Monday, March 03, 2014

3829 Screaming Meemies

Monday, March 3, 2014

Last Wednesday morning I woke to the chirp of a smoke detector complaining about its battery.  I had been slightly aware of it before I woke, actually.

Every 20 seconds, chirp!

By the time I was up, piddled, pants and shoes on under my nighty-t-shirt, the chirping had stopped.

I hate when the detectors chirp.  There are six of them.  One in the downstairs hall, one in every bedroom just inside the doors, and one in the upstairs hall, and when one starts complaining, I always go crazy trying to figure out which it is.

So, nothing all day Wednesday.  Thursday morning, I again woke to the chirp.  Every 20 seconds.  This time it didn't stop.  It was the one in the downstairs hall, so it wasn't too difficult to find.

I went to my battery supply, and opened a new package of those rectangular 9-volts.  I brought the taller stepladder down from upstairs.  I climbed up and changed the battery.

It continued to chirp.  Every 20 seconds.

I got my battery tester and tested the new battery.  It's ok.

I verified the polarity and inserted it again.

It continued to chirp.  Every 20 seconds.

I looked for some kind of reset button on the unit.  The only button was the test button, so I pushed it.  All six detectors went off, including the one that yells "Fire! Fire!" in a woman's voice.  I pushed the button again and they all shut up.

But this detector continued to chirp.  Every 20 seconds.

I don't know what to do.

I've been listening to that thing chirp since Thursday morning.  Every 20 seconds.  I've been pretending it's a bird.

I'm about ready to wring that bird's neck.


Embossing on the cover says to consult the unit's documentation for operating procedures, but of course the builder never left me any documentation, and once the check cleared, the builder became incommunicado - literally, his office closed.  (I heard he got sick.)  I could look up documentation online, except that the unit does not have the manufacturer's name anywhere on it.

I recall having this same problem when I replaced the batteries on the upstairs hall unit, and discovered that pushing the test button did reset it, but that didn't work this time.  The units don't look the same.

Leaving the battery out doesn't work, either.  It chirps anyway.  Every 20 seconds.


the queen said...

I know the battery tester said the battery was good, but I didn't read that you switched the battery. Just debugging.

~~Silk said...

"I climbed up and changed the battery."

Heh. Sneaked it right past you.

rockygrace said...

Well, sounds like it's kaput. Everything has a lifespan - it's seven to ten years for most smoke alarms. Will the others work if you toss the busted one, or are they all connected?

~~Silk said...

I think they're all connected, since they all go off when you push the test button on one. Plus, there's one circuit breaker marked "smoke detectors".

The internet, by the way, says to reset detectors, throw the circuit breaker. I tried that. Didn't help.

rockygrace said...

Yeahhhhh ... I got nothin'. Sorry.