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Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3349
Experience:  30 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
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My house is 10 years old and i have two smoke detectors that

Customer Question

HI,
my house is 10 years old and i have two smoke detectors that are hard wired in without battery back ups and they started randomly chirping. we realized that since it's been 10 years they just need to be replaced. we replaced both with the compatible model smoke detectors but they continue to chirp. we reset the breaker and they stop for roughly 24 hours then it will chirp again. Please help.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 months ago.

Hi, I'm Mike and I'll be assisting you. Please stand by while I review your question.

Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 months ago.

It is recommended to replace detectors every eight years. The units need to be vacuumed to clear the chamber of dust and insects. If cleaning doesn't resolve the issue, replace them

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
we did. bought two brand new ones and replaced them. they started chirping the next day.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 months ago.

When installed interconnected, one of the older ones may be causing the beep. Also the chirp when a battery change is required.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
we replaced ALL of them and they do not have batteries in them.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 months ago.

Give me the make and model. Most detectors today have batteries.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Wire-In Interconnectable Smoke Detector
KIDDE Item #3610-845 Model #P1235CA
no battery
Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 months ago.

I checked on that detector and found it was discontinued. The reviews on it are very bad. Check the link below for the reviews. Might better to replace them.

https://www.amazon.com/Kidde-1235-Wired-Smoke-Alarm/dp/B00004WA49

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Mine looks slightly different from that one. Just don't want to keep buying more and having it not fix anything.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 months ago.

You would be best served to get all detectors replaced at once. The chirp isn't caused by the wiring, it is a detector failure.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
they were all replaced at once, we only have two.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 months ago.

Then one is failing. Disconnect one and see if the other chirps. Them

do the same to the other. One of them is causing the problem.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
the one that chirps would be the one with the issue?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 months ago.

Yes.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
before we replaced them the one that chirps still chirps when disconnected somehow. not the circle smoke detector part but from the wiring in the ceiling
Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 months ago.

Wiring can't chirp. It may buzz or pop but definitely not chirp.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
i'm wondering if there is an extra one in the ceiling or something either by mistake or something.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 months ago.

You would need to check around to determine if there is another one. Hard wired, no battery may go into alarm intermittently. With a battery the chirp when the battery is low. You could very well have a battery unit somewhere. With units removed there won't be any chirp.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
hard to check in a solid ceiling, i will get a camera
Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 months ago.

What area is above the room with the detector?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
the one that is chirping is my main level with a very high vaulted ceiling with just the roof above it, not even sure the attic space would show there.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 months ago.

Remove that detector and see if the problem continues. The location and the sensitivity of the detector may be the cause.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
yeah it is very frustrating and very hard to diagnose
Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 months ago.

What rooms are adjacent to this room? Kitchen and bathrooms may cause alarms depending on detector placement. Does it chirp when cooking or taking a shower?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
no we are the original owners of the house and it has been fine for 10 years then it started chirping at 3am of course so we found out they have a replacement date of 8-10 years so it made sense so we replaced both units and were very shocked the next day when it chirped again. it only chirps every 20 seconds i'd say till we flip the breaker then it is quiet for 24 hours then it will do the chirping again until the breaker is flipped. the first night it happened it was 3 am and we couldn't get it to stop so we managed to reach it and disconnected it and thought we'd leave it for the night and were very surprised when 20 seconds later the hole with the wiring made the same chirp noise. the actual plastic smoke detector unit was no where near it at the time. so we reconnected it and the chirping continued until we reset the breaker. this was a weekend so it happened for a few days until we could buy replacement ones and after replacing the units the daily chirping continues.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 months ago.

Sorry but there isn't anything more I can add without being there to troubleshoot the issue. I'll opt out and maybe another expert may have an idea on what's happening. Good luck.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
thank you!
Expert:  Kevin replied 5 months ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

1) In addition to the previous experts answers, smokes can also chirp if a loose wire connection (either hot, neutral and/or the inter-connection wires). Double check all wire nut splices and smoke alarm plug-in's.

2) See attached document:

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks...............Kevin:)

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
great thanks, ***** ***** try the tips in the document and let you know.
Expert:  Kevin replied 5 months ago.

Very good.............let me know what you find and we can take it from there. In the meantime, have a good day.

Thanks.............Kevin:)

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
have you ever heard of one chirping from the ceiling when there's only wires there?
Expert:  Kevin replied 5 months ago.

1) Yes, if a loose wire splice, the smoke can start chirping.

2) A loose wire in 1 smoke can also cause the remaining inter-connected smokes to chirp.

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