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Author Topic: What is setting off the CO detector  (Read 388 times)

kprieb

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What is setting off the CO detector
« on: October 31, 2017, 09:21:59 AM »
Just bought a new to me trailer and the next morning when I went out the CO detector was going off.  I have had a rv places look at the trailer and they can't figure out what is going on. When I was traveling I was parked by the fire department when it went off so I had them bring their reader out and the level was around 30 ppm, so there is truly an issue.

This only happens when the propane is turned on.  I don't have to have anything running, just the propane turned on. If I run anything on propane it would be the fridge and it doesn't make a difference if the fridge is on or not.  This doesn't make since to me because I thought there had to be a flame to have CO.  When I shut the propane off the detector doesn't go off.

The detector is located on the wall beside the kitchen sink.  I don't travel with dogs and just about every time this has happened it has been shut up and nobody was in the trailer.

Do anyone have any ideas what might be causing this?
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 12:14:08 PM by kprieb »

donn

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Re: What is setting off the CO detector
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2017, 09:59:47 AM »
Continuous or intermittant?  Intermittant beeping usually means one of two things, weak battery or old age.  These things need to be replaced about every five years.  My last one lasted 6 months.  Low battery voltage will set them off. 

kdbgoat

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Re: What is setting off the CO detector
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2017, 10:03:40 AM »
My first guess-propane leak. Have a drop test done on your propane system to see if it is leaking.
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docj

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Re: What is setting off the CO detector
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2017, 10:13:18 AM »
I thought there had to be a flame to have CO2. 

It is NOT a CO2 detector.  It is a CO detector.  There is a huge difference.  CO2 (carbon dioxide) is a normal constituent of the atmosphere and is exhaled by all animals including humans.  CO  (carbon monoxide) is created by incomplete combustion of carbon-containing materials. 
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TonyDtorch

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Re: What is setting off the CO detector
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2017, 10:13:43 AM »
you can tell if it's propane by turning it off and see if the alarm goes off.

make sure the stove valves are working correctly.
make sure the water heater pilot light is working correctly

is it the propane leak detector or the CO detector going off ?
 

Hammster

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Re: What is setting off the CO detector
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2017, 10:16:37 AM »
Sounds like the propane detector is detecting a leak. Find the leak
 Second, it wouldn't be a co2 detector anyway, it would be a co detector and that is usually on the ceiling.
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kprieb

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Re: What is setting off the CO detector
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2017, 12:16:16 PM »
The CO detector is new and I put new batteries in it. I am wondering if the propane detector is not working.  How would I check that?

grashley

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Re: What is setting off the CO detector
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2017, 05:41:21 PM »
Often the detector is a DUAL   CO / LP  detector.  You said it only alarms when propane is on.  I suspect you have the dual alarm, or it is the LP alarm, and it is alerting you to an LP leak.  THIS IS SERIOUS!  You may want to try an LP facility for detection confirmation and repair.
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HappyWanderer

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Re: What is setting off the CO detector
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2017, 08:57:58 PM »
It is possible that propane or mercaptan (the odorant in LP) can trigger a CO detector.

Certain gases with similar molecular size can cause a false positive on the CO detector, at levels lower than needed to activate the explosive gas (LP) detector.
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Re: What is setting off the CO detector
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2017, 06:55:08 AM »
There are dual CO/Explosive Gas or CO/Smoke detectors. Both Gas and Smoke detectors can be easily falsed by a whole bunch of stuff.

Beyond that. How old is the detector. some go off based on age.
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Alfa38User

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Re: What is setting off the CO detector
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2017, 07:42:54 AM »
A brand and model number of the unit in question would help to dependably know what you are dealing with, a CO dectector, an LP detector or perhaps a combined unit!!! Otherwise, all you will end up with will be speculations.
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HappyWanderer

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Re: What is setting off the CO detector
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2017, 08:22:05 AM »
The fire department meter also found a problem, so I think a faulty detector can be ruled out.

Since it only occurs when the propane is turned on, the answer seems fairly obvious. I would have a reputable propane company inspect the system.
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DearMissMermaid

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Re: What is setting off the CO detector
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2017, 06:52:57 AM »
Get to a propane dealer right away and get that checked and fixed.

Check your insurance policy for comprehensive coverage.

In 1976 I came home late at night to an oil furnace fire. I opened the front door and was blown back from the intense heat. When the heat reached the small propane tanks used for the stove, they blew up. The explosion shot up towards the heavens and was so spectacular  the night sky briefly turned into broad daylight.

Bits of my home landed over 2 miles away setting a corn field on fire.

We walked away with the clothes we were wearing and nothing else.

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