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Nightfall
My Goal Is To Deny Yours
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-03
Grand Rapids, MI
Reviews:
·ooma
·Comcast
·Callcentric

Smoke detectors going off for no reason!

We have 6 smoke detectors in the house. They have electricity running to each one for some reason and they have batteries in them as well. If you pull the batteries, the detectors won't go off so I assume the electricity are mainly to make all the other smoke detectors in the house go off if one goes off.

This morning at about 4:15am, we had our detectors go off for about 2 seconds. Upon checking the house, I didn't see any issues and just shrugged it off. At 7am, they went off again and this time for a little longer. In fact, they went off a few times while I was getting ready for work.

We have pulled all the batteries. My wife is going to the store to pick up new batteries, but the batteries that were in the detectors were about 6 months old. I suppose there is a chance that the batteries were dying, but I have never seen a smoke detector go off in the middle of the night due to a bad battery. I am leaning toward a faulty detector.

I have been reading various sources on the internet and found some people that have had issues with dust and spiders in their smoke detectors that have caused issues with false alarms like what we are facing. Some people recommend vacuuming out their detectors or using canned air. I am going to try that when I get home as well.

Anyone else here have this problem? If so, what did you do to fix it?
--
My Domain
Nightfall's Hockey and Life Journal

Bobcat79
Premium
join:2001-02-04

1 edit
You should gently vacuum the detectors periodically.

Things like high humidity can also cause problems.

Check the detectors' owner's manual. They sometimes have a flashing LED that will allow you to determine which detector in an interconnnected group caused the alarm. That may enable you to identify a faulty detector.

How old are they? If they're over 10 years old, they should be replaced.


markwp2001
Spreadhead
Premium
join:2002-05-25
Long Beach, MS
reply to Nightfall
Might want to put this in the Home Repair forum.


Nightfall
My Goal Is To Deny Yours
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-03
Grand Rapids, MI
Reviews:
·ooma
·Comcast
·Callcentric
reply to Nightfall
I will hey mod this and have them put it in the home repair forum.

They are about 6 years old so not quite 10 years yet.

They have never been vaccumed out so I will try that next. I have canned air to blow them out as well. As for a red light on one of the detectors, I think I know which one it is. I will have to do more testing when I get home.
--
My Domain
Nightfall's Hockey and Life Journal


beck
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-29
On The Road
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Stablehost.com
reply to Nightfall
It's that time of year when spiders and other crawlies are trying to find a warm place. I had something like this happen one year when there was an overabundance of spiders. All it takes is a little bug to cross the sensor. I figured it out one night when the alarm over my head went off and a spider came zooming right out of there.
--
It doesn't interest me who you know, or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
- Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Bobcat79
Premium
join:2001-02-04
reply to Nightfall
I would just gently vacuum them. Open the vacuum's suction control so you don't suck the guts out (not literally) of the detectors. That will likely solve your problem.

I would NOT use canned air, as you might blow dirt into the sensor.


Nightfall
My Goal Is To Deny Yours
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-03
Grand Rapids, MI
Reviews:
·ooma
·Comcast
·Callcentric
My wife used a vaccuum first on each detector, used canned air, and then vaccuumed again. She put new batteries in each detector as well.

So far, no false alarms!

I guess time will tell if this works.
--
My Domain
Nightfall's Hockey and Life Journal


markwp2001
Spreadhead
Premium
join:2002-05-25
Long Beach, MS
Good to know your smoke detectors are in working order, brings peace of mine. This will prompt me to check/service mine this weekend.
--
jvmorris: confused about the difference between query and statement


rfhar
The World Sport, Played In Every Country
Premium
join:2001-03-26
Buicktown,Mi
Mine get new batteries etc. when I change the clocks spring and fall.


Never Ready

@covad.net
reply to Nightfall
You can buy Lithium batteries, they last 10 years.


Rifleman
Premium
join:2004-02-09
p1a
reply to Nightfall
They'll beep periodically when the batteries are getting low. The trouble with all of them wired together is which one is dying? So best to change them all.


81399672
Premium
join:2006-05-17
Los Angeles, CA
kudos:2
reply to Nightfall
i agree with others battery are low, had that happen to me before. Only thing worse then it going off in the house is when fire bell goes off in middle of night because i ignored the smoke detector beeping for to long.


ninjatutle
Premium

join:2006-01-02
San Ramon, CA
reply to Nightfall
Do you have any ghost in the home?


Tursiops_G
Technoid
Premium,MVM
join:2002-02-06
Norwalk, CT
kudos:1
reply to Nightfall
What type of Central Heating/Hot Water heating do you have? (Gas, Oil, or Electric?)

If you have a Gas or Oil furnace or Hot Water Heater, Has it been serviced within the past year?

The reason that I'm asking this, is if you happen to have a problem with your Gas/Oil heater, it may be causing excessive Carbon Monoxide buildup in your home, which can possibly trigger your Smoke Detectors...

If cleaning the Smoke Detectors, and changing their Batteries doesn't stop the occurrence of "Nuisance Alarms", You may want to have your Heating/Hot Water system professionally checked, and perhaps even install a Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector, just to be safe...

Just My $0.02...

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


Nightfall
My Goal Is To Deny Yours
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-03
Grand Rapids, MI
Reviews:
·ooma
·Comcast
·Callcentric
Well, we are still getting false alarms, but I think I have determined the problem unit. I am going to get that unit replaced to see if that fixes the problem.

As was mentioned, if that doesn't fix it, I will have our heating system or hot water heater checked.

As for carbon monoxide, we have a carbon monoxide detector in the house and are having no issues with that. I seriously doubt it is that, but thanks for the idea.
--
My Domain
Nightfall's Hockey and Life Journal


dandelion
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-29
Germantown, TN
kudos:5
reply to Nightfall
We're all electric, mine go off everytime we have even a brief power outage but that doesn't sound like your problem.


ff1324
Everybody Goes Home
Premium
join:2002-08-24
On Four Day
reply to Nightfall
If you find that you have one problem unit, spend the money to replace them all at once. It will save a repeat of this episode in a few years.

We've run calls similar to what you're experiencing right now. Once we've identified the problem unit, we've told them to either replace them all or have an electrician replace them all. When they don't, we're back at their house within a couple of years finding another older detector has gone bad.

Also, your detectors have 3 lines going to them. AC power runs on the black and white wires. The third wire (usually orange or red) is the interconnect wire. This causes all of the interconnected smoke detectors to sound when one is activated. This is a good thing.

Batteries are there in case AC power is interrupted. Such as when there's an electrical fire or power outage during a storm.
--
The funny thing about firemen...night and day they're always firemen


Sr Tech
Premium
join:2003-01-19
New Britain, CT
kudos:1
This may sound crazy, but the detectors kept going off in my fathers house but there was no fire or monoxide from the furnace. It turned out that the sewage drain to the street there is a trap in the basement and the plug had corroded enough that the gas from the sewer drain was leaking into the house set off the detectors in the basement. I am not saying that is what the issue may be but I do not know how old your house is and where this detector is in the house but it may be worth looking at. And that is my 2cents.

averagedude

join:2002-01-30
San Diego, CA
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
reply to Nightfall
It sounds like the detectors are daisy chained.
I had similar problem.
The power to the 2nd to last detector was loose.
It made all the detectors go off for a few seconds - nut cap loose.
Had to open them all up to find the loose wire.
Also look for a yellow wire, which is the signal wire that activates the other detectors - make sure that isn't loose.