smoke detector goes off when plugged back in

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  #1  
Old 11-21-04, 12:42 PM
pickled
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smoke detector goes off when plugged back in

I have no idea what is going on here. I took down a smoke detector to replace the battery, now when I try to plug it back in it won't stop going off. Anyone know why?

The system is hardwired, with battery back up. I've tried different batteries and different smoke detectors, but nothing works. Any detector plugged in there does the same thing, but it was perfectly fine before!?

Any help will be greatly appreciated, thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 11-21-04, 01:31 PM
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Smoke and Or Carbon Monoxide Detectors Or Dual Function Alarms

Hello: pickled. Welcome to the Do It Yourself Web Site.

Multiple common causes for the condition you're describing.
As it applies to battery only alarms. Electric with battery backup. Or only electric CO and smoke detectors.

The detectors internal sensory board is either defective and or needs to be cleared out. Cleared out means it has sensed carbon monoxide and now does not have the ability to self clear. Or sensor only is defective.

To clear detector out, remove it and place it outdoors for two + hours. Do this only when the weather is clear and not moisture laddened. Leave backup battery installed. Any alarming sound should stop shortly afterwards.

If the alarming sound does not stop after not longer than ten minutes, battery may be removed and the clearing out process can continue. But battery removal may or may not allow full clearing out or take much longer.

If the detector stops alarming on it's own, with battery installed within ten minutes, allow the unit to continue to clear out for the time duration above.

If the alarming does not stop and you have to remove the battery and the detector clears itself on it's own, replace the battery and reinstall it in the same interior location.

If clearing does not work and the battery backup is up to full charge or replaced and the alarming does not stop and resumes once reintalled in the exact location, three other possible causes.

1)
The detector is defective. Replacement is required.

2)
The area has carbon monoxides present and the alarming is operating as intended. Investigate a cause for the presence of CO.

3)
If ANY detector alarms, in that location or any place within the confines of the house, there is a very good likelyhood CO is present.

Do not use any gas fired heating appliances. Turn any and all such appliances used for heating off. Ventilate the entire house and or structure if possible. All else fails, get the H... out of there asap, if not immediately.

Get immediate professional help. Preferably that of a licensed heating agent and or the local gas supplier. Make no mistake. The evidence of a constantly alarming of a CO detector may or most likely is a warning of the presence of CO. A clear and present danger of CO poisoning is very possible.

And all this is coming from someone whom does not encourage the purchasing of such detectors nor the usage of any. Have seen far more than my share of false alarms. But on rare occassions the alarms where in fact working as designed and intended.
 

Last edited by Sharp Advice; 11-21-04 at 01:49 PM.
  #3  
Old 11-21-04, 02:09 PM
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If any detector installed in this location goes off, then the problem is either a real problem in the specific location, or a problem with the interconnecting wires. Has anyone done anything to the smoke alram circuit? Has anyone been installing pictures or doing anything else that requires driving nails or screws into the wall or ceiling?
 
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Old 11-22-04, 08:21 AM
pickled
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> done anything to the smoke alram circuit?

Yes, I had some ceiling fans installed that were put on the same line. When this was done we figured it was ok to do since a closet light has been on that line too since the house was built (I think). Could that be the cause? If so, why? And more importantly, what do I do about it?

Also, why would this happen all of the sudden? We've had the fans on that line for well over a year with no issues at all until I took down this one particular detector (all others are still fine).

Thanks A LOT for you help so far!
 
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Old 11-29-04, 09:24 AM
pickled
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Anyone have more input here? I'm still stuck...
 
  #6  
Old 11-29-04, 10:05 AM
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You didn't mention it, but is this a 'single' alarm or one that can be interconnetced with other alarms? If it is of the interconnecting variety, then it would have a three wire connection, the regular black/white power lines, and an extra red 'gang' alarm wire. If you have an alarm that is desined to be interconnected and the third wire was somehow used for some other purpose, then the wire would be hot and cause an instant alarm whenever you plugged it in. Or when this alarm was installed perhaps someone saw three wires and twisted the coloured wires together when connecting it, thus causing the same problem.

Do all of your smoke alarms go off at once when one of them is triggered? Or do they each go off on their own? If they go off on their own, then check the alarm in question and see if it is a three wire alarm, and if so, you should either disconnect and cap off the red wire on the alarm (the gang alarm) or repalce the alarm with an independant alarm that only has two wires and is not designed to be interconnected. This would assume your local code doesn't have rules that force all detectors to be interconnected.

If all your alarms go off together, then you need to trace the red wire and see if there has been a connection made that has put power on that line for some reason. Try looking into that and see if it helps track down your problem.

Regards,

Savant
 
  #7  
Old 11-29-04, 10:12 AM
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I think Savant hit the nail on the head...
 
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Old 11-29-04, 10:30 AM
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Well, I certainly like the signaling wire theory (especially in light of the ceiling fan information), but I can't explain why it started with nothing more happening that taking the smoke detector down and putting it back up. That still puzzles me. Perhaps this activity jiggled the wiring. Or perhaps the smoke detector wasn't even working at all before. The problem may well lie at the ceiling fans, even though they were wired well before this problem started. Somebody may have connected something to the red signaling wire.
 
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Old 11-29-04, 11:57 AM
pickled
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> is this a 'single' alarm or one that can be interconnetced with other alarms?

They are interconnected.

> need to trace the red wire and see if there has been a
> connection made that has put power on that line for some reason.

Ok, the only thing I know to do there, would be to check the wiring of each detector, the 2 fans, and the old light. Is there somewhere else I should check?

> but I can't explain why it started with nothing more happening
> that taking the smoke detector down and putting it back up.
> That still puzzles me

Me too.

> Or perhaps the smoke detector wasn't even working at all before.

I'm pretty sure it was, since it was chirping at me to replace the battery, which is what started all this. I have also tried it in other locations and it works fine.

I don't know what I'm talking about here, but isn't it odd that only one detector of an interconnected system is freaking out if something is wired wrong?
 
  #10  
Old 11-29-04, 03:25 PM
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Check the voltage on the red wire that interconnects the units.
 
  #11  
Old 12-04-04, 02:35 PM
mamaradio
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Question Same Prob here!!!

I have four smoke detectors in the same general area- only separated by door jams- anyway- they all go off when my husband burns meat on the grill outside when the smoke wafts in. Wouldn't stop going off, so I disconnected and waited for air to clear. Put em back in next day- STILL kept going off. I figure the detectors hvae "gone bad" so I buy new ones. SAME THING. They all keep alarming as soon as I plug em in!! Yes- they are interconnected- dont know if red wire is hot- but why would wiring have anything to do with it if it truly was smoke that set em off?

P.s. Pickled, Did you get your problem fixed?
 
  #12  
Old 07-09-07, 09:27 PM
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I am having a similar issue

I have had smoke detectors (Firex Model G-6) for nearly ten years with no incident. Last year December, they all start going off randomly. My neighbor told me to clean the dust out of the sensor? He said he had the same problem and used compressed air? But when I took the cover off, it was not clear on what to clean. I am at the point where I think maybe I would like to get a like for like replacement with same plug in.
 
  #13  
Old 07-09-07, 09:50 PM
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It is recommended you get new ones after 10 years anyways. You can try a can on compressed air (used to clean computers) and just spray down the hole thing.
 
  #14  
Old 07-09-07, 10:28 PM
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I second the motion for new smoke detectors. These things do not have an unlimited life.
 
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Old 07-10-07, 05:28 PM
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Exclamation Check to see if any wire came loose

Check to see if any of the wires came loose from the wire nuts. I had the same problem in my apartment I went to change the battery(Landlord Said it was our job even though they were hardwired) and it was one of those firex ones that you had to take off the ceiling and then unplug the three wire harness they used the wrong size wirenut and the neutral wire came out (Did not notice that) I guess it was using the yellow wire for power and as soon as I tuned the breaker back on I heard just that alarm sound luckily it was like 5 FT from the breaker panel
 
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Old 07-11-07, 08:04 PM
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i recently did a smoke troubleshoot job at work, everytime i installed a new smoke the thing would either chirp or go off. I found that the smoke was very tight going into it mount bracket, and the smoke was flexing a little bit. This was causing the battery to disconnect from its terminal just enought to cause an alarm. If your smoke doesn't sound when connected and not installed onto its surface, you've got the same problem i had.
 
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Old 07-11-07, 09:04 PM
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If it's a chirping noise every so often like about every 7 minutes or so then the smoke detectors are resetting themselves. The chirping will stop after several times.
 
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