Addressable vs Conventional fire alarm - Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum
CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY, IT'S FREE!
Go Back   Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum > Electrical Forum > General Electrical Discussion


Like Tree8Likes
  • 2 Post By MTW
  • 1 Post By splatz
  • 1 Post By joebanana
  • 2 Post By tjb
  • 2 Post By Signal1
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-20-2019, 07:56 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: NH
Posts: 727
Rewards Points: 1,393
Default Addressable vs Conventional fire alarm

Looked at a $hithole three-story, six family that I need to put a basic monitored common area fire alarm system in. It will probably be all in EMT in the halls/stairs and red jacket in the basement. Which is more cost-effective? Addressable or conventional? Front stair is going to be piped from the panel location right in the first-floor hall. all the wiring for the rear Hall is going to have to go down to the basement piped back up the back stairs.
I'm thinking addressable is going to save me a couple rolls of wire, some labor and be able to pipe the whole thing in 1/2 inch. But then again, the panel and devices are more expensive in addressable. The system is going to be roughly 8 smokes, 1 heat, 5 pulls and 9 AVs.
Thoughts?
JoeSparky is online now   Reply With Quote
Join Contractor Talk

Join the #1 Electrician Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

ElectricianTalk.com - Are you a Professional Electrical Contractor? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's the leading place for electricians to meet online. No homeowners asking DIY questions. Just fellow tradesmen who enjoy talking about their business, their trade, and anything else that comes up. No matter what your specialty is you'll find that ElectricianTalk.com is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally free!

Join ElectricianTalk.com - Click Here JOIN FOR FREE


Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ElectricianTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-20-2019, 08:00 PM   #2
MTW
Senior Member
 
MTW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Northeast USA
Posts: 14,801
Rewards Points: 8,758
Default

The fire department will probably want addressable so they can identify which apartment or device was set off. I would use addressable for ease of installation, and the cost of devices is more but the labor savings is greater.
B-Nabs and telsa like this.
MTW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2019, 08:20 PM   #3
Hackenschmidt
 
splatz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 8,517
Rewards Points: 4,432
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
I'm thinking addressable is going to save me a couple rolls of wire, some labor and be able to pipe the whole thing in 1/2 inch. But then again, the panel and devices are more expensive in addressable. The system is going to be roughly 8 smokes, 1 heat, 5 pulls and 9 AVs.
For me the savings with 1/2" in exposed work in finished spaces is considerable. My experience is limited but addressable makes maintenance simpler.
B-Nabs likes this.
__________________
Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, But Not Simpler
splatz is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-20-2019, 09:09 PM   #4
86 45 20
 
Southeast Power's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 17,824
Rewards Points: 8,328
Default

Addressable for sure. I haven’t installed a conventional in a few years.
Southeast Power is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2019, 11:19 PM   #5
Cow
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Eastern Oregon
Posts: 2,925
Rewards Points: 4,686
Default

We sub this work out typically.

Are you guys just doing the grunt work and then subbing out the programming or are you doing it all 100%? Design, installation, and programming?

How tough is it for the average electrician to learn to do systems like this? We do a fair amount of plc and control work, but we've never ventured into fire alarm design or programming.
Cow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2019, 11:44 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: So.Cal.
Posts: 3,567
Rewards Points: 7,073
Default

I take it you don't have approved plans? You should run your set up past the fire marshal because he'll have to sign off on it, and no matter what you do, it'll be wrong. Usually the drawing/installation has to be approved by the F.M. because they have their own ideas on where things go.
telsa likes this.
__________________
-------------------------------
~ She thinks I'm crazy, but I'm just growing old~
joebanana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2019, 04:35 AM   #7
86 45 20
 
Southeast Power's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 17,824
Rewards Points: 8,328
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cow View Post
We sub this work out typically.

Are you guys just doing the grunt work and then subbing out the programming or are you doing it all 100%? Design, installation, and programming?

How tough is it for the average electrician to learn to do systems like this? We do a fair amount of plc and control work, but we've never ventured into fire alarm design or programming.
I would have to say that it is idiot work.
The panel discovers all of the modules, you can download the software, plug in a laptop and then name each module. You then sell the monitoring and maintenance for whatever you like per month. I think we pay $12 for an FA system, sell for $60 to 100 per month with $150 if a runner has to take care of a call. Reset an alarm or clear trouble. Extra to change batteries, any repairs. Local ordinances require every system to have a contract in place.
Southeast Power is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2019, 07:23 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Sacramento, California
Posts: 13,975
Rewards Points: 26,196
Default

Getting F/A through plan check can be an experience.

You are forewarned.
telsa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2019, 07:39 AM   #9
Can't Remember
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 9,084
Rewards Points: 12
Default

In the past, when I still worked for someone, we'd do all the grunt work, pull wires, mount devices, panel cans, etc, sometimes help with testing. The fire alarm people were responsible for design and start up and it then was their problem thereafter. I think any difficulties with the fire department will vary with location. I don't think I want any responsibility with layout, I'd rather have someone spec that for me and know its been approved. The install isn't that tough. I remember the red fire alarm cable being fragile and having to go swimming in insulation in the attics from damage caused by all the other trades. The MC stuff seemed like a much safer bet exposed in those locations. Seemed to be fine in pipe.
nrp3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2019, 07:43 AM   #10
86 45 20
 
Southeast Power's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 17,824
Rewards Points: 8,328
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by telsa View Post
Getting F/A through plan check can be an experience.

You are forewarned.
Our engineer charges less per page for fire alarm work and shop drawings than for electrical work. He has a program that populates a drawing and all he has to do is make some site-specific corrections.
He bangs them out pretty quick. I don't remember having any plan review problems.
Southeast Power is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2019, 07:47 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
MikeFL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: The Sunshine State
Posts: 5,460
Rewards Points: 3,016
Default

Fire Departments are the most local of the trades. It's going to be how they say, and that's not from being belligerent, it's just how Fire Departments operate. In one jurisdiction they have whatever trucks, stations, hoses, pumps, etc. and in the neighboring jurisdiction it may be totally different. OP needs to check with the local fire marshal and get some information.
__________________
Michael Gookin, President
GPS Timers

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

(833) GPS-TIME
MikeFL is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2019, 08:29 AM   #12
tjb
Cool Kid
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 609
Rewards Points: 363
Default

FPLR and FPLP are horrible to pull through conduit. I assume you know this and are going to use THHN in that EMT, but just thought I’d mention it.
JoeSparky and splatz like this.
tjb is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to tjb For This Useful Post:
Southeast Power (07-21-2019)
Old 07-21-2019, 09:48 AM   #13
MTW
Senior Member
 
MTW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Northeast USA
Posts: 14,801
Rewards Points: 8,758
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cow View Post
How tough is it for the average electrician to learn to do systems like this? We do a fair amount of plc and control work, but we've never ventured into fire alarm design or programming.
It's extremely easy to do fire alarm other than having to learn a few different rules to comply with the fire alarm code. 99.9% of the time you're working off of engineered plans anyway, you're simply piping and wiring to plan. The vendors that sell the equipment do all the testing and programming.

On a small job like the OP is planning, usually you can make the plan yourself and submit it to the fire department or whoever is responsible for fire alarm plan review. No engineer required.
MTW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2019, 10:24 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: NH
Posts: 727
Rewards Points: 1,393
Default

Chief cook and bottle washer. Design, install, programming, testing, central station and maintenance all with the same pair of hands. FD in this town is fairly lax. They are not even requiring system devices in the apartments. They could care less if I install addressable or conventional
JoeSparky is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2019, 10:30 AM   #15
MTW
Senior Member
 
MTW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Northeast USA
Posts: 14,801
Rewards Points: 8,758
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
Chief cook and bottle washer. Design, install, programming, testing, central station and maintenance all with the same pair of hands. FD in this town is fairly lax. They are not even requiring system devices in the apartments. They could care less if I install addressable or conventional
MTW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2019, 10:54 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: NH
Posts: 727
Rewards Points: 1,393
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cow View Post
We sub this work out typically.

Are you guys just doing the grunt work and then subbing out the programming or are you doing it all 100%? Design, installation, and programming?

How tough is it for the average electrician to learn to do systems like this? We do a fair amount of plc and control work, but we've never ventured into fire alarm design or programming.
The programming is cake. On most systems, you address and name all of your devices and put them into group numbers. Any input device in that group will activate any output in the same. Hell, if you go with a non proprietary system like Fire-lite, the programming cable is just an ordinary usb printer cable. The proprietary systems, once you jump through the dealer paywall hoops use proprietary usb or serial cables and/or security dongles and still program basically the same
JoeSparky is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2019, 11:03 AM   #17
Gold Pliers Champion
 
Signal1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Boston Area
Posts: 2,304
Rewards Points: 2,178
Default

Addressable all the way. Easier to install, easier to trouble shoot.

Fire-lite, which is a lighter version of Notifier, makes a nice 50 point addressable panel that's perfect for small jobs like that. The MS-9050 has a built in communicator for phone lines, but I think there's an upgraded version of that for IP based comm. (I tried to look but it seems the Fire-Lite site is down this AM) Usually about $800.

I'm fairly sure that that unit has a keyboard port right on the motherboard so yo can key in the ID"s yourself with a detachable keyboard (you know , the kind that comes with a desktop computer). On a simple system like that yo could probably program yourself using the PK-50 software but that's a little ambitious if it's your first install.

Anyhow the distributor you purchase from will most likely be factory certified and will do the programming for you which is probably best, you need to think liability here.

I'd pipe it in like you said but I avoid the PLFA junk where I can and use the red MC 14 where exposed but that's up to your situation.

This is the perfect little job to get your feet wet, between your distributor and the guys on here you should have plenty of support, and once you bang this one out you'll have a lot more confidence with these systems, and hopefully forget about conventional systems for good.
MTW and MikeFL like this.
Signal1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2019, 11:08 AM   #18
Professional Nit Picker
 
manchestersparky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2,261
Rewards Points: 2,158
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjb View Post
FPLR and FPLP are horrible to pull through conduit. I assume you know this and are going to use THHN in that EMT, but just thought I’d mention it.
Maybe I'm the exception here ….. But I've done a lot of F/A systems. All were piped 100%. I never had an issue pulling the FPLP cables.
I planned out my conduit runs to eliminate splices and ease of pulling.
Hell I did an entire Elementary school fire alarm system completely by myself. Piped , pulled, terminated, trouble shot.
__________________
Anything Worth Doing ....
Is Worth Doing Right
manchestersparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Our Pro Sites Network
ContractorTalk.com | DrywallTalk.com | HVACSite.com | PaintTalk.com | PlumbingZone.com | RoofingTalk.com