I already bought him one of those for his phone, but he mostly doesn't see
it. After reading through some of the sites that readers suggested, it
seems he's not the only one who doesn't react to flashing lights. Some
figures suggest as few as 1/4 of the people using them reliably react to
light. Since posting my first question, I found an alarm that will suffice
that's got a low-frequency horn that sounds a little like a truck backing
up. Very audible.
Great! Congratulations! May your old one live longer than any
of the rest of us!
NOW -- how about telling THE REST OF US what BRAND it is, WHERE you GOT
it, how much you PAID for it, etc.
If only one of those, how about the BRAND, the NAME of the thing?
I have the same problem with my amplified phone. It's a
trimline, the volume control on the handset. The ringer is
some high pitched chirp that I can't hear with my hearing
aids out. I put a splitter, and an old mechanical Ma Bell
phone, which I can hear sometimes.
I know of no low pitch smoke alarm, though that's much
I gave him a flashing phone last Christmas and it's not very effective.
That's why I didn't want to go that route for a smoke detector. He has
plenty of hearing left, it's just all low frequency sounds. He's given up
on his hearing aid, too, because he can't stand the constant background din.
I've learned to make sure he can see my lips when I am talking because I
know he's doing a fair amount of lip reading. I do have some old Bell dial
phones around that I could give him because I believe he doesn't have a
good, solid mechanical phone that works through (frequent) blackouts. That
would kill two birds with one stone. Good idea, thanks!
Our local tv station did a story a few years ago about small children not
waking to the loud hi-pitched alarms. They even did a test and showed
several small kids sleeping right thru an alarm right in their rooms. They
showed one that actually had a recorded voice of the child's mom yelling for
them to get up and get out of the house and kids seemed to hear and respond
to that. Here's a story on 'talking smoke detectors':
You can get more with a Google on 'talking smoke detectors'.
I have slept through smoke alarm when it awoke everyone else in the
house. That alarm used to sound the first time or two that the furnace
came on in the fall - accumulated dust burning? No smoke detectable to us.
When my kids were young teens, they used to have their radio on very
softly at night, tuned to pop music station. There was a very popular
song at the time that had a background sound that sounded like "maaaaa";
I normally could barely tell the radio was on in their room, but I would
wake at night when that song played. My subconcious thought my children
were calling me :o)
On Sat, 03 Oct 2009 17:41:49 -0400, " email@example.com"
OT but my mother was a widow and took comfort that her sons lived at
home, me in highschool and my brother in medical school. She was more
worried about getting sick than about intruders.
It was expected to stay out late, 2 or 3 for the hs graduation dance.
I came home about them and found my mother asleep so I went to sleep
too. She woke up and called my name, for a while iirc, and neither I
nor my brother heard anything. We just kept sleeping. I think the
same thing happened another night. So much for the security she had
thought we gave her. (Tben I went off to college in another city and
my borther went off to an internship.)
I have too, yet, oddly enough I am the one that always wakes up to the once
a minute chirp of a low battery signal. I think a lot depends on what stage
sleep you're in when the alarm sounds. I say that because I can remember my
dreams actually relating to an alarm sound that woke me up, as if the
sub-conscience is hearing the alarm while you're dreaming and then "edits"
your dream to include a loud siren.
Yeah, all sorts of crap lands on the A-coil when it's wet and by the time
you start running really hot air over it from the furnace on the first cold
day it starts a stinkin'. I live across the street from a firehouse and the
first really cold night will have maybe 10 alarms running for smoke smell
> When my kids were young teens, they used to have their radio on very
Pretty funny. My mother had a similar, though less positive reaction to a
song by the Doors called "The End" where Morrison sings: "Father, I want to
kill you, Mother, I want to . . ." which on my recording, at least, was
unintelligible, but was really:
she asked me "Bobby, what is he saying?" "I dunno Ma, he's just howling."
A followup to this thread about low frequency sounders in smoke alarms and
One problem I've noticed with the unit I've put in the basement is that it
occasionally interprets the turning on of the fluorescent lights as an IR
pulse that you would send to self-test the unit remotely. Not a big
problem, and one rectified by placing it so that the worklights don't shine
on it directly, but I'd thought I'd mention it. On the plus side, the unit
is loud enough that we can hear it at night in the bedroom upstairs from the
Just wanted to say I appreciate the follow-ups (so many times I follow
an interesting thread that just dies off and I wonder what happened). My
parents are gone, but I've told several people about this concern and
potential solutions. Strange, but I know that as people age they don't
hear higher frequencies as well, and I knew (when I thought about it)
that the smoke alarms are pretty high pitched, but I never put together
that older people might not hear the smoke alarm.
(Me, I think I have all modes covered - I have two herding type dogs
that bark at whatever they think is important which includes things like
telephones and doorbells, and of course falling leaves. And when they
bark they woof and they jump on and off the bed. So I figure I have high
pitched, low pitched and excessive vibrations... not to mention a cold
nose in my face if something goes off when I'm sleeping! Of course, I do
get false alarms during thunder storms).
I have a squealing, high-pitched alarm (still working!) made in 1980 so the
problem has taken 30 years to solve. I suspect changing anything involving
detailed standards like smoke detectors is a slow process. The insides of
new alarms look like they were designed 20 years ago with very few IC's and
lots of discrete components. I suspect once a design gets "blessed" by all
the various regulatory agencies there's very little motivation to change it
and restart the approval process. Just a guess, though.
My dog can always be found cowering the bathtub during a thunderstorm. I
don't know why she does it: you would think that the sound would
reverberate in the tub, but for whatever reason, at the first clap of
thunder, she's in the tub. On the positive side, she's beep attuned. We
have a sensor on the screen door that sounds a chime whenever anyone opens
it. She knows beeps = company = new smells = maybe even some food! If we
didn't hear an alarm, I suspect she'd "help" us hear it.
This discussion is about a combined forced air heating and cooling
system. In a typical installation the air first passes through a
squirrel cage fan, then the heat exchanger, then the cooling coil which
is often A-shaped. At the beginning of the heating season there is
frequently a burning smell from dust, etc. that have accumulated on the
heat exchanger or coil during the off-season.
When did this thread get re-ignited, and why is it about furnaces now? (-:
Anyway, Dave, Bob has given you the answer. I'll try to explain further,
and no doubt get something wrong, but hey, that's how we learn.
The "A coil" is a very much like the fin & tube constructions you see on the
back of refrigerators or inside freezers. Because space in furnaces is
tight, instead of a large rectangular grid, they fold it over to increase
the surface area. Warm air from the house is passed over these finned tubes
filled with cold refrigerant, warming the refrigerant and cooling the air.
In the process of cooling, the air gives up its moisture, which *should*
flow into a drain but in sick refrigerators and air conditioners, it often
shows up on the floor and sometimes gets blamed on the dog. (-:
This process causes a number of side effects. Moisture often forms on the
heat exchanger helping it corrode. The "A coil" also tends to trap, all
the dust, dirt and hair that make it through the filter and clot on the fine
fin work. The exchanger forms a skin of dust because it's usually moist
The first time the furnace runs in the winter that dust, hair, dirt and mite
laden "shell" on the exchanger "burns" off - not actually, but it's heated
to the "stinkpoint" pretty nicely though. If you've got a couple of dogs
and bad furnace filtration, as in no electronic air filter, the smell can
get pretty hideous. That's when people call the FD. We've already had one
round of such fire calls here in MD, but the calls will start when the
daytime temps fall and the houses don't retain enough warmth to pass the
night comfortably as they do now.
The warmed up refrigerant goes outside where it's compressed again and the
cycle begins again. My A/C was installed pre-internet days and I never
would have done it (retrofitted an old furnace) had I known then what I know
now (ducts were too small and in all the wrong places to support efficient
air-conditioning. It was a really expensive lesson, not only for the cost
of the unit, but for the increase in assessment and the cost of window air
conditioners, which turned out to be a much better idea in many dimensions,
at least for our teeny house.
Note: I'm just a Joe Homeowner, so don't believe anything I say unless you
also hear it from one of the many experts here.
When a house has central AC, there is typically an
evaporator installed over the furnace. Since the tubes and
fins are shaped some what like a capital A, they are fondly
called A-coils. The term "coil" is because the early
evaporators and condensors were coils of copper tubing.
There are also W-coils, though they look more like M-coils.
Ever work on any of those old condensers that looked like
tombstones? One motor and a blade on either end which
pulled air in from either side and blew it out through the
coil which was like an inverted "U". I think they were made
by York but I'm not sure.
Two fans, both pushing in? I got to put my hands on one,
once. The guy wanted to know how to clean the air filters.
And asked about put in central AC. I noticed the evaporator,
went out and looked. Sure enough, there's the inverted U
unit outdoors. I pushed the slider on the stat, and the AC
came on. All the money I saved him!
Can't remember the brand. I've heard those are hell to
trouble shoot if one of the motors is blowing the wrong
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.