Exploding battery in Smoke Dectector

Old 11-26-03, 02:59 PM
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Exploding battery in Smoke Dectector

I'm not kidding, our house is 3yrs old and ever since we moved in we have to change the battery (at least every 30 days) in all of our smoke detectors (they are hard wired for their main power supply, the battery is just a backup). I wanted to purchase all new detectors, however I am worried about a possible wiring problem causing the batteries to rupture. Any advice on the root of the problem, or whom to call to, are there electricians that specialize in this field?.
If it matters; our system is not linked to a monitoring service, and we have a total of six different detectors that all randomly have this same problem.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!
Old 11-26-03, 04:57 PM
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If they are all the same brand and age, I would try replacing one or two with a new one. If those don't have the same problem, it could be a bad batch of detector. The back up batteries in hard wired smokes should generally last a longish period of time.

If you have a multimeter and know how to use it, you could check for the presence of voltage at the battery terminals.

There was a hard wire smoke (I think it was a First Alert or BRK) on the market a few years ago that used a nicad battery that looked a lot like a normal 9v battery. They never sold well, and the line was dropped as far as I know. If yours are one of those, and the unit is trying to charge the battery, that would nuke a normal alkyline battery.
Old 06-29-04, 01:49 AM
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OK - so this was an old thread, but...


I have to believe that if someone put out battery-exploding smoke detectors, you'll find a recall has already been issued.

If not, any licensed electrician can check an AC smoke detector circuit.

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