Reset smoke detector - hard-wired and battery backup in security system

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Old 06-19-18, 12:09 PM
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Reset smoke detector - hard-wired and battery backup in security system

I'm not a pro but I can generally figure out things in my house pretty well but this one has me stumped.

I have a security system in my home with glass breakage detectors and smoke alarms all a part of it. The keypads are Vista 20. The system is hard-wired to the house and there is also an external central battery backup. I have a smoke alarm that is chirping once every 30 seconds. I had this same problem several years ago and replacing the battery backup solved it. I replaced the battery for this issue, but the smoke detector still chirps every 30 seconds.

There is no reset button on it that I can see, and pressing what I think is a Test button activates the security alarm, which I can reset at the keypad. I have tried doing that reset key sequence twice at the keypad, but the chirping persists. The light is flashing green on the detector, when I first looked at it neither the green nor red lights were flashing. I have to assume replacing the battery backup at least resulted in getting back the green flashing light.

I am thinking either that detector has gone bad, or more likely I am not using the correct reset sequence. Does anyone have any ideas for something I might try? Thank you.
 
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Old 06-19-18, 02:23 PM
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It sounds like you have 120V battery backup smoke alarms that have been connected to your security system with a relay (not a recommended configuration, actually).

Smoke alarms can, and do degrade, and some models use that same trouble chirp to alert you to that fact. What is the brand and model of the smoke?

Also, it is possible that the chirp is _not_ coming from that device. That little piezo chirp can echo in very strange ways, especially in a room with a lot of hard surfaces.
 
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Old 06-20-18, 06:44 AM
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The smoke detector is made by System Sensor, model 4W-B. You are correct about those chrips being fairly nondirectional but I am pretty sure in this case about where it is coming from. And there is another detector about 6 feet away from this one, one is in a bedroom and one is in a living room.

I will offer a few more details. This chirping started when the system battery needed to be replaced (BAT indicator on the keypad). I replaced the battery, reset the keypad, but the chirping persists. The green light on the detector is now blinking every ~6 seconds, and before replacing the battery it was not blinking at all (yet the green light was blinking on every other detector in the house even before I replaced the battery).

I am pretty sure I am going to need to call someone, but it's really hard to get someone to come out to your house for what is probably a small job like this.
 
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Old 06-20-18, 03:53 PM
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4W-B smoke detectors don't have any form of internal noise maker. They are strictly a smoke detector that relies on the alarm system for power and to provide notification.

Your chirp is coming from elsewhere. Either a hard-wired 120v smoke alarm, a CO monitor, or even something odd, like a toy forgotten in a closet or drawer.
 
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Old 06-20-18, 05:08 PM
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I know these smoke detectors do not have any internal noise maker. I know there is no CO2 monitor as part of the system. I know it is not something like a toy making the noise.

After looking more closely, this particular smoke detector is the only one in the house that is model 4W-B. Every other one is model 4WTA-B. I have no idea why only one detector in the house is not the same as all the others.

I also know that I cannot buy a model 4W-B detector in any retail or otherwise location locally (Raleigh, NC). The manufacturer said several places I called should be able to sell one to me, but all of them said they would/could not. So this sounds like a load of horse**** to me. I can buy one online from multiple different sources. The customer service people at System Sensor said a supervisor might be able to help me when I told them the sources they pointed me to would not sell one to me, and when they transferred me of course I got phonemail. I left a message, not holding out any kind of hope I will get a call back.

I will have to call a dedicated security company to come in and take a look. The unwillingness to sell a replacement detector, and the number of companies that simply will not come out for made-up reasons (and I know that by the variety of different things they have told me) really has left a bad taste in my mouth. I have never, ever had anywhere near so much trouble trying to get someone to come out to look at this for anything else before, and I have owned houses for more than 20 years.

And why don't I call the original installers? Because the guy doing the install, who is the son of the owner of the company, is a complete moron. I will not let that guy back into my house. I do have sufficient reason for that.
 
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Old 06-22-18, 09:49 AM
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RE: Post #5

Keep in mind a normal distribution chain.

System Sensor probably gave you names of the companies to whom they sell; distributors that don't install or service alarm systems, just sell the equipment to the companies that do sell and install. Distribution isn't interested in selling to the public; it doesn't fit their business plan and keeps their customers happy.

And I ran many a service call because for "system beeping" that turned out to be battery powered smokes, computer UPS unplugged, microwave clock needed setting, washer/dryer cycle completed and so on.
 
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Old 06-22-18, 10:16 AM
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My favorite "Smoke detector chirping" call was when I tracked it down to an exercise machine that had been left turned on. It can take a LONG time to track those chirps down, because you have to have your ear right next to the device to be sure that's what is causing it, and some devices wait several minutes between chirps.

A close second was a travel alarm clock left in a kitchen drawer that "Nobody ever used",

Btw, your _ears_ don't determine the direction of a sound, your _brain_ interprets it and convinces you of the direction. A chirp in some circumstances can occur on your left, but echo on your right so that it sounds louder in your right ear than your left. You generally don't know which ear is hearing it louder, only that your brain tells you the sound is coming from the right. Actual real-life example that would have fooled me if I hadn't already known where that device was.

Bottom line, there are more devices that generate that chirp then we can name here. Don't trust your brain to tell you the direction until you hear the chirp from a few inches away and it's too loud to mistake.
 
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Old 06-22-18, 03:15 PM
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2/4WTA-B models _do_ have individual piezo sounders and a 135F heat detector

That said, they _still_ don't generate periodic chirps like that. They are either in alarm, or they are _not_ in alarm.

More than likely, one of your smokes failed in the past, and the person doing the repair didn't have one of the 4WTA-B models on hand, and simply swapped it for the far more common non-sounder model (the bases are interchangeable).

These are primarily a professional life-safety installer item (and your local installers are reluctant to assume the potential liability of selling you one over the counter). Go with the online vendors.

https://www.systemsensor.com/en-us/D...t_A05-0348.pdf
 
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