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#108553 - 02/11/04 10:00 PM Fire Alarm Can of Worms
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Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3142
Loc: NY, USA
I am doing an office building remodel (about 30% of the building gutted out) for a very well off client, although from the looks of the electrical work they keep the money for themselves.

Picture one shows a typical ceiling of one of six electric rooms, that red fire alarm cable is a mix of initiating, notification and door holder circuits.



Picture two shows the 2" fire alarm riser as it enters the first floor electric room from the slab and enters a 12" x 12" J-Box, once I opened this J-Box I found that the 1 1/4" riser is stuffed with 480/277 and 208/120 circuits.



Picture three shows a close up of this well packed box about 60 - 14 AWG fire alarm conductors along with a number of line voltage conductors.




Pictures four and five show the panel you can see the 2" riser coming in the bottom and the number of cans added on the sides for elevator recall, door lock release, RTU shut down, and off site security monitoring relays.





I am supposed to connect more to this mess for the areas under renovation, the panel has two signal circuits one has shown trouble for as long as anyone on site remembers.

Not shown is a booster panel added in another remodel that is also in trouble but the trouble contacts are not wired to the main panel so that does not show up until you look for it.

Every box I have looked at has no cover sometimes no wire nuts just the solids twisted together, at least 3 ground faults so far.

The only up side is we are pricing a total replacement fire alarm system.

I have some work ahead of me.

Bob
(iwire)

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#108554 - 02/12/04 07:55 PM Re: Fire Alarm Can of Worms
ThinkGood Offline
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Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 1084
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Does the FD ever inspect these alarms?

Is it the blue wire you're always supposed to cut, or was it the yellow one? I forget.

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#108555 - 03/15/04 03:45 PM Re: Fire Alarm Can of Worms
CTwireman Offline
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Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 839
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Time to bring this thread back to life...

Bob, any idea how the FA and line voltage circuits got mixed? I can hear the conversation: "There's still some room left in this riser. Just run the 480 through here."
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Peter

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#108556 - 03/16/04 02:26 AM Re: Fire Alarm Can of Worms
iwire Offline
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Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
Both risers originate in the main electric room, the 2" from the FACP and the 1 1/4" from the 'house' 208 panel that is also used as a raceway for the 'house' 480 panel.

Both of these risers come up out of the slab about a foot apart in an electrical closet.

My guess is during the rough someone assumed these two risers where a 208 riser and a 480 riser and saw no problem in mixing them.

Once they started pulling wire they must have found the mistake and nippled another can on the side as the FA junction box.

I have now got the system up and running with no faults, this box remains.

We are bidding to install a 100% new FA system, it will be an addressable system in place of this 36 Zone system and will get all new conductors for both initiating and notification circuits.

As it is a building in use the old system has to be maintained operational until the new one is inspected, as a result in the end these old FA risers will be abandoned.

Bob
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Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#108557 - 03/16/04 01:19 PM Re: Fire Alarm Can of Worms
CTwireman Offline
Member

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 839
Loc: Connecticut, USA
 Quote:
as a result in the end these old FA risers will be abandoned


Thank Goodness! The 1 year anniversary of the Station nightclub fire got me thinking about fire alarms again, and what a travesty it is to see such a mess!
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Peter

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#108558 - 03/16/04 01:21 PM Re: Fire Alarm Can of Worms
swedejr Offline
Member

Registered: 12/16/03
Posts: 30
Loc: East Granby, Ct. US
Hey CT... Where are you located?

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#108559 - 03/16/04 06:30 PM Re: Fire Alarm Can of Worms
CTwireman Offline
Member

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 839
Loc: Connecticut, USA
I'm in Guilford, down on the shore. (Just east of New Haven.) Myself and my immediate family have been here since 1998.

I was born and raised in Rhode Island though, that's why I mentioned the Station fire.

Peter
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Peter

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#108560 - 03/17/04 04:20 AM Re: Fire Alarm Can of Worms
PCBelarge Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 657
Loc: Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
Bob
You mentioned that the existing wiring will be abandoned. Is your company planning on or being required to remove the existing alarm wiring?

Pierre
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Pierre Belarge

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#108561 - 03/17/04 04:28 AM Re: Fire Alarm Can of Worms
electure Offline

Member

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4226
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
iwire,
Good deal. I sure hope the owner accepts your proposal. It would be great to know that this was gone/fixed.
Keep us informed. (maybe an "after" picture?)
...S

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#108562 - 03/17/04 01:10 PM Re: Fire Alarm Can of Worms
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
They tell us it will happen in September, as much as they are happy with our work this job will be put out to bid, I can not blame them it will be expensive.

I know the engineers have produced a specification package of some 40-50 pages, beyond that it will be design build.

The solid 14 THHNs in the raceways I would if I was running the job would probable leave in place.

The tangled mess of low energy cable that spiders out through the building I would remove.

In, the areas under renovation now I already ripped 99% of the old plenum cable out and replaced it with FA MC.

This was a choice by myself with the blessing of the my PM, the contract was to reuse existing devices and wiring, as we have warranty the work I felt it was worth it to replace the old wiring.

I was also finding many "T" taps off of the class A notification zones.

It really bothers me to see life safety systems improperly wired.
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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