Smoke detector malfunction

I have a new smoke detector, installed just 3 months ago, that has suddenly (within the past week) been losing connection to the panel, and I can’t figure out what’s going on. I’ve just about concluded this is an equipment failure but want to make sure that I’m not missing something that would resolve the issue.

What makes me believe this is an equipment failure is the fact that a CO detector is mounted right next to the smoke and is working without issue. Other sensors within 5 feet are a glass break, two D/Ws, and another smoke detector. All are working without issue.

I’ve already replaced the battery but problem persists. I’ve tampered the sensor and resolved tamper. It will reconnect but drop again later.

Location should not be an issue. It worked flawlessly for 3 months. Nothing about the environment has changed. There is no metal next to the sensor.

Side note in case it matters: The reason I have another smoke detector so close by is because that one is at the top of the stairs to my basement and behind a door that stays closed.

Anyone have ideas? Thanks in advance.

There may be other issues, depending on how the detector is reacting.

Loss of supervision is commonly used also as a warning accompanying other issues, like a dirty sensing element or low battery.

To best assist, what model of Smoke detector is having the issue?


Is the smoke detector LED pulsing Yellow? supervision may not be sent due to other maintenance issue.

Otherwise, something we have actually noticed which may come into play here is an abundance of wireless zones. The more zones that there are, the more likely one or two supervision attempts that occur at the same time are lost.

I’ve seen 2GIG panels have this occur and we have heard a report from an IQ user.

With your zone list I would say it is a definite possibility. I would suggest swapping that smoke detector location with another smoke detector as close to the panel as possible as a test. Does the same sensor still get supervisory issues?

It’s been about 24 hours since swapping and no supervisory issues so far, so that may have done the trick. That said, there are still 2 other sensors within a foot at this new location (motion and glass break), so I’m concerned the problem may reoccur.

Make sure you have the device malfunction option selected in the system actions to watch notification to keep an eye on the issue.

A signal repeater like the RE524X can be very helpful with loss of supervision errors from both distance and number of zones. (note that S-Line sensors would not be boosted)

Right, but I’m already using a repeater and it doesn’t repeat life safety sensors like this smoke detector, correct?

Yes, you are correct, but if the issue is just the large number of zones causing some intermittent loss of supervision it would likely affect other sensors here and there as well. But if you already have a repeater then this would already be resolved for non-life-safety or S-line.

Got it. The other challenge with that is a significant portion of my sensors are either S-line encrypted or life safety. There are 3-4 additional sensors that seem to drop off occasionally and they fall in that camp, so the repeater doesn’t help me in that case. Right now I’m only using the repeater for a limited number unencrypted sensors that were having trouble communicating to the panel. Is it worth adding everything unencrypted and see if that helps?

On a side note, I wonder why Qolsys hasn’t developed a repeater that works with S-line, and the industry’s exclusion of life safety sensors in repeater technology puzzles me.

You could of course try using unencrypted zones instead. The repeater should help in that circumstance.

Life safety devices like smoke detectors are bound by separate regulations.

I wonder why Qolsys hasn’t developed a repeater that works with S-line

I’m not sure if there is a functional issue in this case or if this may be in the works. We’ll check on this possibility.

You could of course try using unencrypted zones instead. The repeater should help in that circumstance.

I had not considered that. Thanks for the insight.