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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July 28, 2016 Flag
1 found this helpful

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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Anonymous Flag
November 6, 20160 found this helpful

You should also check every battery in all detectors if they are plugged in to the house wiring. I had "the Beep" until I unhooked one completely from the house wiring and the battery. THEN another one started beeping, again unhooked it completely. Then a third one in an unused bedroom. Changed that battery, remembering I had never done that in over two years, beeping stopped. Hooked first two back up to house wiring and new battery. Beeping stopped.

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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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July 1, 2015 Flag
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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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October 27, 20160 found this helpful

here what's the chief fire department told us, 1st dust it, 2nd put new batteries if they are old, 3rd if nothing works unhook the alarm from the ceiling and wait for a moment 1 mm and put hook it back to the ceiling. that's it the 3rd one worked with me.

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November 2, 20160 found this helpful

OMG thank heavens for finding your post - I have been up and down ladders all morning, replacing the battery in one of my mains connected smoke alarms and it has been driving me crazy, the beeping still wouldn't stop. After reading your post i went straight to the boiler cupboard (which is close to the location of the smoke alarm) and sure enough it was the carbon monoxide alarm that had been bleeping the whole time! Quickly fixed and sanity restored. Thank you so much.

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July 16, 2016 Flag
1 found this helpful

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
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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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November 18, 20160 found this helpful

Not all smoke detectors have a battery backup. 3 of the 4 First Alert 9120 detectors in our rental townhouse started chirping last night. I don't know how old these are. The current model is 9120B with a battery backup.

I've unplugged them for the night and will see if that "clears" them.

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July 12, 2016 Flag
1 found this helpful

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
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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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August 6, 20160 found this helpful

My smoke alarm keeps going off even though it is electric powered

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July 1, 2016 Flag
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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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September 29, 20160 found this helpful

Smoke detector will beep with battery and power removed for a couple times.Replaced detector and with new 9volt and still chirping.

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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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May 27, 20160 found this helpful

The batteries are probably low. If you don't have a new battery, just remove the old one to stop the chirping now. Then get a new battery as soon as possible, as you don't want to forget to replace it.

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September 26, 2014 Flag
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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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July 4, 20160 found this helpful
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As I understand it, hardwired smoke detectors also have a back up battery. If you haven't already, try and remove the battery. I hope this helps.

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November 14, 2015 Flag
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Why does my fire detector keep beeping when I am sleeping and everytime?

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November 15, 20151 found this helpful
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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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November 15, 20150 found this helpful

Yes, sometimes this is a feature telling you that the batteries are almost dead. Try replacing them and it should stop.

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March 31, 2011 Flag
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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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January 7, 20091 found this helpful
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Here is some detailed help for those of us who are "mechanically challenged."

First, check your carbon monoxide (CO2) detector, if you have one, to make sure it is not the one beeping. (If it is, open windows to air out the house and get some help to fix the problem.)

Second, make sure the temperature in your home is within the tolerable range for your detector. (Mine has to be above 40 degrees F, and below 100 degrees.)

Third, change the battery. (Some steps below may not apply to your smoke detector, but hopefully this list will help anyway.)

How to change the battery:

Look where the alarm is attached to the wall, and remove the little plastic "stick" that is stopping the alarm from being turned, if present. (Mine had one in a slot on the right side. It just pulled off.)

Turn alarm in the direction of the arrows on the front of smoke detector. (Mine only turned a tiny bit, clockwise, then I had to pull the alarm straight away from the wall.)

It may be connected still by wires to the wall (or to a hole in the wall actually.) Squeeze both sides of the plastic piece where the wires come out of the back of the alarm and pull straight away from the alarm to remove the plastic "plug" holding the wires.

Now, hopefully, you can open the battery door to change the battery. My battery compartment had a piece of plastic (like a stick) on a spring that popped up when battery was removed. I had to push the plastic stick down into the battery compartment, then push the new battery on top of it so the battery door would close.

If it still beeps after you change the battery, try flipping the battery over. If it still beeps, try a different, new battery, and try it flipped over if needed.

If it still beeps then you may have to buy a can of compressed air to blow the dust out, OR buy a new smoke detector, whichever is cheaper/easier.

I hope this helps others to avoid the hassle I had to figure out how to change the stupid battery. Mine is still beeping so I'll try the compressed air or buy a new smoke detector once it is daylight.

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January 30, 2014 Flag
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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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January 30, 20141 found this helpful
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It is time to replace them. I am a fire fighter and depending on the type, they are to be replaced every 8-12 years.

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April 5, 2011 Flag
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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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April 8, 20110 found this helpful
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My friend had that problem and had to call fire dept hers just went off in middle of the night it turned out it was the wiring, it did take the fireman quite a bit of time to figure that out and they said they learned from coming out to her home.

Good luck to you.

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