By in Technology

Hard Wired Smoke Detector Beeping

Since yesterday my hard wired smoke detector has been beeping. Although it is a hard wired system, it still has a battery inside it in case of power failure - they are all like this. So the alarm was making a beeping noise, like a chirp.

I did go up the ladder to try to take the battery out - round the edge there's a little part round the edge of the detector which, when pressed in by about 1/8" enabled me to twist the whole unit and it came away in my hand, but then I saw the hard wiring in the ceiling and panicked a bit, so pushed the smoke detector casing back in place and twisted it shut again.

However, it's now beeping every 20 seconds. The reason for this is that when the battery gets low it is more inefficient, so chirps more regularly - and it is temperature sensitive. The temperature overnight dropped to -3° which is why it's decided to chirp more frequently. Later I will have to get up the ladder again and get the cover off and take the battery out, to find the right size, then go to the shops to buy a replacement.

I've got two hard wired detectors in the hallway, one downstairs and one upstairs. I had wondered which one it actually was yesterday - I'd assumed it was the downstairs one. This morning I now know as I can see the downstairs detector is flashing a red light just before it beeps - whereas the upstairs detector has a continuous green light (something you can only see in the dark), although the red light is noticeable in the half light of the hall.

The batteries last about 3-5 years on average.

So that's today's job! Buy a smoke detector alarm battery, get up the ladder and replace the old one!



Image Credit » by PublicDomainPictures

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allen0187 wrote on February 27, 2015, 2:47 AM

At least you know that both smoke alarms are working fine. Good luck in getting the batteries replaced.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 27, 2015, 2:55 AM

I´d have panicked seeing wires too in case I touched one by mistake, that´s the last thing you need at the top of a ladder. Best to get the new battery in ASAP though.

jiangliu1949 wrote on February 27, 2015, 4:20 AM

Sounds that it is a bother to you .Over here few people have them in their houses ,Generally in hotel rooms .

Coffee wrote on February 27, 2015, 4:24 AM

I need to replace the batteries in mine. It is so naughty not having them working in the house isn't it?

maxeen wrote on February 27, 2015, 7:22 AM

Very good advice. The whole street know about it when I'm cooking. Just have to light the grill and the alarm is off in it's squealing mode.(it's maxeen again)

UK_Writer wrote on February 27, 2015, 7:30 AM

Well, I've ended up a bit busy today, so not replaced the battery yet - I turned the heating on, so it warmed up the hallway and stopped the smoke detector chirping :)

Last Edited: February 27, 2015, 7:31 AM

UK_Writer wrote on February 27, 2015, 7:32 AM

Well, yes. I thought there'd be wires in there, I thought it was a hard wired smoke detection system, but the reality of seeing them did make me shove it all back quickly. Up a ladder, too, is a precarious position to be trying to fiddle about with the inside of the detector.... not looking forward to it really.

UK_Writer wrote on February 27, 2015, 7:32 AM

They are a legal requirement for new build houses to have hard wired smoke detectors in - and have been for a few years.

UK_Writer wrote on February 27, 2015, 7:33 AM

Very naughty. I just wish they weren't on the ceiling! Mine's working, but the battery chirping means it's time to be replaced.

UK_Writer wrote on February 27, 2015, 7:34 AM

Oh I'd hate it if the alarm were to go off, ever.... cooking does seem to set a lot off. It's poor position/design when it does that really. I don't use the oven most of the time - it's hard to justify putting a whole oven on to cook one small item for one person.

j2jworkz wrote on February 27, 2015, 8:41 AM

My smoke alarms have excellent timing and only chirp in the middle of the night.

wolfgirl569 wrote on February 27, 2015, 9:34 AM

Hope you get it replaced quickly, that noise drives me nuts

WordChazer wrote on February 27, 2015, 2:47 PM

We arrived home after Christmas to the sound of our kitchen smoke detector chirping too. At least it wasn't required to work for real while we were away. I am now in sole charge of both detectors, as my husband made such a mush of the previous one in the kitchen that our handyman deemed it unsafe when he visited, so I had to buy another. When he was changing the battery one day, Mr Chazer not only took the battery out but one of the contacts too. Bare wires in a smoke detector are not good. Also, non-working smoke detectors generally invalidate house insurance claims, which can really put the lid on things if you do have to claim after a fire.

UK_Writer wrote on February 28, 2015, 8:36 AM

Smoke detectors beep at night because the temperature drops - and as the battery ages that drop in temperature causes them to reach the threshold for making the beep

UK_Writer wrote on February 28, 2015, 8:37 AM

It's now beeping every 30 seconds.... but it's a lot of work to get up there safely and replace the battery

UK_Writer wrote on February 28, 2015, 8:38 AM

Some hard wired smoke detectors slide away from the base plate, making it easy to replace the battery. Mine unscrews, then you need to separate two halves of a plastic connector, joined on one side to the wires in the ceiling. That's quite a feat up a ladder with only two hands in the half gloom of an internal hallway and with only a dim low energy lightbulb.

WordChazer wrote on February 28, 2015, 9:39 AM

I'd say that's a feat of juggling worth celebrating if you manage to achieve it. Be careful up the ladder, too.