#1
Old 05-04-2012, 11:58 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: your 6
Posts: 759
Disable Smoke Detector

Big problem here: I have 20-some foot vaulted ceilings, and the bone-headed builder of my home decided to put a smoke detector right in the middle of the ceiling.

There is almost no way I can reach the smoke detector; there are no study walls to lean a ladder on in the vicinity. The only two walls I have to lean a ladder on to reach the smoke detector are not load-bearing walls, and both only go up about halfway to the ceiling. In other words, I wouldn't want to lean a tall ladder against either wall as both walls are weak and I'd have to climb far past the point where the ladder is actually leaning against the wall.

Is there anyway to just completely shut off the smoke detector? I'm annoyed to the point that I'm considering shooting a couple rounds at the smoke detector to get it to shut up. Is there some kind of circuit I could cut - anywhere?

Last edited by IceQube; 05-04-2012 at 11:58 PM.
#2
Old 05-05-2012, 12:18 AM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: San Francisco area
Posts: 16,104
If you're lucky, there's a dedicated circuit for the smoke detectors - I'm assuming yours are AC powered and linked. The previous house I was in was built in the past ten years, and there was one breaker labeled "smoke detectors" but in this house, whoever installed them just grabbed whatever power source was near, so there is no one circuit to power them.

But, if something sets off a linked detector, all of them will start sounding. If it's just one sounding, either you've got a regular battery powered one that needs a battery, or there's a fault with the detector.

Assuming other homes in the neighborhood also have high vaulted ceilings, you might want to ask the neighbors if they have or know someone who has a tall ladder you could borrow.

If it is a wired detector gone bad, they're usually very easy to replace once you get to them, and they're cheap - about $15-20. The past couple I've replaced had the same plug connector even though they were different brands.

If it is a battery-powered detector, you can replace it with one of the newer models with a lithium battery that will be good for 10 years.
#3
Old 05-05-2012, 12:39 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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are you complaining that it is being triggered or indicating a low battery? a lithium battery may give 5 to 7 years in a detector.

if the detector is powered by AC through house wiring then to turn off the circuit leaves you unprotected. you may have individual detectors last with battery backup (maybe a couple days).

if it is an AC powered networked detector then you could have one or more to replace it. with high open ceilings then smoke would first rise to that point. you would want to replace it with detectors on the walls or ceilings near walls to get near the same detection.

if it is an AC powered networked detector get an electrician to remove and replace with adequate coverage.
#4
Old 05-05-2012, 12:57 AM
Just Lovely and Delicious
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 23,749
If it's battery powered, get on a ladder beneath it then strike it with a broom handle until it falls off the ceiling. Then deal with replacing it later, once the beeping has stopped.
#5
Old 05-05-2012, 08:29 AM
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Removed, NM

Last edited by jacobsta811; 05-05-2012 at 08:29 AM.
#6
Old 05-05-2012, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotpasswords View Post
If you're lucky, there's a dedicated circuit for the smoke detectors - I'm assuming yours are AC powered and linked. The previous house I was in was built in the past ten years, and there was one breaker labeled "smoke detectors" but in this house, whoever installed them just grabbed whatever power source was near, so there is no one circuit to power them.
I forgot to clarify, but the smoke detector's battery is dead. That's why it's chirping. I checked the circuit panel for something labeled "smoke detectors" and I found one. I hit the switch but the smoke detector kept on chirping. This makes me suspect that the battery has not completely given up the ghost. If I left the circuit breaker in the "off" position for a couple of days, will the battery be exhausted to the point that it cannot cause a chirping sound at all?
#7
Old 05-05-2012, 11:50 AM
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 178
We used to have a pool scoop with a telescopic pole on it, it would extend to a ridiculous length. You might be able to get something similar for painting with a roller for switching the thing off next time.

A hardware place or specialist paint supply may be the place to look.
#8
Old 05-05-2012, 12:52 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 641
Quote:
Originally Posted by IceQube View Post
If I left the circuit breaker in the "off" position for a couple of days, will the battery be exhausted to the point that it cannot cause a chirping sound at all?
It can keep chirping for longer than you'd care to tolerate. In college, we had a smoke detector whose battery was going and therefore chirping. I believe it was months before we replaced it. It was long enough that when people would come over and comment on the chirping we'd realize that we didn't even notice/hear it any more until it was pointed out. Those sure were crazy times.
#9
Old 05-05-2012, 01:35 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 12,056
Quote:
Originally Posted by IceQube View Post
I forgot to clarify, but the smoke detector's battery is dead. That's why it's chirping. I checked the circuit panel for something labeled "smoke detectors" and I found one. I hit the switch but the smoke detector kept on chirping. This makes me suspect that the battery has not completely given up the ghost. If I left the circuit breaker in the "off" position for a couple of days, will the battery be exhausted to the point that it cannot cause a chirping sound at all?
a wired (AC) detector with battery backup will chirp alert to a low battery if on AC or not. the purpose is to have you be protected when you have a power failure. if the circuit is shut off it will chirp for many days letting you know the battery is low and will do so until the battery dies. during this time your other detectors will drain their batteries and need replacement. when any other detectors die then you are left without protection in that area until you replace the battery. when the battery dies in the troubling detector it will stop beeping until you turn the AC power back on then it will use the AC power to warn you of a low backup battery.

smoke detection is important. it is not wise to have it not be fully implemented. running on batteries and loosing some is a risk. get the troublesome one relocated for adequate protection.
#10
Old 05-05-2012, 02:42 PM
Voodoo Adult (Slight Return)
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
Posts: 24,876
You need to rent a ladder like this. I've always called them theater ladders, but apparently they are called combination ladders.

ETA: actually, a trestle ladder was what I originally had in mind. Now I've learned two new kinds of ladders today.

Last edited by KneadToKnow; 05-05-2012 at 02:45 PM.
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