This old smoke detector in my home has become a nuisance by going off on its own.

Step 1: The Dates.

The service life on these cheap smoke detectors is about 10 years after which it becomes unreliable.

Step 2: The Tool.

My Handy pen knife came in useful in this job.

Step 3: Popping It Open.

Using the knife blade, I popped the 3 clips holding the cover. Now the guts of the smoke detector is available for inspection.

Step 4: The Internals.

Here the ionization chamber and piezo speaker can be seen in addition to the circuit board. Such a shame it cannot be refreshed.

Step 5: Salvage.

The 9v battery clip is perfectly good so I removed this for use in future projects.

Step 6: The End.

The rest of the smoke detector is good for garbage now. These detectors contain a very tiny amount of Americium as the radioactive ionization source. Once the ionization chamber is not interfered with, it is perfectly safe to dispose in regular household garbage. Bye-bye old detector!

While I understand you thinking the rest can go in the trash, it can not. It is a hazardous waste. The ionization chamber contains a radioactive material. It it should be disposed of properly.
<p>No restriction from the federal level on disposing of smoke detectors under 5 &mu;Ci in the US (source: <a href="https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/techtalk/techtalk_v1n2_1209.pdf" rel="nofollow">https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/techtalk/t...</a>). According to the source, modern consumer units are under 1 &mu;Ci.</p><p>That being said, anyone reading this should not attempt to open the ion chamber. Even though consumer grade detectors have a tiny amount of radioactive material, Americium is a &quot;bone seeker&quot;. Meaning if it gets into your system your body tends to metabolize it and deposit it in your bones instead of passing through your urine. </p>
<p>Thank you very much!</p>
<p>Ha! Since when. There are no requirements on the device or my local municipality for specialized disposal of that detector. If your area has that requirement then say YOUR area.</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: As of April 2017 I have decided to no longer post on instructables. The fact that several of my published works have been removed without ... More »
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