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#39175 - 06/11/04 06:41 PM Smokey problems  
oc-nj 08757  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 13
Manchester Twp. NJ
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????

Al


Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#39176 - 06/12/04 04:21 PM Re: Smokey problems  
nesparky  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 642
omaha,ne
Is the one going off any where near a shower or wash machine or a kitchen? Any place where steam or water vapor can get to the smoke? Also what else is on the smoke detector circuit?

[This message has been edited by nesparky (edited 06-12-2004).]


ed

#39177 - 06/12/04 04:46 PM Re: Smokey problems  
oc-nj 08757  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 13
Manchester Twp. NJ
I put the smokes on their own circuit. The one that I'm having the problem with is about 7 feet from the hall bath. No one was showering during any of the times it went off.


#39178 - 06/12/04 05:52 PM Re: Smokey problems  
andyp95  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 46
Vermont
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.


#39179 - 06/12/04 08:30 PM Re: Smokey problems  
oc-nj 08757  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 13
Manchester Twp. NJ
The light sounds like a good idea, I might use that...
All of the smokes are made by BRK


#39180 - 06/13/04 11:20 AM Re: Smokey problems  
Attic Rat  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 524
Bergen Co.,N.J. USA
... Are you mixing Ionization with Photo-electric types..?? I've heard that that can result in nuisance alarming..Good Luck,let us know if you find the cause..
Russ


.."if it ain't fixed,don't break it...call a Licensed Electrician"

#39181 - 06/13/04 07:14 PM Re: Smokey problems  
aland  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 186
United Kingdom
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.


#39182 - 06/13/04 07:55 PM Re: Smokey problems  
oc-nj 08757  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 13
Manchester Twp. NJ
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.


#39183 - 06/13/04 09:11 PM Re: Smokey problems  
aland  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 186
United Kingdom
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.


#39184 - 06/13/04 09:33 PM Re: Smokey problems  
hbiss  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 886
Hawthorne, NY USA
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.

-Hal


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