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#174842 - 02/15/08 09:07 AM Smoke Detectors
dougwells Offline


Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1228
Loc: kamloops BC Canada
I have a customer that has called saying her smokes are 2 years old since the last replacement.they work for about the 2 years and then they start going off consistently. The Home was built in 2001 . The smokes are hardwired and the brand is kidde.... There wasnt any problems during the 2 years until now. These are not battery back up. any ideas I am sure she will want to replace them again but She figures they should last more than 2 years. We are in a dry climate .
She has turned off the circuit for the smokes and has 2 small children It is a higher end type home.

Edited by dougwells (02/15/08 09:35 AM)

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#174843 - 02/15/08 10:19 AM Re: Smoke Detectors [Re: dougwells]
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8552
Loc: SI,New Zealand
At the very least I would check the circuit that connects the smoke detectors together and the circuit that it is powered from.
It sounds to me that the detectors aren't too happy with the supply voltage they are getting and are doing a slow burn.
To turn off the circuit, is just stupidity, you might as well not have them at all.
Maybe it could be a manufacturing fault with the devices, it might pay to contact the manufacturer to find out if any others of this particular model have suffered the same fate.
I would tend to hope that you would get more than 2 years out of a smoke detector.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#174845 - 02/15/08 11:01 AM Re: Smoke Detectors [Re: Trumpy]
geoff in UK Offline

Registered: 12/30/02
Posts: 177
Loc: UK
Check if dust could be entering them from the ceiling void, driven by air currents.
This can cause failure with false alarms.

#174846 - 02/15/08 11:11 AM Re: Smoke Detectors [Re: geoff in UK]
venture Offline

Registered: 01/08/06
Posts: 37
Loc: San Diego Ca USA
I would check to see which device is causing the alarm. We had a problem that turned out to be the location of one smoke (in the stairwell). Don't know why that location caused the smokes to go bad but we moved it 5' over and it solved the problem. I would also check the orange wire that dasiy chains the smokes together for loose connections. Good luck Rod

#174847 - 02/15/08 11:11 AM Re: Smoke Detectors [Re: geoff in UK]
Zapped Offline

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 481
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA, USA
Are the units interlinked? I don't know Canadian code, but here they have to be.

If so, it could just be a single unit that has gone belly up, and it's causing the others to react. I would probably start with removing one at a time from the circuit and see what happens. It'll be noisy and annoying for a time, but it's likely to save a few $$ for your client.

Otherwise, I'm with Trumpy on this. 2 years would be a pretty lousy service life for a SD of any brand, and I would have a word with the manufacturer to see what they have to say about it.

Good Luck!

#174848 - 02/15/08 11:15 AM Re: Smoke Detectors [Re: Zapped]
dougwells Offline


Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1228
Loc: kamloops BC Canada
Yes they are Linked together code is the same here for smokes except we just need them outside of sleeping rooms not in each bedroom so a single smoke could service a hallway with 3 bedrooms.

#174875 - 02/16/08 07:03 AM Re: Smoke Detectors [Re: dougwells]
leland Offline

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 856
Loc: Lowell area, Ma. USA
My 1st thought, turn them on, 1 is better than none,and the $22.00 ea is worth every penny!

Do they go off at any particular time? or totaly random?
I have seen single units go bad and do this also.

are they ions or photo?(ions will have a "radio active mat" warning on the back)
If photos a good vacuume should help. If ion, most likely a bad unit. However kidde has a darn good product. so check with them.

Ions are suseptable to air changes, steam etc, and are designed for a flash/high heat/quick change type event as well as smoke.Could they be near a register with a humidification unit?
Photos are best with smoldering types. The little light inside is very comfy for small insects.

The inter connect wire switches the the sounders.
a loose connection on any of the wires could do this.I've witnessed vibrations affect a device in the basement.

Are there heats on this circuit? I have seen the inter connect aux relay used for these fail and cause alarms.
Again, 2001, probably electronic heats, check any way.

Small water leak? anyway, get them working they do SAVE lives!

Just some thoughts, good luck

#174886 - 02/16/08 10:21 AM Re: Smoke Detectors [Re: leland]
Rewired Offline

Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 567
Loc: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
I have had that same problem only it was with a unit at the top of a basement stairway and it triggered at 2:30 am therereabouts every time.. Changing brands didn't help, changing units around didnt either.. I still do not know what the problem was, it has seemed to rectify itself!
Ghosts maybe? LOL


#174895 - 02/16/08 02:37 PM Re: Smoke Detectors [Re: Rewired]
Obsaleet Offline

Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 361
Loc: Pa
I had similar problem as rewire. I called Firex and they explained that when the Power co. would shut down 1 of there gen. it woyld cause spikes and noise ,usally late at night or early morning when demand was down. This would set the units off. I thought, yea right! But I was willing to play along. So, I installed a surge breaker in the panel. Guess what it worked I have not had a problem since.
Choose your customers, don't let them choose you.

#174900 - 02/16/08 03:31 PM Re: Smoke Detectors [Re: Obsaleet]
leland Offline

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 856
Loc: Lowell area, Ma. USA

I've had tons of trouble with their units.

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