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What Causes Smoke Alarms Intermittent and Consistent Chirping

Wed, Apr 29, 2020

Your smoke alarms are one of the lifesavers that are present inside your house, so it is essential to know what they are trying to tell you. At times you may experience your smoke alarms consistent chirping and intermittent beeping. There might be multiple reasons for your smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms to chirp, and we will be listing all the reasons. At times there might be false alarms going off, so we will be helping you to fix this nuisance on your own.

Part 1. What Cause Smoke Alarms Consistently Chirping

You might find you smoke alarm chirping consistently at one point in time and has got a few reasons which we will be listed below. Here are the possible causes for your smoke alarm to chirp consistently.

The low battery of the smoke alarm – You will hear your alarm chirping every 30 to 40 seconds, maybe even 60 seconds, for at least seven days. Try to fix this by replacing the battery and see if the consistent chirping starts again.

Malfunction in the smoke alarm – There will be flashes of red LED in between the chirping. For such an occurrence, the Test button needs to be pressed and held for a minimum of two seconds. If there is no sound in the alarm, your smoke alarm might have a defective battery or some other failure.

Hush condition of the smoke alarm – Some alarms have a Hush feature. If your smoke alarm has got a Hush feature, your alarm will chirp from every 30 to 40 seconds for around seven minutes throughout the activation of the Hush feature.

End of Life Condition of the smoke alarm (For the alarms with Sealed Batteries Only) – If you have a sealed battery model smoke alarm, it will chirp every 30 seconds to let you know that it is time to replace the old alarm with a new one.

Interference in the smoke alarm (For the wireless alarms) – There are a few extra measures that are needed to be taken with wireless alarms. If your smoke alarm has entered into the Full Alarm without any smoke present, and without the activation of the test buttons anywhere, then it is most likely your system is being interfered with from a similar model nearby. To fix this, use your user’s manual to learn how to choose a different DIP switch pattern.

Part 2. What Cause Carbon Monoxide Alarms Consistently Chirping

Carbon monoxide is one of the deadliest gases which can be exposed to any human, so it is vital to have carbon monoxide alarms present. So, now that you have installed these necessities, it is essential to know what they are saying. Here are a few reasons for carbon monoxide alarm to be chirping consistently.

Low Battery condition of your alarm – If your carbon monoxide alarm’s battery life is coming to an end, it will chirp once every 15 seconds, indicating that you need to change the battery. Fix this by replacing the batteries of your alarm.

End of Life Warning – After the initial power-up, it will take more than a few years for the carbon monoxide to come to its end. Most of the alarms live up to seven years and start chirping every 30 seconds. The chirping only turns off when the power is cut off.

Malfunction of the smoke alarm – At times, there’s something that does not work correctly inside the device, this causes it malfunction. In this malfunction condition, the alarm will keep chirping in the interval of every 30 seconds. Call the company’s product support team to get it fixed.

Error condition of the alarm – There are error conditioning of the alarm sometimes. In the error conditioning of your carbon monoxide alarm, the alarm will sound consistent. This indicates that either there is a malfunction or the battery is very low.

Most of the chirping can be fixed on your own, but if there is a system malfunction or error, then you must call the product’s customer service and make a complaint about there being something wrong with your device. It is essential to make sure that your alarm is working completely fine because these are your lifesavers, literally!

Part 3. What Cause Alarms Intermittent Beeping and Chirping

1. Battery might be loose or maybe installed in the improper way

Check the list and see if it is your problem’s cause:

  • Check and see whether the recommended battery type is installed.
  • Make sure that your battery that has got a use-by date of no longer than four or five years ahead.
  • Check if the battery has been installed correctly, as there is a possibility that the battery is not connected correctly. Take it out and reconnect it once again to make sure it is snapped in properly.
  • Make sure the battery section door has been completely closed on units that have a front-load battery.

2. Dirt might be stored inside the smoke alarm sensing chamber

There might be dirt or tiny insects collecting inside the sensing chamber of your alarm. If there is enough accumulation of dust inside the sensing chamber, it might cause the unit to start going off. It is better to know how your smoke alarm in meant to cleaned. Here are a few steps to clean your smoke alarm.

  • Remove the alarm from its mounting bracket, and you can see tutorials online.
  • Use compressed air to clean the inside of the alarm. You can also use a vacuum cleaner for the work.
  • Your alarm’s exterior is supposed to be wiped with a wet cloth.
  • After you are done cleaning, reseat your device and confirm the green LED is visible and press the test button to see if the alarm’s working.

3. Environmental conditions

Look at the following circumstances and see the possible solution for your alarm going off randomly.

  • Steam, humidity, and condensation
  • Excess airflow: Check for cooling/heating registers, a ceiling fan, or an open window anywhere three feet from the alarm. If there is, move away from the alarm from the cause of excessive airflow.
  • Temperature – Check the room’s temperature. To be precise, smoke alarms tend to operate in between 40-95 degrees Fahrenheit. 40-100 degrees, in Fahrenheit, is the temperature in which carbon monoxide alarms work.

Part 4. How to Fix the Nuisance or False Alarm

1. Rest the alarm

To reset the smoke alarm, follow the steps:

  • Turn off the smoke alarm’s power from its circuit-breaker
  • Remove alarm from its mounting bracket and then disengage the power
  • Remove battery
  • Have the test-button pressed and held for 15 seconds straight.
  • Reconnect power and then reseat the battery. The device should chirp once when the power comes back on

2. Electrical condition

If the beeping reoccurs every time at around the same timing, it could possibly be because of a surge which has been created due to the power company switching the electrical grid for meeting demand.

Check if the beeping happens whenever some other electric device is switched on in the house.

If the chirping occurs due to electrical conditions, move the device to another vent with a separate circuit.

3. The alarm needs to be replaced

If not one of the above terms are your case, then it is time for your alarm to be replaced with a new one. Most alarms have a five-year warranty, so you do not worry about spending money again if it’s happened right after you bought it. Smoke detecting alarms must be replaced every ten years, and for the carbon monoxide alarms, it has to be be replaced in around seven years.

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