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Smoke Alarm Problem

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by rkinsella, 10 Aug 2021.

  1. rkinsella

    rkinsella

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    Hi folks,

    We did a huge refurbish of our house about 2 years ago - and moved in just before Covid hit.

    We ended up with 6 or 7 smoke alarms, all of which are connected.
    Problem is that they are going off, intermittently for no apparent reason - and when they do, it is LOUD!

    How do I isolate the source of the problem.
    Should I replace all the batteries (if they have batteries, they are mains connected ones).
    How do I tell which smoke alarm is causing the activation (it is generally short lived, 10 seconds or less)?

    Thanks for any help,

    Ray K
     
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  3. securespark

    securespark

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    They are all interconnected so you won't necessarily know which one is triggering the rest.

    You could try disconnecting each smoke alarm one at a time and see if the problem persists.

    If you find the first one you remove does not stop the false alarming, reconnect it and disconnect another.

    You should get to the point where you have disconnected one and the false alarming no longer occurs.

    Don't forget to leave a decent period of time between each disconnection.
     
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  4. SFK

    SFK

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    I find my mains AICO smoke alarms seem to get more sensitive as their backup battery starts to get old.
    When this happens (for me) they start to have occasional 1 or 2 second bursts of sounding - Always just loing enough to set them all off.
    This is even though the low battery ping noise is not happening.

    My solution:
    1) Vacumn them all to remove any dust or spiders.
    and
    2) Replace all the batteries with good batteries.

    Get batteries from a repuatable source (not ebay, not poundland).
    I found these at a good and reasonable price:
    https://www.screwfix.com/p/varta-longlife-power-9v-high-energy-batteries-4-pack/1038k

    With sharpie write date on new batteries when you insert them so you know how long they have actaully been in place when you next check on them.

    SFK
     
    Last edited: 10 Aug 2021
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  5. securespark

    securespark

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    Sorry, I got waylaid and was going to add the advice that SFK has above, basically, clean them and change batteries if they have them.
     
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  6. sparkymarka

    sparkymarka

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    What make are the smoke detectors ?
     
  7. rkinsella

    rkinsella

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    So I have removed two of the smoke alarms ... and restored power to the rest of them.
    No problems since.

    The alarms themselves are about 2yrs old, and have Duracell onboard ... so you'd imagine it wouldn't be the battery.
    But I will check em anyway.

    Thanks for the advice.

    Ray K
     
  8. HERTS P&D

    HERTS P&D

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    Are these smoke alarms wired to the mains?

    Or just battery?

    Andy
     
  9. rkinsella

    rkinsella

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    Main, with a backup battery.
     
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  11. SFK

    SFK

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    My AICO backup batteries do fail after a couple of years.
    I presume that the battery itself being monitored by the smoke alarm for its condition uses some power from the battery - and they will age with that type of use.
    So I would always recomend having scheduled changing of batteries in Mains Smoke alarms.

    What brand are the alarms you are using?
     
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  12. rkinsella

    rkinsella

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    The electrician installed duracells.
     
  13. SFK

    SFK

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    Rkinsella,
    I did not know that Duracell made mains smoke alarms - I thought that they only made batteries.

    We are interested to know the brand of the actual smoke alarm as it may assit more.

    I am happy to be told that it is a Duracell smoke alarm -

    but is it perhaps an AICO:
    https://www.screwfix.com/p/aico-ei141rc-ionisation-smoke-alarm/

    or a Fire angel:
    https://www.screwfix.com/p/fireangel-sw1-r-optical-smoke-alarm/396cc

    or a Kiddie?
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kidde-Fire...words=mains+smoke+alarm&qid=1628684950&sr=8-7

    Thanks, SFK
     
  14. securespark

    securespark

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    Lick your battery terminals. A good battery will give you a bit of a tingle.

    A really dead one, nothing.

    Don't do this with anything of a higher voltage!
     
  15. HERTS P&D

    HERTS P&D

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    I was told to only lick 2 things, one of them was ice creams, the other was not batteries! ;)

    Andy
     
  16. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    With Aico, and I assume other brands, you can add a test switch to the system. With the Aico ones there are 3 switches on the plate :
    • Test: equivalent to pressing the test button on all the alarms at the same time, i.e. they should all sound
    • Isolate: silences all the alarms that are sounding because an interlinked alarm has triggered, leaves the triggered alarms sounding so you can tell what triggered
    • Silence: Shuts them all up
    Any system of more than 2 or 3 alarms should have one of these - otherwise you will have the problem you have, alarms and no idea what caused them (which head triggered).
     
  17. SFK

    SFK

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    Simon,
    I have that system on my AICO - and it is very useful for testing the system, identifing which alarm has been effected by smoke and for silencing all but the smoke effected alarm when I burn the toast when kids are asleap.

    But does not work for the dust and (for what I find is a) low battery effect that causes a random and occasional short 'chirp' that sets off all the alarms for only a second or two.
    SFK
     
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