smoke detector false alarm, Help

Trying to help out a, neighbor. We have the same in house fire detectors, wired to the main breaker panel. there 3 in each house, he has one that is sounding at odd times a few times a day, I have removed the unit, and swapped it with one of mine, I have no problem with it, but he still gets an alarm at odd times. the wires in the unit are tight should I be looking for something down the line to be lose or try something else, the units are not in direct sunlight. Any help will be appreciated, he will sleep better and so will I. thanks, digger
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Two possibilities, first, these are probably photoelectric smoke detectors,which means that they "see" smoke,but can confuse dust with smoke. So be sure they aren't located in a dusty area. Second, they should not be located in certain areas, such as attics, and peaks, or corners of rooms for that matter. If you can get a copy of the manufacturers directions, it will guide you here. Also, they should have 9volt batteries in them as backups, which when low should give you a periodic beep, but sometimes the units act erratic. As far as the wiring goes. Black to black, white to white and if it uses an interconnect, red to red

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Roy Mottola wrote:

When that happened to us it turned out to be an insect hiding in the smoke detector. a light spray of RAID around it killed the problem.
Jeff
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My name is Jeff Wisnia and I approved this message....

(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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In addition to what has already been posted I suggest that if the detectors are over ten years old, replace them. I've had customers have similar problems with very old smoke detectors.
John Grabowski http://www.mrelectrician.tv

detectors,
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From the sounds of things, contrary to the way the others have read your post, you have eliminated the detector itself as the problem by swapping it with one from your house. The one from his house that was alarming functions OK in your house, while the one from your house that was not alarming, alarms in his home. What's more, it sounds like your homes are similar, and that the alarms were probably properly installed, and at least at one point functioning correctly.
I'm not totally familar with many alrarm systems, but perhaps there is a battery backup that is malfuctioning.
If all this is correct, than it is an environmental matter with his home. There is somethig in the environment that is actually causing the alarm to trip. Dust, steam from a bathroom or kitchen, smoke from cooking are all possibilites.
Are these units also CO2 detectors? If so, could he have a CO2 problem?
He should try to re-trace the activities in the house just prior to the alarm to see what people were doing minutes prior to it tripping. Check everything - turning on TV's, radios, lights, computers. Open or close a window or door. Don't think any activity is beyond suspision. He may be surprised when he sees something that cooresponds to the alarm.
If he can't confirm the problem, I'd suggest calling the fire department (NOT 911 - just the local non-emergency number). Explain the situation to them and they might come out with more sensitive equiptment to check out the house, and tell what kind of particulate is causing the alarm.
Bottom line is - take it serious! Check things out with each alarm until the problem is resolved. One of these 'false alarms' may just turn out NOT to be false!

times
times.
sunlight.
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Vacuum your alarms regularly to pevent dust buildup; as in other post insects can be attracted to heat inside mains alarms. Vacuum through the air entry fins not grill over sounder. On some makes eg Kidde these are round the side not on front.

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