Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
It can drive you to distraction, the constant unexplainable beeping of an electric smoke detector. Often it just needs the battery replaced but it may be a signal that it needs greater attention. This is a guide about troubleshooting ideas when an electric smoke detector won't stop beeping.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
My smoke detectors (hardwired) have decided to start chirping (the sound when battery is low) at around 1:45 am every night. Then they go into full alarm mode. I have figured out which one of the 4 is the 'master' one so I can push the reset button to stop the alarm. However, it goes through the same cycle repeatedly. I've had to shut the circuit breaker and remove the batteries.
I have changed the batteries -- same thing happens. I have replaced all 4 of the smoke detectors w/new batteries -- and same thing happening. Always around 1:45 am.
Any ideas as to what to do next? I don't want to leave my condo unprotected. Nor have all the outlets connected with that circuit breaker not working in my home either.
The fact they're going off at 1:45 may have less to do with the time and more to do with the fact that they are for some reason periodically malfunctioning after a 24 hour stretch.
I am not sure anything can be done but to replace them. THis is clearly some sort of odd malfunction
Smoke alarms have a lifespan. Ours started doing that and we had to replace them with new ones.
Today in the morning I had my alarms go off around 7 am. I woke up checked, but didn't see any fire. I live in townhouse that has 3 floors and it worked on every floor for about 3-5 min and stopped. What should I do?
I have a hard-wired smoke detector that chirps between midnight and 6:30 AM. The heater goes on at that time and the chirping stops. The house temperature is set at 60 degrees during the chirping times. This just started. Any ideas as to why this occurring?
By Ken from Entiat, WA
Not chirping the actual fire alarm
Every night between midnight and 3:30 3, 5 second actual fire alarms ALL THE TIME one night it keep going not chirping the fire alarm for hours and we called the non emergency line and they sent firemen they said look up at the lights for a green then red constantly not the 45 second red that's normal then replace the whole fire alarm not just batteries later we had the same problem with the same unit in the same place so we thought bad wiring ( we are hard wired) a guy came and "fixed it" we now have a theory that hot air could be doing it ? Replys would be nice
I heard a beeping that I thought was from my smoke detector. I unplugged it, removed the battery, and moved it to another room. The beeping is still coming from the ceiling where the smoke detector was plugged in before. There is nothing there but wires and a housing. There is no attic above - just another floor with a smoke detector that is not beeping. How can I diagnose this and stop it without tearing out the ceiling? Anyone have this issue?
I have this same problem. I took the doctor off and the beeping comes from the ceiling. What is the problem? I am going nuts!!!!
It is coming from the same place I removed the unit. I took off all the others in that area and checked them out first.
I have a chirping coming from random smoke detectors. They are hard wired with batteries. I have changed all batteries and reset all of them. They are only a year old. Why do they still chirp? It's not always the same one, e.g. my son's room will chirp for an hour, then my daughter's room, then my room, then the hall, but never at the same time. I just built this house a year ago so it's not old or dusty. I am very clean so I'm confused on what it could be. Please help, my kids and I cannot sleep at night.
My smoke detectors have a reset button!
Have you looked inside for spiders?
My smoke detector (2 years old) goes off on about an 8hr interval. I changed the batteries 3 times (2 different brand batteries) and it still keeps beeping. The alarm goes off about every 8 hrs, so I open the battery cover, take the battery out, put the battery back in, twist smoke detector to on and off a few times and I leave it be as soon as it stops. Then, 8 hrs later it starts again. Anyone know what the issue may be? Thank you.
Take an air compressor and blow into it . The dust sets off false alarms . Mine used to do that but no more after blowing them out .
My smoke detector works, but not properly because of dust. Please suggest some solutions to me.
I have an electrical smoke alarm with back up battery. How do I stop it from beeping? I have already replaced the battery. It still kept on beeping. Then I removed the battery and it is still beeping.
By Pam B.
Our house is 4 1/2 years old. Built new.We have 8 smoke detectors in the house electrically powered. Also we have in house security system, where in the panel lights "Fire" button. When I turn the system on, it starts beeping very loudly, continuously until I manually turn the system off by key given.
We had a same problem about 1 1/2 years ago. I call Hart Alarm Systems, original installer ,who tested all smoke detectors, replaced one at the basement level, everything worked fine since until the same problem now.
Do you think it is again smoke detector problem ? How do you test detectors? Where would I find test button? Do flashing lights mean the detector is working and considered good? Does an electric smoke detector carry also back up battery and where would it be installed? As I open the cover, only thing I see is few wires from the ceiling to the detector cover. Please advise ASAP. Thanks.
Does your smoke detectors have a backup battery? I have electric smoke detectors and if the backup battery needs to be replaced it beeps.
Most states require that the smoke detectors now be tied together so that it one goes off they all go off. It is quite possible that you have one or more defective smoke detectors. These things do fail. If you are not familiar with the wiring or electrical circuits I would recommend that you get a qualified electrician to check it out.
After small fire in my house (dishwasher caught on fire) my hard wired smoke detector (no battery in this head) has the permanent red light on. I have 4 electronic smoke detectors with battery backup on the same line. There is no beeping, just a red light on. Is this normal?
By Paul from IL
All the hard wired smoke detectors in our apartment have a red light that stays on all the time.
I have realized that if one battery in the set of 4 electric detectors is not functional the whole system goes off. This happened last night at 3:30 in the morning. It's really awful to try and change these when the alarm is screaming in your ear. How can I tell which one is the faulty one? I also would like to know how to turn them all off so I can at least change them in peace. The main electrical box does not list them, so I've not idea which breaker to flip off.
I am having difficulty in putting smoke detectors back into position after replacing the batteries.
By iolite from Boynton Beach, FL
Did it originally pull off or twist off? Check to see that nothing broke.I had that problem and just bought a new one. They're not that expensive.
We live in a basement apartment. We've lived here for over a year. Recently our smoke alarm has been going off randomly all hours of the night. It's hardwired to the building.
When we first moved in it was not connected and in a closet (we're thinking that's why it was in there). We've cleaned it over 4 times with the vacuum and even a damp cloth. We've told the landlords and they claim it's humidity!
We are so tired of hearing that. So we had the windows open all day and night and still it's going off! We don't smoke and haven't been using the oven. Oh, and we also bought a second smoke alarm (which is in our baby's room, the warmest of all and the window is never open) and it never goes off as it's working properly. Others above us on the third and second floor also have their alarms go off at crazy hours.
Please help. I hate the sound, it drives me nuts and we can't unplug it as we could get fined. So far we're freezing and it's still going off.
Since you mention that you live in an apartment then you need to notify your landlord and insist that it be repaired/replaced. If the landlord won't co-operate then report him/her to your city/county code enforcement department because it is against the law everywhere that there must be a working smoke detector for residential rental property.
My wired in smoke alarm does not beep when I press it to test it. There is a green light on it that I can see when it is dark. Does this mean it is working OK?
By Peggy A.
The smoke alarm goes off when the central air is on, if you close all windows it will not go off. But if you open any window an inch the alarm goes off. It's a new house, no appliances in yet, no one living there yet. It will not go off at all during heat cycle. It is not near vents or lights. It is located in the Los Angeles area. It is hard wired in, a Kidde combo smoke/CO2 alarm, model kn-cosm1b.
By Gabe from Los Angeles, CA
I have five hardwired smoke detectors with battery backup. I changed the batteries today, four of them show a green light and one has a flashing red light; it's not beeping.
By Dean F.
Our only smoke detector is hard-wired into the ceiling. We have had 2 different smoke/CO detectors with battery backup. When a new battery is placed, it is fine for a few hours and then dies, causing the detector to chirp.
Is the electrical wiring somehow drawing power from the battery? Two completely different detectors have done the same thing, so I don't think it is a defective detector. I think there used to be another detector in the basement. I don't know if it was hard-wired or not, but we replaced it with a plug-in type. Any information would be great!
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
My hard wired smoke alarm went off last night. What is considered chirping when the battery is low? The alarm went off as though there was an actual fire and kept on for almost a minute and then stopped on its own. Is this chirping?
One: The battery may be dying so it might be time to change it. You may need to ask a hardware store what kind of batteries are recommended for a smoke alarm (alkaline, etc). Not all smoke alarms are made alike.
Two: Smoke detectors do die eventually so it may be time for a new smoke detector.
Three: It also could be carbon monoxide. If you have it, leave the house and call a professional to come over to fix the problem. My family went through this when I was younger and the smoke alarm would go off, then chirp periodically throughout the night. We asked a professional to come over and he said that the chimney was the culprit (carbon monoxide). He cleaned it out, the smoke alarm stopped chirping and going off after wards.
Four: Your smoke detector may need to be cleaned out with a dust buster.
Also, the archives may have the answer to your problem.
Good luck and I hope I helped you. (11/23/2010)
On my regular battery operated smoke alarms, chirping is a "chirp" like a small bird or a cricket, every so often. Others may work differently, however. (11/24/2010)
My smoke alarm started going off recently for no apparent reason. When I fan it with a towel, it stops. Any ideas?
By Jim from Kansas City MO
I believe, if I remember correctly, that you need to replace the batteries. When low, the alarm goes off. Hope this helps (01/05/2010)
I have had problems with a detector that went off and I found spider webs inside. I cleaned them out and problem solved. You might check for that.
My husband bought a new smoke alarm about a year or two ago. I can't find the instructions that came with it. Last night it started 'beeping' and when he pushed on the button to silence it the noise stopped. But now the little green light is on all the time and I don't think it was on all the time before.
I do remember at different times a little red light would flash off and on for a minute or so, but that was to let us know it was working or something. I can't see what kind it is so that's not much help. Is there anyone who has one similar and knows what to do?
Gelene from FL
Turn off the power to the smoke alarm at the circuit breaker. Remove the smoke alarm from the mounting bracket and disconnect the power. Remove the battery, and press and hold the test button for at least 15 seconds. The unit may chirp or alarm for a few seconds before going silent. Reconnect the power and reinstall the battery. The unit will chirp once when the power is restored and should not chirp afterward. (09/05/2008)
I followed the advice of boreasrex and it worked perfectly. Thanks! (11/22/2008)
By Ron C
Just make sure you don't have the same crazy issue as I did. Woke up at 4am to the sound of a chirp. I had heard this chirping before from the smoke detectors whenever they wanted a new battery. After making a run to the grocery store at 5:20am, paying almost $6 for two Duracell 9volts, going to the manufacturers website, checking this forum and shutting down the power to all detectors to remove the batteries, I finally decided to try the vacuum. When I coincidentally went to plug it in to one of the many power outlets, I noticed the LED on the carbon monoxide detector was blinking; there was the actual problem. (12/17/2008)
Followed boreasrex's advice and so far so good. Thanks! (01/15/2009)
Thank you wtw94! We changed the battery in the smoke alarm, and we thought it was that that was continually chirping. I had bought a carbon monoxide detector, had put the battery in it, but never plugged it in. It was laying near the smoke alarm, but when I listened to it, that was what was chirping! I didn't think I had activated it yet, but the battery had, I guess. Anyway, we were about to buy a new smoke detector. I'm so glad I checked the carbon monoxide detector. Thank you! (02/24/2009)
Thank you, Boreasrex! My alarm has been going off since 2:30 this morning (it's now 10:30!), it was, needless to say, driving me mad! I found this post, disconnected power etc., and now it's blissful silence! I might go to bed now. Thanks again! (07/13/2009)
Even the new detector with new battery beeps every 50 seconds. So, it does not appear to be a problem of dust, battery, or new equipment. Where do I go from here?
Ty from Chico, CA
Try taking the battery out, then put it back in & press the test button. It should beep back at you two times. If it doesn't, press the test button again. You may have to do this with every one that is hard-wired together. (03/18/2008)
Changed batteries and smoke alarm is still chirping? Check to make sure you're using alkaline batteries. This happened with us. We bought the cheaper 9 volt battery, replaced the old battery and the blasted alarm still chirped for hours on end! Then realized it needed alkaline 9-volt. (07/18/2008)
I have a smoke detector problem. It keeps beeping off and on. I changed the batteries and it still will beep off and on.
My smoke alarm is connected to electric supply and has started going off for no reason at all the last few days.