I’m having an issue with smoke detectors that's making me nuts!!! In a new home I recently wired one of the locations of smoke detectors appears to be going off at random times (according to the home owner) for no reason that I can tell. All of the smokes are jumped out with 14-3. One in the middle of the chain will go off every once in a while but it will not set the others off with it. The one that started the problem is a smoke / carbon combo and I replaced it along with the wire harness (figuring that it was a bad one) twice. That did not work so I swapped it out with a regular smoke to see if it was in fact detecting carbon, however the smoke goes off occasionally as well. I can't imagine that all 4 smoke / carbon combo's and regular smoke are bad, and if the one goes off, they all should, but that is not happening. Has anyone else run into this??? If so, what did you do????
Are all the smoke detectors the same brand?I've heard of sometimes incompatibility issues when mixing brands.Myself,I like to put a light or something else that is easily noticed on with my smokes,that way if the circuit breaker trips ,a problem is more easier noticed by the homeowner.
oc-nj, Sounds a bit strange if all the detectors are linked but only one is going off, how many detectors have you got on the system and what is the total cable length? If I remember correctly there is a limit to the circuit length. Try a call to BRK.
There is 7 total on the system. I can't understand how only one goes off either. I might end up just replacing them all to see what happens. Either that or running new wire out of the location that the problem is in.
oc-nj, Sould be ok with 7 BRK recomend max 12 on system, should not be aproblem with mixig different types on the system i.e. ionisation and optical, detectors should not be within 3 meters of bathroom, moisture laden air can have an efect on them. You could try swaping it for a heat detector thy are not so critical on humidity or condesation.
Have you actually seen this happen while you were there or is this just something that has been related to you by the HO?
VERY strange that the problem persists even though you changed the offending detector several times. It would be IMPOSSIBLE for all to be defective especially when you substituted a smoke only for the combo. I would also say that it would not be possible for another detector or a wiring problem to cause this if all test normally when you press the test buttons and they all have been wired according to the BRK instructions. Just to be sure give BRK tech support a call at 1-800-323-9005 and ask if any of this is possible.
So, before you go chasing your tail with this (with only the HO's "diagnosis" to go on) and start replacing wiring or detectors, consider first if the HO is actually correct. Something is probably going on, but not bad smokes. I'm willing to bet that that smoke is going into alarm for whatever reason and the others are also (as normal) and the HO just isn't picking up on it. That high frequency squeal can be very misleading as to where it is coming from.