An Australian dilemma regarding smoke detectors / alarms

davemacdavemac Registered Users Posts: 39 ✭✭

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) now demands that all new homes must have AC hard-wired smoke & fire detectors / alarms that have DC battery backup and are linked (so that all alarms sound if one is activated).

The dilemma for me is that whenever my inverter goes into its energy saving load-search or sleep modes this creates an under-volt in the home AC circuitry and thus trips the detectors. The alarms all 'chirp' annoyingly as soon as their batteries take over from the AC to let you know of the situation.

As you can imagine, this happens most often during sleeping hours.

My electrician and building inspector do not know of any code compliant detectors that 'keep quiet' when the inverter goes snoozing and my home cannot be certified without AC hard-wired smoke alarms.

Any products or thoughts on solving this problem? I do not wish to switch off the load search and sleep modes of my Victron inverter (defeats the reason I bought it). The electrical wholesale guys in my neighborhood roll their eyes at my problem and mutter 'off-gridders' !

Cheers DaveMac


  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,733 admin
    Talk with an alarm company (dc backup)?

    Very small ac inverter for alarms only (if over 12vdc battery back, difficult to find)?

    Get the occupancy permit then disconnect and do battery based alarms.

    Wonder if there are any boat/marine alarms that would work on dc.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    How about a 50W inverter dedicated just to the alarms... or a UPS?
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • dennis461dennis461 Registered Users Posts: 109 ✭✭✭
    Have you tried keeping an incandescent light (horrors) on to keep the inverter awake? 
    Camden County, NJ, USA
    19 SW285 panels
    SE5000 inverter
    grid tied
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,873 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Got the same situation here in California, hardwired, interconnected smoke and Co alarms, house & detached garage.  About 10 detectors, 3 failures in the first month, and 2 more duds last couple years.   And now coming up on the 5 year element timeout of the Co detectors, have to replace them all.
    Had to leave search mode off on the inverter, can't shut them up unless I turn the breaker off and wait 30 minutes for the chirps to time out,
    And don't get me started on the the fire sprinklers in the unheated attic and garage......
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    gen: ,

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