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Old 08-19-2016, 10:51 AM   #21
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Those buttons on those units only tests the electronics of the devices.

To test if the alarm will actually sense LP, take a butane fire starter, light it then while still holding the trigger, blow it out and hold it close to the detector. In a few seconds the detector should alarm. That way you know it will sense gas.

You can also use a small propane torch not lit to do the same thing.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:49 PM   #22
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That's one scary thing of being hearing impaired. There's no way I would hear the smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detector. My husband sleeps so sound that I'm not sure they would wake him up. So I just hope nothing like this ever happens.
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:52 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
Those buttons on those units only tests the electronics of the devices.

To test if the alarm will actually sense LP, take a butane fire starter, light it then while still holding the trigger, blow it out and hold it close to the detector. In a few seconds the detector should alarm. That way you know it will sense gas.

You can also use a small propanew torch not lit to do the same thing.
Rambler, thanks for the tips on the propane torch test. So simple and I didn't think about it. Will do the test tomorrow as we have another trip planned in 2 weeks.
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Old 08-20-2016, 02:47 PM   #24
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Did the propane torch without flame test today with some interesting results.

After about 15 seconds with the unlit torch 5 inches or so from the built in detector it did go off. However, I could smell the gas before the detector sounded the alarm.

Testing the after market combo carbon monoxide / Gas detector it took significantly longer for the alarm to sound. Gas smell was much stronger before it went off.

So the question remains how much gas is in the coach before the detectors alarm goes off? It was obvious we could smell it much faster than the detector could detect the gas. In the incident I described in the previous post we smelled the gas for probably 3-5 mins before we realized the stove knob had been hit and propane was coming out as we looked in bathroom, trash, etc. Obviously that amount was not enough to harm us since we were awake but I am still concerned if something like this happened and we were sleeping.

Am I overly concerned? Do they all work like this? How much gas really needs to be in the coach before it becomes a health hazard if people are sleeping and do not smell the gas?
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Old 08-21-2016, 09:09 AM   #25
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Residential gas detectors usually don't actually detect the gas. They detect LEL (Lower Explosive Limit) or the mixture of gas in air. They usually alarm at about 25% LEL so the gas concentration can be pretty high before the detector sees enough of it to alalrm.

Also, the combination alarms give CO preference so there may be a little delay in alarming off the gas side.

No guarantee about my math, but if the average RV is 8' wide and 20' long and the detector is located 6" above the floor then it has a volume of 80 cuft. 25% LEL is about 1.25% so it would take 1 cuft of gas to reach 25% LEL if it was equally mixed. However, LP is heavier than air so the volume would be greater before it would reach 25% LEL at 6" high.
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Old 08-21-2016, 08:38 PM   #26
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Bama Rambler thanks for the info on how the detectors work. I learned something.
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Old 08-21-2016, 09:15 PM   #27
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I'd like to see stoves built with a gas shut off valve like a water heater / furnace / etc. and require a pilot light for gas flow.
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