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Your Guide for Troubleshooting Smoke Detectors

Updated on May 6, 2021 by Jessica Parker
troubleshooting smoke detectors

Once you buy smoke detectors, it’s very essential to maintain them for proper functioning and to increase their longevity. In this blog, we’re going to walk you through some of the common questions and maintenance tips. They will help in troubleshooting with the smoke detectors. To begin with, there are two major types of smoke detectors- wired and wireless. The questions below addresses the problems for both the variants and what can you do in case of malfunctioning.

How Long do Smoke Detectors Last?

When you replace the batteries in your detectors, it’s crucial for you to check its age too. Most of the smoke detectors have a life span of 10 years. After this span, it’s integral to replace the unit. For wireless variants, you just need a screwdriver for replacement. For a hardwired one, it’s advisable to get a technician to install it correctly. Despite all of these, it is always necessary to check your smoke detector periodically to avoid any malfunctioning.

Why Do Smoke Detectors only Last for 10 Years?

Every appliance has a life, after which replacement is crucial to avoid malfunctioning. However, the functional limit for smoke detectors is 10 years. After this period, their functionality comes down due to the dust build-up and other contaminants. For the hardwired ones, it’s also crucial to check the wiring as even if the appliance is working perfectly, sometimes the wiring might not. An inefficient operation can cause slow detection of fire and might not be functional in preventing emergencies.

How Do You know if a Smoke Detector is Going Bad?

Being extra-sensitive and producing loud noises can be the two major hints of smoke detectors gone bad. An extra-sensitive detector may give false alarms, which is a bad sign and should be sufficient to alert you to change it. False alarms indicate a faulty sensor. If your smoke detectors have gone bad and you are looking for a replacement, there are certain factors that should be considered before buying them.

How Do You Stop a Hardwired Smoke Detectors from Beeping?

There could be various reasons why smoke detectors beep continuously. A dead backup battery, dust accumulation or old sensor could be possible culprits. If the backup battery has run out, replacing it can stop beeping. Cleaning the detector with a vacuum might prevent false alarms too. For battery-powered ones, removing the battery and checking its condition is a good option. Currently wireless detectors are popular among the users and seems to be gaining more popularity in this competition between wired vs. wireless smoke detectors.

Why Does My Smoke Detector keep Beeping Without Battery or Even After I Change the Battery?

The dust and debris build-up are mostly responsible for such a situation. Cobwebs and insects can also be responsible for the malfunctioning. Try blowing some air using your hairdryer or a vacuum cleaner to remove the debris.

If you’ve tried everything mentioned above and replaced your batteries as well the beeping should stop. If it doesn’t, then it could be a small error in the mechanism and can be rectified by resetting your alarm. Make sure to understand, how to install smoke detectors correctly?

How to Change the Smoke Detector Battery?

Changing the battery is a simple process and can be done in a matter of minutes. Repeat the following steps to change it:

  • Remove the cover as per your detector’s design. A simple twist can remove most covers, while others might require screwdrivers
  • Matching the positive and negative terminal, replace the battery and install a new one
  • Just to make sure everything is running normally, by running a test
  • An important tip is to go for durable batteries, preferably copper top alkaline battery


Smoke detectors are appliances and sometimes they tend to malfunction. However, most of the time it is because of minute and small issues that such problems occur. This is where such questions will come handly. Fortunately, most detectors last their life without any issues but if you have been encountering any problem recently, this troubleshooting with smoke detectors blog will help you figure the problems out.

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Created with Raphaël

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