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FYI Smoke Alarm Batteries

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The best and worst thing happened (what an exaggeration,LOL) at 1 am yesterday morning.

The DW wakes me to say she hears a "BEEP" and I listen and sure enough I hear it too. For crying out loud, it's one in the morning. I had to be standing right under the smoke alarm to realize that it is the source of the sound.

The beep was so anemic if she had not gotten up to use the WC we would not have noticed. The beep was every 40 seconds. The condo is on the second floor so we have a vaulted ceiling and the alarm is 16 feet up next to the peak.

I got dressed and went out to the porch to get the great ladder I bought when we were repainting the place. Climbing up, I took off the detachable part of the alarm (it's hard wired to the 120 volt system) and the beep is suddenly loud enough to almost knock me off the ladder.

The alarm was new when we bought the place three years ago and because it was hard wired and the green power light was always on, I did not know it had a 9 volt battery. in my other houses, I replaced batteries about every 6 months.

I was thinking that a beep every 40 seconds might be some new signal to tell us there was a gas like carbon monoxide or something. I don't have a booklet for the alarm so I couldn't look up the causes of beeps. The internet saved me and pointed out a low battery. When I replaced the removable piece of the alarm the beep was anemic again and it still beeped even with out the battery in place, but we could go back to sleep.

When I went shopping for a battery, a helpful Home Depot guy pointed out that the industry had shifted to lithium batteries that last for 10 years. That bit of information is your reward for reading this drawn out account.

I'm leaving the removable piece hanging from the 120 volt wiring because now the smoke alarm will wake anybody with hearing but it changes back to anemic when assembled. I have to ask an installer why the anemic beep or if I can determine the manufacturer, call them.

You have officially burned 3 calories while you were reading this, enjoy your lithium batteries.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    We did the same thing! It took us a while to figure out that even if the thing was hard-wired it still had a battery... We were blowing imaginary cobwebs out of it for days! Ours still gets regular batteries as a replacement since we keep them on hand but I will look into the lithium ones for sure!
    Nothing like a little education in the middle of the night!
    3633 days ago
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