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JN Electrical Temperature Control, Inc Blog

Troubleshooting Your Broken Smoke Detector


It beeps when you burn steak, but it also alerts you to life-threatening disasters. Your smoke detector is like Nicolas Cage in The Weatherman. Hated but then mostly thought to be pretty cool when it serves its purpose.

But how do you know when you need a smoke detector repair so you can keep that burning popcorn alert system alive and well for when you really need it?

First, we troubleshoot to see if there’s a problem, then what the problem is, and whether or not you need to make a call for repair services.

Your Smoke Detector is Really Sensitive

Everything sets this bad boy off, and man, it’s getting annoying. The thing is, the problem might actually be from lack of cleaning and in-home maintenance. If even the smallest things set it off, it might be that the sensor is being tripped by something else entirely.

Take your smoke detector off the wall (if it’s not wired in) and open it up. Look around for signs of grime, dust, and anything dirty.

Clean your smoke detector, put it back on the wall, and see if that does the trick. There’s a big chance that it won’t, but it’s worth trying this out.

It Doesn’t Stop Beeping (No Matter What)

This seems a little silly, but check your smoke detector and see if there’s a little transparent plastic tab sticking out of the battery compartment.

This is stopping the flow of electricity from the battery, so right now, it’s something you should definitely check. It’s something that’s so simple many people often miss it, because why would that be the problem? It’s just not what comes to mind when you think about a smoke detector.

Keep in mind that if this isn’t the case, excess humidity in your home can impair your smoke detector’s ability to function. This could either mean it doesn’t beep, or it’s beeping all the time. Make sure your home is under 60% RH.

It Doesn’t Beep for Anything (Plot Twist)

You’ve got fresh batteries in it, so what gives? Press the button again and wait until you hear a loud beep. If there’s no beep, the smoke detector may be a dud.

Battery-operated smoke detectors tend to be a little less durable than wired-in smoke detectors for whatever reason. They tend to be more prone to failure from anecdotal experiences and information.

If it’s acting completely erratic, it may be wise to just replace your smoke detector. If the buttons don’t work and you can’t find the information in the instruction manual to try anything else, tinker with it by all means, but also consider a replacement.

Or Maybe it’s the Battery

Did you check the battery? Sometimes switching out the battery is enough, but if you make it to that step and it’s still not working, it’s time to call for professional repair.

In some cases, we may recommend a full replacement depending on how your smoke detector is faring. It depends on the situation.

Contact JN Electrical Temperature Control, Inc today to schedule a repair or replacement for your broken smoke detector and Feel The Difference.

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