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Old 11-23-2007, 09:03 AM   #1
Rod
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Smoke Detector, Intermittent Chirping


We recently had our basement remodeled and 3 smoke detectors were installed. One smoke dectector started intermittently alarming right after it was installed, but never when the contractor came to take a look. Anyway, he installed a new, different model (better), smoke detector in its place and the next day it too started acting the same way. After a few days of this we opened a couple of vents that had been closed during the remodeling. This seemed to fix the problem for several months. Then last week we had a technician performing the annual furnance checkout and the day after he left the smoke detector started chirping, this time like the battery was weak. I installed a new battery but it still keeps chirping (intermittently). The contractor says he will install yet another one, same model as the other two. Both the electrician or the contractor seem baffled by the cause of this problem. Has anyone had a similar problem or know what this might indicate? Thanks if advance for your help.

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Old 11-23-2007, 09:17 AM   #2
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Smoke Detector, Intermittent Chirping


If you have ionization detectors it may be picking up a nearby air return duct etc..

Might swap out for a photoelectric detector which is less likely to have false alarms. Just need to be sure they are compatible if all of the detectors are connected.

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Old 11-23-2007, 09:50 AM   #3
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Smoke Detector, Intermittent Chirping


If I'm not mistaken, the dual powered models (run on a battery AND line voltage) will chirp IF either the battery is low, missing, OR if there is no 120v power.
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Old 11-23-2007, 12:23 PM   #4
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Smoke Detector, Intermittent Chirping


Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnGuyLandSparky View Post
If I'm not mistaken, the dual powered models (run on a battery AND line voltage) will chirp IF either the battery is low, missing, OR if there is no 120v power.
Right on!!!

check the paper work that came with the unit or go to manufactureers web site.
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Old 11-23-2007, 05:48 PM   #5
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Smoke Detector, Intermittent Chirping


This reminds me of a funny story (to me anyhow). We had a bad run of smokies several years ago. The thing with smokies is I can't tell where the noise is coming from. I'd take down bad smokies AND remove the batteries and continue troubleshooting. The little **** would keep on chirping. I quickly learned that total destruction of the smokie into tiny little bits was the only solution.

CARRY ON!

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Old 11-24-2007, 07:12 AM   #6
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Smoke Detector, Intermittent Chirping


From further research on other threads dealing with smoke detectors on this site I think there are several things for me to look at if replacing it with the latest detector doesn't solve the problem:
- The problem smoke detector is not the same model as the other two and most posters have said do not mix brands or model numbers. The replacement detector is the same brand as the other two detectors (Firex brand).
- It is also an ionization smoke detector; so I appreciate the advice on replacing it with a photoelectric device if needed.
- It is also above a return vent from the furnace; however it is well over the 3feet distance from it.
- It is also in a corner, but again within the prescribed distance.
- Finally, and I just noticed this today, it seems to be reacting to the temperature dropping after the furnace has gone off and the area starts cooling down.
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Old 11-24-2007, 07:32 AM   #7
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Smoke Detector, Intermittent Chirping


Rod, Same brand and model # is critical! Smokies don't play well together unless they are twins.

Post back when problem is solved.

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Old 11-24-2007, 05:09 PM   #8
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Smoke Detector, Intermittent Chirping


- The problem smoke detector is not the same model as the other two and most posters have said do not mix brands or model numbers. The replacement detector is the same brand as the other two detectors (Firex brand).


Yes the smokes should be the same make and model. what about the smokes in the rest of the house upstairs, are those also the same make and model? They should all be interconnected of course with the rest of the house by a 3 wire.(red, black, and white)
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Old 11-24-2007, 05:59 PM   #9
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Smoke Detector, Intermittent Chirping


Do you make a habit out of burning candles?


Look closely at the unit with the cover removed and see if there are signs of smoke residue.
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:17 AM   #10
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Smoke Detector, Intermittent Chirping


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy in ATL View Post
This reminds me of a funny story (to me anyhow). We had a bad run of smokies several years ago. The thing with smokies is I can't tell where the noise is coming from. I'd take down bad smokies AND remove the batteries and continue troubleshooting. The little **** would keep on chirping. I quickly learned that total destruction of the smokie into tiny little bits was the only solution.

CARRY ON!

Andy
Andy, I think we were separated at birth. And with good reason.
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Old 12-09-2007, 02:41 PM   #11
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Smoke Detector, Intermittent Chirping


The saga continues.......Contractor and electrician came back a few days ago and replaced the odd smoke detector with one identical to the other 2 in the basement. They waited about 10 or 15 minutes, didn't hear anything and left. Shortly thereafter the chirping started up again. I called the contractor back and he called the electrician who told us to remove all 3 smoke detectors and place them outside and see if we still hear anything. Sure enought we kept hearing the chirping at the spot of the detector that they had just installed. The electrician said that there was no way that we should be hearing the chirping unless there was one that got left in the wall or ceiling and got dry walled in. If that were the case, with the house being almost 2 years old its battery could be chirping for replacement. So that's were we stand now. The contractor is coming back next week to try to pinpoint the exact location of the sound.
I know this all sounds pretty far-fetched but does anyone know how long a smoke detector can go on making this noise until the battery runs down completely (its been over a month now)? If it is something that will run its course in a few more weeks, I would say just forget it and leave it be. Or could it be something else entirely? Just curious, has anyone else experienced anything like this? Both the contractor and electrician say they have never had this happen before.
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:26 PM   #12
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Smoke Detector, Intermittent Chirping


Ahh hahh! My funny story about destroying the smokie into little bitty pieces makes some sense, now!

I wouldn't think it would last long...Probably long enough to drive me into insanity like Nicholson in the "Shining".

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Old 12-09-2007, 07:03 PM   #13
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Smoke Detector, Intermittent Chirping


PROBLEM FINALLY SOLVED!!!!!!!!!!!(almost 5 months later)
Went down to basement one last time with ladders and flashlight looking around areas above the dry wall ceiling----found nothing. Kept listening around what I thought was the source of the sound (ceiling) but suddenly noticed that the sound seemed to be coming more distinctly from ground level. Finally isolated it to the cold air return vent; unscrewed the vent cover and there on the floor was the original smoke detector that had been removed by the contractor before drywall and painting. Removed it and its batteries. No more chirping! Thanks to all for help and suggestions.
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Old 12-09-2007, 07:07 PM   #14
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Smoke Detector, Intermittent Chirping


Don't forget to bash it into little bitty pieces with a hammer...very theraputic.

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Old 12-09-2007, 09:29 PM   #15
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Smoke Detector, Intermittent Chirping


What a riot!

Thats one for the books...

Sure glad you found it BEFORE the batteries wore out!

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