Smoke Detector Won't Stop Beeping

slovattJanuary 24, 2007

I have a smoke detector that has been intermittently beeping for months and is driving me crazy. I've changed the battery numerous times to no avail. It was wired into the house so I had it removed out of pure frustration but the wires where it had been connected to continued to beep. I noticed a small round disc still attached to the wires so I assumed it to be a sensor of some kind and thought that must be where the noise was coming from, so I had that removed from the wires and little plastic ends covers put over the wires and those wires shoved up into the metal box. I then put up a new smoke detector (only battery operated) over the wires (not connected).

The beeping continued. Tonight I became frustrated again and took down the new smoke detector and locked it away in a closet. I am now staring at a hole in my ceiling and it's beeping. I realize that this is impossible but there you have it. There are other smoke detectors in the house, on different floors. None of them are making any noise, only the one outside my bedroom that just won't stop..Does anyone

have any idea what can be done. I would love a good night's uninterrupted sleep.

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Is it possible there's a smoke detector in the void above the old one?

Tell me, why did you replace it with a battery one? You have probably violated the building code in doing so, and might even find yourself uninsured (or dead, for that matter) in the current situation.

Might be time to get an electrician in.

I suspect your wired-in detectors are interconnected, this may be something that denotes a fault...?

You should note that smoke detectors have a finite life, I think it's as the isotope decays. There should be a "replace by" date on them, have a look at the old one - by the way, hopefully you didn't throw it in the trash, you should be able to dispose of it correctly at the place where you bought it, since they contain radioactive material, they should be disposed of properly.

I don't know exactly what's going on with your situation (is it possible it's something not related to the smoke detectors?) but I think it's very, very important that you at least put the battery one back up now, and have the system repaired professionally, as soon as possible - smoke detectors save lives.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 1:40AM
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I would suspect every detector on the premises as the culprit. Your detectors are interconnected and what affects one, affects all. Dust and insects can trigger detectors, small spiders especially. First, I would blow out every detector to hopefully remove dust and insects. I have never damaged a detector using even as much as 50 PSI on the air hose from a portable compressor.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 8:30AM
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Is there an attic above the ceiling? Maybe an extra smoke detector in there or something approximately above the smoke detector that is making the beeping. If this is in a hallway, you still have smoke detectors in the bedrooms and they are still interconnected.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 1:37PM
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I had a similar problem. The problem detector was a wired/battery backup unit. Initially we thought the batteries were dead, but after replacing batteries we continued to get an intermittant beep.

I blew on the detector thinking some dust had gotten on the sensor and that didn't help. When I removed just the detector, I did still get "sympathy" beeps from other interwired detectors. But when I removed the entire unit leaving just the wires the "sympathy" beeping stopped.

We figured it was a bad unit and replaced it with another wired detector and have had no problems.

(I still have the one we removed and did try blowing on it to clean it out, but if that is the problem, I'm evidently not a big enought blowhard. We still have it and will try blowing it out with the air compressor despite the instructions not to do that. If that works, it seems I have an extra everything else, might as well add this to the pile.)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 1:47PM
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So it could well be the other detectors, or one in the attic if you have one.

I meant to mention, when detectors do pass their 'use by' date, their failure mode is low-battery beeping, which will continue even if you change the battery. The life seems to be five years as far as I know....some battery units are now being supplied with a 'lifetime' battery - battery goes, time to change the unit.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 11:08PM
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We had the same problem and after cutting an opening in the drywall, we found a battery operated unit between the studs, beeping away with a low battery. Totally missed it when doing the drywalling.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 8:19AM
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It could be your carbon monoxide detector! After spending all morning on a ladder changing batteries in smoke detectors I realized it was the monoxide detector plugged into the wall right below one of the alarms. It was not the steady "get to fresh air" beep but rather the chirping (which sounds exactly like a smoke alarm) that signals the unit is going bad.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 3:42PM
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I have read all the details written here, but nothing works. I was told the batteries are good for 10 years; it's been four. Come to find out the batteries are good but the chirping still goes on. It is in the bedroom and hallway alarms. Once in awhile the beeping goes away for a few hours only to return. I cannot afford the cost of an electrician. Any other ideas? Thank you.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 9:42AM
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    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 12:08PM
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Slovatt, did you ever resolve this issue? I am having the SAME exact issue and have tried cleaning the unit, replacing ALL with new batteries, I even went as far as taking a working unit from another property and switching them out only to have the problem pick up where it left off. Will call manufacturer on Monday to see what they recommend.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 10:33PM
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Wright602, EVERY house we have bought and lived in eventually had detector issues. As was mentioned above, look on the backside of the detector for expiration date. I've gotten to where I just replace them all if the date is close. Something that people do to make wiring easier is pull off the foam insulation on the back of their detectors. BAD idea. Without the insulation sealing it off, moisture, dust and bugs from the attic make their way into the detector as air WILL flow through any hole in the ceiling envelope. This will eventually make the detector false trigger. Everyone should make sure their detectors are functioning properly as they save lives. They will always go off when a fire is still small enough to give everyone time to get out and to call the fire department. Just read the paper for the stories about fire tragedies and notice how many say 'house did not have working smoke detectors'.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 7:17AM
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Did you ever find out what was beeping in the ceiling? Was there another smoke alarm up there? I found this page while looking for how to change the battery in my smoke alarm. I found a link that shows pictures of the battery removal process that may help the next person looking for the answer.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to remove a smoke alarm battery

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 3:49PM
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Ron Natalie

I have wired smokes and CO alarms. They beep when the batteries died. I changed them and a couple of weeks later they were beeping again. Damn Lowe's Utilitech batteries. Half the brick of 9V's were dead in the box. NEVER FREAKING AGAIN.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 8:38AM
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hi ronnatalie,

I will never buy anything made by Utilitech again.
Total junk.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 9:44PM
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