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Ask the Technician

Douglas Krantz -- Fire Alarm Engineering Technician, Electronic Designer, Electronic Technician, Writer




Why reverse polarity for fire alarm horns? -- A fire horn is turned like a light; it turns on when power is applied and turns off when power is removed. But then again, to constantly check continuity of the wires (supervise the wires), the Fire Alarm Control Panel (FACP) always has power applied to the circuit. Read More

Can Fire Alarm Fiber be Run in the Same Conduit as BMS? -- Can fire fiber riser be run in the same riser conduit with BMS? We only have one riser conduit for both. The engineers are saying we need two separate conduits, your thoughts? Read More

Can a Button be Installed to Release a Door Holder? -- The workers have to pop the door off the magnet when church starts. Some of the workers are older and have difficulty closing the door. Read More

What Causes an Open NAC? -- I am going to a job site where on the service call ticket states that a NAC is reading open circuit. What can cause an open circuit on the NAC line? Read More

Can the fire department make the owner bring the whole fire alarm system up to code? -- We failed the inspection with city due to lack of signage at pull stations in an existing apartment building. The signs are supposed to say LOCAL ALARM ONLY - IN CASE OF FIRE CALL 911 Read More

I'm Having Trouble With a Door Release -- While trying to trouble shoot why the door release for the front door is not working, one of the conductors grounded out against the fire alarm panel chases. This caused the door release to activate. Any thoughts? Read More

Are All Smoke Detectors Polarity Sensitive? -- I have a question... Is it important for smoke detectors to be polarity correct? Are all smoke detectors polarity sensitive? Read More

Can You Tell Me how the Red Box on the Wall Operates? -- I moved into a 1-bedroom apartment recently that has 3 smoke detectors (the flat, round kind mounted on the ceiling), but also mounted on one wall is a red strobe alarm... Read More

Do I Have to Go Off Line? -- Do I have to go offline to replace the batteries in the duct detector panel? Also, will I have to reset any equipment or systems? Read More

Can I Relocate a Strobe Without Reprogramming? -- Do the technicians have to reprogram the fire alarm system after relocating devices just a few inches from their original position? Read More

Can We Use Waterflow Switches for Liquid Suppression Systems? -- Can we use the Flow Switches and Pressure Switches that are used with water lines, for fire suppression system, if fire suppression system uses NOVEC 1230 liquid? Read More

How Can We Fix Intermittent Beeping Troubles? -- We have a fire alarm system installed ~ 2000, it started beeping trouble, runs through all the points as troubles, then restores to normal. Fire alarm technicians cannot figure it out. Read More

Is There Any Reference to Font Size for Labels? -- Is there any clear info on the marking as to Font size? As for 10.6.5.2.3 is there a better description for a red marking, one that is uniform with code?Read More

How do I troubleshoot a ground fault? -- Troubleshooting a ground fault is like troubleshooting anything else. The first thing to do is stop and think. Ask yourself, what are you looking at? Read More

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Douglas Krantz

Describing How It Works
writer@douglaskrantz.com
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612/986-4210

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Electrical Flow


On this website, most references to electrical flow are to the movement of electrons.

Electron movement is generally used here because it is the electrons that are actually moving. To explain the effects of magnetic forces, the movement of electrons is best.

Conventional current flow, positive charges that appear to be moving in the circuit, will be specified when it is used. The positive electrical forces are not actually moving -- as the electrons are coming and going on an atom, the electrical forces are just loosing or gaining strength. The forces appear to be moving from one atom to the next, but the percieved movement is actually just a result of electron movement. This perceived movement is traveling at a consistent speed, usually around two-thirds the speed of light. To explain the effects of electrostatic forces, the movement of positive charges (conventional current) is best.

See the explanation on which way electricity flows at www.douglaskrantz.com/
ElecElectricalFlow.html
.




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