Unsettling Days

I think because of experiencing the warmer weather in a house with essentially no air conditioning helped me oversleep this morning.

If that weren’t bad enough, I have angst that there may be something else wrong with the ITP Estate. A few weeks ago the smoke detector in the basement stairwell went off a few times. I replace the batteries twice a year, but this was an ancient smoke detector that was installed when I bought the house, so I simply replaced it. I had heard nothing since. That was until this morning when I swear that I heard a momementary buzz emit from the newly-installed smoke detector. Of course now I fear the worst especially since my inferior sense of smell will never be able to detect anything afoul.

The only thing “running” in the basement is the fan unit for the air conditioner. What should I do? Replace the air filter again (the next scheduled replacement is 7/1)? Call an electrician? Nothing, assuming I don’t hear it buzz again?

There is one possible non-electrical explanation – dust. I have never had my ductwork cleaned, and over the years some of the suspended ceiling tiles have fallen out, allowing exposure to the ductwork and its insulation. On of the vents, and one of these openings is not far from the location of the smoke detector in question.

These are the things that make me hate being a homeowner.

Hope your Wednesday has had a better start than mine.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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17 Responses to Unsettling Days

  1. I have so much emotional stress right now that I did not pass on a free doughnut this morning.

  2. Barb says:

    It’s raining off & on in Louisville. Real riders went out to ride, a crew of us are cooking breakfast.
    This bed & breakfast lodging does not suck.

  3. Steve says:

    You only heard it once? Did you attend to it or did it just go off and then shut up? Could you have been cooking (smoke) or cleaning (dust)? Leave that one in place and put up another one… couldn’t hurt, then you’ll know for sure!

    I managed a half hour on the trainer last night. Vertigo is generally no fun and the trainer requires little balance, so is a good option. Debbie made pizza last night and Lola was very interested in helping to make it, cook it, and eat it. Debbie was about to come unhinged. Clearly, Lola was not a house dog as her manners when it comes to food (and personal space) are lacking.

    The vertigo is much better this morning.


    • The a/c fan was running, I had opened the kitchen door to go out to the car. I noticed very small puddle of a weird liquid (oil?) a few feet outside my kitchen door so I was bent over cleaning that up when I heard a momentary buzz. I was already running late, so I just turned off all of the things that we on and left the house.

      One potential hitch is that I have been running box fans in the house which are quite loud, and may even mask the sound of this smoke detector when I am in the bedroom.

      I’ll spend a night in silence, if it chirps and stops I will buy a new smoke detector and install it. The one I installed a few weeks ago may have been manufactured up to a decade ago and has been sitting in a drawer since.

      Glad to read that your vertigo is better today.

  4. Paulie [eatl/ga] says:

    On a happier note, I’m able to stream today’s ITT of the Dauphine at “XYZ Corp”.

  5. HamWithCam says:

    The majority of home smoke detectors have an “ionization chamber”. Blah, blah, blah Alpha particles from a minuscule radioactive source form a “beam”. When the beam is blocked, the detector goes into alarm. Hopefully.

    Smoke blocks this stream of Alpha particles. But so can fine dust, steam, aerosols, etc.

    I like Steve’s idea best: drop by Home Depot and get a second (inexpensive) smoke detector. Run them side by side for a few days. When satisfied, move the N+1 detector to the attic, stairwell, kitchen, etc.

    Alternatively, use (almost any) aerosol (or steam) to test your existing detector (do not spray directly on the detector). Ideally, test both simultaneously, and compare results, if they are installed in sufficient proximity.

    Stumbled upon via The Google:
    “After a period of ten years, a smoke detector has endured more than 87,000 hours of continuous operation, during which time the internal sensors have probably become contaminated with dust, dirt, and air pollutant residues. ”

    BTW: Carbon Monoxide (CO, a product of imperfect combustion) is what’s going to get you. CO is “C-O-T”( colorless, odorless, tasteless). A silent killer. Detectors are available. If you a have a gas furnace, it’s a good idea to have one.

    I understand Barbara SO’s is a sure enough firefighter (I only played one on TV). If in doubt, consult the expert.

    On another note, I was underwhelmed by Apple WWDC17 keynote. But I’m not really an Apple fan boy. Incremental goodness. Oh, and a $349 speaker deal. ZZZzzz…

    73 de JG/HamWithCam

  6. Fire must be today’s theme, we just had a fire drill at the office.

  7. Steve says:

    So if you have a real fire you don’t get CFA? I was late going to lunch, or at least too late to wait through the crowd at Willy’s. We are getting a new Mexican place on Piedmont, just down the hill a bit by Caribou Coffee. Stacy, investigate please.

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