Shower steam sets off smoke alarm

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  #1  
Old 08-06-03, 06:35 AM
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Shower steam sets off smoke alarm

We've got electric smoke alarms hardwired into the house. There's one on our bedroom ceiling about 2 feet from the bathroom door. For about the last month it goes off when we open the bathroom door after taking a shower. I assume it has to be steam setting it off. It is about 1.5 years old. I tried taking it down (just unhooked the plug in the back) and blow it out - I though maybe some dust coupled with steam was the problem. That didn't help. Any suggestions to making it stop? Should I just buy a new one?
 
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  #2  
Old 08-06-03, 07:36 AM
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Smoke detector installation instructions all tell you to keep smoke detectors at least five feet away from a bathroom door. It is recognized that steam from any source can set them off. I suggest that you move, or have moved, the smoke detector farther from the bathroom. If that's not possible (well, of course it is possible!), then at least make sure you turn on the exhaust fan and/or open the bathroom window before you start your shower and leave it on for 15 minutes afterwards. That may or may not be enough.
 
  #3  
Old 08-06-03, 10:50 AM
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That is where they put it when the house was built 1.5 years ago. I've never had a problem with it up until a month ago. The problem started after I painted the ceiling. I took it down (just unhooked it and left it hanging there to paint around it - I didn't actually unhook the wire from the back). Since then is when we've had some problems with it.
 
  #4  
Old 08-06-03, 01:18 PM
brickeyee
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Try cleaning it with a vacuum cleaner. Shop vacs work well. It sounds like it might have dust in the ionization chamber that the moisture can collect on.
 
  #5  
Old 08-06-03, 01:32 PM
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I suppose it's possible that the paint or paint fumes may have messed it up. If the vacuuming doesn't work, you could try replacing it. Buy one of the exact make and model and they can usually be replaced simply by unplugging the old one and plugging in the new one -- no tools required.
 
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