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Old 09-12-2011, 04:34 AM   #16
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Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


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Originally Posted by mikegp View Post
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.


Wouldn't it be easier to just get rid of the vacuum ?

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Old 02-23-2012, 07:44 AM   #17
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Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


I work for a home builder. It's 2012 & we're just encountering this issue. It's not just Dyson vacuums; it's any vacuum it seems. I have used a small Emerson brand shop vac, that doesn't set them off by itself, but I can plug a heat gun in (equivalent to a hand held hair dryer) and they go off as soon as I turn the switch on. When I turn it off they stop. I do believe it has something to do with voltage drop, but the electrical contractor argues that the smoke detector is entirely at fault. The smokes are wired into the master bed room circuit, which is also afci protected. The sleeping rooms have had to be afci protected starting around 1999 code changes. The smokes didn't have to be (arc fault protected) until later. I was shocked to see blogs dating back past 2005 talking about this issue. Our supplier said that BRK (smoke detector manufacturer) had a batch that was made between certain dates (wouldn't share the dates, but the implication was that it was recent) that they had tested & found some problem. They agreed to replace the smokes & redeem the labor charge to do so. Unfortunately, the new ones do the same thing. I was wondering if you ever resolved your issue? I am involving our electrical contractor & a rep for BRK to see if we can identify why this is happening. Obviously we will separate them to their own afci dedicated circuit moving forward to eliminate this, but that is very expensive and labor intensive to retro what we already have built & occupied. We’re building a four story condo product that the entire top floor is master bed room. I guess I could instruct our home owners that they will need to plug their vacuums into the master bath room circuit…… but c’mon! Really? They’re paying a premium for a brand new house! They should be able to plug a simple functioning vacuum into any plug they want without creating any other issues! If you have found a resolution I am curious to hear it. If you haven’t and are still interested I will keep you posted on what we find.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:57 AM   #18
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Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


The house is only three years old. Don't call the electric company that wired it call the builder. If it's a reputable builder they will probably help you out.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:12 AM   #19
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Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


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Originally Posted by AlKapone View Post
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
Here in my area new construction smoke alarms are required to be on a dedicated circuit by code and the alarms require a 15 amp breaker (wired w 14-3). The vacuum is setting the alarms off same as if an alarm trips. Plug a night light in the same outlet and all the alarms will go off.


Writer’s information is for discussion purpose only and should be confirmed by an independent source.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:32 AM   #20
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Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


Vacuum cleaners create a lot of "electrical noise" and this feeds back into the electrical wires. So having a separate circuit for the smoke detectors might work as that "noise" would have to travel back to the main panel, then back to the smoke detectors. And might be less noisy with that distance of travel.

Also there are "interconnecting" lines between the smoke detectors. If that wire is in the same wires as that powering the vacuum, then the noise could "bleed" over into that line. Another good reason to have all the wiring to the smoke detectors separate and on a separate circuit.

Then with products made in China, they remove components which are not totally necessary for a gizmo to work, then save a few cents on manufacturing. And they don't tell anyone they do this. There might have been a few extra components which SHOULD have been installed in the smoke detectors to "filter" out electrical noise such as this, but some cheap Chinese factory may have decided they were not necessary!

And you don't notice these things missing until something like this happens. And then it is too late to return the products.

Anyway might want to see if the smoke detectors were made in China.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:22 AM   #21
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Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


I hate it when people bring up OLD posts and answer them like the thread was just posted.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:36 AM   #22
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Vacuum on makes smoke alarms go off. Electrical, not smoke.


We swapped the Kiddes out to BRK's and that fixed it. We were having the problem wide spread over several developements with 3 different electrical contractors. The Kiddes were the only common element. Apparently whoever said the manufacturer was cost cutting leaving out a component was right. It cost Kidde a national account.

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