Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-10-2011, 12:29 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 796
Share |
Default

Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


I have a full house smoke alarm system where they are all integrated and powered by the house. There is one room that when the vacuum is plugged into any outlet and turned on it makes them all go off. Any ideas what can cause this? House was built in 2008 and we are the first owners. Thanks for any help.

mikegp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2011, 01:21 PM   #2
Member
 
Code05's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Easton MD
Posts: 1,841
Default

Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


Dust. The air discharge on the vacuum may be kicking up dust and setting them off. Paint fumes, heavy cleansers, and such can do it also.

Code05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2011, 01:28 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 796
Default

Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


No, it's an electrical issue. The second you flip the switch the alarms go off. The second you turn it off they stop. If I plug it in to another room or the hallway and use it in the offending room, it doesn't happen.
mikegp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2011, 01:37 PM   #4
Member
 
Code05's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Easton MD
Posts: 1,841
Default

Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


Are the smokes on the same circuit as the bedroom receptacles?
Code05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2011, 02:07 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 796
Default

Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


The breaker box has a breaker for smoke detectors and each bedroom has its own for the outlets. Did they cross something?
mikegp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 03:03 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 242
Default

Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


I was going to guess dust as well.

It could maybe be something goofy with the smoke alarm. I'm not an expert, but if you're feeling ambitious, maybe try to swap it with another one in the house and see if the same problem exists? Not 100% sure, but I believe the smoke alarms are fed by a transformer. Can the transformer be in the same area as the vacuum? Maybe the transformer's going. Another idea might be to see if it's just a smoke detector, or a co detector with smoke. In our new house, we have one co in the hall and the rest are smoke. Maybe the one detector's finding something the other's aren't.

Final idea might be to see if you can borrow a neighbor's vacuum to see if it's the vacuum or not. Just some ideas, although again, I'm no expert with this.
wiz561 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 03:49 PM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 26
Default

Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


I would think its a voltage drop. Your smokes probably have a battery back up that will close a relay and set them off if your voltage goes to low. When u plug the vacuum in its using most of what's available. I seen a similar situation with a window a.c. unit and a big flat screen t.v. TV would almost turn off when the a.c. was on. You have to run anew seperate breaker to that receptacle or sort out the wiring and split it between the two or don't use that receptacle to vacuum :-)
AlKapone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 05:27 PM   #8
Household Handyman
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Albany, Ga.
Posts: 2,239
Default

Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


Don't laugh half-way through this, finish reading this: "Atmospheric ionization", sound stupid? I thought so when I first heard this, but it was proved to me. Your smoke detectors sound as if they are the "ionization type" instead of the "smoke detection" or "heat rise" type detectors. This means they detect the slightest increase in atmospheric ionization within a certain area. I first ran into this in some brand new condo's being built at a beachside resort back in '05. We had one ceiling tile that didn't look exactly the proper white color in a hall and I figured some flat white ceiling spray paint would cover up the small area----WRONG! While it did make the blemish look better, after the second squirt all HELL broke loose with the fire alarms and auto voice "Please Evacuate The Building by The Stairwells at This Time" coming into play. I knew there was no fire on my floor, we checked every floor just before the first of seven (7) fire trucks came flying up with what seemed like ten-thousand firemen. The bottom line: "Atmospheric Ionization" was the fire marshall's and alarm installer's report the next day after learning about my spray painting. This sounds as if you have one detector which is super-sensitive also. Try swapping the detector with another in the house, or get the alarm installer to investigate.
Thurman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 05:27 PM   #9
Member
 
Code05's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Easton MD
Posts: 1,841
Default

Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AlKapone View Post
I would think its a voltage drop. Your smokes probably have a battery back up that will close a relay and set them off if your voltage goes to low. When u plug the vacuum in its using most of what's available. I seen a similar situation with a window a.c. unit and a big flat screen t.v. TV would almost turn off when the a.c. was on. You have to run anew seperate breaker to that receptacle or sort out the wiring and split it between the two or don't use that receptacle to vacuum :-)
I tried VD. OP said different breakers.
Code05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 05:38 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cairns Australia
Posts: 2,367
Default

Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


I would also think it is a voltage drop or spike,
Perhaps that one smoke alarm is just a little bit
more sensitive to it, for some reason.
Swap the smoke alarm for another one from another room,
This will tell you if the problem lies with the unit itself,
or perhaps with the wiring ( at the end of a long run ).
You could also check the low voltage supply to the
offending unit, and compare it to others in the house.
Perhaps that one is a little lower then the others !
dmxtothemax is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 06:25 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 796
Default

Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


Ok, I'll try swapping the alarms to see if it changes where it happens. That's not the same as when one has a low battery, right? With a low battery or no battery, that one will beep, but this issue is setting the entire house system off. It's weird though because I have brought in a window AC(have central air) and it didn't do it. Why would the vacuum do it and in just that one room?

Also, to the people saying smoke or ionization, I can hang the vacuum out the window and it will still do it. It is purely electrical. Thanks so far for the help. It's greatly appreciated.
mikegp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 06:53 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 796
Default

Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


Ok, I swapped alarms and it made no difference. I did however discover that the breaker for that room's receptacles is not powering that room and in fact the breaker for the smoke detectors is powering that room's receptacles. So I guess that explains it, now what do I do? House was purchased in December of 2008 so I don't know if the electricians who wired the house would still come out.

I opened up the breaker box and can't find anything abnormal. There are wires going to the breaker for that room. I can snoop around the attic, but I don't really know what I'm looking for. Suggestions?
mikegp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 07:06 PM   #13
" Euro " electrician
 
frenchelectrican's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: WI & France { in France for now }
Posts: 5,369
Default

Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mikegp View Post
Ok, I swapped alarms and it made no difference. I did however discover that the breaker for that room's receptacles is not powering that room and in fact the breaker for the smoke detectors is powering that room's receptacles. So I guess that explains it, now what do I do? House was purchased in December of 2008 so I don't know if the electricians who wired the house would still come out.

I opened up the breaker box and can't find anything abnormal. There are wires going to the breaker for that room. I can snoop around the attic, but I don't really know what I'm looking for. Suggestions?
I bet that you have loose connection allready so check the receptale to make sure they are tight before you do this make sure you turn the breaker off for that circuit and see if any wire are loose if backstabbed move them to the screw this is one of few most common issue I have see.

If you are not confortable with it you can call the electrician they can fix it for you. If you still have that electrician's number then give them a buzz they will be happy to deal with it due they will know where it goes.

Merci,
Marc
__________________
The answer will be based on NEC ( National Electrical code ) or CEC ( Cananda Electrical code ) or ECF ( Electrique Code France )
frenchelectrican is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 07:15 PM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 796
Default

Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


Loose connection where? By receptacle you mean the outlets in that room? I don't see why that would affect that they somehow put that room on the same circuit as the smoke detectors.

I found a junction box in the attic that is labeled so I'll open that up tomorrow hopefully and see if I can figure it out or maybe post a pic.

I can call the electricians or the builder I guess. Don't know if they'll care since it's almost been three years. Obviously they messed it up originally so they should be willing to fix it. I would rather just do it myself.
mikegp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2011, 02:19 AM   #15
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 26
Default

Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


Same circuit ... No way.. joking of coarse. I don't think smokes have to be on a dedicated circuit by code. Could be wrong but Yea the builder has put this job far behind him. I doubt he will be any help. Your going to have to do some investigating and see where is the easist way to get the receptacles (outlets) or the smokes on a new breaker. Make sure you match the breaker to the wire size. It will tell you the size wire on the insulation jacket size 14 (usually yellow) needs a 15 amp breaker size 12 (usually white) needs a 20 amp breaker. Good luck with it bro

AlKapone is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can a homeowner perform electrical work in MA? dpd512 Electrical 77 04-11-2012 06:48 AM
hard wired smoke alarms question jerseyjohn Electrical 17 11-25-2010 01:20 PM
Wiring for residential smoke alarms under 2008 NEC jeffers Electrical 13 05-13-2010 09:51 PM
Electrical box replace,addiitions, city permits and looking for an electrician ramchy Electrical 3 08-02-2009 11:12 AM
electrical cord rewinders (like the ones in vacuum cleaners) Slim Electrical 5 08-11-2008 09:22 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.