Why Does A Hard-Wired Smoke Alarm Chirp?

August 03, 2017

Tired of that annoying beeping sound coming from your hard-wired smoke alarm?

Tired of that annoying beeping sound coming from your hard-wired smoke alarm?

We don’t blame you! We’ll help you find the source of the problem and fix it so you can have some peace again.

First, follow these quick troubleshooting steps:

  • Locate the reset button on the surface of the smoke detector
  • Hold it for 15–20 seconds and then release
  • Wait a couple of minutes and listen for the chirping noise again

If the chirping stops, then great—problem solved. But if the noise continues, you may have another issue. In that case, read on...

Smoke detector still chirping after you reset it? A hard-wired smoke detector usually chirps because of 1 of these 3 problems:

  1. A dead backup battery
  2. Dust inside your detector
  3. Malfunctioning/old detector

In this article, we’ll talk about all 3 of these problems and how you can solve them. We’ll start with the most likely culprit, a dead backup battery...

Problem #1: The backup battery is dead

Most hard-wired smoke detectors include a 9-volt backup battery that’s supposed to kick in if your home loses electricity. If that battery is running low, your detector alerts you with a high-pitched beep.

Solution: Replace the battery

To replace the battery in your hard-wired smoke detector, follow these steps:

  • Turn off the power to your wired smoke detector at the circuit box
  • Find the battery cover panel on the detector
  • If there’s a screw holding it in place, use the screwdriver to remove it
  • Remove the old battery and replace it with a new one
  • Press the “test” button and listen for a beep. If you hear a tone, then your detector is working. But if the chirping persists later, then the battery isn’t the problem.

Battery not the problem? Keep reading...

Problem #2: Dust inside your detector

Sometimes dust finds its way into your smoke detector and gathers in the sensing chamber, which can cause your detector to chirp.

Dust can also cause false alarms, so if you’ve heard your alarm go off at random times, that could also indicate you have dust built up in your detector.

Solution: Clean your detector

Follow these steps to clean your detector:

  • Turn off the power to your wired smoke detector at the circuit box
  • Remove the face of the detector
  • Use a vacuum hose or a small brush to clean out all of the dust
  • You can also use a mild detergent to eliminate any dust buildup
  • Replace the face of the detector and listen for the chirping sound

Still hearing that chirping sound? You could have a malfunctioning or very old detector...

Problem #3: Malfunctioning/old detector

Over time, detectors can break down and start to malfunction. If you’re hearing a chirping noise, it could be a sign that the smoke detector is nearing the end of its life.

Solution: Have a professional take a look at your detector

Smoke detectors usually last 10 years, so if yours is older than that, you’ll need to replace it. Check the manufacture date printed on the smoke detector to see how old it is.

If your smoke detector is relatively new, you may need to have a professional electrician inspect it to see why it’s malfunctioning. A professional can make sure your detector is working properly and install a new one if it isn’t.

Need a reliable Florida electrician?

Our expert electricians are ready to help. We’ll get your smoke detectors working properly again so you don’t have to hear that chirping sound anymore. We have locations in Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota and Naples and serve the surrounding areas.

Posted in: Troubleshooting

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