Nest Protect Has Different Backplates for Wired and Battery Versions

Pictured above are the two backplates for the Nest Protect smoke detector. The backplate to the left comes with the wired version and is designed to fit any electrical box. The backplate to the right belongs to the battery-powered Nest Protect. It comes with wood screws and really only fits into wood or dry-wall.

Posting this because I originally purchased the battery version. I figured 5 years of battery-life was reasonable—the life of the smoke detector is only 10 years. Plus, I didn’t want to fiddle with wires unless I had to.

Unfortunately the battery version is fairly limited. I found the screws in the backplate were too small for the electrical box in my ceiling. After reaching out to Nest about it they informed me that I should exchange the battery version for the wired version.

After watching Youtube videos of people installing wired Nest Protects, I decided it wouldn’t be that hard. What’s the worst that could happen? I electrocute myself?

We’ll I’m proud to report that didn’t happen. The Nest Protect was successfully installed.


It is odd to me that nest would manufacture different smoke detector backplates. Surely the multi-hole one isn’t so much more expensive that it’s cheaper to design a different one for the battery model?

Yeah, it seems silly to me. Figured I’d post for anyone else wondering what Nest Protect model to buy.

Thanks for sharing. So just to confirm, the battery Protect device will indeed mount to the wired backplate?

I have a 3-pack of the battery powered version. One location I just discovered should be a wired device hence the electrical box. I’m thinking I can just drill holes into the existing battery backplate to fit the electrical box. Thoughts?

Hey Anton! I don’t think it will work out of the box unless the screws match up exactly with the backplate—it didn’t for me. If you drill holes into the existing backplate, I think you might be able to make it work.

If it’s an option, I’d think you would be better off exchanging one of them for the wired version. The wired backplate has a of options that already fit electrical boxes of various sizes.

Yeah, I think I was over complicating it. There’s enough room that I can drill 2 new holes so it fits the threaded box holes. Plus I get to use power tools LOL. Thanks again.

How do you like you Protects? Hopefully, we never have to find out just how good they really are.

All-in-all I’m a fan. I have high ceilings and would need a ladder to turn it off if I’m cooking a steak or something. It’s much easier to mute it from my phone.