Why is my smoke alarm beeping?

One of my smoke alarms is beeping. It wasn’t beeping when I went to bed last night, but has been beeping since I woke up this morning. The alarm is wired into the house electrical system and there doesn’t seem to be any problems with anything else in the house. The first thing I did this morning was replace the internal battery (9v) and the problem hasn’t gone away. What am I overlooking?

Is it just a smoke alarm, or is it supposed to detect other stuff as well, like carbon monoxide or radon or little green men from Antares?

Most likely, the connections you call “wired into the electrical system” of your house are really links between the smoke detectors so that if one detector goes off, they will all go off. It’s a safety thing that makes sure everyone has the opportunity to get out. At least that’s how the detectors in my house are.

As far as that infernal beeping, if changing the battery didn’t help, try changing the battery in the other one. Also, make sure that those link connections are tightly joined.

Beyond that, I dunno.

Depending on the manufacturer, it could be an internal error message. Wired (to a fire panel and powered from 120V) detectors usually have a little microprocessor that tracks the sensitivity of the sensing element. If the detector gets too dirty, or the sensor fails, then it goes out of calibration range. It can no longer reliably detect smoke, so the error message occurs.

If you have a can of compressed air, try blowing dust out of the sensor, especially if it’s a photoelectric type detector.

(Background - I designed smoke detectors as my first job out of college. They were powered from 120V and connected to a fire panel.)

Try re-attaching your battery.

Or, if your battery sat in a drawer for a while, get a fresh one.

BTW-- off-brand discount batteries sometimes cause smoke alarms to do this, in my experience. Dunno why.

I had this happen a few years back, to a system smoke detector, it turned out to be an insect that had crawled inside.

Weird. The detector itself isn’t beeping. It seems to be something in the ceiling right above it that is making the noise.

AFAICT, it is a smoke alarm only. I have re-seated the battery and still beeping. I may go and buy a new 9v and see what happens. Before I do that, I will try to suck any dirt and dead bugs out that may have crawled in.

All I can say is thankfully it isn’t the smoke alarm in my bedroom that is making the noise.

Oh, in that case, you need to contact the FBI and tell them they need to replace the batteries in their bugs.

This, sir, made me laugh.

Have you had any visitors recently? Friends who might be playing a joke on you or something? If it’s a drop ceiling, just push a tile aside and take a gander up there.

My alarm gave the dead battery signal (a chirp every minute) recently. Replacing the battery didn’t stop it, so I got a brand new alarm. Mine’s a BRK, only $15, and takes the AC wall plug + a 9-volt.

Nice, except mine is part of an integrated alarm/monitoring system (which I am not using).

Our smoke alarm started going off once–and kept coming on intermittently for a day-- and we had no idea why. When we finally got the ladder and pried the sucker open, we discovered the reason…

…there were about three dozen spiders living inside it, and the sheer number of them had begun to press on the “test” button.

I was going to ask what they could possibly be eating, but on reflection it’s obvious they’re subsisting on the FBI’s bugs.

Pardon me while I just crouch in this corner and give in to the heebie jeebies.
(Good one, Cervaise)

Probably a very silly question, but you did put the new battery in the right way around, didn’t you?

We had a similar problem with ants in the alarm system contact thingy. And lots and lots of eggs, too. I almost projectile vomited.

Ding I think we have a winner. I’m going to bet that this is a wireless system, which means that the main panel polls the remote devices, and if they fail to offer the appropriate response, the beep you’re hearing is that of a lost device which no longer is in communication with the alarm control panel.

Not a totally silly question. most devices that take 9V batts use a wired little cap that snaps into place on the battery’s terminals. The terminals being different sizes, this usually means no chance of getting it backwards.

However, I once came across an alarm that didn’t have a snap cap connection, instead using blades (bent little slivers of metal) at one end of a rectangular space just big enough for the 9V batt. It was easy to put the batt in either way. On the plastic of the battery compartment, in off white on off white tiny raised lettering was the diagram for which way the battery went in. Hard to see, and easy to get wrong. I haven’t seen a design like that for sale anywhere, so it was probably some old, outdated model (like Lauren Hutton).

That’s just a little walk through on how even a 9V battery can be installed wrong in some devices.

As to what DWC suggests, is the control box (not the user interface panel, but the big ass box of wires and shit) in the attic? Are you hearing the error code because of needing to reset the system for the changed device?

I have the alarm right here beside me. I removed it from the mounting bracket and unplugged it from what ever was plugged into. The bracket area is still beeping.

The alarm itself doesn’t open, at least not without force and removing stickers that are not supposed to be removed. The system isn’t wireless AFAIK.

There is no dirt or anything loose in the alarm. I think I’ll try another battery and if that doesn’t work, I’ll have to call the company that installed it and ask them, WTF?

That is what the battery connector is like. Now, I’ve never claimed to be the smartest person here but my kndergarten teacher says I’m really good with shapes and I was able to match the + with the + and the - with the -.

Also, an attic in central Texas in July has nothing in it but hot.