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Smart smoke detector from Nest Labs, the creator of the Nest Learning Thermostat.

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will soldering in a new carbon monoxide sensor extend its life?

If I solder in a new carbon monoxide sensor, will I be able to extend the life of this another 7 years? Or will the alarm start going off as expired in November

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Puan 3
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It might work, but unless it is identical part, it might not work correctly.

There may also be multiple sensors in it, since it is combination smoke/co2 sensors. Handle with care, as the sensors often use radioactive elements.

As this is something that is to protect you from death, are you sure you want to take a chance with your life on this?

If you do try, and are unlikely to have it not work, you would be out the money for the replacement sensor, and have to get a new unit, but as this is a sensor for alerting you to a life-threatening condition of either CO2 or smoke, it could be very dangerous; you decide.


@wolphin Thanks for the reply! Unfortunately they don't make the nest protect in black anymore so I have no choice but to try and fix it. My wall is black so installing a white nest protect will look a bit weird... Im not worried about the new sensor not working because I found the exact same part, but I am worried about the built in "expired" alarm, even though the sensor will work, the unit will still ring the alarm in november when it's supposed to expire.


@nicu if it's the exterior colour, you might be able to transfer the entire internal guts from the new shell to the old one, so it cosmetically is the same, unless they changed the layouts of the standoffs.

Good luck with your work!

Not sure about the expired alarm or a way to disable/bypass it.


or you could spray paint the new alarm to match with the color of the wall/ceiling. just make sure the holes,slots,vents for the sensors or the sensors themselves are not painted over.


Nest , never again. Nest have a hard shelf life based on dare of manufacturing. I looked at 25 units in several stores all were more than a year old. That means your real cost is at least 10% more because of the shorten self life. My two neighbors have nest and between them they have seen a 40% failure rate and google response is “tuff luck customer”. Not worth the price for the cool on line feature.


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I am a big proponent of extending electronics usually - however a life safety device that protects you and your family should not be altered but should be replaced per manufactures specs - obviously you are concerned about the expired alarm - just changing the sensor may not help -I understand your decorum issue -

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They are software locked so they will all “expire” even if you solder a new carbon monoxide sensor. I never ended up doing because the software would think it expired regardless of whether the co sensor was working or not.

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Don’t paint a smoke detector you could end up damaging the sensors. Gen 1 smoke detectors have a life of 7 years while the gen 2 have a 10 year life. Swapping the CO sensor would technically allow you to extend it’s life (Provided you can find the part and can calibrate it properly) but the expiry data is programmed into the unit itself so that won’t work. Swapping the guts is one option, provided that the gen2 will fit in a gen1 case, but you risk damaging the electronics etc. Your best bet would be 3D printing a case that will fit around the new smoke detector without interrupting the air flow, light, or speaker etc.

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