Mysterious False Alarms

Some charitable organization did some repair work on our house and in the process, put up smoke alarms-- everywhere. Now for some unknown reason, and for no apparent cause, one of those bloody smoke alarms start going beep-- beep -- beep (long pause) beep-- beep-- beep-- beep (long psuse) beep-- beep....
It's like a psychotic game of hide and go seek: I go running around the house trying to find out which of those electronic bastards is driving the family crazy with the noise, but whichever the device is, it stops and may not make any noise for another long stretch of time. Since there is no smoke, no fire, there shouldn't be any reason for smoke alarms to be doing that right? Has anyone else had this kind of problem? Have any solutions for this kind of bizarre problem?
Ron
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Go outside and beat the crap out of the dude inside the car out in front of the house with the remote and big grin on his face.
In all seriousness, one of those is malfunctioning (at least it sounds like it is). Try something simple like taking the batteries out and putting them back in.
John
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Ron wrote:

Good chance there's insects crawling into the detectors.
That's what's happened in our home from time to time and once I spotted on of the little buggers crawling out of the detector I sprayed a little RAID on the ceiling around the unit, which solved that problem.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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on 9/28/2007 5:15 PM Ron said the following:

the detector is between the sprayer and the CAC return.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Ron wrote:

What does the manufacturer say about this particular "beep code?"
The only thing that comes to mind is run-down battery.
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I've run into this numerous times. Because it only happens intermittently,it's a pita to locate the defective unit. It's probably not a low battery, as that generally has something like a beep every 45 seconds and continues. Typical units can be removed by a 1/4 turn counter clockwise, pull down and unplug the jack in the back of the unit. I usually remove half the units and see if the remaining units function properly, then one by one, over time, replace each of the removed units until you find the one causing the problem. If after removing the first half of the units, the problem persists, put back the removed units and remove the others

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If these unit have batteries in them, store the removed units in a remote location, as they are still going to operate

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It's not bizarre, the battery check is failing in one of the units, smoke det. batteries should be changed twice yearly when you change your clocks for daylight time. Our fire dept gives away free batteries (first come first served) twice a year.
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This has always struck me as a waste of batteries and a contributor to mercury in the environment. I will never be an environmentalist, but throwing out perfectly good batteries is quite a waste. Hell, the units even beep at you when the battery needs to be replaced. Do you replace light bulbs twice a year?
But, I guess I'm one of the modernized users here. My 2007 van has an oil life monitor thing on it and I don't change the oil until it says it's time, this time I got 9,000 miles out of the oil before the light came on.
No sense in throwing things out when they're fully functional.
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It gets pretty bizarre when you can never get close to the one that's doing the eratic beeping. Two seconds before I think I know which one is doing it, the thing stops! I think it's in the kitchen, but I took that one down-- it's a bad place for an alarm when you cook smokey Jimmy Dean sausage. But I can never track the culprit down. I think there's a hidden alarm somewhere, but if so, it's a very well hidden beastie. I've seen some truly bizarre and unusual things before that would make the X-Files seem like a fairy tale, but nothing matches this to date.
Ron
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There shouldn't be a smoke detector in the garage, kitchen, boiler room, or attic. These locations should have heat detectors.There are also specific locations like corners of rooms and peaks of cathedral ceilings which should be avoided.
wrote:

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Read the small print on the leaflet. Manufacturers state that these are not to be used as lifesaving devices, as they have a failure rate of approximately 35%. National Fire Safety tests show that rate can be as high as 55%. Ever wonder why you NEVER hear of any smoke detector companies being held liable and having to pay money for people dying from asphyxiation and fires?
Steve
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Never actually thought about it before. Now I can sleep, worries free...
Ron
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Not to worry. With your level of intoxicant use, I doubt you have any trouble sleeping.
Steve
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Given sufficient time, they have a failure rate of 100%

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They are one of the few consumer products that five out of ten you buy are defective.
Steve
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If they hard wired (all connected together so if one of them goes off they all go off). It may be one of two things.
One of the batteries is dead out of the box or after they were installed, someone forgot to pull the plastic tab that activates the battery. Some detectors are shipped with either a 10 year battiery or a standard 9 volt allready installed, I guess for the people that install them without a battery.
Either way I think the system is telling you have a dead battery.

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Cliff Hartle wrote:

radio intertied detectors. If they are they are FCC part 15 devices. That means that they may not cause radio interference and they must except any interference from licensed users of radio. Any stray radio signal that is in the same band of frequencies used by the detectors can set them off. Such signals can be produced by baby monitors, wireless security systems, wireless video units, and so on. -- Tom Horne
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kept going off so they removed it to get it repaired. ?? And while it was out the clock in the stove started a fire that burned out their whole kitchen and some more, plus I suppose the water. I know the fire happened.
It may have been smouldering for weeks.
Also, my detectors are old, but they start beeping every couple days, and beep more often as time goes off. It took 9 months or a year to go to the point where it beeped every second and that stage stopped after about 2 days. 6 months into the 9 months or year, I made some smoke doing something and the smoke detector went off as if the battery was fine.
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