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Sat Sep 2, 2017, 02:37 PM

Help!!!! Smoke alarm chirp driving my neighbor nuts!!!!

Okay, here's the synopsis:

A hard wired, probably 30-year old smoke alarm started chirping. We got the alarm removed from the ceiling. There is no battery back up on the alarm itself. But SOMETHING is still chirping in the ceiling where the alarm was.

Let me repeat: this is NOT about removing a battery backup from the alarm, itself, because the alarm has been removed from the house but the chirping continues in the ceiling. No CO 2 detector in the house as this is an all electric house.

Help!!! Can't get an electrician as it's the weekend. Yes, we've turned off all of the circuit breaker switches in the box in the garage one at a time and that did not stop the chirping.

Poltergeist????????

19 replies, 1706 views

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Help!!!! Smoke alarm chirp driving my neighbor nuts!!!! (Original post)
hamsterjill Sep 2017 OP
Beartracks Sep 2017 #1
Not Ruth Sep 2017 #2
hamsterjill Sep 2017 #11
VMA131Marine Sep 2017 #3
eppur_se_muova Sep 2017 #4
hamsterjill Sep 2017 #12
Hoyt Sep 2017 #17
Orrex Sep 2017 #5
Happyhippychick Sep 2017 #6
elleng Sep 2017 #7
CentralMass Sep 2017 #8
hamsterjill Sep 2017 #10
hamsterjill Sep 2017 #9
Orrex Sep 2017 #18
hamsterjill Sep 2017 #13
OregonBlue Sep 2017 #14
hamsterjill Sep 2017 #15
Hassin Bin Sober Sep 2017 #16
hamsterjill Sep 2017 #19

Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 02:40 PM

1. Maybe a battery smoke detector got tucked up there...

... out of the way, when the wired ones were installed?

But then that would be one heck of a battery.

=========

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 02:41 PM

2. I find that playing Insane Clown Posse loud enough can eliminate the problem of the smoke alarm

 

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Response to Not Ruth (Reply #2)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 03:07 PM

11. We may try that!!!!

LOL

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 02:41 PM

3. If you've physically removed all the parts of the alarm

Then it suggests that there is another alarm up there that has a low battery.

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 02:44 PM

4. It's very hard to be sure of the direction those chirps are coming from ...

the sound is so short, intense, and bounces around so much that it can be very hard to locate the actual source of the sound. Look around to be sure there's not another detector hidden in an inobvious spot.

Otherwise, I'd look into the attic. Maybe there's one up there.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #4)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 03:08 PM

12. I agree but we are certain where chirp is coming from.

n/t

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #4)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 05:37 PM

17. Exactly. I looked for 4 months once for the chirp. It sounded like it was coming from all over the

house. Finally, found the fire detector I had stuck in a kitchen cabinet for some reason. I tried everything to pinpoint where it was coming from, but could not.

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 02:46 PM

5. Are you sure that's where the sound is coming from?

I ask because I deal with this in tech support all the time, with a customer cursing me out for twenty minutes because I won't help them with the sound that is unmistakably coming from their alarm, until they power down the alarm and realize it was a battery backup for something else.

The sound is often a quick, high-pitched chirp difficult to localize, so if one concludes early on that it's coming from a certain device, then it can be hard to hear where it's really coming from afterward.

What kind of ceiling is it? Is this an apartment? What's upstairs?

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 02:49 PM

6. Agree that you may be incorrect as to where the sound is coming from

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 02:54 PM

7. CRICKET!

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 03:01 PM

8. Do you have mutiple smoke detectors in your residence

On a side note, new electrical codes typically require that all line powered smoke detectors in a residence "daisy-chained" together so that if one goes off, they all go off.

However, it is likely another smoke detector in the house that does need a battery replacemeny. It is hard to tell where those chirps are coming from. I would check them all and replace the batteries in all thst have them

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Response to CentralMass (Reply #8)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 03:07 PM

10. Codes meant nothing to the builder of this house.

House was constructed in 1984 by single family builder who was the largest in the city at that time. Most city inspectors were incentivized to look the other way. I know....used to work for the builder.

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 03:05 PM

9. The chirpy is coming from that location.

I agree that the chirping can be misleading but we have made SURE it is coming from that area. Only one other hard wired detector in the home and it is way across the house and NOT chirping.

We are two old and fat ladies and cannot access attic. But still why is this thing, if wired, not stopping when breakers are turned off?

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Response to hamsterjill (Reply #9)

Sun Sep 3, 2017, 07:37 AM

18. If it's a battery backup for a hardwired device, then it's chirping because the battery is low

Not because the breaker is or isn't tripped.

If indeed a smoke detector is at issue, then the chirp may go one of two ways if left unaddressed: it will either stop chirping once the battery is completely dead, or it will continue to keep chirping indefinitely because it's drawing on AC power from the building.

Do you have a centralized alarm panel to go along with the smoke detectors? You might, or you might not. If you do, then it should tell you which device is at issue; if it indicates no problem, then at least you know that it's not the system's smoke detector but rather some additional, independent device.

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 03:10 PM

13. Is there anything called a "capacitor" that might relate to this?

Been googling but not knowledgeable enough to understand.

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 03:15 PM

14. We had something similar happen not too long ago and my husband had to finally get up and

separate the wires that led into the alarm about 6" back from where they came out of the wall (pulled the bundle out further into the room, unwrapped and separated them) and put the plastic screw on caps on each wire. It stopped. Have no idea what is going on. Good luck.

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Response to OregonBlue (Reply #14)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 03:17 PM

15. Thank you!!!

This is obviously something out of the norm.

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Response to hamsterjill (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 04:06 PM

16. Do you have an attached garage?

Are there any mechanicals (furnace, air handler) in the attic?

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #16)

Sun Sep 3, 2017, 12:37 PM

19. Garage is attached and we think the smoke alarm is somehow connected to

An old, no longer used security system. We are idiots and we can't find the source for what we think is powering the chirp. We can't get into the attic. Too old and fat.

Electrician coming Tuesday. Darndest damn thing.

This house was a rental for many years and there was actually some high-end drug dealers living there for a time. This was over 20 years ago. They had cameras everywhere for security. Prob have something wired up in the attic that just now decided to make noise.

I say high-end drug dealers because the FBI raided them one night. Not local PD.

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