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Why Is My Hard-Wired Smoke Alarm Chirping?

For some homeowners, that annoying chirping sound from your smoke alarm is a simple reminder it’s time to add new batteries. But what if your smoke alarm is hard-wired in?

A hard-wired smoke detector usually chirps for one of three reasons:

  1. A dead battery
  2. Dust inside your smoke detector
  3. An old or malfunctioning detector

Why Is My Hard-Wired Smoke Alarm Chirping?Problem 1 – A dead battery

This is the easiest problem to solve. The difference between a battery-powered smoke detector and a hard-wired one is that most hard-wired smoke detectors use a 9-volt battery that is supposed to kick in if your home loses electricity. When that battery is running low, your detector alerts you with a chirp that it’s running low. Replacing the battery solves the problem.

Problem 2 – Dust inside your smoke detector

Smoke detectors sit on your ceiling or walls and accumulate dust. It gathers in the sensing chamber, which can cause your detector to chirp.

Dust can also cause false alarms. If your system goes off at random times, it can indicate a dust buildup inside the system. Be sure to turn off the detector at the circuit box before you remove the face of the detector and clean the inside out.

Problem 3 – An old or malfunctioning detector

Over time, detectors break down and malfunction. If you haven’t replaced it in a few years, now may be the time. Smoke detectors usually last about ten years. You can check the manufacturer’s date on the smoke detector to see how old it is. If it’s newer, you may want a professional to inspect it and see where the problem lies.

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