I have a couple of line powered (mains/AC powered) smoke
alarms. Today one of them started beeping seemingly
randomly. Not sure if that means something, or if I
should change it out. It is between 9 and 16 years old.
I thought initially it was the battery, but when I took
it down, i found it was powered from the mains.
One other consideration.....
Since there are two basic types of smoke alarms, one which sees smoke with
an optical sensor and the other which relies on ionization using a small
radioactive sensor with Americium, the radioactive type essentially "wears
out" after a number of years due to the half-life of the isotope. This type
of smoke alarm should be replaced becuase it will no longer detect a fire,
even if the unit appears to be working properly and emits no warning beeps
whatsoever. Most manufacturers rate them for something like 7 to 10 years as
far as I can recall.
Line powered smoke alarms almost always will have a backup battery.
Likely you need to replace that battery. Since it may be 16 years old,
you likely should replace it. They become less sensitive with age and less
reliable. Of course there is a very good chance that spider webs or dead
insects may be causing a failure as well.
I would (and have in my own home) replaced the old ones. If you don't
want to go that way, I suggest starting by vacuuming them and then taking a
good look for a battery.
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.