Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Smoke alarm

  1. Jan 31, 2010 #1

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Nooooo!!! The battery in the one in my bedroom must be getting low because it has started making a very loud chirp ever couple of minutes and there is no smoke. OMG, if this continues, how do I take it apart? I see a button in the middle of it, will that kill it?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2010 #2

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Good God Evo, ever heard of a hammer?
     
  4. Jan 31, 2010 #3

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm about 2 minutes away from a hammer.
     
  5. Jan 31, 2010 #4

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Can I take it apart without risk of setting it off?

    AAARRRGGGHH< I can't take it much longer.

    ANSWER ME!!!!
     
  6. Jan 31, 2010 #5
    it should just twist off... the button in the middle will make it beep that's how you test it :tongue: there should be two parts a base attached to the wall and a cover. You just twist the cover and it should be easily removed from the base :smile:
     
  7. Jan 31, 2010 #6

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Ok, I have untwisted it, can I unplug it without setting it off?

    It's tied into the electricity, it's not battery operated. Which makes me wonder why the apartment complex says they do regular battery checks.
     
  8. Jan 31, 2010 #7
    The detectors that use household electricity still have a backup battery. It will still chirp when the battery is low.
     
  9. Jan 31, 2010 #8

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Can I unplug the sucker?
     
  10. Jan 31, 2010 #9
    Turn off the breaker to be safe and then unplug it.
     
  11. Jan 31, 2010 #10
    If you can see the back up battery it will also have to be removed because it will still chirp until it is completely dead.

    Some of the detectors even have a capacitor that will keep it chirping for a few hours after being disconnected. If that happens get the hammer.
     
  12. Jan 31, 2010 #11
    If it's connected to your homes electricity and theres no visible battery (the battery should be immediately visible when you take the cover off) then I would just call who ever is responsible for it. Landlord, supervisor whom ever.
     
  13. Jan 31, 2010 #12

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I can't see a battery.

    I guess I'm sleeping in the living room tonight. :frown:
     
  14. Jan 31, 2010 #13
    Have you unplugged it?

    Put it in the freezer. They are pretty sound proof and it should freeze her nice and good.
     
  15. Jan 31, 2010 #14

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Yes, the button in the centre. Press it and hold it for 3 minutes. It will turn off. :biggrin:
     
  16. Jan 31, 2010 #15
    Oh man a neighbor came over not even a week ago and all her alarms were going off because she hit one with a broom that was chirping. I had to hard reset it through the alarm system box that as located in the master bedroom.

    If chirping persists and you really want to stop it, you can unplug the signal wire which is normally white and pigtailed. If you attempt this make sure to turn off the breaker on that part of the house.
     
  17. Feb 1, 2010 #16
    I'm taking notes. Just in case. You never know.
     
  18. Feb 1, 2010 #17

    Dembadon

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    :bugeye:

    No, no, no, no, absolutely not! LOL! Hopefully she didn't do that, ya big meanie.
     
  19. Feb 1, 2010 #18

    Borg

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    Evo, how did it go last night? I hope that you got some sleep last night. Did you get it turned off?

    The battery is usually under another cover. Here's a picture of one. This model has a little tab that you have to push in to remove the cover where I marked it as "Disconnect here". As everyone said before, disconnect the power first - because of the battery, it can continue to chirp even after the power is disconnected. Once you push in the tab, give it a firm yank and the cover will come off. When you disconnect and reconnect the battery, it will often go off. It's normal but, can give you a scare if you're not expecting it. The battery is usually a 9 volt. Good luck.

    IMG_4666.jpg
     
  20. Feb 1, 2010 #19
    Best thing to do is light fire to your apartment. This is sure to bring expert help. I hope this information is still timely.
     
  21. Feb 1, 2010 #20

    f95toli

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I have the same type of smoke alarm in my flat. The last time the backup battery ran out I had the flu:eek: and it was in the middle of the night...
    My first problem was that there was no way obious to disconnect it compeletely, I did not want to remove the wires because the thing is wired into a central system and I was afraid that removing it would set off the OTHER smoke alarms (I have 3 of them in my flat).

    Anyway, I managed to find a fresh battery and put that into the alarm. The thing was still beeping. After checking the instructions I realized that the thing actually contains some rather sensitive montoring circuitry, not only does it have to be the right type of battery but also the right brand (presumably it checks the EMF, which can be slightly different); there was a list of about 10 different brands...and it did not include any of the batteries I had at home.
    So the following morning I had to go out (still with a flu) and buy new batteries.

    It DID, fortunately, stop beeping once I put the right battery in it...

    Next time I'll just use a hammer...
     
  22. Feb 2, 2010 #21
    Do any of you have hyperacusis? If you don't, you don't know how lucky you are. I have it, and when the smoke alarm makes that loud noise I freak out. I couldn't be in an apartment at the same time the smoke alarm was going off.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
  23. Feb 2, 2010 #22

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Well, if you don't know how to replace a battery in a smoke detector, that explains why it's chirping at you. Good grief, it's not that hard! Get a small step ladder and look at the thing. It'll either have a little "hatch" you can pop open for accessing the battery, which will be marked as such, or you untwist it to get to the battery after you pull it down, and again, it'll tell you which way to twist to remove it. If the battery door is on the side that faces the wall, then the wires will just be attached by a plug that you can pull out, replace the battery, then plug back in and reattach the smoke detector to the ceiling.

    In the place I used to rent, they had a hard-wired smoke detector system that was the WORST I've ever experienced...if one smoke detector had a low battery, they ALL chirped. I had to go through every one in the place to find the one causing the problem. :grumpy: For a while, I didn't have the time, patience or number of batteries required to check them all, so just yanked them all out.

    I'm STILL trying to find a hardwired smoke detector that doesn't have a glowing/blinking LED light in it. The smoke detectors in my bedrooms all have masking tape over the lights, because I can't figure out how anyone could sleep with one of those things glowing/blinking all night. I don't mind if it blinks if the battery is low to let me know it's time to replace it, but the rest of the time, I don't want any stupid light on. I still haven't found one yet.

    The advantage of the hard-wired smoke detectors is that they will all go off if there IS a real fire setting them off, so even if it's down in the basement, the one in my bedroom will be set off and I will more likely wake up in time than if it was just going off in the basement. Oh, right, and besides one that doesn't have lights in it, I want one that has a reset button that shuts them all up with one press (i.e., when I'm cooking bacon and for some reason, even when they are nowhere near the kitchen, the smoke detectors insist on going off from just the tiniest bit of grease splatter in the kitchen, requiring me to leave the stove unattended to turn on fans to shut the dang things up...that's more than annoying when I haven't even burnt anything and it's just greasy food being cooked that sets it off).
     
  24. Feb 2, 2010 #23

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Yes. What are they thinking?

    My phone had an LED that flashes every 20 seconds or so if there's voicemail waiting - it's bright enough to cast shadows.

    When you go to sleep in pitch darkness, and you happen to flutter your eyelids for a second, and the whole room is lit up in a baleful, angry yellow, let me tell you, you don't go back to sleep easily...
     
  25. Feb 6, 2010 #24

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Update: Yes, I did find the battery "hatch", popped out the battery (a 9 volt), and it stopped chirping. It still doesn't have a battery in it, apparently it only chirps when the battery is *low*, it doesn't do anything if the battery is removed. Brilliant.
     
  26. Feb 6, 2010 #25

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    :biggrin: How can it chirp if it has no power?
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook