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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    8

    Question Beeping Smoke Detector

    We have smoke detectors in new construction, so the smoke detectors are wired in to the house's electricity with a back up battery. Quite frequently one of the smoke detectors located in my son's room beeps at a rate of about once every 30 seconds. It doesn't do it all the time, mostly in the late afternoon or evening. My only theory is that his room tends to get hotter than the rest of the house, that maybe the detector is sensing the temperature. Sometimes if we crank up the AC it will stop beeping after a while. However, I am not convinced about my theory, because it doesn't always work. Plus, if it is beeping because of the heat (about 76 degrees), it seems too sensitive. I welcome any advise.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Beeping Smoke Detector

    I didn't know there is temperature sensitive smoke detector.


    My guess is you probably have photo sensitive detector. [ not sure on proper smoke detector term].

    I would say there are direct lights or shadows interferring your smoke detector photo cell.
    "Life does not go by the book, we learn as we go along".

    You only need two tools in life - WD-40 and Duct Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use WD-40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the Duct Tape.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
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    4,045

    Default Re: Beeping Smoke Detector

    Being a smoke detector there shouldn't be any affect from normal inside temperatures.

    Typically there are two types of systems used for detecting particulates from the smoke :
    1-Ioninzation
    2- photoelectric

    Depending on the make of your detector you might look in the manual to see what the beeps indicate .... I'm suspecting the battery is in need of changing.

    For example my First Alert brand will chirp once a minute indicating the battery needs attention.


    Hope this helps.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,558

    Default Re: Beeping Smoke Detector

    From smoke detector manual

    Smoke Detector Maintenance
    Test smoke detectors monthly by pushing the "test" button or using other procedures recommended by the manufacturer.
    Install new batteries annually or whenever the smoke detector makes a "chirping" sound. The chirping sound indicates that the battery in the smoke detector is nearly dead and needs to be replaced immediately.
    To help you remember to install new smoke detector batteries annually, try changing the batteries every fall when you change your clocks back from daylight savings time.
    Never "borrow" a battery from a smoke detector. You might forget to replace it in a timely manner.
    Gently vacuum the outside of smoke detectors monthly to remove dust and cobwebs and to allow for proper airflow through the vent holes.
    Replace smoke detectors if they are more than ten years old.

    Try changing the battery, and try vacuming the outside, it may just be a dirty sensor.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Beeping Smoke Detector

    I concur that vacuuming and swapping the battery back up would be a good idea. I have had some personal difficulties with the 9V transistor battery connector not making full contact. Where the connector wants to pop off or the battery move when it gets warm around the smoke detector make sure you get the connector on all the way straight.
    Last edited by Gray Watson; 08-12-2008 at 03:28 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    8

    Default Re: Beeping Smoke Detector

    I should have mentioned that we tried putting in a new battery already. The beeping continued.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    8

    Arrow Re: Beeping Smoke Detector

    Quote Originally Posted by BigWalt View Post
    I didn't know there is temperature sensitive smoke detector.


    My guess is you probably have photo sensitive detector. [ not sure on proper smoke detector term].

    I would say there are direct lights or shadows interferring your smoke detector photo cell.
    I am not knowledgeable about smoke detectors. I was just guessing about it being sensitive to temperature. Could you explain more about the shadows interfering with the photo cell?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
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    246

    Default Re: Beeping Smoke Detector

    Quote Originally Posted by judyrg View Post
    I am not knowledgeable about smoke detectors. I was just guessing about it being sensitive to temperature. Could you explain more about the shadows interfering with the photo cell?

    It has to do with light(s) interferring photo cell.

    I'm not that great on explanations. I found this on google search and it explains perfectly well.


    Photoelectric Detectors In one type of photoelectric device, smoke can block a light beam. In this case, the reduction in light reaching a photocell sets off the alarm. In the most common type of photoelectric unit, however, light is scattered by smoke particles onto a photocell, initiating an alarm. In this type of detector there is a T-shaped chamber with a light-emitting diode (LED) that shoots a beam of light across the horizontal bar of the T. A photocell, positioned at the bottom of the vertical base of the T, generates a current when it is exposed to light. Under smoke-free conditions, the light beam crosses the top of the T in an uninterrupted straight line, not striking the photocell positioned at a right angle below the beam. When smoke is present, the light is scattered by smoke particles, and some of the light is directed down the vertical part of the T to strike the photocell. When sufficient light hits the cell, the current triggers the alarm.

    http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howthi.../aa071401a.htm

    I hope that helps.
    "Life does not go by the book, we learn as we go along".

    You only need two tools in life - WD-40 and Duct Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use WD-40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the Duct Tape.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Beeping Smoke Detector

    Does your system also detect carbon monoxide?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Topsham ME
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Beeping Smoke Detector

    I have the same problem and have since we moved into our brand new house (it's currently now 3 years old).
    We have called the manufacturer (BRK) and tried all of their suggestions - change batteries, vacuum them out and reset them (by setting them all off). We have 5 in our ranch house - 1 in the hallway, 1 in each of the 3 bedrooms and 1 in the basement. They all take their turns chirping. And they only do it when the weather gets colder and at night time. We tend to forget about the problem in the summer but they have been starting their chirping ritual. One time about a year ago, we performed all 3 steps as the manufacturer recommended and 30 min later, one of them chirped.
    We are baffled at how to address this problem. I'm almost tempted to replace them all together.

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