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Old 06-25-2014, 11:02 PM   #1
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10 Year Lithium Battery for Smoke Detector

After 18 months of ownership of my new Coachmen RV the smoke detector started chirping. I installed an Energizer 10-year lithium battery instead of a regular 9V. $6 instead of the regular ones for $1 or $2, which are good for a year or so. So I'm done with that maintenance issue for ten years. Yeah, I know I should replace the smoke detector every ten years. I'll deal with that in 9 or 10 years. A buck or so a year, who cares?
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:15 PM   #2
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After 18 months of ownership of my new Coachmen RV the smoke detector started chirping. I installed an Energizer 10-year lithium battery instead of a regular 9V. $6 instead of the regular ones for $1 or $2, which are good for a year or so. So I'm done with that maintenance issue for ten years. Yeah, I know I should replace the smoke detector every ten years. I'll deal with that in 9 or 10 years. A buck or so a year, who cares?
I think you are confusing shelf life with battery life.
The Lithium Batteries rock for preppers because of the very long shelf life.
They are substantially more expensive than Alkaline and though they last longer "in use", they do not last 10 times longer (especially in a low draw device like a smoke detector). You still need to test monthly (or before any camping trip in our case).

What Are the Best Batteries to Use in a Smoke Alarm? - Yahoo Voices - voices.yahoo.com
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Old 06-27-2014, 06:35 PM   #3
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Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:19 PM   #4
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Not sure about just changing the battery in an existing detector, but these detectors claim 10 year battery life: First Alert SA305CN Smoke Alarm with Long Life Lithium Battery - Smoke Detectors - Amazon.com
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:30 PM   #5
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Not sure about just changing the battery in an existing detector, but these detectors claim 10 year battery life: First Alert SA305CN Smoke Alarm with Long Life Lithium Battery - Smoke Detectors - Amazon.com
Interesting marketing ploy. I wonder what the 10 year "limited" battery warranty actually "warrants."

Replacement of the unit if it leaks?
That it will last 10 years (is it prorated?)
No one will ever read it. Perfect...
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:56 AM   #6
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Shelf life is a new marketing gimmick for batteries. Regular alkaline batteries now have many years of shelf life. Truth is they always had many years of shelf life.

Will a lithium last for 10 years, who knows. Most people don't save their paperwork much less receipts for smoke detectors and batteries. So if it does crap out, you can't do a warranty claim anyway. For those that do save everything, Duracell or Energizer will gladly give you a new battery. That is how you create brand loyalty.

I work for the company that makes the labeling machines for both brands - Duracell and Energizer. Dirty little secret, those crappy off brand batteries are just as good. Just a different label. Same battery, same production line. Just a different label wrapped on the outside. Save money, buy the private brand label.

Automotive batteries is the same deal. Only a few manufactures exist. Tons of label brands however. Yup, we made those labelers too. Problem is we made all these labelers 15-30 years ago. Guess what, they have all been rebuilt and modified by the companies that make the batteries. I don't even recognize them anymore! Battery manufacturing is very cool high tech stuff. Very fun too see it in person.
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:02 AM   #7
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And to quibble over the price/life of a smoke detector battery? I do believe if I were that close to the edge, I'd sell the rig as we sure couldn't afford the fuel to use the camper.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:14 AM   #8
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And to quibble over the price/life of a smoke detector battery? I do believe if I were that close to the edge, I'd sell the rig as we sure couldn't afford the fuel to use the camper.
I was asked again this holiday weekend; "How many miles a gallon do you get with that thing?'. Playing along I tell them 5 1/2 miles a gallon and watch the reaction which is the part I think is fun.

Had a couple of folks stop by and tell me what a beautiful rig we had and wanted to know all about it. One guy said he liked the entire package, jeep and coach. It has never been a beautiful rig to me; I've seen many expensive coaches that I thought were actually beautiful, but not our inexpensive outfit. Just goes to prove it's all in the mind of the beholder.

It is always nice to have someone come up and admire our rig though.

Replacing the batteries every spring is a nuisance though isn't it? Cost of batteries has never been a factor.

Gary
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:43 AM   #9
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About 10 years ago I made a fire/EMS call where we lost a 8 year old boy and his father. The reason for the death was the smoke detector was chirping and someone the battery out. After that call I wrote for a FEMA fire safety grant of $25,000 to buy smoke detectors. What I bought was 1660 smoke detectors with a 10 year non-removable battery. So when the smoke detector started to chirp you threw it away. Many of them are still operating today. We gave away all 1660 free to our community.
Note: a smoke detector only has a 10 year life.
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