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Confused smoke detector

  1. Mar 24, 2004 #1

    Monique

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    ..we recently got a smoke detector installed by the city. It seems to have some kind of an identity crisis.. it goes off every time we take a shower

    Sure, at least we regularly get the confirmation its still working not really my idea of practicality though..
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2004 #2
    Yes, but you'll never be caught unawares by a steam monster when you're asleep.
     
  4. Mar 24, 2004 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    Quit taking showers together.
     
  5. Mar 24, 2004 #4

    Monique

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    Re: Re: Confused smoke detector..

    ooohhh! that must be it! now why didn't I think of that myself?
    *ugm*.. not..
     
  6. Mar 24, 2004 #5

    jimmy p

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    it wouldnt be attached to a sprinkler system would it? Then you could have a communial shower.
     
  7. Mar 24, 2004 #6
    Replace the identity crisis smoke detector with a regular detector. Take the id crisis detector and place it near your archrival's shower. Make sure you put it in a locked box where no one can access it. Blackmail your archrival for some money or you wont take the id crisis detector down.

    hehe.

    edit: maybe I have been watching too many movies...
     
  8. Mar 25, 2004 #7

    chroot

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    Look on the back for a little switch that has two positions, "Smoke" and "Personal Hygiene." Make sure it's set to "Smoke."

    - Warren
     
  9. Mar 31, 2004 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    I thought that was so funny that I had to run this around again.

    That was a good one... :biggrin:
     
  10. Mar 31, 2004 #9

    Monique

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    We couldn't find the switch, so now we are only taking cold showers so the problem is solved :wink:

    Actually, the electricity and water bills are significantly cheaper now.. and any time someone DOES turn on the hot water, they'll be immediately caught :evilsmiley:
     
  11. Apr 1, 2004 #10
    More than you wanted to know about smoke detectors...

    I had a similarly confused smoke detector.

    Monique if you can get the city to fix it (good luck) then ignore this post and let them deal with it, but if you are on your own and are interested in fixing it, you may want to know a few things before you seek a smoke detector that is secure in its identity.

    If I remember it correctly, there are two basic types of smoke detectors, ionization detectors and photoelectric detectors.

    Ionization detectors use a small amount of a radioactive material (usually Americium-241) to ionize the air in an open chamber, creating a current. When smoke molecules (or water vapor) enter the chamber, they attach to the ions. The change in the current flow triggers the alarm. To save money the trigger is a preset current threshold, instead of a shift in the current. So if there is less radioactive material, or a little extra dust in the chamber, the detector will be more sensitive (sometimes annoyingly sensitive). So you may be able to reduce teh number of false alarms by cleaning out the chamber with some compressed air.

    Photoelectric detectors use a light emitting diode (LED) and a photodiode. The LED emits infrared light in a narrow beam across a chamber and the photodiode is usually positioned 90 degrees to the beam. When the smoke enters the chamber it scatters the beam and the photodiode detects the light and triggers the alarm when it reaches a certain amount. Photoelectric detectors are less sensitive to vapors.

    Ionization detectors are common and photoelectric detectors are mainly used in area in confined areas or areas prone to vapor. There is one other option, it isn’t a smoke detector, it is called a heat detector. It is basically just an alarm triggered by a thermistor or thermocouple, set to a temperature threshold or a rate of rise in the temperature.
     
  12. Apr 2, 2004 #11

    Monique

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    Really.. that's interesting.. I didn't know smoke detectors worked that way, thanks Macgyver :) An embarresing story is that I once actually had the firedepartment on my doorstep because of a false alarm.. nothing had happened! I had just put a hot pan in the sink and rinsed it with water, apparently that set of the smoke alarm, which wasn't the smoke alarm but the central security system of the house, which called directly to the firedepartment.. the truck was standing in the front lawn and a fireman banging on my door in what seemed two minutes :S and I didn't have a clue what was going on and how they appeared out of nothing..

    And then there are the student apartments with all the Asians leaving their rice on the stove a little too long :P boy, there were a lot of false alarms..
     
  13. Apr 3, 2004 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    btw, did anyone think to put a plastic bag over the detector when you take showers?
     
  14. Apr 3, 2004 #13
    Be aware that cameras are often hidden in mundane objects such as "smoke detectors." :eek:
     
  15. Apr 3, 2004 #14

    Tsu

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    Then make that a DARK plastic bag! :wink:
     
  16. Apr 4, 2004 #15

    Monique

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    haha, we just close the bathroom door.. not that the cats like that.. they start scratching the door and miauwing until they are finally let in, after which they want to get out again.. demonstratively pulling the towels from the door to the floor.. ah well..
     
  17. Apr 4, 2004 #16
    That's strange. I started reading about you taking a shower and my smoke alarm went off.
     
  18. Apr 4, 2004 #17

    Monique

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    Last time I checked it was a discussion about smoke detectors.. men!
     
  19. Apr 4, 2004 #18

    Tsu

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    :biggrin: Let's see... Cold showers... or....towels on the floor? Um, I think I'll take the towels on the floor!!! :biggrin: :wink:
     
  20. Apr 4, 2004 #19

    Monique

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    I think some people need the cold shower ;)
     
  21. Apr 4, 2004 #20

    Tsu

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    :biggrin: :biggrin: tribdog!! To the showers!!! NOW!!! Make it REAL COLD!!!! :biggrin: :biggrin:
     
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