I was woken up this morning at 5am (smoke alarms always have their
problems early in the morning it seems) by one of my smoke alarms
doing three blasts and then going silent a few minutes, then doing three
alarm sounds again, etc. The LED was rapidly flashing green.
Eventually it got worse and sounded continually
so I had to remove the unit from AC and remove the battery.
This model is dual powered (AC with 9V battery backup). The thing
is there was no smoke, no fire or any cause I can see to trigger it.
The other two units were fine (also Kidde model 1275 and a PI 9000 battery
powered) and their LEDS were normal.
Are these AC powered/ battery backed up units unreliable due to
AC power noise, brownouts, etc triggering them? I seem to have
more trouble with the AC + battery ones than I've had with
the battery only units.
Yes, I believe this is a problem in the 2 houses I've lived in I've
had 3 different kinds of smoke detectors and I couldn't tell you what
causes this only that 2 of the brands I owned, BRK and Kiddie where
junk. They would continually go off at the most odd times as you
know... Middle of the night, Middle of a movie, While company was
here.... never good times. I to researched this and everyone said to
make sure the wire nuts where tight and all the wires were under the
nut, duh. But all this work was for nothing I just replaced them both
times with First Alert Brand smokies and that fixed them both times. I
can't guarantee this will fix it since I don't know you situation, but
it helped me. I wonder if the induced voltage from the 3 wire circuit
hurts them, ohh well just thinking out loud.
Lucas Electric, LLC
BTW, I would make an issue of this to kiddie if they are somewhat new
If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first four hours
sharpening the axe. - Abe Lincoln
There are small smouldering "fires" that give off no smoke or fire
that you can see or smell. They can be this way for weeks before
bursting into flames.
I would take one of the other two detectors and put it where the one
that made noise was.
I would also test all three of them with some source of smoke.
I have have Kidde a1275 larms in my house. The false alarm can be
cause by a number of things. The alarm works on air Ionization (as
oposed to photoelectric). A small radioactive source, usualy
Americium-241 dioxide, is located in a chamber. This ionizes the air
slightly. If something causes more ionization causing an increased
current to flow across the air and the alarm goes off. Smoke causes
this ionization, and this is how the alarm works.
Other things however can also cause the same effect:
1) Water vapour, mist. I am not sure where you live, but early mornig
and summer can mean high humidity. Are you in a humid area?
2) Dust. Less likely in your situation. I had one in a basement that
3) Spiders and other bugs. Yes weird but true and it happened to me.
One night the alarm goes off. Run like a rabbit on amphetamins all
over the house, no smoke. Check out each detector, all 10 of them, and
notice one with a rapidly flashing light indicating it was that one
taht had gone off. Switch on the light just in time to see a spider
shuffle across the ceiling. The spider had entered intothe ionization
chamber, caused the increased current and set the alarm off.
I also had one of these detectors indicate a low battery. Replaced the
battery and also found out it was dead, would not test. So just bought
another Kidde 1275 from Home depot. Did not even have to replace the
mount point, just used the old mount point. Like replacing a light
What really drives me batty is the low battery beep. It happens
rarely, but I have 10 of these suckers. And when the beep goes off, it
is next to impossible to figure out which one, you have to wait
between 30-40 seconds between each beep and try and listen where it
came from. I have been in my house a while now, and I think I am
heading into a rash of low batterys .... have replaced about 40% of
the battery's now.
I think the AC power in our area is dirty and crashed the control
circuit. We have occasional power hits: lights flicker a second, digital
clocks lose their time. I only have two of the 1275 AC/battery smoke
detectors, one went off, one didn't. The PI 9000 (battery only) was also
ok. I'm considering just going with pure battery alarms. Is there
any evidence that battery only units are more reliable?
I have that all the time, but my particular AC detector hasn't falsed.
And I think the battery backup is supposed to prevent this.
My CO detector without battery backup always makes noise when the
power comes back on, as it does when I plug it in. Does your smoke
alarm make a sound when plugged in? That would be the same sound it
would make when there is a short power failure.
I only have two of the 1275 AC/battery smoke
No. Why not get one of each so that your prepared for either
situation. Also why not get one ionic smoke detector adn one
photoelectric? That's what I see recommmended.
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