Help: smoke detector chirps every 4 minutes

Hello,
I have a smoke detector that's connected to the central alarm system (DSC PC2550, currently unmonitored). It came with the house and I am not very familiar with it and have nobody to ask.
We had a power outage and it started screaming. I unscrewed it and tried to find how to turn it off, didn't find any switch but it stopped when the power came back on.
However, now it gives a loud "chirp" about every 4 minutes.
Maybe it's connected with the outage, maybe it's something I did when trying to "fix" it but it's been going on for almost a day now with no sign of stopping and is very annoying.
Do you have any ideas how can I stop it?
Thank you, James.
--
Reading usenet via Google groups. I'd appreciate if you don't set
"X-no-archive" on your response or alternatively CC me. Thanks.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 02 Sep 2003, James wrote:

...

...

Change the battery. Even though it's part of the alarm system, it probably still uses a battery to operate.
That's what it's trying to tell you it needs.
--
TP

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I-zheet M'drurz Spilled my beer when they jumped on the table and

Not completely true. Most that are part of an intrusion/fire alarm system will not have a battery in them. (They run off the one in the alarm panel box)
If the OP is talking about one of these, the detector might be bad...
NOI
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A replacement battery in my battery operated detector did not fix the problem, but blowing the doust out of the unit fixed the problem.
On 2 Sep 2003 02:49:46 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@fastmail.fm (James) wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Smoke detectors do not last for ever. Many of them use a tiny amount of radioactive material and chirp when this is becoming too weak to be effective.
-- Don Phillipson Carlsbad Springs (Ottawa, Canada) dphillipson[at]trytel.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Is it battery powered? Maybe the battery is low.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hi Don,
You are correct that some smoke detectors use a small amount of radioactive material. However, depletion of that material is not the problem. The "active ingredient" in ionization smokes is Americium-241 which has a half-life of over 400 years. The detectors have a failure rate of roughly 3% per year, primarily due to dirt and dust accumulation but also due to normal failure of all things electronic. Compounded, this yields a long-term failure rate of about 26% over the course of 10 years. UL in its infinite wisdom has determined that 26% is the limit of tolerance for smoke detector failures. NFPA 72 (fire alarm code) requires replacement of non-system (i.e., stand-alone or interconnected 110/9 V) smokes every 10 years.
Many burglar alarm installers replace all smokes after 5 or 10 years although this is not required by code. Some mistakenly believe that the difference is that most "system" smokes are photoelectric rather than ionization (radioactive) type. However, the real reason is that monitored smokes are supposed to be inspected and serviced periodically whereas stand-alone smokes are rarely if ever inspected. You can find more on this in the appropriate articles within NFPA72. If you need a quote I can cut and paste small passages. If you want the whole thing (a good idea to have) you can order it online at the NFPA website.
IIRC the 10 year replacement rule is applicable both to ionization and photoelectric smokes. I rarely sell ion smokes and I haven't installed one of them in many years because most of my work has always been residential. Ion smokes are preferred for commercial space. Photoelectrics are preferred for homes.
It is possible that the OP's detector needs service but not because of depleted americium.
Regards, Robert
=============================> Bass Home Electronics, Inc 2291 Pine View Circle Sarasota Florida 34231 877-722-8900 Sales & Tech Support 941-925-9747 Fax 941-232-0791 Wireless Nextel Private ID - 161*21755*1 http://www.bass-home.com =============================>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The half life of Americium 241 (the radioisotope used in smoke detectors) is 458 years so usually that would not be the issue. Typically smoke detectors act up because they are dirty and if battery powered the battery is low.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You are correct except that the half-life is a mere 432 years. By then even a free ADT system will have been paid off. :^)
Regards, Robert
=============================> Bass Home Electronics, Inc 2291 Pine View Circle Sarasota Florida 34231 877-722-8900 Sales & Tech Support 941-925-9747 Fax 941-232-0791 Wireless Nextel Private ID - 161*21755*1 http://www.bass-home.com =============================>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
How do you know it's part of your security system?? Does it set off the siren when you test it? Hold the button for several seconds as it often takes the relay a while to actuate. If it doesn't set of the siren in about 15 seconds of continuous alarm, then it's *not* part of your system... It's more than likely battery operated. Get yourself a new 9 volt "Energizer"... Replace it every time it's your birthday from here on in. That way it's got a new battery once a year... unless your birtday's February 29... :-)

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Reminds me of a job I had to go back to after the system was up and running for a couple months. They complained of a chirping noise from the smoke detector I just installed. I told them ours don't chirp! But I went over there anyways. Fact is when I replaced theirs with my smoke I set it in a towel shelf so I didn't have to set it down. Well months later the battery died right there. WHOOPS!

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
:-)
Lot's of stories out there like that...

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
running

When I was remodeling the house I installed a couple cheepo battery powered smoke detectors with the ultimate plan of doing a central panel. When I took the battery powered one in the kitchen down I apparantly got distracted and put it on top of a kitchen cabinet (no soffit). A good 2 years later it took a few days to figure out where the chirp was coming from because the central station smokes I installed don't chirp.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It would help if you supplied us with a make and model# for the smoke detector.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Do you have a manual for your system?
http://www.securityonealarm.com/pdf/0180r3.pdf
May help
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2 Sep 2003 02:49:46 -0700 I replied to snipped-for-privacy@fastmail.fm (James) on a piece of toilet paper while scribbling their name and phone number on the bathroom wall in alt.security.alarms

The outage may have sent the detector into a test mode. Check your manual to be sure or contact the installer.
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you think you know me, you don't.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Is there a back-up battery in it? Some of these do that "chirp" when the battery is low, suggest you look at that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Also could be a system error beep code. Again if you can supply the make/model# we could use our "knowledge base" to help.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Detector error, not system error. For example, sensitivity may be out of range, circuit failure (from the outage/power-up), transmit error...

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.