Firex Smoke/CO Alarm Problems

In compliance with code, our electrical sub-contractor installed smoke detectors throughout this new house. He also installed in a central hall as part of the system a "Firex Smoke/CO Alarm Smoke Carbon Monoxide Alarm Model FADCQ." This device is causing a lot of confusion and grief here, going off randomly with false positives at any time night or day. It is making the house practically uninhabitable.
The Firex manual is confusing to me, describing 26 different conditions that the unit communicates by means of three different colored lights that flash in combination with a "horn" that sounds in various patterns in various numbers of times. None of these seem to describe what the unit is doing and the manual's Troubleshooting Tips don't apply.
The unit is wired into the AC and has a 9v battery backup. I would shut it off at the box and remove the battery, but it is on the same circuit with the lights in one area of the house. I have called the Firex company and they would not talk about the problem; they just said very quickly that they would send me another unit. The electrician has installed the new unit and it malfunctions the same way.
The electrician answers our requests to uninstall the unit with a standard CYA warning speech about the dangers of CO and the virtues of detectors.
Is there anyone knowledgeable out there who can suggest how we can shut this thing down ourselves?
Thanks for any help.
Al B.
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I also have a Firex interconnected system, where one of the sensor heads went bad. They're trivial to remove - just unscrew the head, and then pop out the connector. 30 seconds work, tops. Make sure that you shut off the AC power to the alarm, since you'll be handling the connector, which has exposed pins supplying 120VAC. :-)
You can go to your local department store and spend $10.00 on a battery powered smoke alarm while you wait for another replacement from Firex.
Honestly, you're making this into a much bigger deal than is necessary.
- Rich
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Why cant you remove it, it shouldnt affect anything else. Then check the AC wiring. And hook it to a different circuit to see if it still malfunctions. A new house with dust can cause malfunctions.
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On Wed, 27 Oct 2004 10:57:01 -0400 "Barney H." used 34 lines of text to write in newsgroup: alt.home.repair

Try posting this in alt.security.alarms
I would recommend replacing the unit with a smoke detector only, and installing a second stand alone CO2 detector(s) on each floor.
-Graham
Remove the 'snails' from my email
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On Wed, 27 Oct 2004 17:25:31 -0500, G. Morgan
Graham --
That is great advice! I posted the message there last night and this morning had the following reply--expert, detailed, clear, concise, dead on target:
"Turn off power to the unit at the circuit breaker. Remove the unit and check the wiring with a voltage tester, one probe to black and one to white. Remove the wire nuts, and disconnect the device from the house wiring. Cut the exposed ends of the white and black separately, and screw the wire nuts back onto the ends to insulate them. Fold the wiring back up into the junction box, and install a blank cover on the box. Take the unit to the garage and find your biggest hammer. Put on safety glasses, and...well you know the rest."
Thanks.
Al B.
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