Sunday, March 30, 2008

Oh Geeze! I'm Mechanically Challenged

Saturday morning about 4 a.m. I heard this chirping noise: about one chirp per minute. The only time I'd heard anything similar was from my smoke alarm. I tried vacuuming the the dust out of the thing. I even disconnected it. Still the horrible chirping. Could it be the carbon-monoxide detector that I'd bought last year in response to a new Mass. law? I unplugged it. Still the slow, maddening chirping continued. I went to the Firex web site. Replace the battery when warned by chirping, it said. O.K. Since it was hard-wired I'd assumed there was no battery, but maybe there was. I took the thing down, but couldn't get it open. I took it to a hardware store. The clerk couldn't get it open. Then an elderly hardware employee looked at it and said, this is the hard-wired type of smoke detector. It doesn't have a battery. Could it be your carbon-monoxide detector? No, I unplugged that. I went back home and called the local electrician, who was able to come about 3 hours later. I told him my story and said it must be the heat detector. But no, it was the carbon-monoxide detector that does chirp, even when unplugged, because it uses the waning power of the battery to produce the chirps.


Chuckbert said...

You're lucky your carbon monoxide detector only chirps when its battery is low. Ours have batteries to keep them working even if the power is off but the batteries seem to be used even when their outlets are powered.

When there is no power to them and their batteries are low they don't simply chirp. They SCREAM! That is disconcerting when the power goes out in the middle of the night.

The only way to shut one up is to remove the battery. The battery cover is hard to remove (especially when you're were, until a moment ago, asleep).

Colleen said...

I'm wondering if the combo smoke-carbon-monoxide detectors that are hard-wired have batteries. I could upgrade and dispose of this chirping business.