Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-22-2009, 09:08 PM   #1
Pickin' and singin' !
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 19
Arrow Propane LP detector and furnace problem

I have a 2006 Rockwood 2701SS that I have a problem with my furnace setting off the propane detector. This was our first trip in this camper, we just recently purchased it.

I had just filled both LP tanks. Went camping over the weekend and ran the furnace on/off throughout the day with no problems utilizing the wall mounted thermostat.

At about 1am when the outside temp reached around 25 degrees (F) the furnace cycled on and set the LP gas detector off. It is a CCI brand, model 7770.2 and is connected to the 12vdc system for power.

I reset the alarm and within a minute it went off again. I did not smell any propane anywhere including on the fllor near the detector. It would continue to go off until I shot down the furnace using the switch on the thermostat. The LP supply is not controlled by the detector nor the wall mounted thermostat.

There is a slight odor coming from the furnace ducts and I can only explain it as a hot smell or maybe a smell you might expect from buring propane or a new furnace that has never been used. Neither of my 2 carbon monoxide detectors or my smoke detector went off. The same smell exists when the alarm does not sound as well

I used my backup electric floor heater and of course we froze.

In the morning I tried it again at around 7am and it went off again. The temp outside was around freezing and about 55 in the camper.

I tried it again at around 10am and had no problems. I repeated my test several more times during the day with no alarm. I used my electric heater that evening and it kept us warm until about 3am when the furnace came on for the 1st time in about 12 hours and it set the alarm off immediately.

The next day (daylight) same thing, no alarm.

Upon returning home today I shut all the doors and turned up the furnace and even used a piece of cardboard to direct the ducted air right at the alarm and it didnt go off once (then 60 degrees outside).

Anyone have any similar problems or suggestions?
I called the toll free number for the detector manufacturer but it was disconnected.
guysing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2009, 09:34 PM   #2
Cyber Phrenologist
 
Radio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fayetteville, GA
Posts: 1,791
The furnace pulls a hard electrical load on the 12 vdc system. As your rig is a few years old, perhaps the battery is weak. A propane detector will go off if the 12 vdc drops beyond a certain point.

Time for a battery or maybe cleaning some connections?
__________________
KU4OJ
Admin at www.openroadsradio.net, part of the Social Knowledge network.
"RVing and Amateur Radio served up on the same plate"
2008 (or is it 2009?) Rockwood 8280SS - 2007 F-150
Lot's of mostly Kenwood radios

Radio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2009, 09:53 PM   #3
Pickin' and singin' !
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 19
Reply

Thanks for the quick reply.
I was connected to the shore line (110vac) which I assume also sends 12vdc to the battery. Do you feel that it is still possible that the dc voltage might have dropped or been allowed to do so since the battery (located outside) was cold even with it essentially being connected to a battery charger?

It has yet to happen when the temperature outside is warmer than what it was when this happened as described.

I could measure the voltage at the battery when the furnace comes on however I'd have to do it at night when its cold.
guysing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2009, 10:24 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Jacksonville Florida
Posts: 1,264
My carbon monoxide detector just makes short "chirps" when the battery is low-I do a lot of 12v camping in the winter months here in Florida. That problem you are describing sounds like a malfunctioning detector. Although one possibility is that it may serve as a warning alarm that you have low oxygen in the air from the sealed up camper. My Coleman pop up that I had said to always open a window slightly before operating the gas stove because of suffocation, as an example. Just a thought!! GOOD LUCK! Randy
__________________
/SIGPIC]'08 V-lite Flagstaff 30WRLS
'06 Ram 1500 QC hemi Reese dual cam sway control,
K&N series 77 intake, Hellwig helper spgs. LT tires,
Flowmaster "true duals", 380 h.p., Bilstein shocks
08flagvlite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2009, 06:00 AM   #5
Head Rambler
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Southwest Alabama
Posts: 8,428
Well, I've written several things and deleted them because I can't get a grasp on what is causing your detector to alarm especially since it only does it when it's cold outside.

I wouldn't rule out the battery, though it may be the detector failing. Your furnace may have a leak but i can't figure out why it would only leak only when it's cold out.

Good luck with finding the problem. Please let us know what it is when you figure it out.
__________________
Salem 29RKSS Pushing a GMC Sierra 2500HD!
Gotta go campin!
Bama Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2009, 12:39 PM   #6
Knower of Some Things
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Muskegon
Posts: 177
I agree - detector may be going bad. They sometimes act up on warm or humid days, so I don't see why they couldn't malfunction on a cold day, as well. What I would do, if I was you, just to be safe, is to purchase an aftermarket detector from a home center. I don't completely trust those stock LP detectors. They can ruin a weekend, too. You just fall asleep, then SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH goes the detector.
PumaPro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2009, 02:41 PM   #7
Cyber Phrenologist
 
Radio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fayetteville, GA
Posts: 1,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by guysing View Post
Thanks for the quick reply.
I was connected to the shore line (110vac) which I assume also sends 12vdc to the battery. Do you feel that it is still possible that the dc voltage might have dropped or been allowed to do so since the battery (located outside) was cold even with it essentially being connected to a battery charger?

It has yet to happen when the temperature outside is warmer than what it was when this happened as described.

I could measure the voltage at the battery when the furnace comes on however I'd have to do it at night when its cold.
Yeah, I still think the battery should be on your list of things to check. Cold doesn't help a battery, and of course the furnace only runs, thus loads the battery when it's cold. It takes a lot of juice to charge a dying battery AND to run the furnace plus everything else, so maybe the charger can't do it all.

You could set the thermostat on 95* on a cool evening and do the battery test. Of couse then the battery and it's associated hardware won't be chilled and that might mask the problem. But a weak battery will show a larger than normal voltage drop when the furnace comes on. Maybe you could continue to load the battery by turning on all the lights and fans and see if that will set off the LP detector.

All of the other suggestions should also be looked at, but based on the age of the trailer, I'd still start with the battery (plus it's cables and connectors) and thus eliminate that as a possible problem. Then move on to the other suggestions.

BTW: My smoke and CO detectors have their own 9 volt batteries. Only the LP gas detector runs off 12 vdc house battery.
__________________
KU4OJ
Admin at www.openroadsradio.net, part of the Social Knowledge network.
"RVing and Amateur Radio served up on the same plate"
2008 (or is it 2009?) Rockwood 8280SS - 2007 F-150
Lot's of mostly Kenwood radios

Radio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2009, 04:09 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
NWJeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Enumclaw, WA
Posts: 2,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio View Post
....All of the other suggestions should also be looked at, but based on the age of the trailer, I'd still start with the battery (plus it's cables and connectors) and thus eliminate that as a possible problem. Then move on to the other suggestions.....
Ditto on the cables. Poor grounding is the cause behind a good percentage of electrical problems. If your cables are old then they could be coroded a long way up inside the insulation. Check the connections to the battery and to where the ground wire attaches to the frame. If there is a lot of corosion at the battery end then you may also need a new battery.

Good luck..
__________________
"I can fix it, and if I can't fix it, I can fix it so no one can fix it!"
Ed & Wendy
2009 Georgetown 378TS | 1998 Jeep Wrangler | 1998 Skeeter ZX202C
Nights camped in 2009: 53 | Nights camped in 2010: 55
www.nwjeepn.com
NWJeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2009, 04:50 PM   #9
Pickin' and singin' !
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 19
Exclamation LP detector going off

Well, last night I went out at 11pm. It was around 40 degrees outside and 54 in the camper. With assistance I was able to check some voltages at various locations and here are the results.

The DC voltage present on the battery terminals, on the leads going into the propane detector and on the main 12vdc bus bars on the dc power converter, were all at 13.7vdc with the trailer connected to 110vac as it was at the campground.

When the furnace was activated the voltage remained the same without any change what so ever. I suspect that the dc converter is designed to provide ample current to run everything in the camper when needed. Although the camper is an 06 model, the battery came from the camper that I traded in on it and it was a new deep cycle Interstate brand battery from 2007. The battery coonections look really good.

Although I set the thermostat on 80 it never set the detector off at all. I waited for about 15 minutes but it never went off. If the weather goes below freezing again then I can try it again but I suspect that the dc power supply/converter will not loose voltage due to the fan coming on in the furnace. The date on the back of the propane detector says it was made in 2005.

I did find a post on another forum via google where someone had similar problems and when speaking with a rep from CCI, he was allegedly advised that propane detector become more sensitive when as they get older. I'm not sure exactly what that meant.

I could see a hole in the floor of the camper where a tube or wiring or something like that goes through the floor behind the detector and that might be allowing cold air to flow into the enclosed area behind it.

I'm wondering if the detector is acting up when its cold. Certainly it should operate when its cold you would think. (?)

I am going to attempt to obtain another LP detector to see if the problem happens with it too.

I've heard that some propane detectors can be damaged by being submitted to a large amount of propane and need to be replaced. Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? I've never known it to happen to my detecotr but then again I bought the camper used.

By the way, I really appreciate the response from all of you. Its good to be connected to people who care to go out of their way to help others. I want to thank all of you. Maybe we can get this figured out somehow!
guysing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2009, 10:21 PM   #10
Pickin' and singin' !
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 19
Exclamation CCI 7770.2 detector problem

I checked all of the grounding connections tonight and all looked very good. This includes the ground wire that goes directly from the battery to the frame.

I also turned on everything 12v in the trailer and then turned on the furnace to see if the load affected it but it did not.

I did find some specific info about the detector online today and the operating temp was interesting. I took another look at the "cubby hole" loacted behind the detector and under the fridge and noticed a large rectangular hole cut into the floor (which is about 2 inches thick with foam insulation) for routed wiring. The rectangle is about 3"x5". I am wondering if this and the other holes I see back there are allowing cold air to come in from the outside and affecting the operating temp of the detector?

Here are the specs:
Power Consumption: .58 Watts (Average); 46 mA (0.046 A) Typical at 12.6 Volts DC; 0.1 Amps Maximum
Dimensions: 6.5" x 3.875" x 1.5" Deep
Screw Holes: 6.25" Apart
Cut Out is 5.5" x 2.125" x 1" Deep (for Flush-Mount Units)
Storage Temperature: -22 to 158 F
Operating Temperature: 32 to 120 F
Alarm Threshold: 4000 ppm (20% of Combustible Level of Propane)
Operating: Green LED Illuminated
Fault: Yellow LED Illuminated
Audible: 1 Beep Every 30 Seconds
Visual: Orange LED Illuminated
Low Voltage: When battery voltage is reduced below 8.5 volts, the Orange LED will light and there will be an audible beep every 45 seconds to indicate this low voltage condition.
Alarm Audible: 85 dB at 10 feet
Visual: Flashing Red Alarm LED
Mute Feature: Silences the alarm and resets the detector for 60 seconds.
Listed: UL Listed
Made in the United States
guysing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2009, 10:29 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 106
I am concerned for your and your family's safety. Could you please just assume the detector is functioning for this test? Get a bic lighter or a propane bottle with a torch tip. Blow some butane or propane into the detector and see if it alarms. My detector will alarm with carbon monoxide and other ionizable noxious gases. So, maybe your detector is fine and you do have either non-stoichiometric burn in the furnace or a CO leak into the forced air flow circuit.
turbopuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2009, 10:53 PM   #12
CampeRooo
 
rthrbelsewhere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 454
I found a posting on another website that might help you out or at least give you a lead to talk to someone at CCI Controls:

Quote:
I contacted CCI Controls, the manufacturer of my Model 7770.2 Propane Gas Leak Detector today.

I explained to "Adrian" what was happening with my unit and that I have been able to silence the alarm by cycling the power to the unit.

He told me that the unit carries a 2 year warranty and that if I mail it in, they will, repair, recalibrate or replace it as needed. These units cost about $75 so I think I'll spend the $4 to mail it in.

I'll circle back with a final update once I send it in and get it back and installed.

Here's the info for anyone else who may search this forum sometime down the road and need to make contact with CCI:

CCI Controls, Inc.
323-560-6060, ext 121 or 123 (Customer Service)
Obtain RMA # for returns

Returns to:
5052 Cecelia Street
South Gate, CA 90280
USA
No other post's were made after this one...so maybe with a little luck, it's still covered? Good luck!

Joe
__________________
Where we've been:

2000 Rockwood Roo M-18 Hybrid
2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Auto 5.9 Diesel
Gone but not forgotten -1986 Rockwood 1003 PUP
rthrbelsewhere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2009, 04:15 PM   #13
Pickin' and singin' !
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 19
Test

I will definately try that with a portable propane torch and let you know the results. Also note that I do have two Carbon Monoxide detectors in the camper, one of which shows a digital display of any amount measured. Neither of them went off at any time recently.

As far as the warranty, this item was made in 2005 so the 2 year warranty is already over. Thanks anyway! )
guysing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2009, 09:54 PM   #14
Pickin' and singin' !
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 19
Tested

I was able to test the LP detector and the alarm went off when I used a portable propane torch to send gas toward it.

What did you mean by non-stoichiometric burn ?
guysing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2009, 08:23 AM   #15
Cyber Phrenologist
 
Radio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fayetteville, GA
Posts: 1,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by guysing View Post
I took another look at the "cubby hole" loacted behind the detector and under the fridge and noticed a large rectangular hole cut into the floor (which is about 2 inches thick with foam insulation) for routed wiring. The rectangle is about 3"x5". I am wondering if this and the other holes I see back there are allowing cold air to come in from the outside and affecting the operating temp of the detector?
If the unit could become cold enough that water condenses on its innards...well that might be your problem. Aught to plug those holes anyway, I ran through 2 cans of Great Stuff plugging all the leaks in my 5th wheel, warmer/cooler than it was (depending) and saves LP gas, too!
__________________
KU4OJ
Admin at www.openroadsradio.net, part of the Social Knowledge network.
"RVing and Amateur Radio served up on the same plate"
2008 (or is it 2009?) Rockwood 8280SS - 2007 F-150
Lot's of mostly Kenwood radios

Radio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2009, 02:24 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by guysing View Post
What did you mean by non-stoichiometric burn ?
That test means your alarm is working right. Non-stoichiometric means burning is rich or lean - too much or too little combustion air. TOO LITTLE air can create CO (carbon monoxide) as the burn is incomplete and oxygen starved. Too much air usually kills the flame - not the case here I take it. The CO often leaks into the air that blows into the cabin space or leaks directly into the trailer. I don't know where your monitor is in relation to your heater but mine is 3 inches from the floor and 6 inches from the furnace. For good reason. CO is lethal. The monitors also alarm when they detect certain ionizable gases; like propane, butane, and that sort of stuff. This means a gas leak can also be detected. Solution is to clean the manifold, snoop for leaks, and patch holes in ducts. Snoop is made from a few drops of dishsoap into a dropper bottle, spray bottle or squirt gun (my choice). Fill with water and drip the solution on all the fittings from the tank to the furnace with the full propane tanks open. Don't stop there. Go down every gas line. Your alarm seems to be working. Without a doubt ventilate your trailer when you sleep! IMHO most or all trailers are drafty relative to site built homes. Even Stick and Mud homes breath. Trailers are just real fancy tents, Right? Seriously. These detectors are NOT oxygen meters. These monitors are NOT humidistats. These monitors do have a power cuircut that will chirp if not enough juice isn't there for it to work. My professional opinion is your alarm works and you have a leak. Murphy's law. Correlary #1 and #3. You know number one, and number three is just "the correct solution is the simplest solution and is easiest to identify and correct".
(SARCASM ON) I never heard of a trailer fire or CO death. (SARCASM OFF)

BE SAFE!
turbopuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2009, 07:08 AM   #17
Head Rambler
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Southwest Alabama
Posts: 8,428
turbopuppy; Excellent synapsis except for one thing. His problem is the LP gas detector. A completely separate unit from the CO detector. They may make combination units but I've never seen one. Placement recommendations would preclude a combo unit. CO is about the same weight as air and is usually contained in the hot air stream so the normal placement recommendation is on or near the roof where the CO rises with the hot air. Propane is heavier than air so the normal placement recommendation is near the floor.

I do agree that it appears that the propane detector is working correctly and most likely he does have a leak. I cannot explain why it only happens in cold weather, unless the cold is causing contraction (shrinkage) of lines/fittings just enough to allow a leak.

I can't completely rule out Wades cold condensation theory because I've witnessed condensation on electronics causing all sorts of wierd behavior.

I would definitely follow turbopuppy's recommendation of testing the system. I'd do a drop-pressure test as well as tighten all fittings in the system.
__________________
Salem 29RKSS Pushing a GMC Sierra 2500HD!
Gotta go campin!
Bama Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2009, 01:32 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 106
My apologies. I assumed Guysing had the same monitor I do... [edit : I just checked - mine doesn't detect CO either. Man!] That would be an easier problem then. Pressure in these systems is very low. Like 5 psi, right? Pressure testing would be challenging. Condensation? Next time the alarm goes off check the humidity. I would just put a heat lamp on the alarm to drive off condensation and get some rest. I meant to suggest that last nite - sorry. Murphy's law. Correlary #2. If you fix it enough it will break. #4 If it isn't broke, dont fix it. Those fittings have a way of leaking when you torque them. Tighten the ones that bubble.
turbopuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2009, 09:24 PM   #19
Pickin' and singin' !
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 19
UPDATE on this problem 04-16-09

Howdy all,
I'm still working on this problem and have made some small advances forward on it. I thought I'd sahre them with you.

I have recently replaced the propane detector with an identical one. The model is a 7770.2 / Pretel 22 made by CCI. During this process I was advised by my local RV dealer that CCI is no longer in business. He advised that he did not know this either until he assisted in trying to determine the problem with me.

I also purchased a hand held propane detector from eBay. I paid a total of about $33 (with shipping) through an auction after losing several of them with the same seller.

With the gas supply turned on and without the furnace running I found no leaks using the portable detector.

With the furnace on operating I found a leak inside of the furnace chamber where the ducts are connected. It appears to be leaking from a gasket located around the metal piece that mounts the burner and electrode for the ignition.

I removed the burner and the gasket fell into several pieces. The dealer had 3 on his shelf however they were all cracked and falling apart as well. The material is obviously fragile. The part cost about $5. He has order more.

My dealer called Suburban, the manufacturer of the furnace and they advised that high temp silicone rubber can be used to seal this as well.

I am going to install a new gasket and use the silicone as well and then check again for a leak. By the way, with the furnace operating I only got the portable detector to go off once while allowing the air from a ducted vent blow into it even though it always goes off when placing the unit inside of the furnace while running.

I'll let you know how it goes!
__________________
[SIZE="2"][2004 FORD 4D F150 5.4L
2006 Rockwood 2701SS by Forest River
Martin Guitar
Directv and DTV
The wife, kids and lots of Pepsi!/SIZE]
guysing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2009, 06:29 AM   #20
Head Rambler
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Southwest Alabama
Posts: 8,428
Thanks for the update. Hopefully you've found your problem.

Good to know about the hi-temp silicone. I have a problem with mine lighting sometime. I'm sure it's the sail switch sticking because once it works it continues to work until it sits for a while. I'll be taking it apart this weekend while camping. I'll take a tube of RTV with me just in case I need it.
__________________
Salem 29RKSS Pushing a GMC Sierra 2500HD!
Gotta go campin!
Bama Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:51 PM.