Home Improvement Questions? Ask a Handyman for Answers
Hello. Would you care to join me in a chat?
You have, unfortunately, not provided me with a model number or make of the detector. I'm going to give you some instructions which should help to stop the problem. You will have to remove the detector from its base. To do so, you'll have to twist it in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction (you'll know almost at once which way is the right way because it will only move in one direction). Once you've got it free of the base, gently pull it away to reveal the wiring harness. The plug on the back has tabs on either side that you have to squeeze together while pulling in order to remove it. Once the detector is free of the plug, you should be able to open the battery compartment. Remove the battery. Leave the unit UNPOWERED for five minutes. While you're waiting is a good time to vacuum out the detector. Use the soft brush attachment and thoroughly clean all around it. At the end of the five minutes, push and hold the test button for thirty seconds. This will help to ensure that the battery charging circuit is completely de-energized. Release the button. Insert a new high quality alkaline battery (Energizer or Duracell). Please observe the correct polarity on the inside of the compartment. Close the cover (you may have to depress the red "finger" while inserting the battery (this is designed to ensure you can't close the cover without putting in a new battery). Close the cover. Push and hold the test button until the unit responds. This will ensure it's working correctly on battery backup. If it doesn't respond, open the battery cover and make sure that the battery terminals are in contact with the two metal tabs inside and that you've positioned the battery correctly. If the unit passes this test, you may reconnect the unit's power and relocate it on its base. The beeping should stop. If it doesn't and the detector you're working with happens to be a combination carbon monoxide/smoke alarm, then check to see that the date stamp on the back reads 2006 or more. If it's less, then chances are what you're hearing is the "end of life" alert that the manufacturer builds in. You'll have to remove it from power and discard it. Purchase a new unit from Lowes, Home Depot, Walllmart, or Target. If it is a combo unit, I would recommend you purchase the Kidde COPE-i. Please ensure that the other detectors in your home are Kidde units. Please provide the model numbers and I will ensure that they're compatible with the new unit. If you have any questions, or require further assistance with this question, please contact me on my toll free line (in North America) at 1(NNN) NNN-NNNN I want to ensure your JustAnswer experience is the best that it can be!
The smoke detector is a kidde.
Once you've got it free of the base, gently pull it away to reveal the wiring harness. The plug on the back has tabs on either side that you have to squeeze together while pulling in order to remove it.
Once you've got it free of the base, gently pull it away to reveal the wiring harness. The plug on the back has tabs on either side that you have to squeeze together while pulling in order to remove it. I do not understand. Should I pull on something that is on the smoke detector or in the ceiling?
Hi. The Kidde detector comes in two parts. One is the detector unit and the other is the "base" which holds it to the ceiling.
If the unit is hardwired it will have a wiring harness.
I was able to remove the detector from the base but don't know what to pull out. I am afraid to be electrocuted if I touch something I am not supposed to touch.
I don't know what a wiring harness is
You can't be electrocuted. The unit is designed to be removed with the power "on". When you removed the detector, do you see any wires at the back?
there are wires in the smoke detector and it also goes in the ceiling
On Kidde smokes that are "AC" powered, there will be three wires on the back, a black, red, and white wire.
I will go check the colours
If there is no wire, then your detector is battery operated, and all you have to do is change them.
(The batteries, that is).
yes there are 3 wires black, red and white
it is an electric smoke detector installled by the house builder
The wires terminate in a plug on the detector. There are two tabs on it you have to squeeze together while pulling on the plug. The unit will disconnect.
it is 7 years old
Is it a combination unit?
I don't know
what is a combination unit?
Unplug the unit (as I have instructed), and tell me what you see on the back for a model number.
I don't know where to find the 2 tabs either, nothing moves on the detector
I am unable to unplug it
They'll be on either side of the plug that's right at the back of the unit.
I don't know where to find 2 tabs on the detector
They're on the wiring harness.
on the base?
It might be easier for you to call me.
Not on the base. On the detector.
the tabs, is it something that moves?
I tried to pull but nothing can be pulled
The three wires are connected to the detector through a plug. The plug on the detector has tabs on either side.
it is connected to a round circle where the wires are in
should I pull on the circle?
I just pull on the circle?
There should be a couple of tabs on either side where the wires are moulded into the circle.
If there aren't any tabs, then make sure you pull on the plastic part that the wires are coming through, and not on the wires themselves.
Don't pull on the wires directly. The "circle" is the plug.
ok, there are no tabs so I guess I will try to pull on the circle
I hope I won't brake it
You should have to pull very hard.
You shouldn't have to pull very hard.
I got it
was hard to pull
Great. Tell me what it says on the back.
smoke and carbone monoxyde alarm
would it be possible that is is beeping because there is monoxyed carbone?
At seven years, the "end of life" alert sounds. This is what you're hearing. Remove the battery and discard the unit. It is no longer functional. Pick yourself up a Kidde COPE-i at one of the stores I suggested. It should use the same plug-in. If not, you'll have to change the harness (if you're unsure of yourself, call an electrician for this part).
where is the battery?
Depending on the model, this may be accessible through either the front of the unit or the back. It's a small compartment with a small access door.
If you can't find it, take it out your garbage can (outside). The beeping won't bother you there. :-)
it is not beeping anymore
It may not have a battery, then. Either way, it's no good if it's reached it's seventh year.
I could take it to the store to compare the plugs
I have 2 other smoke detector the same type in the house. One on each floor
Should I replace them now?
Kidde hasn't changed their plugs. When the other units start to beep you'll have to go through the same exercise. I'm of the opinion that if it ain't broke, don't fix it until it is. However, if you happen to get a "deal" at the store if you buy three, then go for it. :-)
Please make sure you write down my number 1(NNN) NNN-NNNNfor future reference on this issue. Feel free to call anytime!
where can I see the model number?
It should be on the back of the detector.
I emailed myself the first message you sent me so I have the phone number there
I will bring the detector to the store.
there is a date: december 13, 2004
You should see if the other detectors in your house are the same type (combination units). If they're just straight smoke alarms, then you won't have to replace them. All the Kidde units are compatible with each other so you shouldn't have a problem if you buy the COPE-i.
Please remember to "accept" this answer. And feel free to call anytime if you need more help.
one last question: the other smoke detectors are also kidde but they look different than this one so they are probably different
does it make a difference when I buy a new smoke detector?
Chances are they're just regular smoke alarms. In about three years I would recommend you replace them (NFPA suggests you replace your smoke alarms every 10 years). I would suggest a good replacement would be the Kidde 12040 (this is a photo-electric smoke alarm that is much better suited to detecting the kind of fire you would encounter in a home). It's also less prone to false alarms.
All the Kidde detectors should be compatible with each other.
You're most welcome!
I am just going to email this conversation to myself for future reference then I will press the accept button
Not a problem. Have a great evening!