basement. You want to make sure you have a 22/4 wire run to this location (the end of the chaain of detectors). Call the people at the link below to double check on this. It will save you from having to install separate smoke detectors for the alarm system.

The way the Honeywell/Ademco contollers work is that glass break and magnetic conrtact sensors are typically programmed as perimeter alarms. These are monitored when you set the HOME ALARM button. Motion sensors are typically deactivated on HOME ALARM (although you can define a motion sensor as a perimeter sensor if you want). When any perimeter sensor goes off, the alarm automatically sounds with one exception - you can put a delay on any perimeter alarm and that is normall done at entry points (like front door, utility room door) where you have alarm panels. These delays allow you to come home, open the door and turn off the alarm within the programmable delay time before it goes off.

The motion sensors are typically defined as interior alarms that are usually activated only when you set the AWAY ALARM button. When you are away - all sensors (perimeter and interior) are activated.

If you have pets that roam around areas monitored with motion sensors, make sure you purchase motion sensors that can handle pets (a few more dollars).

I provided a link below to the on-line store where I purchased my equipment. They have some tips for installation on the site. Give them a call (located in Maryland) - very helpful.

Best of luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: On-Line Security Parts


clipped on: 02.17.2009 at 12:36 pm    last updated on: 02.17.2009 at 12:37 pm

RE: Need help with hansgrohe fixture selection (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: jamms on 02.10.2009 at 12:22 pm in Bathrooms Forum

"twogirls" you can contact Hansgrohe by calling them at 1-800-334-0455. The customer service agents will spend the time with you to make sure you order all the accurate parts for your shower system.


clipped on: 02.11.2009 at 10:57 am    last updated on: 02.11.2009 at 10:58 am