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Electric Smoke Detector Won't Stop Beeping

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.
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2 found this helpful
July 1, 2015 Flag

I had the same issue. My detector beeped loudly once a minute; and another one beeped once a minute, so beeps were heard every 30 seconds from 2 detectors. I vacuumed the units, turned off circuit breaker, disconnected wire unit from detectors, replaced batteries, held test button with battery out and then with battery in. None of this helped. All detectors had green solid light. I tried to solve all day and got a headache of course.

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Finally (and this is noted by others too), I checked my plug-in (stand alone, not connected/wired to house or to smoke detectors) carbon monoxide detector (Kiddie brand, bought about 3 years ago; smoke detectors came with new house, now about 8 years old). I had just quickly plugged the carbon detector units into outlets and forgot about them. The carbon monoxide detector was going off! It had a red light flashing. My second carbon monoxide detector (Kiddie, same as this one) was NOT alarming and had steady green light! I unplugged the flashing carbon detector and INSTANTLY all smoke detectors were quiet Yikes! There was no carbon monoxide, I'm not sure why it went off.

So I'd suggest if you have wired/electrical smoke detectors to try unplugging various other things; sensor lights, alarms, small appliances, anything recently plugged in, etc. It might not make sense but it's an easy quick thing to try before trying complicated or expensive solutions, and to avoid headaches! Good luck!

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CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
December 9, 20160 found this helpful

I had the exact same experience. Unplugged the carbon monoxide detector from the outlet and all smoke beeping stopped. Carbon unit was about 7 years old.

Thanks for the advice.

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2 found this helpful
July 28, 2016 Flag

My smoke alarm was set off when there was a lot of dust during a DIY job. It wouldn't stop bleeping when I decided to replace the battery on completing the DIY. I just found the solution; there was still some dust in the sensor vent so I blew into it vigorously and replaced the battery. Voila, it worked perfectly.

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November 12, 20160 found this helpful

My smoke alarm is electric & it keeps beeping the council have been out twice but it still beeping

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Questions

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1 found this helpful
July 16, 2016 Flag

My fire alarm is beeping like there's a fire and we just changed the batteries! We even took some of the new batteries out thinking that would stop it, but it didn't. We can barely reach the alarms in the ceiling. We can not go hearing this alarm all night. What can we do or who do we call?

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July 17, 20162 found this helpful
Best Answer

As a retired firefighter's wife, I always suggested calling your local fire department (the non-emergency number). They will answer most questions and may even come over to help you solve the problem. Sometimes they will supply a new alarm at a discount and install it for you. Never hurts to ask is one of my mottos.

2. Also if the inside of the alarm is dusty or full of cobwebs, it will do weird things like ring without the batteries. Take your vacuum to the open alarm(remove the outside housing) and give it a good cleaning.

3. Make sure the alarm is not hard-wired to the electrical system in the house with a battery backup. If this is the case, it will ring without batteries. 4. Finally, be aware that smoke alarms age and should be replaced about every five years depending on the brand.

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1 found this helpful
July 12, 2016 Flag

My smoke alarm keeps beeping. How do you get them to stop chirping even with new batteries? They are hard wired, so does one need to shut off the breaker? Which one?

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July 15, 20161 found this helpful
Best Answer

The smoke alarm is chirping because:

- The battery is dead

- The unit is not receiving hard wired power

- The unit is dirty

- The unit is broke

Make sure the replacement battery is good, that the unit is plugged in firmly. Use canned air to blow the dirt out of it. If it keeps chirping replace it.

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July 1, 2016 Flag

My smoke detector has been removed and there is nothing there but wires. How do I stop it from beeping? It's driving us crazy and we are both in our 70s and can't climb up to fix the problem.

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July 3, 20160 found this helpful
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Have you tried flipping the breaker on your electrical panel?

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April 26, 2016 Flag

My fire alarm started chirping this morning and it woke me up. I don't have the correct batteries to replace it, but I've tried everything else and it continues to chirp after I turn it off. How do I make it stop without getting a new battery?

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April 26, 20160 found this helpful
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You would actually have to undo it from the ceiling and unhook the wires. It is better and safer to find a way to get those batteries.

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September 26, 2014 Flag

My smoke detector won't stop beeping. I have done all of your suggestions. What else is there to do?

By Judy

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September 27, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Sorry, you have to replace it. That means removing it from the ceiling, but don't do this yourself if you don't have good balance or the right stepladder. If you are a senior or low income, try calling the fire department.

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March 31, 2011 Flag

I have detached the smoke detector from the ceiling electrical contact, but the chirping continues without stopping.

By Andri from San Diego, CA

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December 27, 20081 found this helpful
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There are two "types" of smoke detectors. One type detects smoke and the other type "sees" fire. Either of these 2 units do not have a long life span only about 5-7 years. Just because the smoke detectors "beeps" does NOT prove the smoke detectors are in functioning order. The only way to test the smoke detectors is going outside and lighting a fire (log, newspaper etc.) away from any buildings and then slowing bring the smoke detector near the smoke and flame to hear if the smoke detector alarms. If no alarm sounds the smoke detector must be thrown away and a new one purchased, usually less than $10.00. More than 5,000 people die each year in house fires, most could be avoided if the smoke detector worked. PLEASE check all of the detectors in our house. Your life is worth more than a few bucks.

P.S. Where is your fire extinguisher? It should be placed near the exit of your house or work. NOT IN THE KITCHEN! If the fire is in the kitchen how would you reach the fire extinguisher? As you are exiting the building and the fire extinguisher is near the exit and you believe you can put the fire out then use the fire extinguisher at hand. Remember this acronym - PPS Pull the pin, Point the nozzle, Pull the handle, Sweep the base of the fire. If the fire is not contained get the heck out of the building, NOTHING in the building is worth your life.

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November 14, 2015 Flag

Why does my fire detector keep beeping when I am sleeping and everytime?

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November 15, 20151 found this helpful
Best Answer

If it sounds like a chirp it means batteries need replaced. If it sounds like the regular alarm you may need to replace it assuming it's the kind that takes batteries. You don't want to get in the habit of ignoring the fire alarm sounding in case of a real fire!

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January 30, 2014 Flag

My hardwired smoke detector is going off at the interval of every few hours. When one started the other two followed. All three are over 10 years old?

By Monica T.

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January 30, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

All smoke detectors are supposed to be replaced about every 8-10 years, so you're due. New smoke detectors run about $5-$20, so it's not too bad, even for 3. I'm sure the fire department has a program to help if needed.

Some smoke detectors do take a 9-volt battery that can be replaced, but those usually chirp when the battery needs to be replaced - not go off. Even those should be swapped out every 10 years, so I'd still recommend replacement.

Another thing that can make some smoke detectors go off is if they get a lot of dust in them.

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February 27, 2016 Flag

I have a Kidde model 12060 hardwired smoke detector with battery back up. I came home and the unit was beeping. I got a ladder and put in a new battery. That was no good; it is still chirping. I tried a 2nd battery and the same thing. I turned off the circuit breaker, took out the battery, and it is still chirping. I took the unit down, replaced the battery, tested it, and the alarm sounded. I put it back up and have a green light in the small display, but it is still beeping. I checked all 5 units and all have green lights. It is still chirping and I cannot make it stop.
Help.

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February 28, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

They have an expiration date, check it. It should be on the back of the unit, if you can get to it. Sometimes, they need to be updated depending how old it is.

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April 5, 2011 Flag

When you have put new batteries in your electric smoke alarms and they won't quit beeping who do you call for a problem like this? Or what can you do?

By Lynda from Bloomington, IN

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April 5, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Are they older than 12 years? Most manufacturers say replace them after 10-12 years. Are the vents clean of all dust and bugs? If they are hardwired, you may need to reset your breaker (off and back on) or hit the reset button on the alarm. If all else fails, replace them. I am a firefighter, and too many times have heard people say they disconnected them instead of replacing them, sadly, they tell us as we are fighting their house fire.

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November 11, 2012 Flag

I changed the heat detector batteries located in my garage. My smoke alarms in the house have been going off ever since. I now have changed all the batteries in all the smoke alarms and yet, one keeps chirping about every minute and a half.

By Glenn O.

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November 13, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

When this happened at our house, the only way to shut them up was to replace them. Our volunteer fire chief came to the house to install the new ones and said he has heard of this happening a lot. He also said that they would not work if there was a real fire. Good luck. Good sleep.

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January 5, 2012 Flag

I have a model 9120B smoke alarm. It chirps about every 1 to 2 hours apart. I have replaced the batteries, checked connections, and even unplugged it from the wall. I took the batteries out and it still chirps. Do you know what's up?

By Anthony from Blairsville, GA

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January 5, 20120 found this helpful
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See if you can figure out who the manufacturer is and contact them. You may even find on their site where this issue has come up before and what the solution might be. I remember reading some where about a similar issue and it was the sensor being dirty or some such. It was recommended the owner blast it with a can of air thoroughly. I don't know if it worked.

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May 14, 2011 Flag

My hardwired smoke detector keeps beeping. I tried turning off all breakers, but it still beeps. I tried vacuuming the unit and wiping, that didn't help. It beeps about every 60 seconds. I disconnected the detector from the wiring, but it still beeps from the hardwired sensor. How can I get it to stop?

By Wayne L

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May 16, 20110 found this helpful
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Some hard wired smoke detectors have a battery in them for back up if there is a power failure. If the battery is running low the smoke detector will start making a chirping sound just as you described.

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March 7, 2014 Flag

My smoke alarm keeps beeping and it won't stop beeping.

By Meagan

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March 9, 20140 found this helpful
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Your battery might need changing unless it is hard-wired.

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August 9, 2016 Flag

I just put new batteries in all my alarms, but they continue to beep. They are also hard wired. What should I do next to stop the beeping?

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February 28, 20170 found this helpful

Usually this happens because of a malfunction. YOu may have to replace the alarm because your life is at risk if you have a malfunctioning fire alarm

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July 24, 2016 Flag

My electric smoke alarm is continuously activated.

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February 27, 20170 found this helpful

There must be an electric malfunction. YOu should either replace it, or replace the batteries, because sometimes when the battery is low it does that.

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July 15, 2016 Flag

I changed the battery and it still beeps each minute. What next?

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February 27, 20170 found this helpful

Am thinking it's time for a new one because there is ineviably some sort of electrical failure that causes it to beep.

Since the safety of your home depends on these working, I recommend you replace it and don't try to go on the cheap.

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August 6, 2012 Flag

I have a beeping smoke alarm without a battery. I want it to stop beeping, what do I do? I have turned the power off and I have disconnected the plug from the back of the alarm, but it still won't stop beeping. What can I do?

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