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Thursday, February 13, 2014

I Cut the Red Wire

We all have had that annoying beep, the one you can't find, the one that taunts you until you are sure you will go mad!  We have ripped the smoke detectors off the walls and removed the batteries over and over again.  Sometimes however the beep isn't so easy to trace, especially when there are two going on at the same time and you don't know that they are mocking you.

Today the torment began around noon.  I came home for lunch to check on Dad, that is another story filled with blood and gore so I won't go into it now.  After I replaced his foley bag and gave him lunch I heard the beep.  Dad did not and since I didn't have time to hunt it down and it wasn't bothering him I went back to work.

After work I came back home and there was the beep, but Dad was my priority and the blood and gore was worse so to the ER we went.  I forgot about the beeping and just made sure Dad was okay.  The ER made sure he was okay and sent us home with instructions to follow up with the Coumadin Clinic (You know how I feel about them!  That is my new swear word, Oh, Coumadin Clinic!) and the Urology Department.  So back home we went.

As I walked in the door I was welcomed by that beep!  The security system seemed the logical suspect.  It controlled all the detectors.   Yes, there was the yellow triangle taunting me knowing that I had no idea how to make it stop beeping.

A bit of a backstory .  My parents have a security system, that possibly once had instructions to it but now neither of them remembers how to use it and have no idea where instructions are.  The phone number on the door is to another state and when called is answered by a personal answering machine.  My brother and I have called that number various times and of course no one has called us back.  He was ready to rip out the power supply if he had to.

Up until today the system was nice and quiet and caused us no grief, except we didn't know how to use it.  But today there were all the beeps.  Loud high pitched rattle your bones and burrow into your ears beeps.  So I called that number once again and left a cut off message.  As soon as I hung up - BEEP!  SO I called back and a miracle happened, the phone was answered.  It was a human and she was surprised that I didn't have a local number.  Thankfully she gave me that number and the contact person's name.

I called and he called me back and told me how to silence the alarm.  That would have been the end of it too except two alarms were going off, I just didn't know it yet.  I hung up the phone and started to eat my dinner, it may have been after 9:00 but it still was my dinner.  I took a bit of my Reuben and BEEP!  So I called him back.  He had me try different codes.  He finally gave me a master code which should have done the trick, of course neither of us knew about the second alarm yet.

Finally P and I staked out the alarm key pads and figured out the beeping was coming from the dining room.  When I called my new best friend at the alarm company back this was the solution to the puzzle.  The problem wasn't just the security system but he thought it was a carbon monoxide detector.

If you look carefully at the photo you will notice a green light, that means there is no carbon monoxide detected.  Good!  I have had carbon monoxide poisoning and it was a carbon monoxide detector that woke me up and saved my life.  But this detector was not beeping to let us know there was carbon monoxide detected.  It was beeping to let us know that it was dying and would soon no longer be able to detect carbon monoxide.

Now the fun begins.  My new best friend tells me to remove the cover.  He said if I had to smash it with a hammer that is okay.  Luckily it just popped right off.  Though I am sure smashing it with a hammer would have been satisfying.  The detector is wired into the houses electrical system, no batteries.  I just looked at it and wondered how I was going to turn it off.

It turns out that turning it off was not an option.  I had to remove it from the electric supply.  Because there was no battery to remove I had the pleasure of cutting the red wire.  First I tried to pull it out and it wouldn't budge, so finally I got a pair of scissors and snip!  The wire was cut and the beeping finally stopped.

So after a long day of teaching, going to the Emergency Room and hunting down beeping and security personal I finally finished my dinner and took my anxiety meds.  After a day like today I definitely needed them.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a nice calm day.  It could happen, right?

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