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Old 01-13-2022, 08:32 PM   #1
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Carbon monoxide detector going off

Our CO detector has gone off several times, mostly overnight. I actually thought it was the smoke detector, as that has gone off for no apparent reason several times, and I got up and fanned it, and it went off. However, today it went off while we were cooking (and not dazed in the middle of the night), and I realized it was the CO alarm. We were using the propane oven, and did not have the overhead kitchen fan on (which we've done many times before). It stopped quickly, after maybe 5-10 seconds. We turned on the fan and aired out the RV anyhow.

However, last night when it went off, we did not have the heat on, or any propane appliances on. There was nothing that would be producing CO on. It is an RV safe combination propane/CO alarm. It is definitely the CO alert, not the propane alarm. The unit is 1.5 years old, and it's not doing the low battery chirp.

I'm currently in Florida on vacation, and nobody can get us in to look at our appliances/CO detector. We're keeping all CO-appliances off for now, and tomorrow I'm going to buy two additional battery powered CO alarms to monitor as well. I'm having a hard time believing it's anything but a faulty alarm, considering nothing was on when it went off last night (though not today). Plus it's only going off for a few seconds at a time, not staying on.

Anyone else have a faulty CO alarm on their RV?
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Old 01-14-2022, 07:45 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by GravelRider View Post
Our CO detector has gone off several times, mostly overnight. I actually thought it was the smoke detector, as that has gone off for no apparent reason several times, and I got up and fanned it, and it went off. However, today it went off while we were cooking (and not dazed in the middle of the night), and I realized it was the CO alarm. We were using the propane oven, and did not have the overhead kitchen fan on (which we've done many times before). It stopped quickly, after maybe 5-10 seconds. We turned on the fan and aired out the RV anyhow.

However, last night when it went off, we did not have the heat on, or any propane appliances on. There was nothing that would be producing CO on. It is an RV safe combination propane/CO alarm. It is definitely the CO alert, not the propane alarm. The unit is 1.5 years old, and it's not doing the low battery chirp.

I'm currently in Florida on vacation, and nobody can get us in to look at our appliances/CO detector. We're keeping all CO-appliances off for now, and tomorrow I'm going to buy two additional battery powered CO alarms to monitor as well. I'm having a hard time believing it's anything but a faulty alarm, considering nothing was on when it went off last night (though not today). Plus it's only going off for a few seconds at a time, not staying on.

Anyone else have a faulty CO alarm on their RV?
Why not just swing by a Walmart or such and pick up another CO2 detector?
I've had faulty detectors in my house. But I have multiple detectors so easy to determine faults.
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Old 01-14-2022, 08:40 AM   #3
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CO detectors have a life span of about five years; how old is your detector? It may be considerably older than your RV. Many of the detectors have a date on a sticker attached to the back of the detector. If yours is beyond the "replace by" date, it will continue to sound off until it is removed and replaced.
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Old 01-14-2022, 08:47 AM   #4
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Why not just swing by a Walmart or such and pick up another CO2 detector?
I've had faulty detectors in my house. But I have multiple detectors so easy to determine faults.

What he said!!
If yours is going off when you have NO LP appliances running then it's
hard to imagine it's anything other than a faulty alarm.

Grab a new one for peace of mind. If it doesn't alarm then you can assume
your original is defective whether it's expired or not.
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Old 01-14-2022, 08:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tabasco_Joe View Post
Why not just swing by a Walmart or such and pick up another CO2 detector?
I've had faulty detectors in my house. But I have multiple detectors so easy to determine faults.
But don’t get a CO2 detector; get a CO detector.

Also, check your battery charge level. Some of these alarm for low battery.
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Old 01-14-2022, 02:13 PM   #6
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Before you do anything turn off all loads in the unit, then disconnect from external power. Check your battery voltage. The built in Co alarms get wonky when battery voltage is low. If your batteries are good then go from there. Ask me how I know this....
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Old 01-14-2022, 03:31 PM   #7
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We've discussed this before but things like hair spray, cooking sprays, air fresheners, spray deodorants, furniture polish, W-40 and the like will ALL set off a CO detector as most of those things use butane as the propellant in the can.

Even dog farts and litter boxes will set them off!

With that said, you need to check your battery state of charge and the age of your detector to be sure those things are in order.
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Old 01-14-2022, 03:37 PM   #8
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Before you do anything turn off all loads in the unit, then disconnect from external power. Check your battery voltage. The built in Co alarms get wonky when battery voltage is low. If your batteries are good then go from there. Ask me how I know this....
^^^^^ This. Our propane alarm works as a low battery indicator (even though that's not what it's designed for.) Drove us crazy til we figured it out.
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Old 01-14-2022, 04:14 PM   #9
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Co detectors in most units by MTI safety alert low voltage is set at 8vdc they say if voltage is above that and alarm goes off and gives a number to call . so 11vdc should not trigger a low voltage condition . Most alarms going off are from dust,dog hair, sprays etc . now sometimes they just go bad and it's always between midnight and 3 AM . end of life will go off and if you mute will reset and go off again in 72 hrs for up to 30 days and then it should not reset . you're supposed to get 5 yrs but depending on things like dog hair and sprays may only last 3 yrs .

There should be a green light and red light . malfunction will be red and green alternating lights showing , co alarm just red flashing , normal operation just green , end of life red red green green flash .
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Old 01-16-2022, 07:32 AM   #10
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Co detectors in most units by MTI safety alert low voltage is set at 8vdc they say if voltage is above that and alarm goes off and gives a number to call . so 11vdc should not trigger a low voltage condition . Most alarms going off are from dust,dog hair, sprays etc . now sometimes they just go bad and it's always between midnight and 3 AM . end of life will go off and if you mute will reset and go off again in 72 hrs for up to 30 days and then it should not reset . you're supposed to get 5 yrs but depending on things like dog hair and sprays may only last 3 yrs .

There should be a green light and red light . malfunction will be red and green alternating lights showing , co alarm just red flashing , normal operation just green , end of life red red green green flash .
Keeping that last paragraph in my Things To Know file.
We had a detector start chirping so we replaced it. I wanted to be sure it failed and there wasn't another problem so I sent the old unit to MTI. They say they will check detectors and replace if it fails in less than 5 years. I called them twice to check on it. Nothing. Crickets. So MTI does not stand behind that 5 years usage anymore.
Ongoing we just plan on a new one every 3 to 4 years. Ours sits where it gets a lot of dust from the door and there is always dog hair.
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Old 01-16-2022, 07:50 AM   #11
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I agree with the advice you've gotten. The 2 times mine has gone off was due to (1) dead battery, and (2) expiration date of CO detector.
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Old 01-17-2022, 04:50 PM   #12
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I have since bought a battery powered CO detector for backup. It has gone off zero times. The RV's CO/gas detector continues to go off about once every 8 hours or so. It gives the CO warning for about 5-10 seconds, along with red warning light, then stops on its own and goes back to green. The last three days we've been in Key West dry camping with heat off and all the windows open and fans going. DEFINITELY a faulty detector.

There is no chirp or low battery warning or fault beeps/flashes.

The detector lifespan expires Dec 2024.

RV batteries are definitely not the issue. I have a large solar setup with shunt battery monitor that I keep a very close eye on.

Once I get back home, I'll order a replacement unit for the defective one.

Thanks for all the replies everyone!
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