It’s 3 AM in the middle of the night, and all of a sudden, you hear your smoke detectors start chirping away. And, it happens to be the night you needed good sleep for the activities of tomorrow. Now the baby is awake crying and the kids are meandering around the house asking what is going on instead of sleeping gently in their beds.
Now, it’s up to you to get those detectors back to working order. If they’re not too high or you’ve got a ladder, you might try hitting the reset button or switching the batteries. But often, this alone doesn’t work, and it quickly begins to feel like there is nothing you can do to get the BEEPING detectors to stop. Now you’re contemplating merely unplugging them and dealing with it tomorrow, which turns into the weekend, which may very well turn into never.
And, if you’re like most sleep-deprived humans in the middle of the night, you’ll need to restrain yourself from simply grabbing the hammer and taking care of the chirping permanently.
While it may not surprise you, the number one call we get here at L&M Electric is about these pesky smoke detectors. And while knowing how to reset them makes it a simple matter, the lack of insight may lead to frustration, and a bunch of disconnected smoke detectors permanently sprawled across your house.
Instead of calling the Fire department (who will recommend you call an electrician), use the following process to reset your smoke detectors. If you continue having issues, give us a call at 1-770-978-2300, and we’ll be happy to come out (with extra detectors on hand) and resolve the source of your problem.
How To Properly Reset Your Chirping Smoke Detector
The key to properly resetting your beeping smoke detector is removing the power sources and draining the electricity from the capacitor. From there, we can determine the health of your detector unit.
Here is the proper process to reset your smoke detector and find out if there is something wrong with the unit.
- Turn off the breaker for the smoke detector’s circuit (or unplug and remove the smoke detector from the ceiling mount).
- Pull out of the batteries of the unit (This will eliminate any new power from charging the unit).
- Hold down the test button for 10 seconds. (This will drain the capacitor of any remaining electricity). The smoke detector is now reset.
- Add your new single nine-volt battery, or in other cases, two double A batteries to the smoke detector.
- Turn back on the breaker for the units (or plug them back in if you did not turn off the breaker and disconnected them instead).
The smoke detector will now no longer think it has old batteries and should operate as expected going forward. We find 50% of the time; the unit thinks it has a bad battery and chirps while the rest of the time they are fully operational.
Since these detectors can cost $25-50 per unit, we recommend making sure they’re broken before replacing them. If you continue to have issues with your smoke detectors after following the reset process listed above, you may have a bad unit, or possibly an electrical problem with the mount or circuit.
Give L&M Electric a call at 1-770-978-2300 for a free consultation with over the phone troubleshooting. If we agree an onsite visit is required, we’ll visit your home with extra smoke detectors. From there, we will either replace them with working units or resolve any electrical root issue that may be causing the problem.
Let the chirping end with your smoke detectors and continue with the lovely birds outside.
If electrical permits are pulled on a home for any reason, all electrical systems within that home must then be brought up to code, including smoke detectors.