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superoman
06-01-2013, 11:08 AM
Has anybody had any failing smoke alarms or batteries?

Culprit one:Ringgrip expires 2014. Started beeping sporadically, replaced batteries with everready gold, few weeks later beeping again

Culprit two: so I buy a new Elto Smoke alarm to replace the ringgrip. Expires 2022. Have had a month or two. Used included (funny name) battery, starts beeping, seems someone else in house replaced it with everyready gold, starts beeping shortly after. I try brand new energiser. Starts beeping shortly after.

Any ideas?

It seems random that two different smoke alarms in the same spot start beeping. and replacing batteries doesnt seem to solve it

WalOne
06-01-2013, 11:21 AM
Have you looked outside recently?

1) Are there any blokes in high vis yellow jackets and safety helmets milling round a red truck?

2) Are there any priests in red cassocks and birettas milling around keeping a watchful eye on your chimney?

:D

Peter H
06-01-2013, 11:37 AM
Stop smoking?

zqwerty
06-01-2013, 11:46 AM
This has happened to us twice, the first time after weeks of frustration it turned out to be a smouldering hot water switch in the passage which eventually went open-circuit causing no hot water which is how we found the problem.

The second time it was the Junction Box to Fuse Box Wiring had water from a leak in the roof and was also smouldering before it actually blew the 60Amp fuse which is how we realized why the alarms were going off.

My advice is don't ignore them try another alarm or place the supposed faulty ones outside and see if they still go off.

Both of the incidents at our house were not false alarms even though they seemed to be so in fact they were potentially life threatening.

coldfront
06-01-2013, 11:51 AM
Have you looked outside recently?

1) Are there any blokes in high vis yellow jackets and safety helmets milling round a red truck?

2) Are there any priests in red cassocks and birettas milling around keeping a watchful eye on your chimney?

:D

Thats a real good reply...lol

Being a firey who was heavily involved in getting smoke alarms instaled around the community. I have some experiance of this!

Really difficult to give you an online diagnostic check of what is wrong so here goes.

When we were installing these smoke alarms and bearing in mind we installed a lot occasionally we would find a faulty smoke alarm or a batch of batteries that were not very good. Several factors come into play and yes it is likely you were unlucky with getting two faulty alrms. What ype are they eg photosensative etc? Should say on the packaging. Your two options either take them back where you purchased or contact you community fire officer he can be contacted via you local fire brigade (obvioulsy not using the 111 number), you may find he may have a product recall notice filed which helps your arguement with the retailer as well.

Digby
06-01-2013, 12:32 PM
I like Zippitys advice

Better to be safe than sorry.

Yes try another one in the same place.

They are cheap enough.

Reminds me of a top cyclist that was trying out a new bike heart rate machine.
He took it back to the shop saying it was giving out false beeps etc.
They said it was all OK.
Two weeks later he died of a heart attack he was in his 30's

Trev
06-01-2013, 12:41 PM
I like Zippitys advice

Better to be safe than sorry.

Yes try another one in the same place.

They are cheap enough.

Reminds me of a top cyclist that was trying out a new bike heart rate machine.
He took it back to the shop saying it was giving out false beeps etc.
They said it was all OK.
Two weeks later he died of a heart attack he was in his 30's

You mean zqwerty ?

Cicero
06-01-2013, 12:58 PM
I liked Coldfronts, ring up fire brigade, get it from the horses mouth, I say.

FoxyMX
06-01-2013, 01:32 PM
Interesting post zqwerty. I wouldn't have thought a smoke alarm would respond like that to such faults.

We had a smoke alarm play up last year just a couple of months after purchase with it beeping at random times. Replacing the battery didn't fix it so I just took it back and got a refund then bought another of a different brand. Haven't had any problems since.

zqwerty
06-01-2013, 01:51 PM
Yes low level smouldering, at the time we couldn't smell the hot water switch cooking although Mum swore at the time the DVS filter was dirty and letting in smoke smells from outside.

As for the mains wiring well once we got into the roof space the smell of burnt insulation was very noticeable but in the house nothing, however the smoke detectors were detecting it.

Agent_24
06-01-2013, 02:40 PM
Over the last several years and with multiple alarms it seems they all work fine here for a year or more and then start going off in the middle of the night for no apparent reason, usually in winter.

Searched the internet and the best I could come up with: Some seem to enjoy going off due to sudden changes in air temperature, apparently.

Or maybe they just get full of dust, or something. No idea. But if it IS a real alarm I don't know what's causing it, I find it hard to believe an electrical fault could exist for several years without any other symptoms, but stranger things have happened. Now you've got me paranoid!

coldfront
06-01-2013, 03:27 PM
For computer geniuses you certainly dont know much about the effect of cold on battery life.

One thing that annoys me in the winter is when my pager battery dies in the middle of the night! Usually between 3-5am! Smoke alarms tend to have there batteries die around the same time of day as well!

What amazed me while doing the Smoke alrm awareness programme is the amount of people who did not check smoke alarms! Then again why should I sound surprised either! Every six months batterys are recommended to be changed HOWEVER there are now Lithium Ionisation smoke Alarms that battery life is several years.

But that bring the other check you should do and that is making sure the dust dont build up! Quick suck of the vacuum clenaer is all thats needed using a brush as you computer builders know pushes the dust in more compact. Now if your still having difficulties contact you local fire station and get them to have a look.

They Fire Service would rather spend a few minutes checking you smoke alarms than pulling you out of a burning building and spending hours fighting a fire. Modern Fire service is about fire prevention hence smoke alarms.

Agent_24
06-01-2013, 04:05 PM
Well I don't know about anyone else but as far as I know the batteries in mine were OK at the time. Voltage test was fine, and the low battery alarm didn't go off.
When a low battery alarm does go off, it's obvious and the battery gets replaced straight away.

But maybe it was still a battery issue, if it happens again I will try a new battery and see if the problem is fixed then and there.

Bobh
06-01-2013, 04:40 PM
A few years ago down here in Invercargill we had a free smoke alarm delivered to every home in the city. Smoke alarms are easy enough to install and are designed to give off a beeping sound when the batteries are going flat and need replacing. Most people replace the battery to have continued protection. Other people simply remove the battery to stop the annoying beeping sound. Landlords, when inspecting a rental property, often find that the fire alarm is still in place but with the battery removed.

We are always reminded to check our smoke alarms every six months when daylight saving changes.

Frank_sumbody
06-01-2013, 10:38 PM
Why cant people start thinking inside the square and pre-wire new homes so that homes and offices dont need batteries inside smoke detectors. or would this confuse people when to adjust their clocks. I suspect they dont do this yet because I have not heard of battery less smoke detectors.

wainuitech
06-01-2013, 10:47 PM
Why cant people start thinking inside the square and pre-wire new homes so that homes and offices dont need batteries inside smoke detectors. or would this confuse people when to adjust their clocks. I suspect they dont do this yet because I have not heard of battery less smoke detectors. I can see a big problem there - What happens if theres a power cut ? The alarm wouldn't work.

At least with a battery they beep when going flat. We change ours as soon as the first beep is heard, or every year at least.

Mind you, SWMBO tests out the ones in our place every so often when something on the stove gets a little warm and sets them off.

Frank_sumbody
06-01-2013, 11:23 PM
yes fire starts blows out all the fuses in the fuse board, what a way to blow away your day,

I think maybe a fire starting after the local area power blow out is stranger than winning more than $10 in lotto.

SLA battery backup found in alarm systems could cure this

Digby
07-01-2013, 08:20 AM
Yes I always test my batteries on the change to and from Daylight saving.
Its a good reminder.
I can't believe those people who take the batteries out ?

Do they think their life is not worth a few dollars?

FoxyMX
07-01-2013, 08:29 AM
Well I don't know about anyone else but as far as I know the batteries in mine were OK at the time. Voltage test was fine, and the low battery alarm didn't go off.
When a low battery alarm does go off, it's obvious and the battery gets replaced straight away.

But maybe it was still a battery issue, if it happens again I will try a new battery and see if the problem is fixed then and there.

We tried two different new batteries with our one when it played up and did a voltage test on the batteries, just in case, so the problem wasn't with the battery here either. And now that you mention it, I think the issue cropped up in winter here as well.

We have now got a different brand of detector so we shall see what happens this winter.

coldfront
07-01-2013, 01:08 PM
Once again I find myself informing you that you can have a Faulty smoke alarm and in fact get a second! Sometimes it is installer error.

As for hardwird smoke alarms yes they are avialable and yes they do have battery back ups and once again the newer Lithium Battery smoke alarms are replacing the traditional alarms installed tht are being recommended by the Fire Service.


You have any doubts GET IT CHECKED!!! Tommorow never comes and especially if you have a fire before tommorow while you sound asleep never to wake again.

gary67
07-01-2013, 04:19 PM
Over the last several years and with multiple alarms it seems they all work fine here for a year or more and then start going off in the middle of the night for no apparent reason, usually in winter.

Searched the internet and the best I could come up with: Some seem to enjoy going off due to sudden changes in air temperature, apparently.

Or maybe they just get full of dust, or something. No idea. But if it IS a real alarm I don't know what's causing it, I find it hard to believe an electrical fault could exist for several years without any other symptoms, but stranger things have happened. Now you've got me paranoid!
SWMBO worked for a bunch of scientist testers who told her they always go at night due to that being the coldest part of the day and batteries are totally susceptible to cold

Agent_24
07-01-2013, 04:52 PM
Why would that cause the alarms to go into full panic mode and not just make the battery warning noise though?

gary67
07-01-2013, 06:27 PM
I don't know

Agent_24
07-01-2013, 07:45 PM
It is indeed strange

SP8's
07-01-2013, 08:34 PM
Growing dope in the attic under bright lights WITHOUT proper ventilation MAY induce fire alarms to beep without warning ... :D

Bobh
07-01-2013, 11:13 PM
Growing dope in the attic under bright lights WITHOUT proper ventilation MAY induce fire alarms to beep without warning ... :D
Oh dear - the things that can set fire alarms off.

superoman
08-01-2013, 07:29 PM
Thanks for all the answers.

Interestingly enough put another new battery in the Elto Alarm and it seems to go fine!

My guess is my house has ghosts

R2x1
08-01-2013, 08:09 PM
The alarms may be "failing" because the fire has gone out?

Digby
08-01-2013, 09:19 PM
Huh
I just bought a new cheap Panasonic battery for my smoke alarms.
I have 2 but am in a small place so I only need one.

It put it in my Elto alarm and tested it, all OK

Then a minute later it beeped and did so very minute.
That is the warning of a flat battery !

I put the battery in my other Elto unit and it did the same.

If I take the battery out and then put it in, without doing a test its all OK.
But If I test it, I get that annoying beep

OK it could be a flat battery but I bought it from a buys supermarket.

On the unit it says in small print only use certain types of battery! (not mine)
Surely that is a sales ploy!
On the Panasonic batteries packet it says suitable for smoke alarms!

No wonder people get annoyed with smoke alarms and remove the battery!

I am getting ready to throw mine out of the window!

R2x1
08-01-2013, 09:47 PM
Strangely the cheap batteries are not always the best.
Best value batteries I have found are Panasonic Alkalines - not cheap, but consistently good value. EverReady Alkalines are frequently alright, but you only know they were having a bad day when you find your battery is a dud. I haven't really found anything unimportant enough to warrant using the el-cheapo batteries in - if they are that unimportant I don't buy it so I have no need of batteries for it.

Did anyone guess that I dislike bad batteries? ;) They might be suitable for use in cup-handle-obscurers as ballast though. ;)

Digby
08-01-2013, 11:01 PM
I would not have thought that Panasonic was a cheap brand.

And they were about $4.00 each.
I saw top range Alkaline batteries at nearly $10

Do they really last 2 and a half times as long ?

R2x1
08-01-2013, 11:21 PM
That depends on how you value whatever the smoke alarm is protecting.
If the battery doesn't do what it was purchased for it really doesn't matter how cheap it was - even a free one means the alarm it was intended for is a total waste of money. As for what it was meant to protect . . . . . ? ? ?

coldfront
11-01-2013, 01:48 PM
I would not have thought that Panasonic was a cheap brand.

And they were about $4.00 each.
I saw top range Alkaline batteries at nearly $10

Do they really last 2 and a half times as long ?

The speil is you should check your smoke alarms every 6 months and change the batteries! Reality is that if you check your batteries and use a multitester to check them those batteries can last longer much longer! However colder conditions do drain batteries.

As for price of a brand of a smoke alarm! Consider this if it was given to you would you regard it as being a cheap product? Production costs of smoke alarms hardly anything the marketing of a brand name is where the cost is at.

Personally I have not a clue what brand smoke alarms we have! All I know is they came from Mitre10 and given out free from the fire service.