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July 16, 2008

Kidde smoke alarm: beep 4 times ...off and on

Man, this was driving us nuts. Sometime over the past couple of weeks, one of our smoke alarms started misbehaving. It would beep 4 times, each beep about 30 seconds after the prior beep ...and then stop. And then it would do this again randomly through the day and night. This would happen a few times a day.

The smoke alarms (we have 7 of them) are wired together with the house current, and each also have a 9v battery. We tried changing the batteries, blowing them each out with compressed air, testing them all, and nothing worked. So yesterday I bought a new one and replaced the offending smoke alarm. That made things worse.

Last night Shirley heard the thing go through it's little cycle twice within 1/2 hour or so ...conveniently at around 2:30am. So since she was awake anyway, she searched the web and found this posting from an electrician (scroll to the bottom of that page).

We had recently changed the batteries in the bedroom smoke alarms (4 of those), so for the other 3, we followed the steps listed by the electrician. For each smoke alarm:

  1. Remove the smoke alarm from the ceiling (twist counter-clockwise, and then pinch the 3-wire plug to release the wire plug, freeing the smoke alarm)
  2. Remove the old battery
  3. Press and hold the TEST button. The smoke alarm started to beep and then the sound very quickly trailed off to near silence
  4. Insert the new battery
  5. Plug the 3-wire plug back into the smoke alarm and re-mount it on the ceiling

Our house is again nice and quiet :)

July 16, 2008 in House | Permalink