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Annoying smoke detector, finally pulled off most of them

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  • May 20th, 2018 3:18 pm
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Jr. Member
Dec 4, 2006
133 posts
26 upvotes

Annoying smoke detector, finally pulled off most of them

I don't know whether it's mandate by law or what not, builder had installed total 13 smoke detectors in our house , ever since we moved in, it became a nightmarishly chirping hellhole.
These batteries never last more than 1 year even though they are all 120v wired, which is supposed to last forever right? they dont.

by basic probability, for every month, in the middle of the night (most likely 3am in the morning), one of them would decide to chirp to telling me that backup battery is weak for replacement, it would take me at least 10 mins to locate the faulty one, and another 5 mins to grab a chair and replace the battery, and thus most likely ruined my rest of night of sleep.

This chiping nightmare kept bothering me, until today, I pulled off most of them , and only leave 3 plugged in, one for each floor.

I wonder who comes up with this idea that for each room, and each area one must have a smoke alarm installed? it is probably that smoke alarm company lobbied the GOV, and GOV thus mandates law to newly constructed home for including these many detectors (totally 13 is insane IMHO, even though it's a 4500sqft hosue), while the cost burden surely got transferred to new home owner.

It is probably the same crap of water rental company screw up new home buyers with an overpriced rental unit that you have to either rent or pay a hefty price... no way you can return it and install one yourself.
29 replies
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 23, 2008
6750 posts
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Toronto (Markham)
KIDDE?
Tis banana is IRIE :razz:

10% off is cold, 50% off is warm, 75% off is hot, but FREE IS RFD!
Newbie
May 13, 2010
77 posts
18 upvotes
Not sure why you think the battery backup should last forever just because they are hardwired for electricity??? Why don't you just change all your batteries at once, and then make a note in your calendar say 10-11 months from now to replace them all again, thus (hopefully) avoiding the battery low chirp.
It would seem to me having more smoke detectors in your home is better than less......
Sr. Member
Feb 4, 2010
984 posts
336 upvotes
13 smoke detectors in a single house is definitely over the top...never heard of one in each room. Depending on the size of the house I would say one on each floor is sufficient...at least that's the way it is in my house.
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 23, 2008
6750 posts
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Toronto (Markham)
If they are interconnected, only one maybe faulty but signalling all of them to go off. Good luck finding the faulty one.

If they are Kidde, replace them with a better brand. Kidde is notorious for malfunctions.
Tis banana is IRIE :razz:

10% off is cold, 50% off is warm, 75% off is hot, but FREE IS RFD!
Member
Dec 15, 2015
422 posts
227 upvotes
Toronto
busrel wrote:
May 17th, 2018 7:31 am
I don't know whether it's mandate by law or what not, builder had installed total 13 smoke detectors in our house , ever since we moved in, it became a nightmarishly chirping hellhole.
These batteries never last more than 1 year even though they are all 120v wired, which is supposed to last forever right? they dont.

by basic probability, for every month, in the middle of the night (most likely 3am in the morning), one of them would decide to chirp to telling me that backup battery is weak for replacement, it would take me at least 10 mins to locate the faulty one, and another 5 mins to grab a chair and replace the battery, and thus most likely ruined my rest of night of sleep.

This chiping nightmare kept bothering me, until today, I pulled off most of them , and only leave 3 plugged in, one for each floor.

I wonder who comes up with this idea that for each room, and each area one must have a smoke alarm installed? it is probably that smoke alarm company lobbied the GOV, and GOV thus mandates law to newly constructed home for including these many detectors (totally 13 is insane IMHO, even though it's a 4500sqft hosue), while the cost burden surely got transferred to new home owner.

It is probably the same crap of water rental company screw up new home buyers with an overpriced rental unit that you have to either rent or pay a hefty price... no way you can return it and install one yourself.
You're supposed to change the batteries twice a year, even on the hard wired units. Don't cheap out on batteries either.

Also some of the units chirp once they have been triggered. Depending on the make and model they will chirp letting you know a reset of the unit is required.

Doesn't OBC say you need one outside each sleeping room? A builder will NEVER install more than they need too. Your McMansion likely requires more than 3. My 650 sqft apartment has 2 in it...
Sr. Member
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Oct 14, 2010
960 posts
415 upvotes
Barrie ON
busrel wrote:
May 17th, 2018 7:31 am
These batteries never last more than 1 year even though they are all 120v wired, which is supposed to last forever right? they dont.
A good quality Alkaline battery (e.g. Duracell or Costco Kirkland) should have a 10 year shelf life. In other words it should remain almost fully charged for 10 years if it is left sitting in the package unused. Any other type of battery, whether it be a cheap carbon or a NiMh rechargeable will discharge slowly over a period of a few months, even when not being used.

In a wired smoke detector, the hydro provides the necessary power on a day to day basis. The battery is effectively not being used unless there is a hydro failure, (with the exception of momentary current draws which are used to test the batteries condition). These wired detectors use considerably less battery than a standard battery operated detector. I would take a wild guess and say that operating beyond 12 months on a fresh Alkaline battery should be easily obtained, and I would expect even longer than this. Of course if you change each battery at random times (when they alert you) then your probability theory does show that you might have to replace a single battery every 1-2 months. Perhaps changing them all at the same time, on a regular basis, would prevent the midnight false alarms. I would recommend at least once a year to be safe.

It could also be possible that some of these detectors are not receiving the 120 VAC and the detectors are running on battery constantly. If you have a voltmeter, check for the presence of 120 VAC at the connector, or remove the battery and see if the detector operates off of hydro when plugged in.
Deal Addict
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Jun 24, 2015
1511 posts
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Woodbridge, ON
you are not suppost to Change the batteries twice a year, only required to Check/Test your smoke alarms twice a year, they recommend daylight savings time change period. i have a smoke alarm with a backup battery, its been installed 5 years now and never give me a problem. Thats a little strange your backup battery only lasts one year? did u get your Batteries from Dollar Rama? By the way, my smoke alarm is also made buy Kiddie. I heard its a very reliable brand but mine was not installed by the builder, I went out to Lows and purchased it myself.
Hi
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Mar 23, 2008
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Edmonton
Have you made sure that there was power to all the smoke detectors, and they weren't running on battery all the time?

C
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Dec 29, 2008
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You do know it's required by law to have a smoke alarm in each bedroom in new construction? If they are going off or w/e why not look for a proper solution by replacing defective ones, changing all batteries at the same time or contacting your builder etc.

You could even call your local fire department (not 911) to help you out. It's incredibly STUPID to disconnect smoke alarms. I'll never understand why people risk it when we've all heard stories of house fires killing entire families.

Sometimes hallway firm alarms don't wake up people in far away bedrooms with the door closed.
Deal Addict
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Jun 24, 2015
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Woodbridge, ON
Actually, the law states: " Effective March 1, 2006, it is the law for all Ontario homes to have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas. This covers single family, semi-detached and town homes, whether owner-occupied or rented."
So it does not have to be inside the bedroom, but in the hallway leading into the bedroom is fine, guess what? most homes meet this requirement for the last 25 years now.
Hi
Deal Guru
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Jun 12, 2007
12805 posts
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London
Rick007 wrote:
May 17th, 2018 9:10 am
....
It could also be possible that some of these detectors are not receiving the 120 VAC and the detectors are running on battery constantly. If you have a voltmeter, check for the presence of 120 VAC at the connector, or remove the battery and see if the detector operates off of hydro when plugged in.
+1, This....

Check that all detectors are receiving 120vac.

I had a something similar happen where I was going through batteries every 6 months. There was a loose ac wire under one of the marettes. The detectors were always running in battery
Member
Dec 9, 2013
260 posts
128 upvotes
Toronto
A lot of misinformation in this thread. You cannot remove your interconnected, hardwired smoke alarms if they were built to building code. You are lowering the level of safety. It is a fire code contravention as you are not maintaining and disabling the smoke alarms and can be charged (by investigators if a fire occurs or by inspectors during an inspection).

If the house was built to the current edition of the building code, it is the building code requirement to have one smoke alarm (hardwired, interconnected with a strobe) in every bedroom.

Hope this helps!
Deal Addict
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Jun 24, 2015
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if you remove the smoke alarm how will anyone know your house was built with it there? only you would know, not the fire dept. and besides you would still be legal because you meet the requirement in the link I posted earlier
Hi
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Dec 29, 2008
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GoodFellaz wrote:
May 17th, 2018 11:04 am
Actually, the law states: " Effective March 1, 2006, it is the law for all Ontario homes to have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas. This covers single family, semi-detached and town homes, whether owner-occupied or rented."
So it does not have to be inside the bedroom, but in the hallway leading into the bedroom is fine, guess what? most homes meet this requirement for the last 25 years now.
This is not the case with new construction in Ontario.
miscbrah1 wrote:
May 17th, 2018 12:41 pm
A lot of misinformation in this thread. You cannot remove your interconnected, hardwired smoke alarms if they were built to building code. You are lowering the level of safety. It is a fire code contravention as you are not maintaining and disabling the smoke alarms and can be charged (by investigators if a fire occurs or by inspectors during an inspection).

If the house was built to the current edition of the building code, it is the building code requirement to have one smoke alarm (hardwired, interconnected with a strobe) in every bedroom.

Hope this helps!
This is indeed correct

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