Do healthy smoke detectors ever false alarm?

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Old 07-09-09, 09:46 AM
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Do healthy smoke detectors ever false alarm?

I have a GE 429CT smoke/heat detector that recently had a false alarm. No burning toast, etc. to explain it. Seems to me this shouldn't happen in an alarm-system-type smoke detector (what with the fire department being called and all).

My system is under warranty but the company is giving me a hard time because the smoke detector passes its self-diagnostics. Am I correct in thinking that false alarms are not normal and the detector should be replaced?
 
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Old 07-09-09, 10:24 AM
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If the alarm is as new as 3 and especially beyond 5 years old it is not healthy and should be replaced.The sensors do go bad and will malfunction.Once it starts it can't be fixed in most cases though a few have replaceable sensors.
 
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Old 07-09-09, 10:28 AM
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The system was installed a little less than a year ago. Will have to check the MFG date on the smoke detector but I would be surprised if it's much more than a year old.
 
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Old 07-09-09, 05:44 PM
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Yes, brand new and properly functioning smoke detectors/smoke alarms do get false trips. Insects, high humidity creating condensation in the sensing chamber, dust, or even the occasional random electronic noise can all create a false trip.

It's an electromechanical device and external things do affect it.
 
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Old 07-10-09, 05:49 AM
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Get one of those spray cans of compressed air and blow it out now and then to flush out dust,bugs etc.

If it keeps happening keep bugging your installer as you have a warranty and continued trips violates it plain and simple.
 
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Old 07-11-09, 04:55 AM
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WHERE IS IT IN THE HOUSE
1st FLOOR
2nd FLOOR
BASEMENT
 
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Old 07-11-09, 07:22 PM
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It's on the second (middle) floor of a 3 story townhouse. In the dining room/hallway, about 10 feet from the kitchen. It was early morning, nothing going on in the kitchen to explain it.
 
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Old 07-12-09, 09:47 AM
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Early morning _and_ adjacent to a kitchen. 90% likely to be moisture condensing in the sensing chamber. The moisture gets in there from cooking, dishwasher operation, etc. Then when the temperature and humidity hits the right point late at night, the moisture condenses in the sensing mechanisim.

Unless it becomes a regular occurance, it's the equivalent of a bug flying up your nose. Take some canned air to the detector and move on.
 
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