Originally Posted by RVFamily5
Is there an easy way to test the alarm for actual CO or Propane? Also, if I have the propane tank knob turned off at the tank, can it still leak? What items produce the CO if the engine is not running?
1. Yes, there is an easy way test the CO/LP detector. Light a hand-held LP lighter and it will give off some unknown amount of CO. (Most of the combustion products are water and CO2.) Blow out the flame while holding the lighter's gas valve open and it will give off propane. However, this only tells you that the alarm works, probably at very high concentrations. It does NOT tell you that the alarm will work at lower concentrations that may be dangerous.
You must have calibrated gases with the correct concentrations to do a real test of the alarm. (PS - I just noticed on my old LP/CO alarm a statement to not use a lighter to test. This may be because the test could wrongly tell you the alarm is good, as I said above.)
2. If you turn off LP at the tank there is still propane in the lines that could leak. You could run a burner on the stove with the tank valve off and burn out most of what's in the lines. It is certainly possible that the tank valve could leak but I don't know the likelihood.
3. The furnace, stovetop and oven produce some CO. The furnace should be vented outside, but it's possible that the heat exchanger could leak, or the exhaust flue could be defective. The refrigerator and water heater also produce CO when running on LP but their burners are walled off from the living space and should be vented outside. A generator produces CO and it could infiltrate your living space. The exhaust from a neighbor's generator or furnace could be drifting into your living space.