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Beep..................beep......................beep..........................beep................going broke 9 volts at a time.

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Beep..................beep......................beep..........................beep................going broke 9 volts at a time.

Post  rsv1cox on Thu May 05, 2016 7:01 am

Smoke detectors, a necessary evil. I hate 'em. In my 78 years I have never had a house burn out from underneath me, or had my neighbors, or has anyone else’s that I have ever known. But by law and common sense they are required in every home. My home built in 2006 has eleven of them, yes that’s 11.

Last year around 10 pm and just as I was drifting off to sleep, all eleven went off at the same time. I have been on firing ranges that made less noise, seriously. These AC/DC detectors are all wired together, if smoke is detected in one they all go off so no matter where you are in the home you will be alerted. A good thing you would think, until they all sound at the same time. Ear splitting would be a mild term.

Mine are also tied into the security system which the vendor had just upgraded the week previous. Half awake, a dog going crazy, and pain in my ears I’m tapping in my password and hitting cancel to no avail. I dial their office, but over the din I can’t hear them clearly but I catch “your gonna have to pull all the batteries.”

So in the middle of the night, half naked, climbing chairs and ladders and like the astronauts in 2001 “A Space Odyssey” pulling the circuit breakers on HAL I start removing batteries. But they keep beeping. Now I have to unscrew the whole detector and disconnect the electrical connection. THEY STILL BEEP! So carrying armfuls of detectors I take them out to the garage where two more are going off. Got them.

Finally, silence. Or almost. There is still one faint beep. I traced it to the basement where I finally find it positioned inside the suspended ceiling. But which tile? After trial and error I find it and squeeze it’s little throat. It’s now near midnight.

Barely maintaining control I call the security company again demanding an explanation and threaten a pox on their company like they have never seen if it ever happens again. The next day I returned all the detectors to their original places without replacing any batteries.

Then, last night, two thirty in the morning I hear an ear splitting BEEP. It’s the detector in my bedroom telling me it’s time to replace the battery. I get up, pop the battery out thinking I will replace it in the morning when it resorts to a continuing “soft” beep. No rest for the wicked, I relent and found a new battery and replaced it. At least they all didn’t go off at once.

I never did get an explanation from the security company as to what caused the problem, and so far it has never happened again.
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Re: Beep..................beep......................beep..........................beep................going broke 9 volts at a time.

Post  fit90 on Thu May 05, 2016 7:41 am

I feel for you. I have religiously replaced all the batteries once a year and still have this happen occasionally. What I want to know is why does it always happen late at night when everybody is sleeping? I have never had it happen during the day. Now that my detectors are over ten years old I am replacing them with detectors that are both hard wired and have a ten year lithium battery (AC/DC, like yours.) They are a little more money but worth it. On any job with a permit that I do I need to upgrade the smoke detectors as well as several other things. They only have a ten year service life due to the half life of the radio active ingredient that helps them detect smoke. While this ideally makes my home safer I still hope I never have to rely on them.

Does anyone else have pain in the rear smoke detectors that behave badly?
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Re: Beep..................beep......................beep..........................beep................going broke 9 volts at a time.

Post  pkrankow on Thu May 05, 2016 8:27 am

Gah! CO detectors are just as bad. Similar life span due to a radioactive agent in the detector. Not supposed to trash them; nobody takes them for recycling!

I have taken to the 10 year lithium battery units and don't bother replacing the batteries even though the 10 year battery typically lasts 5. I just replace the whole unit. My house, though pretty decent size, only has 3 strategically located, although I probably should put one in the basement too. I have 2 CO detectors, one across from the fireplace, and one by the garage. Those also have typical life-span problems. Since this house is all-electric I don't have fume/gas detectors.

I would swear that the circuitry degrades causing most of these problems. I also know moisture, wet steam (like clouds from a hot shower) and dust can degrade and also set off smoke detectors.

I have known 2 families while growing up who suffered significant PROPERTY DAMAGE WITHOUT ANY LOSS OF LIFE due to fire and working smoke and CO detectors.

Phil
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Re: Beep..................beep......................beep..........................beep................going broke 9 volts at a time.

Post  ian1954 on Sat May 07, 2016 11:53 am

I read this and thought - Oh dear, how annoying, sad but never mind.

It prompted me to check mine and test them. All my units expired in 2005 and none of them work!

Replacements on order but I will have to do a little ceiling painting as well. The new units are much smaller than the old ones.

Strange how an off beat posting can promote activity.

Thank you for the wake up call. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Beep..................beep......................beep..........................beep................going broke 9 volts at a time.

Post  RknRusty on Sat May 07, 2016 3:06 pm

On a time-wise expired smoke detector, I'm guessing the push-button test beep is not a dependable indicator, is this true?
I think I better get a new one. I live in a small house, so one can be heard clearly from anywhere. My CO detector is only three years old.

Bob I got a kick out of you climbing around like the crew of Discovery One. Other than the half naked thing Lol

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Re: Beep..................beep......................beep..........................beep................going broke 9 volts at a time.

Post  ian1954 on Sat May 07, 2016 3:27 pm

RknRusty wrote:On a time-wise expired smoke detector, I'm guessing the push-button test beep is not a dependable indicator, is this true?
I think I better get a new one. I live in a small house, so one can be heard clearly from anywhere. My CO detector is only three years old.

Bob I got a kick out of you climbing around like the crew of Discovery One. Other than the half naked thing Lol

Your premise is correct - pressing the button still sounds the alarm so the alarms should be replaced when time expired. I used one of these to test

https://www.discountfiresupplies.co.uk/product/203/524/Smoke-Sabre-Smoke-Detector-Tester

and the alarm didn't sound.

You can get something similar to test CO detectors

http://www.gasfm.co.uk/co-detector-tester-spray-3331-p.asp

But it is cheaper just to buy a new one. Same for the smoke alarm.

I haven't tried the CO spray - I only have the CO detector in the kitchen where the gas boiler is and a room where I can have an open fire.

I only got the smoke spray out of interest. My alarms that didn't work are 21 years old! I have replaced the batteries when I get a battery warning but never thought to check how old they were!


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Re: Beep..................beep......................beep..........................beep................going broke 9 volts at a time.

Post  RknRusty on Sat May 07, 2016 7:59 pm

I just remembered the working ones are very hyper-sensitive to burning toast. Next time nobody's home I might try that just for kicks.

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Re: Beep..................beep......................beep..........................beep................going broke 9 volts at a time.

Post  Admin on Sun May 08, 2016 3:09 am

Yeah, these tied alarms can be good to alert you of a fire in another part of the house before the fire gets too big for you to escape, but then again, if they all go off, you can't quite tell what room the fire/smoke is in coming from...

The alarm at the bottom of the basement steps just started beeping earlier today, needed a new 9v. The alarm at the top of the steps outside the bedrooms is hardwired in and says "replace by 1999" on it, yet every time something gets burnt in the kitchen or something runs over in the oven, I goes off and I have to run up there with a magazine and fan it off to get it to hush.

I have an old Black and Decker smoke alarm that says "replace by 1996" on it, it used to be the one that was installed at the bottom of the basement steps. last I played with it (a year or two ago), it still goes off with smoke.

You can light a piece of paper on fire in a jar, put the lid on it, let it go out then open it up and let the smoke out near the detector to give it a real test.

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Re: Beep..................beep......................beep..........................beep................going broke 9 volts at a time.

Post  rsv1cox on Sun May 08, 2016 6:42 am

Thinking a bit about that "ear splitting beep" I mentioned "telling me it was time to replace the battery" can't be right. Normally these detectors just give off a soft beep followed by a period of time before beeping again. So there may still be a problem within my system. I'm living on the edge here. Smile Smile

Just to be clear about the first episode. The push to test, and hush buttons on my detectors look the same and the texts are hard to read under any conditions. I started out by pushing both trying to get them to "hush" before I removed the batteries with no success. Sad

I actually did think about 2001 while removing those batteries picturing myself as Bowman pulling those circuits and HAL slowly going to sleep. Funny what you think about in times of stress. Ya Randy, an image you don't want in your head. It happened in the dead of winter, cold and me wishing I had on astronauts clothing.

That was some team putting the movie together - Kubrick, Clarke, with help from Carl Sagan. If you ever get a chance to catch the originial Cosmos that Sagan produced and starred in watch it. The music alone is worth the price of admission.
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