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Old 11-02-2015, 09:11 AM   #1
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Unhappy Propane alarm

Haven't used propane for over a week, Saturday a week ago and home on Monday, since then it went off on Wednesday, checked battery, inline fuse, reset and it was fine until midnight last night after closed up of course, disconnected battery to shut it up. Battery looks fine. Both tanks are off. What's going on?
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Old 11-02-2015, 09:16 AM   #2
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This happened to me with our TT. Is it going off while on shore power or battery? Our battery was bad and it would beep whenever we disconnected from shore power more than a couple of hours. As soon as shore power was hooked up it would stop.

Another possibility, our old Terry would alarm when the bowl of dog food was set near it.
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Old 11-02-2015, 09:18 AM   #3
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It was on battery both times. I will check battery status further then since water looked good and all lights looked good.
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Old 11-02-2015, 10:07 AM   #4
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The battery test good, all panel fuses are good, as well as in line battery fuse. Checking further, hooked up to battery again, green flashing, reset keeps it flashing so far. It is the CO alarm, not propane. Only other issue I see when seat removed is a collection of white dust, the insect powder I had used within the camper two years ago, but did not put in that cabinet area/now in there. I will vacuum once I see if alarm goes off again. Honestly, what next !
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Old 11-02-2015, 05:54 PM   #5
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CO alarms have a limited life. I believe the combination CO/propane alarm Forest River uses have a 5 year rated life (CO detection element), and there are numerous reports of not getting that far. And you have no way of knowing when the 5 years actually began. Unfortunately, there is no way to check or test the CO detection element itself. Most alarms will do some kind of sound at end of detector life (based on time). You can buy a household CO alarm with a readout and see how it does next to the FR alarm. There are several other threads on this issue in the forum.

When I mistakenly thought my CO/propane alarm was chirping, I finally cut the wires in an effort to shut it up (was actually a dying battery in the smoke alarm). When I went to re-wire, I was disgusted with the poor quality connections I saw behind the converter panel. I was surprised some of those connections worked at all. Just a thought.

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Old 11-02-2015, 06:29 PM   #6
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Noticed pamphlet says 5 year life, but I am thinking the boric acid powder used for ants couple years ago in the living area was the problem. I just returned from a Florida to Lake Erie/Cleveland area trip on I-77. Didn't think there were that many bumps, but my stove top came loose, knobs disappeared for awhile, microwave door bottom hinge unhooked, and the powder was found inside the cabinet for fuses, heater etc. So, I vacuumed this afternoon, will leave it on battery in DW overnight as light is steady green now and see what happens. It woke me at midnight last night closed up, had to disc battery so I could sleep.
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Old 11-03-2015, 04:02 PM   #7
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Seemed to resolve the CO alarm once I vacuumed up the under seat cabinet to remove the boric acid powder. From the looks of items in the camper after 1200 miles, things got moved around quite a bit and so did that powder though it hasn't happened till now over 2 yrs since I put in the edge of flooring... go figure?
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:49 AM   #8
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Well the vacuum fix for the CO detector failed, alarmed at 10 pm last night over 24 hrs since it was vacuumed and reset. I am so over this. Have to pull it out to driveway again to access. I will now try blowing air over the front/back of detector. It is only happening when on battery alone, closed up fully or with windows closed in sunny driveway, flashes green, 4 beeps, then steady alarm, so definitely CO alarm. Battery tests in good range, but may have to take it to Auto parts store to fully check it out. Can this unit operate if I disable the CO/Pro detector? Anyone with other ideas?
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Old 11-04-2015, 12:27 PM   #9
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Yes, camper operates just fine without the propane/CO alarm. If you disconnect the propane/CO alarm (I cut the wires), you will lose the following:

- detection of a propane leak near the detector. Propane is equipped with an odor agent. A reasonably sensitive nose can detect a propane leak about the same time the detector will trip. In our case, an outside propane leak (where the regulator hose connected to the under-camper pipe) was detected by smell, but the inside alarm never tripped.

- detection of carbon monoxide buildup. This is probably the most serious because CO has no odor or color and is deadly when concentrations get too high. All gas burners (fridge, heater, stove, water heater) produce CO. In the days before CO detectors, standard practice was to keep the roof hatch at least partially open and a window or door cracked to provide ventilation to the interior. We rarely use the inside stove, and all the other gas appliances are supposedly vented to the outside so the CO risk is fairly low. Or you can buy battery powered household CO detectors at Walmart, Lowe's, Home Depot, etc. Detector height doesn't matter for CO; CO mixes very easily with the surrounding air. Put it in the camper for now, and in your house when you fix/replace the existing detector.

- low battery voltage alarm. The good news is that you have reduced the parasitic draws on your battery (about 6-12 AH per day) by disconnecting the combination alarm. The bad news is that you will have to monitor your battery some other way.

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then: 2000 Coleman Westlake PUP
1986 Coachmen PUP
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Old 11-04-2015, 12:36 PM   #10
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I am at the point where I am willing to lose those capabilities. This will be the second time I have had to pull out a closed camper to reset, inspect this detector. I thought I read somewhere that it controlled/stopped propane flow, but apparently not that sophisticated, good ! I assume you blindly reached below the fuse panel to find the right wires to cut since the view is blocked?
I have 30 amp service in the carport so plan to put camper on it 1 week of each month, monitor battery water then.
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