First alert smoke alarm beeping 3 times and you’re wondering what it means?
In most cases, a sequence of 3 beeps, every 3-4 minutes, means that there is a malfunction with your smoke alarm.
In some cases, it turns out to be a glitch that can be solved and, in this post, you’ll learn ALL possible solutions!
The 3 beeps do not necessarily mean that your alarm is broken. You should first inspect the power delivery, the batteries, and the drawer condition. In addition, you can try a reset, change the power source and try to mute the alarm to check if it’s broken.
Next, we’ll review what each beeping indication means and then how to troubleshoot a potential glitch making the impression that the alarm is broken.
There are several types of beeping indications and here we’ll describe each of them.
Keep in mind that there are a handful of solutions to try regardless of the indication you’re getting.
#1. One beep every 3-4 minutes – That means that the internal battery is low on charge or completely dead.
# 2. Three beeps every 3-4 minutes – That means that the alarm is malfunctioning as a whole.
#3. Three beeps, pause, three beeps, and repeat – It means that smoke is initiating the alarm.
#4. Five beeps every 1 minute – End of life! You need a new alarm.
In all other cases, your alarm should remain silent at all times. Depending on the beeping sound you’re receiving you can troubleshoot accordingly.
If your alarm beeps 3 times every 3-4 minutes generally means that the alarm is not working correctly, but often this issue could be caused by the internal batteries or the power delivery.
In that regard, we recommend applying the solutions below and checking if any of them will help.
Since your alarm is hardwired, we’ll first focus on the AC power delivery and the internal backup battery.
Even if you are getting the 3 beeps every 3 – 4 minutes, it does not necessarily mean that your alarm is gone.
It could be a glitch that can be easily solved so let’s jump right into the solutions.
The very first thing to try would be to change the wall outlet that your alarm is plugged into.
Simply dismount it from the ceiling/wall, take it to another room, and plug it into another wall outlet.
It is important to make sure that there are no power dividers and the alarm is plugged directly in.
Once you’re ready, you can wait for a while to check if the 3 beeps will appear. If yes, let’s proceed with the next solution.
Note: The problem could be coming from a faulty power cable, but we’ll exclude this possibility for now.
While it is a rare occasion, the backup battery could sometimes send false signals, thus making your alarm indicate a hardware failure.
In that regard, the fastest way to exclude this possibility would be to replace the inbuilt battery and test.
Note: First Alert smoke alarm requires 9V or AA batteries.
Here is how to replace the battery:
- Unplug the alarm from the power.
- Dismount the alarm from the wall/ceiling.
- Locate the battery drawer and open it.
- Take out the old batteries.
- Insert the new batteries and close the drawer.
Once the replacement is done, plug the alarm into the power and wait for 3-4 minutes to check if the beeping is still there.
Alert: It is extremely important to make sure that the battery’s pulses are facing the right direction, otherwise you’ll definitely hear 3 beeps every 3-4 minutes.
If the alarm has been damaged in a way that will leave the battery drawer open, maybe slightly deformed, it could be sending signals that it’s open.
To justify that the drawer is not open, you can push it inwards applying mild force and waiting for about 3-4 minutes to check if the beep will appear.
It’s possible that the drawer is not closing fully and by applying pressure you will tighten the enclosure and hopefully identify the beeping problem.
In case there are no visible openings or deformation damage, continue with the next solution.
In case the old batteries have degraded and left residual charge over the battery drawer, the connection with the new batteries might be prevented.
In that regard, you’ll need to open the battery compartment once again, remove the batteries and clean the environment.
We recommend using a wet napkin to wipe any leftover residual charge that might be interfering with the connection.
The reset basically means a complete discharge.
It’s a really simple and really effective method to resolve any power problems that could be triggering the 3-beeps malfunction warning.
Here is how to reset your First Alert smoke alarm:
- Disconnect the device from the power source.
- Open the battery drawer.
- Take the batteries out.
- Connect the device to the power source.
- Hold the Test Button for 20-25 seconds.
- Put the batteries back in.
- Fully close the battery compartment.
That should reset the alarm and hopefully stop the beeping. If however, the beeping continues every 3-4 minutes, there is a way to find out if the alarm is broken or not.
As we mentioned in the introduction, the 3 beeps every 3-4 minutes mean a hardware malfunction, but in some cases, it’s just a glitch.
However, there is a very effective way to tell whether the alarm is broken or not.
In case it is a hardware malfunction the alarm cannot be muted. Wait until the 3 beeps start and immediately press the Test button.
That should attempt to silence the alarm and if the beeping appears again after 3-4 minutes, then your alarm is broken and you’ll need a repair or replacement.
If your First Alert smoke alarm beeps 3 times after battery change, the problem is either with the batteries or with the drawer.
The batteries could be faulty or the drawer is not closed so check on these things before making a conclusion.
A smoke alarm is a very helpful device. But it also comes with various issues and doubts. You may like to read the following articles:
- Do Smoke Detectors Detect Carbon Monoxide?
- Can Cold Weather Cause Smoke Detectors To Go Off?
- Can Steam From Shower Set Off Smoke Detector?
- How Often Do Smoke Detectors Need To Be Replaced?
To fix the 3 beeps on your First Alert smoke alarm, first change the power source and remove any power dividers in between. Then replace the batteries and clean the drawer from any leftover residual charge from the old batteries.
Lastly, reset the alarm and try to identify if the until is broken.
Now when you know why the First Alert smoke alarm beeping 3 times, you can troubleshoot accordingly and identify if it’s a hardware problem.
In case of a power malfunction, you can either bring your alarm for repair or replace the entire device.
For more posts related to smoke alarms and detectors check our blog to discover the solution you need.
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