Confused smoke detector

  • Thread starter Monique
  • Start date
  • #1
Monique
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,149
64

Main Question or Discussion Point

..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..
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
6,265
1,277
Yes, but you'll never be caught unawares by a steam monster when you're asleep.
 
  • #3
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,213
176
Originally posted by Monique
... it goes off every time we take a shower
Quit taking showers together.
 
  • #4
Monique
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,149
64


Originally posted by Ivan Seeking
Quit taking showers together.
ooohhh! that must be it! now why didn't I think of that myself?
*ugm*.. not..
 
  • #5
jimmy p
Gold Member
358
32
it wouldnt be attached to a sprinkler system would it? Then you could have a communial shower.
 
  • #6
344
2
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...
 
  • #7
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,226
34
Look on the back for a little switch that has two positions, "Smoke" and "Personal Hygiene." Make sure it's set to "Smoke."

- Warren
 
  • #8
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,213
176
chroot said:
Look on the back for a little switch that has two positions, "Smoke" and "Personal Hygiene." Make sure it's set to "Smoke."

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

That was a good one... :biggrin:
 
  • #9
Monique
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,149
64
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:
 
  • #10
41
0
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.
 
  • #11
Monique
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,149
64
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..
 
  • #12
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,213
176
btw, did anyone think to put a plastic bag over the detector when you take showers?
 
  • #13
3,077
3
Be aware that cameras are often hidden in mundane objects such as "smoke detectors." :eek:
 
  • #14
Tsu
Gold Member
371
63
Loren Booda said:
Be aware that cameras are often hidden in mundane objects such as "smoke detectors." :eek:
Then make that a DARK plastic bag! :wink:
 
  • #15
Monique
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,149
64
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..
 
  • #16
695
6
That's strange. I started reading about you taking a shower and my smoke alarm went off.
 
  • #17
Monique
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,149
64
Last time I checked it was a discussion about smoke detectors.. men!
 
  • #18
Tsu
Gold Member
371
63
Monique said:
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..
:biggrin: Let's see... Cold showers... or....towels on the floor? Um, I think I'll take the towels on the floor!!! :biggrin: :wink:
 
  • #19
Monique
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,149
64
I think some people need the cold shower ;)
 
  • #20
Tsu
Gold Member
371
63
Monique said:
I think some people need the cold shower ;)
:biggrin: :biggrin: tribdog!! To the showers!!! NOW!!! Make it REAL COLD!!!! :biggrin: :biggrin:
 
  • #21
Math Is Hard
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,527
28
This is spooky, Monique. My smoke detector did the same thing last week. And as Ivan suggested, I have been wrapping it with a baggie and rubber band.
There's nothing like running out of the shower dripping wet, soap in your eyes, piercing alarms blasting your eardrums, jumping up and down in the hallway and furiously swatting a smoke detector with a towel until it is beaten into submission. The only thing better is when it spontaneously goes off at 3 AM.
My landlord just replaced my smoke detector about a month ago. I wonder if we have the same brand?
 
  • #22
jimmy p
Gold Member
358
32
lol, my smoke detectors dont work... well, one does but i dont think that is the one near the shower... or maybe both dont work.. never had the problem with them spontaneously going off.
 
  • #23
Tsu
Gold Member
371
63
Math Is Hard said:
There's nothing like running out of the shower dripping wet, soap in your eyes, piercing alarms blasting your eardrums, jumping up and down in the hallway and furiously swatting a smoke detector with a towel until it is beaten into submission.
Now, THERE are some visuals!!! :eek: :biggrin:
 
  • #24
Evo
Mentor
23,139
2,679
I have a confession to make. I murdered my smoke detector. :frown:

Last year I was watching tv one night and the stupid smoke detector upstairs outside my bedroom went off. I used a broom handle to push the reset button to turn it off, as I do when it goes off for no reason, but the stupid thing would not shut off. I kept hitting it until I had almost knocked it off the ceiling when I smelled the unmistakable odor of burning electronics. I opened my daughter's bedroom door and saw flames shooting up to the ceiling.

My daughter loved to burn candles, and she had left the house with a new candle burning that she forgot to remove the plastic wrapper from & when it burned to that point, it flamed up, setting the box of "strike anywhere" kitchen matches ablaze, which set the stereo the candle was on, on fire.

The flames were about to set the drapes on fire. After a couple of minutes of throwing buckets of water on the fire and shutting off the electricity, I was able to put the fire out. Another minute & the drapes & bed would have caught fire & it would have been too late. Her room is between my room and the stairs, so I would have been trapped by the flames.

Fire alarms are annoying, but I am probably alive today thanks to one.

And I killed it. :frown:
 
  • #25
Tsu
Gold Member
371
63
Evo said:
And I killed it. :frown:
Now, that's GRATITUDE!! :biggrin: :biggrin:
 

Related Threads on Confused smoke detector

  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
2K
Replies
40
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
20
Views
3K
Replies
21
Views
3K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
30
Views
9K
  • Last Post
Replies
21
Views
1K
  • Last Post
6
Replies
133
Views
10K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
46
Views
15K
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
16
Views
2K
Top