(Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

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scifilover
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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by scifilover » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:54 am

We have a different flavor of the problem. Vacation house in AZ has hard wired detectors....4. They use a 9v battery for backup. After looking at detectors determined that all were over 10 years old, and replaced them with similar models. One year later, went to Costco and bought their 9v package of batteries thinking with 8 year shelf life thinking I was buying future replacements.

Fast forward to one year later. It is fall, and the batteries are two years old. One starts to beep at 2am. House has 10' ceilings. Have to get ladder find package of 9v batteries, climb ladder and put in new one. Back to bed. One hour later detector starts beeping again. Thinking got bad new battery go through process again. One hour later 2nd new battery is making alarm beep. I'm tired then, and get the ladder and unplug the detector and go back to bed.

When I finally get up, it is off to store to buy fresher battery and reinstall detector. Still beeps with 3rd "new" battery. I am now convinced detector has failed. I order another from Amazon. When it arrives, I install with its enclosed new battery. Presto, it works.

A couple of months later a 2nd detector starts the same nonsense with the end result of another purchase from Amazon. I buy a couple of extra detectors for when the others fail. Am upset at battery maker for Costco batteries, and call them. All I got was a coupon for new batteries.

When one of the replaced detectors starts beeping a year later, I go through the same nonsense. Finally, I call the support line for the detector mfg. Turns out there was nothing wrong with any of the detectors. The mfg has designed them to require absolutely fresh batteries, those made within a year of installation if using alkaline.

So, then it was go to store and try to find newest batteries, and hope they would pass. Then last year I discovered lithium. They seem to satisfy these very picky detectors. The idea that an electrical engineer would design a consumer product to need such precise backup batteries boggles the mind.......

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by HueyLD » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:28 am

Since wired detectors are all connected, I found that it is best to replace batteries in all detectors at the same time. That way, they are good for another year and beyond.

In addition, our local fire department will send staff out to replace batteries. Thank goodness because I don't like to tackle the 10-foot ceiling.

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by AAA » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:35 am

scifilover wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:54 am
Fast forward to one year later. It is fall, and the batteries are two years old. One starts to beep at 2am. House has 10' ceilings. Have to get ladder find package of 9v batteries, climb ladder and put in new one. Back to bed. One hour later detector starts beeping again. Thinking got bad new battery go through process again. One hour later 2nd new battery is making alarm beep. I'm tired then, and get the ladder and unplug the detector and go back to bed.
Based on your description I would have suspected a spider or other bug inside the detector, but it sounds like you got it figured out.

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by mpnret » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:46 am

scifilover wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:54 am
So, then it was go to store and try to find newest batteries, and hope they would pass. Then last year I discovered lithium. They seem to satisfy these very picky detectors. The idea that an electrical engineer would design a consumer product to need such precise backup batteries boggles the mind.......
FWIW I read this on Consumer Reports:
"Lithium 9Vs aren't recommended for smoke detectors unless you follow a strict battery replacement schedule. Those batteries maintain a high voltage until the end of their usable life, so they provide a much shorter “low battery” warning to alert you that it's time to swap in a fresh one."

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by inbox788 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:44 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:50 pm
inbox788 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:28 pm
OP, your tester is measuring open voltage, which isn't accurate, especially with older batteries. A load test is better measure for performance.
This tester is supposed to be testing with a standardized load. What makes you think it is measuring open voltage? (Sigh) Made me check. GBT-500A
Because this unit measures the voltage by applying an appropriate load, rather than just testing the "open cell" voltage you get a more accurate result.
I got to admit, I simply assumed these idiot testers were simple devices. I always assumed they were nothing more than a resistor, and depending on how low a load/current, the language could be more marketing than anything else. I couldn't find the current or power level they were testing. The first question on amazon asked if it needed batteries, and several answer say no, so the device itself is part of the load. This answer makes me think someone looked inside:
Most of the parts in this tester are resistors, about 12 of them, up to 900 Ohms. So, when using it, you are definitely putting a load on the battery. Jerry P. Waite · July 28, 2017
https://www.amazon.com/ask/questions/Tx ... _ql_al_hza

The Centec multimeter is probably just a resistor too, and low current test:
The battery amperage under a load of 370
mW will be displayed to a resolution of .1mA.
5. Normal amperage:
For a standard 9V (6LR61) battery = 25 mA
6. For a 1.5 V “AA” (LR6) battery = 4 mA
The ZTS Tester is a 1A 2 second pulse for a 9V battery (I just did a spot test after not finding the answer online). I recall 100mA, but that may be for a 1.5v battery, but a couple of quick test got readings around 200-300mA.

Spot testing is always going to give you limited information about remaining capacity. Higher load stresses the battery more, but also drains it more if you test too much. Still, testing for a few seconds longer instead of taking an instant reading helps a little. And repeating the test a few times to make sure the results stay consistent and don't fade right away also helps a little. A battery that passes today, but fails tomorrow or next week or month isn't going to help much in this application, so if in doubt, just put in a new battery.

Or, just get the 10 year battery units, and forget about it (although a lot of review complain that they fail in a few years).

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by nisiprius » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:26 pm

(Sigh) OK, I probably should consider getting ten year batteries... but... I'm pleased to see I did make a note with a Sharpie on them... my smoke detectors were manufactured in 2014 and installed in 2014. So if I put a ten year battery in, now, the smoke detectors will reach their end of life when the lithium batteries have half their life left. Life can be so vexing.
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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:44 pm

Can you use the still-working batteries in a less life-critical device? If not, is there any small local organization you can donate them to for that purpose?
PJW

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by inbox788 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:56 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:44 pm
Can you use the still-working batteries in a less life-critical device? If not, is there any small local organization you can donate them to for that purpose?
PJW
Not less life-critical, but more. I used to get recycled 9V batteries from someone I knew that worked in a hospital surgical room. They used some equipment where the battery was changed every time they did a surgery, so they knew it started off full, even though most of the time, they used very little. If a surgery was cancelled, they still couldn't reuse the battery. As explained to me, their procedure was to insert a new battery and turn on the device for 30 seconds to make sure the new battery was working and wouldn't die quickly. Sometimes they used the device a lot, other times, only a few minutes. I would have no problem putting those in my smoke detectors and lasted for years in the smoke detector.

I have trouble identifying good uses for half used disposable alkaline batteries. Old batteries work ok in remote controls, but I've been rotating my rechargeable batteries in them these days. You can burn them out in LED lighting (candle replacement), but again if you're using them that much, rechargeables are better. And you don't really want flashlight to fail all the time or at the wrong time. And motorized and remote controlled toys aren't good candidates either.

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by anon_investor » Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:59 pm

I wish they did not use only 9v batteries. If it was a lot of extra AAA or AA, I could find a use, but honestly now a days what uses a 9v?

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by kevinf » Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:47 am

You could take it apart and have yourself 6 AAAA batteries that don't fit anything... 8-)

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by Starfish » Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:21 am

I wait until the 2am beet, then hide them somewhere, then take the batteries out, then when I remember in couple of months or so replace them.

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by Starfish » Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:22 am

anon_investor wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:59 pm
I wish they did not use only 9v batteries. If it was a lot of extra AAA or AA, I could find a use, but honestly now a days what uses a 9v?
A lot of things actually.
For example my lock on the main door uses 9V. Also some toys.

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by nisiprius » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:15 am

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:44 pm
...Can you use the still-working batteries in a less life-critical device?...
To the very best of my knowledge, we do not have one single device in our house that uses 9V batteries except the smoke detectors. I used to have an alarm clock with a 9V backup battery, but it failed, and the new one uses a pair of AAA's. If there is any device in our house that uses a 9V battery I've forgotten what it is or that is has a battery in it, and won't discover it until it fails.

Starfish says "toys" but, again, I don't remember any from last Christmas (grandkids). AAA's and AA's.

I am not sure why 9V batteries seem to have been largely superseded. My guess is that perhaps integrated circuits will work directly from 3V but that old-fashioned discrete transistor circuits worked better and were easier to design with a higher voltages. Junction transistors versus CMOS, maybe?
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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by HueyLD » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:19 am

I have a VERY OLD AM only radio (a family heirloom) that uses 9-V battery. Problem solved. :D

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by nisiprius » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:45 am

HueyLD wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:19 am
I have a VERY OLD AM only radio (a family heirloom) that uses 9-V battery. Problem solved. :D
If only I'd saved the portable radio I had as a kid--about the size of a cereal box---I could snap together three 9V batteries to get 27V which would probably work in place of the 22-1/2-volt "B" battery. I already know from experiments as a kid that if you could rig up the contacts, you could use regular D batteries in place of the two 1-1/2 batteries it needed for the "A" supply. It used a kind of 1.5V battery that was the same diameter as a D battery but considerably longer in length, I no longer remember the designation. (It was not a #6 Ignition Dry Cell. Someday I have to find out what the real use of those batteries were, apart from science experiments).
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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by bottlecap » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:47 am

I would think a $10 multimeter would give you a better reading.

No law says you have to dutifully replace them every year.

If you do, use the old 9v battery in another application. Unless you have kids or 2 way radios, that might be tough. My handheld temperature gun uses them. My safe eats them like candy.

JT

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by scifilover » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:22 am

Garage opener keypad uses 9v, but only needs one every decade......

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:46 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:47 am
...
No law says you have to dutifully replace them every year.
...
Former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, later CEO of MF Global, thought the laws didn't apply to him. Then he found out the laws of physics most certainly do apply to him.

Who wants to be the deceased family about whom the fire department says there were smoke detectors but the batteries were worn out?

Economizing on basic safety equipment seems to me like an antifrugal choice.

PJW

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by anon_investor » Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:03 pm

Yea... the only things I have that required 9v are my smoke detectors, water leak detectors. All things I wouldn't really want to use partially used batteries on.

Maybe I should go find some toys that use 9v and let my kids have at them. :D

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by nisiprius » Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:22 pm

In reality, I should be happy that 9V batteries are still easily bought everywhere... and that the 1-year replacement suggestion obviously incorporates a fat margin of safety.

Yeah, I bothered to get out my multimeter and for the record my battery tester draws 10 milliamps from a 9V battery on the 9V test setting. According to Wikipedia, typical capacity for a 9V battery is 550 mAH, so a 10 milliamp load represents a load that would drain the battery in fifty hours, so I'm going to say that doesn't sound wildly inappropriate, and definitely isn't the same as measuring open voltage. I'm not going to try to measure what my smoke detectors draw, obviously they just turn on for a fraction of a second at some suitable sampling interval.

Which reminds me. Gotta go check the fire extinguishers. Right... darn it. Bought 'em in 2008, time for new ones. They still read full, of course. Fire extinguishers are kind of fun, because when it's time to replace them, after I put in the new, I always test-fire the ones I'm discarding. Good practice, it sounds easy to "remove the pin and squeeze the handle" but still. So far, I've never had a ten-year-old extinguisher fail to work, so good for the manufacturers and regulators.
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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by bertilak » Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:42 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:22 pm
Fire extinguishers are kind of fun, because when it's time to replace them, after I put in the new, I always test-fire the ones I'm discarding.
So, have you come up with any fun things to do? Definition of fun:
  • exciting
    spectacular
    clever
    unexpected results
    approaching dangerous
I have a very old fire extinguisher just waiting to be replaced. I've put that off for a few years so could use a little encouragement!
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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by jharkin » Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:50 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:15 am

I am not sure why 9V batteries seem to have been largely superseded. My guess is that perhaps integrated circuits will work directly from 3V but that old-fashioned discrete transistor circuits worked better and were easier to design with a higher voltages. Junction transistors versus CMOS, maybe?
Lots of tools still use 9v batteries. My multimeter, stud finder and carpenters moisture meter all do, among a few others.

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by daytona084 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:51 pm

OK here's what I do -

I do not want to hear a beep at 2AM. I keep track of battery life by writing the install date on the battery. Found that it's about 2 years and 3 months until the first one of them (there are seven detectors total) starts beeping. So I put an entry in my calendar to change them all every two years.

These are uses that come to mind for the old batteries -
1. Backup in clock radios (several)
2. Stud finder
3. Garage door keypad
4. Gas fireplace remote (real battery hogs - one in the remote and one in the fireplace itself)

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by SpaethCo » Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:58 pm

Image

Self-tests the batteries, get notifications when it’s time to replace. Can silence the alarm through the app, or get notifications anywhere with an Internet connection if the alarm is going off at my house. It even self-tests the speaker every month to make sure that function works properly; you can schedule what time of day that will happen, for us it’s during the day when the house is empty.

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by wolf359 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:00 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:37 am
I have a box of batteries. I'd throw them into the box. I also have a tester like the one you showed. Before using batteries for our tv remote or a flashlight or something else, I'll test it. Clocks will run years on a battery that's right on the line for dead.
Flashlights and tv remotes don't use 9 volts.

I understand what the OP is going through. We switched out for the 10 year batteries.

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by iamlucky13 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:29 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:46 pm
bottlecap wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:47 am
...
No law says you have to dutifully replace them every year.
...
Former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, later CEO of MF Global, thought the laws didn't apply to him. Then he found out the laws of physics most certainly do apply to him.

Who wants to be the deceased family about whom the fire department says there were smoke detectors but the batteries were worn out?

Economizing on basic safety equipment seems to me like an antifrugal choice.

PJW
That's getting a bit carried away.

On one hand, you're talking about driving a 5000 pound vehicle 1-1/2 times as fast as it should be, on a crowded road, in violation of the law.

On the other hand, we're talking about a warning device, which has multiple redundancy in most homes, and that monitors its own power source and provides a warning if it appears no longer sufficient. In newer homes, the battery is required by law to be the backup power source in case the primary, hardwired supply fails. And specifically we're talking about using this backup power source for longer than 1/10th to 1/5th of its documented typical useful life.

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by gmc4h232 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:30 pm

daytona084 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:51 pm
OK here's what I do -

I do not want to hear a beep at 2AM. I keep track of battery life by writing the install date on the battery. Found that it's about 2 years and 3 months until the first one of them (there are seven detectors total) starts beeping. So I put an entry in my calendar to change them all every two years.

These are uses that come to mind for the old batteries -
1. Backup in clock radios (several)
2. Stud finder
3. Garage door keypad
4. Gas fireplace remote (real battery hogs - one in the remote and one in the fireplace itself)
I will add:
5. Garrett Pinpointer for metal detecting
6. Guitar tuner

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:51 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:29 pm
Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:46 pm
bottlecap wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:47 am
...
No law says you have to dutifully replace them every year.
...
Former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, later CEO of MF Global, thought the laws didn't apply to him. Then he found out the laws of physics most certainly do apply to him.

Who wants to be the deceased family about whom the fire department says there were smoke detectors but the batteries were worn out?

Economizing on basic safety equipment seems to me like an antifrugal choice.

PJW
That's getting a bit carried away.

On one hand, you're talking about driving a 5000 pound vehicle 1-1/2 times as fast as it should be, on a crowded road, in violation of the law.

On the other hand, we're talking about a warning device, which has multiple redundancy in most homes, and that monitors its own power source and provides a warning if it appears no longer sufficient. In newer homes, the battery is required by law to be the backup power source in case the primary, hardwired supply fails. And specifically we're talking about using this backup power source for longer than 1/10th to 1/5th of its documented typical useful life.
Corzine was carried away in a helicopter. He nearly was carried away completely.

I was responding to the point about the law, not anything else. I should hope my underlining of the specific claim was adequate to communicate that, but evidently it wasn't.

Any suggestions about how I should express such a response to some poster's specific point in the future to avoid giving anyone an incorrect impression?

I'm pretty sure I followed our crustimoney proseedcake around here.

PJW

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by iamlucky13 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:32 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:51 pm

I was responding to the point about the law, not anything else. I should hope my underlining of the specific claim was adequate to communicate that, but evidently it wasn't.

Any suggestions about how I should express such a response to some poster's specific point in the future to avoid giving anyone an incorrect impression?
I'm sorry. I'm not sure what the point about the law is. The prior poster noted that there is no law mandating annual replacement, which the OP had observed appears to be an extremely conservative schedule. That includes both human laws and physical laws.

Your comments following the anecdote about governor Corzine were not about the law, but seem to be about a potential downside to waiting too long to replace the batteries. I, in turn, thought it was reasonable to address the related question of what qualifies as too long, and subjectively look at the resulting risks.

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by AAA » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:52 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:15 am
I am not sure why 9V batteries seem to have been largely superseded. My guess is that perhaps integrated circuits will work directly from 3V but that old-fashioned discrete transistor circuits worked better and were easier to design with a higher voltages. Junction transistors versus CMOS, maybe?
I can't comment on the technical reasons for the slow disappearance of 9V batteries, but one thing about them that I don't like is how much easier it is to short circuit them compared to AA's or AAA's, given that the + and - terminals are lined up on one side.

See for example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbwNJhJwnSs.

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:21 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:32 pm
Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:51 pm

I was responding to the point about the law, not anything else. I should hope my underlining of the specific claim was adequate to communicate that, but evidently it wasn't.

Any suggestions about how I should express such a response to some poster's specific point in the future to avoid giving anyone an incorrect impression?
I'm sorry. I'm not sure what the point about the law is. The prior poster noted that there is no law mandating annual replacement, which the OP had observed appears to be an extremely conservative schedule. That includes both human laws and physical laws.

Your comments following the anecdote about governor Corzine were not about the law, but seem to be about a potential downside to waiting too long to replace the batteries. I, in turn, thought it was reasonable to address the related question of what qualifies as too long, and subjectively look at the resulting risks.
I responded to the underlined no law says, which is a point about the law, and which you carefully excised without indicating so with ellipses.

The remainder was an exposition about what to do in absence of a legal mandate, of the sort Corzine thought didn't apply to him.

PJW

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by bhsince87 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:10 pm

AAA wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:52 pm
nisiprius wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:15 am
I am not sure why 9V batteries seem to have been largely superseded. My guess is that perhaps integrated circuits will work directly from 3V but that old-fashioned discrete transistor circuits worked better and were easier to design with a higher voltages. Junction transistors versus CMOS, maybe?
I can't comment on the technical reasons for the slow disappearance of 9V batteries, but one thing about them that I don't like is how much easier it is to short circuit them compared to AA's or AAA's, given that the + and - terminals are lined up on one side.

See for example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbwNJhJwnSs.
I suspect there's a bit of bias in your response. :happy
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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by bottlecap » Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:06 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:29 pm

That's getting a bit carried away.
Yah think!?!

In PJW's defense, it is easy to get carried away anonymously on the internet.

My point is that the interval of one year is recommended because it’s simple, easy, and overkill. But there is no law, of government, physics, or logic stating you must swap them at that interval. If you want to go beyond one year but test the batteries more frequently, you are not putting anyone in danger. Apparently with the possible exception of John Corzine...

JT

RubyTuesday
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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by RubyTuesday » Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:19 pm

We now use Simplisafe as part of our alarm system, but when we used 9v based detectors, I changed the batteries when my dogs became nervous wrecks after listening to the dead battery chirps while waiting for me to identify which detector was chirping...

Dude2
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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by Dude2 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:08 am

As a couple posts have stated, most modern systems are hard-wired with battery only as a fail-safe. I'm sure that an analysis would reveal that a fire detection event AND a power failure event drop to extremely low probability -- on the order of a Ford Pinto exploding from a rear end collision. In conclusion, wait until it beeps. :P

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NavyIC3
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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by NavyIC3 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:47 am

I have hard wired interconnected smoke alarms. Had a 4 day power outage a few years ago. The back up batteries (which I change annually) started giving low battery beeps in a few days. I'm wondering why this happened. Should't the batteries last much longer or do hard wired alarms require more power?

Dude2
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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by Dude2 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:01 am

NavyIC3 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:47 am
I have hard wired interconnected smoke alarms. Had a 4 day power outage a few years ago. The back up batteries (which I change annually) started giving low battery beeps in a few days. I'm wondering why this happened. Should't the batteries last much longer or do hard wired alarms require more power?
You got me interested, so I Googled it a bit, and found this Australia web page 99% Waste: The Unexpected Energy Consumption of Smoke Alarms.

It appears that the pure battery powered units draw very low power (0.1 mW). The hardwired units, on the other hand, expend a great deal of energy converting AC to DC, drawing much more power (average 405 mW).

Now, it wouldn't make much sense that the DC back-up battery would need to power the AC to DC conversion circuitry inside the unit, but I could see a case for leakage across the transformer. You might just have a brand with a particularly bad design, where nobody was trying to make it efficient for running on the battery for long periods.

FI4LIFE
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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by FI4LIFE » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:30 am

bertilak wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:42 pm
nisiprius wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:22 pm
Fire extinguishers are kind of fun, because when it's time to replace them, after I put in the new, I always test-fire the ones I'm discarding.
So, have you come up with any fun things to do? Definition of fun:
  • exciting
    spectacular
    clever
    unexpected results
    approaching dangerous
I have a very old fire extinguisher just waiting to be replaced. I've put that off for a few years so could use a little encouragement!
You can make it really fun by sitting in a swivel chair when you discharge it.

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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by Smoke » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:41 am

Casper wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:41 am
I change the battery when the low battery sound beeps. I thought that's what it was for. Changing them yearly is wasteful and unnecessary.
+1
Arguing for the sake of arguing is something I am not going to engage in.

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AAA
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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by AAA » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:57 am

bhsince87 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:10 pm
I suspect there's a bit of bias in your response. :happy
I don't understand your comment (which I take as offered in jest). There's a risk of short circuiting 9V batteries when they are carelessly handled or tossed in the garbage.

Dude2
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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by Dude2 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:00 am

AAA wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:57 am
bhsince87 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:10 pm
I suspect there's a bit of bias in your response. :happy
I don't understand your comment (which I take as offered in jest). There's a risk of short circuiting 9V batteries when they are carelessly handled or tossed in the garbage.
This is along the same lines as only using AAA batteries because they have a higher quality rating than AA.

bhsince87
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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by bhsince87 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:04 pm

AAA wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:57 am
bhsince87 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:10 pm
I suspect there's a bit of bias in your response. :happy
I don't understand your comment (which I take as offered in jest). There's a risk of short circuiting 9V batteries when they are carelessly handled or tossed in the garbage.
I was referring to your name!
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams

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AAA
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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by AAA » Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:52 pm

bhsince87 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:04 pm
I was referring to your name!
Oh right - I didn't think of that. Last time that happened was in a thread discussing a certain roadside assistance company.

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AAA
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Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

Post by AAA » Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:55 pm

bhsince87 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:10 pm
I suspect there's a bit of bias in your response. :happy
Actually, AAA's (batteries) aren't biased, diodes are. :wink:

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