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Thread: Smoke detector batteries

  1. #1
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Smoke detector batteries

    Tried changing them since it's recommended that you do so every year. I'd written 12/15 on the batteries in them so they were definitely due but not beeping. Well, now with the new batteries they ARE beeping. I've run into this every time I have ever changed the batteries in these stupid f*I&*ing things. I've done the whole, unplug it, take out the battery, hold the button down for a long time, put the battery back in, thing and they still always beep. Am I the only one with this problem? At this point I'm pretty much ready to just gamble that our building is not likely to burn down.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Smoke detectors have an effective lifespan of about 10 years. If yours are getting up in age, I'd consider replacing them. You can get inexpensive models now that do not ever require battery replacement during their lifespan, and that have carbon monoxide detectors as well. (*)

    (Also, dust accumulates around the sensors making them either less effective, or falsely triggering them, blowing them clean with compressed air/dusting them is a good regular maintenance item.)

    (*) I have a suspicion that after a certain age, you are more likely to die by falling off the stepstool/ladder you are using to change the battery with than you are to perish in a fire...

  3. #3
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    (*) I have a suspicion that after a certain age, you are more likely to die by falling off the stepstool/ladder you are using to change the battery with than you are to perish in a fire...
    Ha! That's for sure!

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    I just asked dh to replace the detectors in our two homes. He says the N.C. home just got replaced, but I remember NOT buying new and just replacing batteries. They are twelve years old. The reason for not replacing - dh is a contractor and can get them at supply house pricing which is much less than retail. Sometimes there's not much pricing difference but in this case there is. He didn't remember it this way, so I've dropped a reminder note into our travel box to check next time we're there.

    FL detectors are of unknown age. Again, dh indicates they are six years old and I'm unconvinced. I'll take a look tomorrow.

    Where does time go? As we get older I find that discussions such as this occur with us quite frequently.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    They are so inexpensive now there’s not much reason to put off replacing them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    They are so inexpensive now there’s not much reason to put off replacing them.
    What if they are hardwired, require the services of an electrician, and then a visit from a city inspector?

    This is what's required if I ever want to sell the house. The government seems to spend a lot of time passing laws mandating inspections that net them fees.

    Edited to remove my off topic rant.
    Last edited by Yppej; 12-11-17 at 5:24am.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    I wouldn't bother with hardwired ones at this point.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    What if they are hardwired, require the services of an electrician, and then a visit from a city inspector?

    This is what's required if I ever want to sell the house. The government seems to spend a lot of time passing laws mandating inspections that net them fees.

    Edited to remove my off topic rant.
    You might have to do that for a sale - but you should be able to buy and replace hardwired units on your own. Most hardwires these days also have batteries that need to be replaced regularly.

    Detectors should have date of manufacture on them - if they don't, they are old (newer ones all have dates) and should be replaced.

    If you can't I'd recommend getting non-hardwired units and putting them up. Also recommend getting combo detectors (smoke and CO). Per Red Cross (I've done dozens of installs as Red Cross) once a detector goes off you have like 2 minutes to get out before you probably won't. You need them to be working correctly.

  9. #9
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    I've replaced our hard-wired detectors and those in the rental property as well. No big deal, at least for Kidde brand detectors. No electrician or inspector needed here -- at least for that. Yes, it's a matter for inspection at sale time (and every few years at the rental property), but they're looking at lots of other things at that time.

    bae, have CO detectors changed recently? My understanding was that their usable lifespan was somewhere between 5 and 7 years; buying CO detection as part of a 10-year smoke detector/CO combo unit seems like a bit of a pig in a poke.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  10. #10
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Most of the combo units I've looked at are claiming a 10 year lifespan for the CO detector as well (much of the Kidde line, for instance).

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