Which Smoke/Fire/CO Alarm is Faulty?

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  #1  
Old 03-14-19, 06:29 AM
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Which Smoke/Fire/CO Alarm is Faulty?

Hi All,

I have something like a dozen smoke/fire/CO detectors in my house, mostly wired, some wireless; they are all interconnected by one specialty type that acts as a bridge between wired and wireless. The models are:

1. Kidde PI2010 Hardwired Dual Photoelectric and Ionization Sensor Smoke Alarm with Battery Backup

2. Kidde Battery Operated Wireless Interconnect Smoke Alarm RF-SM-DC

3. Kidde KN-COSM-IBA Hardwire Combination Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm with Battery Backup and Voice Warning, Interconnectable

4. Kidde 1279-9999/RF-SM-AC Hardwire Smoke Alarm with Battery Backup, Interconnectable

The 4th listed model type is the bridge.

Every few months or so, something will trigger the system for no reason. All the alarms will activate. Its a fire alarm, not a carbon monoxide alarm, because the 3rd listed model says only "Fire, Fire, Fire" and never "Carbon Monoxide." (It is able to say both.) There is definitely no smoke or fire or anything.

I actually have two fire/smoke alarms on an entirely separate system with my home security alarm, and then a stand-alone kitchen fire/smoke alarm. Neither of these two extra systems ever get activated.

So, I think there must be one alarm in the large interconnected system that is faulty, and I'd like to figure out which one it is.

When this happened last night, I tried HUSHing the alarm I thought was at fault (because HUSHing that one had worked in the past), but that didn't stop anything. I tried HUSHing a different alarm and that did the trick (located, literally, about 3 feet from the one I first tried HUSHing). This different alarm was definitely blinking red while it was activated, but I'm pretty sure that all the alarms were blinking red. Does that sound right? Is it right that I can't HUSH any alarm and have them all stop? i.e., that only one alarm in the entire system can be hushed so that I have to hunt (at 4am!) for which of my dozen alarms is the trigger?

Unrelatedly - one of the wired interconnected alarms is in the attic, where there was an electrical box for it. So I put an alarm there, too. Its an unfinished attic and gets very hot or cold depending on the season. Everything I've read says not to put an alarm in the attic. Is it ok that I have it there? It has never seemed to be a problem.

Thanks for any help!
 
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  #2  
Old 03-14-19, 10:44 AM
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As far as I know..... on an interconnected system..... only the triggering device blinks red..... the others just sound. I would not recommend a smoke detector in an un-conditioned space. You could get condensation problems with a smoke in the attic.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 03-14-19 at 02:34 PM. Reason: grammer correction
  #3  
Old 03-14-19, 01:14 PM
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Thanks, PJ.

Next time it happens, I'll have to see if its just one that is blinking red or if its all of them. Any idea if I should be able to use the HUSH button on any of them to stop the alarm, or must it be the HUSH button on the triggering alarm?

Thanks also re: whether or not to put an alarm in the attic (I'm assuming you meant unconditioned space). Any idea why the previous owner's builder would have put an electrical box (if that's the right term) in the attic for an alarm? Was it code at some point? (It was added on in 1999-2000 or so.)

One oddity that I meant to ask about before. I was replacing one of the hard-wired ionization/photoelectic alarms about a week ago. When I plugged it into the wiring harness, the talking Fire/Carbon Monoxide detector yelled "Fire" for a few seconds (this talking detector is the one I thought was the problem at first early this morning). Any idea why that might be? Some sort of surge down the interconnection wire when I plugged the new one in? It never happened before.

I'm still trying to figure out what might have set the alarm off. It also went off about a week ago when no one was home. My wife walked in just a minute or two after it was alarming, and it went off on its own!

So confused!

Thanks again, all.
 
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Old 03-14-19, 02:37 PM
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In order to hush the system..... you'd need to push the button on the triggered device.

These interconnected units can be a problem. As new designs come out the protocol changes and new units cannot talk properly to older units. I make it a point to change ALL the units in an interconnected system if they're over five years old.,
 
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Old 03-14-19, 02:48 PM
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PJ - I purchased ALL the units I have within a span of about 12 months from each other, back in 2013.

If you were me, would you look to replace all of them now? They are each supposed to be good for 10 years (except for the two detectors that include CO detection, which are good for 7 years).

thanks again.
 
  #6  
Old 03-18-19, 03:27 PM
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Kidde PI2010 Smoke Alarm User’s Guide

Kidde PI2010 Smoke Alarm User’s Guide
https://www.utcccs-cdn.com/hvac/docs...010-1475-7.pdf
Page 4
2. LOCATIONS TO AVOID
In an area where the temperature may fall below 40ºF or rise above 100ºF, such as garages and unfinished attics; this should also include electrical boxes exposed to these environments.

All smoke detector instructions will contain similar verbage. I would trash any detector that's been in an attic during the summer. The electronics are most likely ruined and you shouldn't bet your life on them by trying to use the detector.
 
  #7  
Old 03-19-19, 08:46 AM
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. I would not recommend a smoke detector in an un-conditioned space.
I believe it is code, we have them in attic and bonus room, both unconditioned!

Recommended locations for Smoke Alarms. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), recommends one Smoke Alarm on every floor, in every sleeping area, and in every bedroom. ... More specifically, install Smoke Alarms: On every level of your home, including finished attics and basements.
 
  #8  
Old 03-19-19, 10:34 AM
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Heat detectors are sometimes an alternative to smoke detectors in unconditioned spaces.
 
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Old 03-19-19, 02:25 PM
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Although they are not Life Safety Devices, 2john02458 hit the nail on the head. Pneumatic heat detectors are the best choice. Specifically, heat detectors designed not to trip until the temperature reaches around 190 degrees. Why 190? Because those designed to trip at around 130 degrees will trip on the first really hot day!

To install ANY device in contravention to the manufacturers instructions is unwise. Doing so voids the listing of any Nationally Recognized Testing Lab because the device was not tested in that environment.
 
  #10  
Old 03-19-19, 02:28 PM
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Hi All,

Thanks for all the info/advice.

I'm just trying to figure out why an alarm connection was put in the attic (not a finished attic, if that means "conditioned") if smoke alarms are not supposed to go there. Is it for a heat alarm? It is interconnected to all the other alarms in the conditioned parts of the house.

Thanks again!
 
  #11  
Old 03-19-19, 04:04 PM
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Most likely, that was for a heat detector, and it's not uncommon to do so.
 
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