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Old 05-19-2013, 03:21 PM   #1
Easy Mac
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Location: G-vegas, SC
Ants in the smoke detector

We have a smoke detector in the living room. It has now gone off four times randomly today. After the second time, I changed the battery in all the smoke alarms, since I couldn't determine which one was beeping.

When I took off the detector to change the battery, I noticed 5 or 6 ants crawling around. I've since sprayed up there, but it hasn't helped. I think the ants are shocking themselves and setting off the alarm every few hours.

Anyone experienced this before it have any recommendations? I'd say I've seen maybe 20 ants in the past 5-6 hours, but I can't see any poor of Orion in the detector.
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Old 05-19-2013, 03:27 PM   #2
JonInMiddleGA
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Is it photo-electric by chance? A little Googling turns up quite a few articles/forum posts talking about ants frequently setting them off.
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Old 05-19-2013, 03:49 PM   #3
Easy Mac
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It appears to be an ionizing one.

I know I can probably see more if I were willing to take the entire unit out of the ceiling as oppose to just unscrewing the main part, but I think a gaping hole in the ceiling is not my wife's idea of a good time.
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:22 PM   #4
JonInMiddleGA
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I think a gaping hole in the ceiling is not my wife's idea of a good time.

Heh, understandable.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:47 PM   #5
nol
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Maybe they were... *pulls sunglasses down* ... fire ants.

/leaves thread
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:56 PM   #6
Easy Mac
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Well played. They were black though.

Hasn't chirped in about 90 minutes, after all five alarms in the house went apeshit for 15 minutes. Haven't seen any ants of late. My ears are still ringing. Sent my wife, daughter and dog to my inlaws for the night in case these things freak out again. Will likely call an electrician in the morning if they start going off later.

Also, I hate the vaulted ceilings in my master bedroom. Nothing better than climbing up a ladder leaning against a wall trying not to fall while changing a battery in a smoke alarm that's ringing at Defcon 5.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:52 PM   #7
PilotMan
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Originally Posted by nol View Post
Maybe they were... *pulls sunglasses down* ... fire ants.

/leaves thread

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Old 05-20-2013, 12:30 AM   #8
britrock88
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Maybe they were... *pulls sunglasses down* ... fire ants.

/leaves thread

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Old 05-20-2013, 06:18 AM   #9
CU Tiger
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Ants should not be able to set off an ionization smoke detector.
Ant spray ( or hair spray for that matter) would.

If these are the hard wired home detectors you should be able to breaker them off, though you will likely get some other stuff you don't want off with them.

There *should* be a light indicator which shows which detector triggered the alarm and which ones are relaying. Assuming it was all installed correctly.
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Easy Mac View Post
Nothing better than climbing up a ladder leaning against a wall trying not to fall while changing a battery in a smoke alarm that's ringing at Defcon 5.

Not to stray completely off topic, but Defcon 5 is all clear. Defcon 1 is all hell is breaking loose.

DEFCON - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:20 PM   #11
Easy Mac
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I knew I was screwing that up.

All quiet through the night. So I'm hopeful it was a temporary glitch. No odd flashing patterns in the detectors LED. Of course, who knows what hell broke loose at work.
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:23 PM   #12
fantom1979
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Hopefully the issue is resolved. Nothing is worse than that ear-piercing sound going off and trying to find a ladder to shut the thing off.
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:03 AM   #13
sterlingice
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Maybe they were... *pulls sunglasses down* ... fire ants.

/leaves thread

I missed this thread the first time around, but it still deserves a

SI
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:05 AM   #14
cartman
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Did tcyjunkie change his screen name?
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:40 AM   #15
Suburban Rhythm
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Ants in the smoke detector should be the sequel to Snake on a Plane
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:04 AM   #16
Chief Rum
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I'm stunned no one told Easy Mac to "smoke 'em out".
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On this subject I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire, to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest--I will not equivocate--I will not excuse--I will not retreat a single inch-- AND I WILL BE HEARD!!!
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:24 AM   #17
Julio Riddols
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Perhaps I should take e-cigarette too.
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Old 01-17-2014, 03:19 PM   #18
TCY Junkie
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Did tcyjunkie change his screen name?
I would but then someone else would grab it.
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