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Brian Elfert
12-09-2008, 11:09 AM
What batteries are folks using for smoke alarms?

I have been using the Lithium 10 year batteries and I only get 2 to 3 years before the low battery alert goes off. The alarms had Duracell Ultra batteries from new, but those are no longer available. The lithium batteries are over $6 each and I don't think they last three times longer than alkalines. I have had to replace three batteries in the past 60 days.

The interesting thing is that my smoke alarms are all AC powered with battery backup. I don't understand how I am burning through batteries since I am not losing power. These are smoke/CO detectors with voice alerts.

The low battery alert is very annoying as they beep and then a voice says "Low Battery".

Justin Leiwig
12-09-2008, 11:11 AM
What batteries are folks using for smoke alarms?

I have been using the Lithium 10 year batteries and I only get 2 to 3 years before the low battery alert goes off. The alarms had Duracell Ultra batteries from new, but those are no longer available. The lithium batteries are over $6 each and I don't think they last three times longer than alkalines. I have had to replace three batteries in the past 60 days.

The interesting thing is that my smoke alarms are all AC powered with battery backup. I don't understand how I am burning through batteries since I am not losing power. These are smoke/CO detectors with voice alerts.

The low battery alert is very annoying as they beep and then a voice says "Low Battery".

Most CO detectors only have a 7 year life. After that they will not function as a CO detector. Maybe that has something to do with them giving you an alarm.

Brian Elfert
12-09-2008, 11:42 AM
Most CO detectors only have a 7 year life. After that they will not function as a CO detector. Maybe that has something to do with them giving you an alarm.

The units have voice announcements and the voice specifically says "low battery".

One that had a low battery recently is 12 to 15 months old. The original installed in late 2001 had died completely at maybe 5 years. The original units on now on their third or fourth battery since late 2001 and the most recent battery in those was the lithium battery.

Mike Henderson
12-09-2008, 12:02 PM
Just to be sure, have you checked to make sure the AC is hot to the alarms, and connected properly? Most regular battery smoke alarms (non-AC powered) will go a year on alkaline batteries (these are not CO detectors, but just smoke alarms).

Mike

Brian Elfert
12-09-2008, 12:05 PM
I did check with Kidde'e website and they do recommend replacement at seven years which is right where I am at on three of mine. The older models like mine do not have an alert at seven years like the newer ones.

I might just replace the three with smoke alarms only as they are $15 each instead of $40 for the models I have now.

I also have seperate CO alarms near my fireplace and furnace so I meet state law requirements with the CO/smoke alarms I have in the bedrooms on 2nd floor. The ones in the bedrooms were all new in 2007.

David G Baker
12-09-2008, 1:39 PM
I use the 9 volt copper top battery and change it out every 12 months. Never had a problem. 4 batteries for $10.50 +tax at Wally World.

Walt Beattie
12-09-2008, 9:14 PM
Some of the newer smoke detectors may give better battery life. Smoke detectors do have a recommended useful life span of ten years. combination smoke & CO detectors have a recommended life of 5 years for replacement. They should also be tested regularly. If your units are approaching ten years, you might consider replacement of the unit itself. There have been improvements to smoke detectors over the last ten years, and I replaced all of mine about 2 years ago. I got some multi-packs at Costco for a pretty cheap price.
Walt

Matt Ocel
12-09-2008, 9:44 PM
When I built homes, at the Pre-Settlement Oreintation, one of my schpeels was, "Test your detectors once a month and change your batteries once a year, a good time is when you move your clock back in the fall"

Brian Elfert
12-10-2008, 10:21 AM
It is unclear to me why batteries would need to be changed once a year if the main source of power is 110 volt. I understand why for strictly battery powered devices. I do replace the batteries in my RV smoke alarm and CO detector every year.

I talked to Kidde and they said the battery is tested for proper voltage once a minute and that is generally what kills them even though they never get used to power the unit.

David G Baker
12-10-2008, 10:29 AM
I have never had an AC powered smoke detector so I don't know why the battery would need changed every year except as a safety measure. Better safe than sorry.
I visit friends that live in apartments that have smoke detectors near the kitchen, many of them have removed the battery due to the annoying noise when the detector gets set off by their cooking. When I lived in an apartment I used the smoke alarm to let me know when my cooking was done. :D

Curt Harms
12-10-2008, 8:14 PM
We have AC smoke detectors with 9v battery backup. We were getting a "cheep" once a minute or so (no voice). I took the battery out and replaced it with a 9 v rechargeable from Jason Abel. I wanted to see how they hold up re self-discharge. It's only been about a month so I can't tell much yet. I checked the battery I removed with a digital vom and it was reading 10+ volts so I don't know why it was "cheeping", just that changing the battery shut it up.

Curt

Matt Ocel
12-10-2008, 8:38 PM
Smoke detectors may give false alarms, whether it be a chirp, a voice activation, or an inline alarm, If they are not cleaned regularily.

Dust and bugs can clog the sensors.

I blow mine out once a year with a shot from a key board cleaner.

You would be amased how much junk gets blown out of those things.

Ken Fitzgerald
12-11-2008, 12:56 AM
I use Duracells in my DC smoke detectors and change them spring and fall when the time changes.

Cliff Rohrabacher
12-11-2008, 12:48 PM
What batteries are folks using for smoke alarms?

I prefer dead ones.