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Moments from hell -- random bad things that happen thread

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by crimsonace, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. crimsonace

    crimsonace Active Member

    A thread for those everyday life moments that are on the surface rather harmless, but annoying to the point where they drive you batty.

    Yesterday morning, I am rudely awakened by LOUD beeping. Because I'm rudely awakened -- it's the house smoke alarms -- my blood pressure is probably 800/600 and I'm freaking out.

    They beep 2 or 3 times, then stop. They're hard-wired together, so if one goes off, they all go off.

    Tiptoe through the house -- every room, every place -- nothing. No smoke. No heat. Nothing. Just Poltergeist or something.

    Of course, since my blood pressure has finally dropped to 750/550, there's no way I can get back to sleep. Even if it weren't, my 18-month-old kid -- who has the great fortune of having two of these within 10 feet of his crib (one is in the hall, but he sleeps with the door open) -- is screaming due to having to deal with this infernal noise. The thing goes off two or three more times during the morning. I figure the batteries are dead ... run to Home Depot to buy an industrial-sized pack of 9-volts, that'll take care of everything. Until the rugrat is awakened *3* times during his nap by the beeping.

    Spend the afternoon cleaning all of the detectors -- vacuum, compressed air, rinse, repeat, do it again. Nothing happens ... all is well.

    Relax, fall asleep to make up for getting almost none the night before.

    30 minutes later .... BEEP BEEP BEEP ... BEEP BEEP BEEP. (echoing throughout the house).

    I'm a hostage in my own house. I have this random beeping going on in the middle of the night, half the neighborhood can hear it. Grab the dustbuster, vacuum them all again, hope all goes well.

    Well ... within the hour, the thing goes off 5 times. Kid sleeps through the first four. I don't.

    Wife orders me to call the local FD at 2:30 a.m., the alarm starts going off (on cue) as soon as the guy answers. I explain what's going on, ask for advice. He says "call an electrician." Great. It's 2:30 a.m. No electrician in his right mind is going to fix smoke alarms at 2:30 a.m. I could, but I have nothing to replace them with, because Home Depot doesn't open until 6, and I'm not going to sleep without working smoke detectors in the house.

    My wife suggests we go sleep in the car ... so we take the pillows out to our car, grab the rugrat and lean the seats back. I grab a good book, because there's no way I'm going to sleep. So what happens? The garage walls apparently aren't that soundproof ... not only that, this time, the alarms go off for 15 consecutive minutes.

    The eventual outcome? We backed the car into the driveway, three of us sawing logs in our tiny Corolla with the windows cracked for 3.5 hours.

    Buy 5 new smoke detectors, call an electrician, tell electrician to make the repair (I probably could, but I don't touch live electrical wires or junction boxes or anything else ... I have a healthy fear of electricity). I go off to work an assignment. Electrician comes up just as I start my drive home, tells me he can't find anything wrong and he's not going to do anything.

    Every time I heard a golf cart back up (beeping) or anything of that ilk today, I started freaking out.

    Since the professional I was going to pay to do it for my own peace of mind wouldn't do anything, I'm going to replace them myself tomorrow ... in broad daylight, after I shut off the electricity.

    Until then, I'm sitting around my house waiting for the smoke detectors to blow up again and keep me up all night again.

    It was life in hell ... I felt like a hostage in my own house, sitting around with unbearable beeping going on at all hours of the night, for no apparent reason. And now, sitting around your house waiting for the beeping to commence again, sleeping with one eye open ... because the professionals you were going to give $$ to to do a simple job wouldn't even do that simple job.

    We're sitting on 16 hours since anything has happened ... after the things went off about 20 times in a 20-hour span, including about 10 in the middle of the night. So I think we're OK. What I think happened ... an insect crawled into one, tripped the sensor every time it moved, and it has either died or finally figured out how to escape. But we had a 7-hour break yesterday before all hell broke loose in the middle of the night.

    Did I ever mention that the two most annoying sounds to me are loud piezo buzzers going off and babies crying?

    Anyway, just needed to vent.

    (Edit: after reading this, it's painfully obvious I wrote on virtually no sleep. I need to take up drinking again :) ).
     
  2. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    The money you were going to pay the electrician will spend at the Holiday Inn up the road. Get a decent night's sleep before frying your internal organs in the morning.
     
  3. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    I would've taken a hammer to them by now. Good for you for showing some restraint and good luck with getting them fixed.
     
  4. crimsonace

    crimsonace Active Member

    I have a notoriously nuclear temper.

    It's a miracle they're all still in one piece. Although when I finally replace them, they may not be.
     
  5. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    You have the kind of smoke alarms that are hard-wired into the electrical system? They don't do you much good if the power goes out.

    Have the electrician disconnect them and go buy battery-powered smoke alarms to replace them.
     
  6. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  7. crimsonace

    crimsonace Active Member

    They have a battery backup for when the power goes off. It's code (at least around here) for more recently-built homes ... all detectors have to be hard-wired to the house AC (and each other) and have a 9V battery backup in case of a power outage.

    I'd be all for battery-powered alarms ... especially when it's 3 a.m. and all five of my alarms are wailing because one of them is faulty ... but my insurance agent might not be as for them as me.
     
  8. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    Back in may, we had to get the hot water heater replaced here because it was leaking all over the garage floor. On the appointed day for the Joe Bob installers to arrive, we shut off the water, mopped up all we could and ran box fans in there to try and dry it out.

    Installers arrive and have to weld the pipe onto the new unit, which creates a fair bit of smoke. I have the fans pointed there in order to keep the smoke from drifting straight up into the smoke alarm. Well Joe Bob #1 decides that won't do and shuts off my fans. Naturally the smoke alarm goes off within 30 seconds.

    "Hey man, can you turn that thing off?"

    No dice, cowboy. It's wired into the rest of the house.

    Dipshit probably spent the longest 15-20 minutes of his life finishing up with a high-pitched beep in his ear nearly the whole time.
     
  9. dargan

    dargan Active Member

    Crimson - That is an absolutely horrific story. I feel for you.
     
  10. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Is it a $1.65 million house in Mountain Brook?
     
  11. crimsonace

    crimsonace Active Member

    Priceless. You think a welder might trip a smoke alarm and want a ventilated workspace? Naaawwww ... ventilation is for losers.

    At least he was motivated to get the job done.
     
  12. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    Sho nuff, if you cheat by 15 miles, $20,000 dollars and one decimal place.
     
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