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View Full Version : Home and Auto Smoke Detectors keep going off for no reason...


petegz28
10-23-2009, 06:39 AM
Ok, last night my wife blew out a few candles and next thing you know, every smoke detector in the house was going off. These were Glade candles and we light them regularly.

This morning when she got out of the shower and opened the bathroom door they all started going off again. Every single one. These are electric smoke detectors with battery backup. I recently repaced all the batteries so I am pretty sure they are good.

Any ideas why this would happen? I mean, even the one downstairs in the basement was going off when she got out of the shower. Could it be the eletrical running to the alarms that is setting them off?

Fritz88
10-23-2009, 06:41 AM
Billy Mays.

petegz28
10-23-2009, 06:44 AM
Actually, now that I think about it. When they went off yesterday, she blew out the candles at about the same time I got out of the shower.

Dave Lane
10-23-2009, 06:45 AM
I would check the house very carefuly.

Dave Lane
10-23-2009, 06:46 AM
Electrical short?

petegz28
10-23-2009, 06:48 AM
Electrical short?

That is what I am wondering?

C-Mac
10-23-2009, 06:50 AM
I would start the troubleshoot with replacing all the batteries again. Also a dirty smoke detector can also be overly sensitive so smoke from the toaster, steam from a shower, and candles can cause false alarms.

petegz28
10-23-2009, 06:52 AM
I would start the troubleshoot with replacing all the batteries again. Also a dirty smoke detector can also be overly sensitive so smoke from the toaster, steam from a shower, and candles can cause false alarms.

Yea but every one of them in the house starts going off. That is what has me more worried about an electrical problem.

C-Mac
10-23-2009, 06:52 AM
That is what I am wondering?

Not likely, they should function with all the power in the house off.

petegz28
10-23-2009, 06:53 AM
Not likely, they should function with all the power in the house off.

Yes but they are wired too. And I wonder if that wiring is setting them off? As I siad, the riddle of it all is why are they all going off? The shower is on the highest floor but the detectors in the basement are even going off.

C-Mac
10-23-2009, 06:59 AM
Yea but every one of them in the house starts going off. That is what has me more worried about an electrical problem.



What kind of furnace do you have?

petegz28
10-23-2009, 07:00 AM
Well, after some very sophisticated troubleshooting, I deem it to be the steam from the shower. I ran the shower with the bathroom door closed. After a while I opened the door and the next thing you know the alarm in the bedroom started going off, then the hall, then my office, etc, etc.

C-Mac
10-23-2009, 07:02 AM
Well, after some very sophisticated troubleshooting, I deem it to be the steam from the shower. I ran the shower with the bathroom door closed. After a while I opened the door and the next thing you know the alarm in the bedroom started going off, then the hall, then my office, etc, etc.

You mention the things that are likely triggering them and most of the time they do work independent of each other, but if not it could explain it. You may have just one bad smoke alarm but if they are hard wired and interconnected it sends the alarm to all.

bevischief
10-23-2009, 07:07 AM
how old are they?

mikeyis4dcats.
10-23-2009, 07:21 AM
They are probably wired together to alarm the whole house at the same time.

The sensors in smoke detectors get old and dirty after a few years causing them to trigger unexpectedly, I susect the added steam vaopr just puts them over the edge.

IIRC they recommend replacing smoke detectors every 5 years.

Skip Towne
10-23-2009, 07:26 AM
Maybe your house is on fire?

petegz28
10-23-2009, 07:26 AM
how old are they?

Probably 10 years

petegz28
10-23-2009, 07:27 AM
They are probably wired together to alarm the whole house at the same time.

The sensors in smoke detectors get old and dirty after a few years causing them to trigger unexpectedly, I susect the added steam vaopr just puts them over the edge.

IIRC they recommend replacing smoke detectors every 5 years.

Yea then I am probably 5 years overdue. I have had one go off without the others though. Oh well, I will replace them and see what happens I guess.

petegz28
10-23-2009, 07:29 AM
Maybe your house is on fire?

Maybe you need to learn some manners and quit farting in other people's homes?

bevischief
10-23-2009, 07:36 AM
Yea then I am probably 5 years overdue. I have had one go off without the others though. Oh well, I will replace them and see what happens I guess.

Usually when they start going off for no reason is usually a sign they need to be replaced.

Demonpenz
10-23-2009, 07:40 AM
i replaced mine with the kind that actually have to get hot before they go off (thank you garage sale) I was tired of that shit going off when i ran my oven. There is a pizza roll that fell off into the abyss of fire in my oven and it causes some smoke to come out everytime i make potato wedges

kstater
10-23-2009, 08:53 AM
It's probably the officials fault.

BigMeatballDave
10-23-2009, 09:02 AM
Here's a remedy...

rageeumr
10-23-2009, 09:49 AM
Sounds like you have it figured out, but if the steam doesn't end up being the issue, try checking the condition of the batteries that you just put in. The old smokes in my house had issues with certain batteries, and there are only 2 or 3 brands that they recommend that you use.

I was having problems with random triggering of my smokes, and I opened the offending detector to find a battery that was super hot and expanded to the point I was afraid it was leaking acid.

Here is a press release on it:
http://www.brkelectronics.com/BRK%20images/4120BUL7-8A.pdf

kc rush
10-23-2009, 11:34 AM
We had a similar situation. Check your circuit breaker to make sure the one for the detectors isn't tripped. Ours tripped and sucked down the batteries.

Also double check to make sure all of the batteries are still firmly attached. If one is loose it can trigger all of the others to go off intermittently.

Sure-Oz
10-23-2009, 12:44 PM
Dayton Moore is pulling pranks again

Bwana
10-23-2009, 01:28 PM
I would say it's either Jimma Hoffa, or you have yourself a poltergeist.

mikeyis4dcats.
10-23-2009, 01:38 PM
i replaced mine with the kind that actually have to get hot before they go off (thank you garage sale) I was tired of that shit going off when i ran my oven. There is a pizza roll that fell off into the abyss of fire in my oven and it causes some smoke to come out everytime i make potato wedges

bad idea. Heat detector's detect fire, but smoke kills most people before fire does.

Demonpenz
10-23-2009, 02:05 PM
bad idea. Heat detector's detect fire, but smoke kills most people before fire does.

MEH then make one that doesn't detect buring pizza rolls idiots

mlyonsd
10-23-2009, 02:09 PM
You should probably post pics of your wife in the shower to see if she's really that hot.

dtebbe
10-23-2009, 02:14 PM
If you are a smoker and have smoked in your home for a while the same yellowing haze that has covered everything else in your home has probably covered the optical sensor in the smoke alarm, making is very sensitive to any further "input". If you are not a smoker you can try getting a can of compressed air and blowing out the sensor area. I usually have to do that on mine about every 3 years or so.

DT