Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > DIY Repair > General DIY Discussions

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-01-2011, 03:56 PM   #1
Newbie Bill
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,056
Share |
Default

smoke detector compatibility and radiation question


Hello everyone,

I was a bit surprised to see a Radioactive warning on the side of the box of the smoke detector I brought home yesterday. Apparently it uses Americium 241 in an ionization process.

I googled it and am getting conflicting reports on whether it is an issue or not. I'm leaning towards returning it and getting a photo electric detector. Even though they claim the radiation is neglible, why add even a little bit more radiation to the home.

Am I being over cautious?

Second question. It states on the box that all hard wired (with battery backup) smoke detectors in the home should be compatible. Does that mean I should change the other detector at the same time? I am not opposed to this, just asking?

__________________
Bill

A DIY Noob that knows just enough to be dangerous.
drtbk4ever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2011, 05:39 PM   #2
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 13,986
Default

smoke detector compatibility and radiation question


Really nothing to worry about the radiation. Yes on changing out the other, especially if they have been in for a while.

__________________
Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?
gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2011, 05:55 PM   #3
Too Short? Cut it Again!
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,635
Default

smoke detector compatibility and radiation question


You get more dangerous radiation walking around outside without sunscreen or hitting a tanning booth than you will from a smoke detector.
user1007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2011, 07:05 PM   #4
Newbie Bill
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,056
Default

smoke detector compatibility and radiation question


Lol, OK. Thanks guys.

And I will go pick up a second one.

Now they say hardwired detectors should be networked.

Does that mean they will be on the same circuit or is there another way they are networked? Cause I am thinking mine are not.
__________________
Bill

A DIY Noob that knows just enough to be dangerous.
drtbk4ever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2011, 06:37 AM   #5
Mold!! Let's kill it!
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,843
Default

smoke detector compatibility and radiation question


If you are worried about the smoke detector, then you don't even want to get close to your microwave, and you'll surely need to get rid of your cell phone.
Maintenance 6 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2011, 07:49 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: WV
Posts: 2,880
Default

smoke detector compatibility and radiation question


Quote:
Originally Posted by drtbk4ever View Post
Lol, OK. Thanks guys.

And I will go pick up a second one.

Now they say hardwired detectors should be networked.

Does that mean they will be on the same circuit or is there another way they are networked? Cause I am thinking mine are not.
I think "networked" means they should all be connected together so that if one goes off, they all do. I don't know if all four of mine are powered from the same circuit, but the wiring between them is 14-3. I assume the "extra" wire is what networks them.
md2lgyk is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to md2lgyk For This Useful Post:
drtbk4ever (06-02-2011)
Old 06-02-2011, 08:22 AM   #7
Civil Engineer
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Boston
Posts: 4,166
Default

smoke detector compatibility and radiation question


You need to be careful when disposing of an old smoke detector with an Americium 241 source. Am-241 is an alpha particle emitter. An alpha particle cannot penetrate your skin, and is generally accepted as safe PROVIDED IT IS NOT INGESTED. Unfortuately, there have been a few instances in which alpha particle sources have been pried out of sealed containers, and that of course is a total no-no. So as long as you do not tamper with your smoke detector, and dispose of it properly, there should be no issue.

The comparisons with cell phones, microwave ovens, and electric sources are interesting but misplaced. Cell phones and microwave ovens are microwave emitters, with totally different properties than alpha sources. Electrical sources have electric and magnetic fields, again totally different. The most common alpha source in your house is likely to be radon gas, which as has been discussed at length on this forum, is said to be a carcinogen by the EPA, however the level of danger posed by radon is controversial at best. Note that radon is a problem because it is breathed in (ingested), it would not be a problem if you stopped breathing.
Daniel Holzman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2011, 12:16 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: WV
Posts: 2,880
Default

smoke detector compatibility and radiation question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
Note that radon is a problem because it is breathed in (ingested), it would not be a problem if you stopped breathing.
True, but you'd surely have other problems.
md2lgyk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2011, 11:46 AM   #9
FlyingHammer
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Plymouth, WI
Posts: 56
Default

smoke detector compatibility and radiation question


New interconnected smoke detectors are typically wired in a "daisy-chain" fashion (from one to the next to the next). Use 14-2 Romex to the first unit, and 14-3 between them. The 3rd conductor in the 14-3 provides the interconnection. They don't have to all be powered from the same circuit, but it's usually easiest since you're already running wires between them.

BTW - Interconnected Carbon Monoxide detectors are or will soon be required in many areas. You can avoid a lot of extra wiring by using combination-style detectors (smoke and CO in same unit).

FlyingHammer is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to FlyingHammer For This Useful Post:
drtbk4ever (06-05-2011)
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





Top of Page | View New Posts

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