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SirMeowmix_I

@myvzw.com

Lithium 9V batteries in CO/Smoke detectors?

Has anyone tried the 9V lithium batteries in their CO or smoke detectors? I replaced all my alkaline with Ultralife lithium (made in the USA too) and was curious to see if anyone had any issues or noticed an increase in longevity. One thing I did notice was that there was a tighter fit and the bottom on the 9V was steel and a uniform casing, not metal crimped around cardboard like the alkaline. I think they were about $12 a cell at RS.



fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

1 edit

I don't think it makes any sense to put lithium batteries as you're supposed to change your smoke detector batteries twice a year anyway...

My CO detectors plug in to the wall and have 9V battery backup so it's not like the power draw from the battery is at all high.



jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1

said by fifty nine:

I don't think it makes any sense to put lithium batteries as you're supposed to change your smoke detector batteries twice a year anyway...
That is the suggested replacement interval with conventional zinc batteries, alkaline cells can last at least a year, and lithium batteries can last up to 10 years in a smoke detector.
--
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cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to SirMeowmix_I

My last alkaline lasted some 5 years. I only replace batteries when the detectors start complaining.



tim_k
Buttons, Bows, Beamer, Shadow, Kasey
Premium,VIP
join:2002-02-02
Stewartstown, PA
kudos:37
reply to jack b

said by jack b:

and lithium batteries can last up to 10 years in a smoke detector.
Mine are also rated for 10 years. I just put them in last year so they still have a ways to go.
--
RIP my babies Buttons 1/15/94-2/9/07, Beamer 7/24/08, & Bows 12/17/94-10/11/09


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·G4 Communications
·Fairpoint Commun..
·Hollis Hosting
reply to SirMeowmix_I

I use Lithium outside because they work better at extremely low temperatures.

I would not bother using them in smoke detectors since the idea is to change them regularly.

I have a routine at our house. I put fresh batteries in critical loads. Test the ones I take out and use them for uncritical loads, like toys.

/tom



fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to jack b

said by jack b:

said by fifty nine:

I don't think it makes any sense to put lithium batteries as you're supposed to change your smoke detector batteries twice a year anyway...
That is the suggested replacement interval with conventional zinc batteries, alkaline cells can last at least a year, and lithium batteries can last up to 10 years in a smoke detector.
While that's true, the idea is to replace them twice annually so you can also inspect the smoke detector.

"Set and forget" is never a good idea for a device which can potentially save your life.

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel

Sorry if this is a little OT, but this got me thinking...

I've got no idea of the age of the smoke detector in my apartment, but it does beep when press the test button.

However, how can one be sure that it actually detects smoke and that the radioactive material isn't completely decayed?

Is not knowing the age of the detector reason enough to replace it?

Btw it's a mains powered type detector (no battery). Come to think about maybe I should replace it with a model that has battery backup anyways, as it is not on a dedicated breaker (shares the same breaker as the outlets and lights for the bathroom, living room, hallway, and 3rd bedroom).



tmh

@verizon.net
reply to SirMeowmix_I

said by SirMeowmix_I :

Has anyone tried the 9V lithium batteries in their CO or smoke detectors? I replaced all my alkaline with Ultralife lithium (made in the USA too) and was curious to see if anyone had any issues or noticed an increase in longevity. One thing I did notice was that there was a tighter fit and the bottom on the 9V was steel and a uniform casing, not metal crimped around cardboard like the alkaline. I think they were about $12 a cell at RS.
Those that I got were useless. They're supposed to last 5 years, but failed after 3. For the price you have to pay, I can buy enough regular alkaline batteries to last the detector's lifetime.


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·G4 Communications
·Fairpoint Commun..
·Hollis Hosting
reply to TheMG

Couple of years ago I replaced all three interconnected AC powered smoke detectors. The old ones were about 25 years old.

The new ones are both AC and battery powered. In addition to battery backup they have several other useful features besides just having battery backup. They have a override button to temporally quiet the alarm. Handy for occasional cooking fumes or in our case getting careless with the wood stove. There is an LED indicator so you know the alarm is powered.

NFPA recommends replacement every 10 years. That seems like a reasonable interval. My recommendation is if yours are 10'ish years old replace them. I don't think there is a standard to interconnect alarms so replace them all with the same brand to be safe.



tmh

@verizon.net
reply to TheMG

said by TheMG:

Sorry if this is a little OT, but this got me thinking...

I've got no idea of the age of the smoke detector in my apartment, but it does beep when press the test button.

However, how can one be sure that it actually detects smoke and that the radioactive material isn't completely decayed?

If the detector is truly an ionizing detector, the effective life is 10 years. It's a function of the half-life of the alpha emitter (typically Americium 241). Once enough of the material is gone,it is no longer effective.

Those sensitive to heat rise, or are photoelectric can last longer. I don't have any numbers on these however.

All three detection modes have their pros and cons. Some of the better ones are multi-mode (e.g. photoelectric and ionizing).

If you don't know when they were put in, you can usually check in the case for the date of manufacture. If that's not available, best change it.

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3

1 edit

Holy crap! I just pulled it off the wall to read the manufacture date on it:

October 15, 1987

Ionization type.

Definitely due for a replacement! I'm definitely going to go buy a new one tomorrow.



Jtmo
Premium
join:2001-05-20
Novato, CA
reply to SirMeowmix_I

Yes. a little old.
You can also buy smoke detector test aerosol, to see whether they really work.



NYR 56
Premium
join:2000-12-05
Smithtown, NY
reply to SirMeowmix_I

Blowing out a match and then holding the smoke near it is a pretty valid test. Much better than pressing the button anyway.



Tursiops_G
Technoid
Premium,MVM
join:2002-02-06
Norwalk, CT
kudos:1
reply to SirMeowmix_I

I'm using Lithium 9V batteries in my smoke detectors... The BEST I've gotten from them is 3 years, before the detectors begin to complain... That's being tested once every 6 Months, with minimal incidents (burnt toast, etc.)

Lithium Batteries typically last 10+ years *in Storage*, but Not *in Use*... They typically last 4X-7X the lifetime of a Heavy Duty Alkaline battery, depending on the device's current draw/usage...

The BEST things about Lithium batteries is that they will perform better over a much wider Temperature range than Alkaline batteries, and that they will *NEVER* Leak or Corrode, Making them an Excellent choice for use in an LED Flashlight stored in your car's Glove Compartment, or in an Emergency AM/FM Radio that ends up sitting forgotten in your closet for several years...

-Tursiops_G.
--
If You're Unsure, "RTFM"... If You're SURE, "RTFM" Anyway.



Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
reply to SirMeowmix_I

A few people brought it up already but here is my take on the batteries. Most all newer detectors have a low battery warning chirp. I don't change the battery until it starts chirping or until the test button stops working, which I test about weekly.

As for lithium, go for it. I just replaced my detector the other day. I saw that Kidde now makes a model with a sealed lithium battery. No battery to change. Rated for ten years then you toss the whole thing and buy a new one. Was $19 at Fleet Farm.
--
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nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
reply to SirMeowmix_I

As mentioned, smokes are only good for about 10 years. Most newer models have a "replace by" date on the detector. Li batteries for a smoke are a waste of money unless you get them super cheap. I get about 3 years out of plain old batteries.


TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel
reply to NYR 56

said by NYR 56:

Blowing out a match and then holding the smoke near it is a pretty valid test. Much better than pressing the button anyway.
Surprisingly enough that actually worked, after 22 years!

I'm sure the sensitivity might not be as good as when it was new though. The concentrated smoke from a blown out match being held right underneath it, well, that's a LOT of smoke.


Anonymous_
Anonymous
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join:2004-06-21
127.0.0.1
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to fifty nine

said by fifty nine:

said by jack b:

said by fifty nine:

I don't think it makes any sense to put lithium batteries as you're supposed to change your smoke detector batteries twice a year anyway...
That is the suggested replacement interval with conventional zinc batteries, alkaline cells can last at least a year, and lithium batteries can last up to 10 years in a smoke detector.
While that's true, the idea is to replace them twice annually so you can also inspect the smoke detector.

"Set and forget" is never a good idea for a device which can potentially save your life.
i test my every few days

happens when cooking No i do not burn my food but it does make smoke


james1

join:2001-02-26
reply to fifty nine

said by fifty nine:

"Set and forget" is never a good idea for a device which can potentially save your life.
Actually, Set and forget is a FANTASTIC idea for a device that can save your life. The key being that it's reliable when set so you can forget about it and don't need to remember to change batteries every so often.

Remember, changing the batteries in smoke detectors isn't just some magical rule, it's done to make sure the battery hasn't run out. So if you have a battery with a very long lifetime you can obviously change it less often.

If you use batteries with (apparently) longer lives, make sure you test your smoke alarms regularly even if you aren't changing your batteries.
--
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ranonon

@xtra.co.nz
reply to SirMeowmix_I

Tested approx 300 Lithium batteries & 200 smoke detectors (same manufactures, different batches).
Their A/hr rating of the battery was good for a theoretical 10 year operation when new.

My impression is that their internal resistance increased over time or in colder climates, which in turn caused the smoke detectors to indicate low battery warnings during their battery test pulse.

I use cheap batteries & replace yearly in fall, so a new battery is in operation over winter.



Savant
Premium
join:2001-08-12
Toronto
reply to SirMeowmix_I

Lithium can be handy as the battery backup on an AC detector, since there is no drain. Basically you want a battery to hold its charge for a long time while not being used, and Lithium is ideal for that.
--

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