Midcoast Green Collaborative Forum

September 13, 2008

Sustainability Post #32 – Rechargable Batteries in Smoke Detectors?

Filed under: Philosophy, Question — Tags: , — Topher @ 1:43 pm

Today, I was awakened by a smoke detector beeping.  Not, the constant beeping of a fire, just a short beep once a minute or so, for a few minutes.  This is an indicator that the battery needs to be replaced.  Now, I have I think 7 smoke detectors in my house, and can hear all of them from any place within the house.  So, I spent some time looking for which one was beeping.  Since they only beep for a few minutes every hour or so, this was not a easy task.  Meanwhile, I am getting more frustrated.  These are, mind you, AC connected smoke detectors, the battery is just backup should power go out.  But they aren’t rechargeable batteries, nor is the unit designed to recharge them should I put rechargeables in.   How stupid is that?  I suspect many people just disable the whole thing when this happens.

Why can’t I find an AC smoke detector with rechargable batteries, which never need replacing?



  1. The simple solution to this dilemma is to use rechargeable batteries and recharge them ALL once a year. That way you never get to hear the annoying beeps! The only reason I haven’t doe this myself – for the 5 detectors that I have – is that I don’t have a charger for 9V batteries on hand…

    Comment by Guy Marsden — September 19, 2008 @ 2:24 pm

  2. Wikipedia says: “The [NiMH] self-discharge is 5-10% on the first day, and stabilizes around 0.5-1% per day at room temperature.”

    So, they could be fully discharged in as little as 90 days. This makes recharging them at least a seasonal rather than yearly thing. With 7 smoke alarms, that is changing out a lot of batteries (that are a pain to reach).

    Comment by Topher — September 22, 2008 @ 3:08 pm

  3. enjoy the rhythms

    Comment by Anonymous — October 6, 2008 @ 7:54 pm

  4. That’s a fair cop. 🙂

    However, I would prefer it if that rhythm didn’t interfere with the ‘it’s dark out, I want to sleep’ rhythm.

    Comment by Topher — October 14, 2008 @ 1:47 pm

  5. What I do when I have to hunt for the offending alarm is to go around with a simple inexpensive battery tester. After a while you get the hang of it. Sometimes I use my more sophisticated multimeter. Depending on which one I manage to find first…

    Comment by Leonard Duffy — November 1, 2008 @ 11:28 am

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