What is this?

I found this on the ceilings in each room during an open house. It looks like all have been painted over. The house was built in 1957 in Vancouver, WA. I wasn’t doing an inspection so I didn’t have tools to determine if there was power to them.

The object in question is about 1 1/2 inches to maybe 2 inches in diameter.


hard to tell, the picture is hard to see, but i’m going to guess, heat detectors? maybe no longer is service and just never removed.??? have you got a pic. from further away?? that may help.

Does this one help at all?


I think it is a fuse screwed into an old lite bulb fixture on the ceiling and painted over. WHY?

Looks like a hard-wired smoke detector, to me.

With all that paint, I doubt if it even works.

I agree with the fuse in the light.

I’d definitely guess a light fixture. I doubt you’ll find any type of detector that has this form.

Heat Detector

I think Buck is correct they work on rate of rise and on high limit also .
Have not seen one in 20 years+.
Roy sr

Its an ASHI listening device.

seeing your second pic, i am sure it’s a heat detector. a small element inside melts at a pre determined temp. (usualy 160*) the center pops out and sets off the alarm system. i see them alot in the 1960’s construction. thats an old one, likely not in service, and no way to “test” them either, well you could test it with a Bic, but you’ll only know that it worked, then you have to replace it.:mrgreen: but with all that paint, it will never work untill the paint burns off anyway, and by then…

What is the age of the building?? Is this a house or a multi-family dwelling? Was there any other smoke or heat detectors seen ? Many q’s answered .will narrow down the list of possibilities