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Author Topic: Warning! Defective LP/CO Monitors  (Read 225 times)

Great Horned Owl

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  • Lake county, IL
Warning! Defective LP/CO Monitors
« on: July 28, 2017, 07:25:43 PM »
My LP/CO monitor reached end of life, so I needed to replace it. I bought an Atwood, model LPCO. The installation instructions stated that on initial power up, it will flash green, every eight seconds, for three minutes. Mine flashed red, every second, for three minutes.

A call to Atwood didn't produce anything useful, so I went back to the store, and exchanged it for another one. It behaved exactly the same as the first one. At this point, I didn't know if both units were bad, or if the instructions were wrong. I finally got a supervisor at Atwood, and got a promise that they would look into it. Several days later, I got a call from them. The story was that these are made for them in China, and nobody here knows how they should function. They had not been successful in getting any answers from China. He said that they would send me another, but they had no idea if it would be any different.

Not wanting to bet my life on trusting this thing, I decided to do some testing. I bought a canister of CO gas, and gathered up my propane torch. I emptied the entire CO canister, directly into the tester. There was no alarm. A tiny squirt of propane from the unlit torch, produced an ear splitting alarm.

Clearly, the CO detector is not functioning. Atwood's response to that news was to deny that they have been having problems with these, and to suggest that I take the RV in for service. Given that most people rely on the internal test function, and don't actually test with CO gas, I doubt that Atwood has any idea as to how many non-functional monitors are actually out there.

If you have one of these, I suggest that you either replace it with a different brand, or buy a CO canister, and test your monitor.

Joel
Joel & Dorothy
Retired electronics engineer. Avid photographer, paddler & birder.
2011 Silverado 2500HD, Duramax, 4x4,crew cab, 8' bed
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1994 19' Class B Horizon / Chevy

Alfa38User

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Re: Warning! Defective LP/CO Monitors
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2017, 11:45:39 AM »
They sell canisters of CO gas (Carbon Monoxide)?? Dangerous product it would seem to me!! What is it normally used for??
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Warning! Defective LP/CO Monitors
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2017, 11:58:30 AM »
It has commercial uses, e.g. combined with other fuel gases to make Syngas (a natural gas substitute).  Commercial bottled gas companies can usually supply it.

I'm not sure that squirting CO at a detector is areliable test, since the device is intended to measure a content level in the surrounding atmosphere rather than a few passing CO molecules. I  have a feeling that time of exposure is a factor.   This articles suggests a way to do it:

http://www.carbonmonoxidedetectorhq.com/carbon-monoxide-testing/

Based on the red lights and the lack of info from Atwood, I too would be concerned about the device. I'd ask for a refund instead of replacement and choose another brand.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Charlie 5320

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Re: Warning! Defective LP/CO Monitors
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2017, 05:17:23 PM »
I worked a hospital for many years and we had to test our CO monitors every 6 months and keep a record of such. We used a CO bottle for testing purposes. I forget now how many ppm it took to set off an alarm.  We had to test ALL gas furnaces in every building in the complex every heating season.
2003 National Dolphin 5320
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OLDRACER

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Re: Warning! Defective LP/CO Monitors
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2017, 06:53:41 PM »
Ah Yes, Atwood! Quite a few years back I had problems with an Atwood range and oven, a call to them produced the statement that "Those stoves were not intended to be used in a camper being lived in, just for occasional use!".

Wish I had a recording of that, but I play it back in my mind every time I see an Atwood product.

OutdoorFT

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Re: Warning! Defective LP/CO Monitors
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2017, 09:40:54 PM »
Ah Yes, Atwood! Quite a few years back I had problems with an Atwood range and oven, a call to them produced the statement that "Those stoves were not intended to be used in a camper being lived in, just for occasional use!".

Wish I had a recording of that, but I play it back in my mind every time I see an Atwood product.
if only the products were built to be used full time, even if used occasionally. Not the other way around.
Future Fulltimer

2011 F350 Lariat CCLB SRW
No RV yet!!

 

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