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Old 09-07-2015, 07:11 PM   #1
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Carbon Monoxide Detector - False Alarm?

While camping the weekend, at precisely 1:52am, we awoke to the carbon monoxide detector sounding. We were not using the heat, the refrigerator was on shore power. The only item using gas was the water heater. I silenced the alarm by pressing the button on the detector (didn't know how else to stop the ear-splitting noise). I turned off the water heater and shut off the propane. I then turned on the Create-A-Breeze fan and opened the bathroom door. I felt comfortable enough that we were not in any danger (there wasn't a diesel motor home with its exhaust pointed in our window or anything), so we went back to bed.

This morning, I turned the water heater back on, along with the propane. The alarm didn't go off again.

Has anyone experienced anything like this? Was it a fluke? Could there be a problem with the water heater? Camper is new this year, and we have spent about 20 nights in it since we got it in March.

Thanks!!


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Old 09-08-2015, 01:48 PM   #2
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In case anyone else runs in to this, here's a bit of follow up...

I called the dealer and they clarified that this was the LP gas detector, not the carbon monoxide detector. The LP detector is below the refrigerator on my unit. The carbon monoxide detector is on the ceiling.

They said the detector can go off for a number of reasons - animals laying near it, fumes from cleaners, aerosol sprays (hair spray, deodorizers, scented plug-ins, etc). We had none of those present, but he said a very common cause on newer units is the glue used during construction. He said even 6 to 9 months after construction, the sensor can still detect the fumes from the glue and go off.

He did offer to do an LP leak-down test at no charge, if I wanted.

Just FYI.


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Old 09-08-2015, 04:15 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info...mine, also, started going off a few months ago when I had Rocky at the house for washing. (Nothing was on inside of it.)

Even resetting it wouldn't stop it and I had every fan and window/door open just in case it was sensing something. (I hadn't started washing, yet, so I know it wasn't any soap fumes.)

So I cut the wires and bought a new sensor. (My dealer would've had to replace it under warranty but I didn't bother with all of that but the cost of a new one wasn't cheap.)
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:46 PM   #4
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We experienced a similar situation when camping in an area where there was a lot of standing water and rotting vegetation, and figured it was swamp gas that set it off. We also had a problem with the alarm when camping at high altitudes and the water heater wasn't getting enough oxygen. It kept trying to light and the propane built up and blew in the window above the water heater. I now prop open the top of the water heater cover about an inch when we're camped above 7,000 feet. I use a twist-tie thru the release tab.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:11 PM   #5
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We have this happen almost everytime we go camping. It always happens the first time someone flushes the toliet which is opposite the detector. We live in Florida and our water has sulfer in it. I keep a small amount in the fresh water tank in case we need some water along the road. I think the detector picks up a whif of that on the first flush for some reason. Never does it again after that. My wife set it off with hair spray once too. We were quite alarmed (play on words) the first time it happened.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:18 PM   #6
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We had the same thing happen to us last week. We were on shore power and electricity on the water heater. I silenced the unit and turned off the gas. The next day turned everything back on closed windows no alarms. Sprayed soapy water on fittings and so far found no leaks. We want to trust the alarms but boy getting up at 1 am to a screaming demon is for the birds.


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Old 09-09-2015, 01:10 PM   #7
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Those d--n detectors are about good for 2-3 years at the most. After that expect a lot of false alarms. Trash it and buy a new one.
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Old 09-09-2015, 01:40 PM   #8
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Alarms

Same with the smoke detectors, after two to three years they start acting up. Replace them as I did for only ten dollars I replaced mine with the very same unit. It's not worth the trouble of trying to figure out what's wrong with it.
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Old 09-09-2015, 01:47 PM   #9
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Anyone know the cost of the LP Gas detector replacement?


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Old 09-09-2015, 02:11 PM   #10
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My detector usually goes off if all power has been off (master switch off) for a few days. One other false alarm caused when using bug spray.
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Old 09-09-2015, 07:44 PM   #11
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It is a gassy dog that sets ours off. Sometimes have to cover the unit.
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Old 09-09-2015, 08:04 PM   #12
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We were on vacation in Michigan in mid July and ours went off at 2:00am, never goes off during the day, the camper is just over a year old so I tried resetting it to no avail. I did what i did in the old camper when it happened at 2am was to pull it out and cut the wires and turn off the propane. I did not smell any propane so I knew we were ok, the next morning I hooked it back up bought leak detector and checked all of the propane connections and found no leaks. A few days later it went off again at 2am so i open the vent in the kitchen and turned on my create a breeze fan in the bathroom and less than 20 seconds it reset itself. The only thing I can pinpoint it to is both days we used the stove to boil water to make rice or a heat some beans and I did not open the hood vent and use the exhaust fan because we had the vent in the roof open and the door open. The odd thing is this past Sunday my wife was cleaning up the stove after I made breakfast ans accidentally turned the propane on for a few seconds she called me to come in to make sure the alarm does not go off and vent the place, there was a noticeable propane smell and I looked down and the alarm had no power to it, her when I reattached the wires I must not have crimped the wire with the connect good enough so the wire came off. My last camper it went off when the detector was 6 years old so I replaced it, this is a little over a year so I am not sure but the glue explanation has me thinking.
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:25 PM   #13
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CO alarms

After a career in the fire service I have been on hundreds of CO alarm calls. Most of these calls were false alarms due to the units failing. This seemed to fall around the 5 year period. However, the location of the alarm can also be a problem. Ours is located under our oven next to the refrigerator. If we cook quite a bit especially if it is colder outside our alarm goes off quite often. It is not a false alarm but is responding to the CO given off from our oven or stove. These alarms are not "false". Every time this alarm goes off you should try and find the source. Dust or dirt on the unit can also cause a false reading which also is true of your smoke alarm. Dusting or vacuuming the unit sometimes resolves this but remember, this is a deadly gas. These units are designed to go off well before the CO level becomes lethal and just like your smoke alarm, will give you time to check things out. Reset or replace but never ignore.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:27 AM   #14
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I believe they get dusty inside,,, and that contributes to the false alarms !!!
I took our old one out and lightly vacuumed it,,, It seamed to help for a while !!!
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggiewaggie View Post
It is a gassy dog that sets ours off. Sometimes have to cover the unit.
Most sprays will set then off also,,, deodorant or body spray for sure !!!
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Old 09-10-2015, 09:44 AM   #16
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The propane alarm in our 2011 Georgetown will also sound when the battery voltage drops to low. Not a problem in the Summer but in the Winter, when the furnace runs at night when dry camping ......

One solution I've found is to add a third battery in parallel to the two coach batteries.

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