Carbon Monoxide/Smoke detector

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slacker72

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Would I be fine with something like this Kidde combo detector in my Sprinter?

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PC5RXAI/
 

Isaac-1

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I can't tell you if it would work or not, but I can tell you that it is not certified for RV use.
 

slacker72

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Isaac-1 said:
I can't tell you if it would work or not, but I can tell you that it is not certified for RV use.

Any recommendations for one that is certified for RV or van use?
 

Len and Jo

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Isaac-1 said:
I can't tell you if it would work or not, but I can tell you that it is not certified for RV use.

Looking over the manual (skimmed it) I could not find anything that said anything about RV's.  Do you have a source you could reference so I can read it.
 

Bill N

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Just something to think about:  Smoke rises.  CO sinks.  My CO detector is near the floor and the smoke alarm is on the ceiling.  I think it is more effective that way.
 

kdbgoat

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As a general guideline, co detectors should be about 5' off the floor, combustible gas (lp) detectors should be close to the floor, and smoke detectors should be on the ceiling. I'm not a big fan of the combination units for this reason.
And I certainly wouldn't stress over something being or not being certified for rv's. I would assume it's RIVA that would do the certifying, and RIVA is pretty much just a self serving entity of the manufacturers.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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There is nothing unique about CO or smoke/fire detectors in RVs. Same specs for the sensors. However, it is wise to have 12v or dry cell battery operated devices rather than 120v-powered units so they work when the RV is not plugged to shore power or genset.

An integrated smoke & CO detector is potentially less effective for the reasons kdbgoat cites. Better to have separates so they can each be at optimum height and location.
 

HappyWanderer

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As to the placement of detectors:

The vapor density of Carbon Monoxide is about the same as room air, and CO mixes very well with room air. The height of a CO detector is not important, but it must be placed in a location where room air freely passes the detector. A dead-air space like a corner or step-well would be a very poor choice for installing a CO detector.

As previously mentioned, propane is heavier than room air so vapors will settle to the lowest location. A place such as a step-well is an good location for an LPG detector.

As we all know, smoke rises due to it being warmer than surrounding air. Smoke detectors should be mounted high, but not in a dead-air space like a corner. Installing a smoke detector in a dead-air space will cause a significant delay in the detector being activated.

A combination CO / smoke detector is an excellent choice, if mounted in a higher location where room air freely passes the detector.
 

Gizmo100

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HappyWanderer said:
A combination CO / smoke detector is an excellent choice, if mounted in a higher location where room air freely passes the detector.

The only thing I would not like about the combination unit is you may not know why it's going off. My wife is always setting off the detectors because she forgets to turn on the exhaust fan. If it's just the smoke alarm..No big deal. But if it's the CO alarm we open the door to let in fresh air ASAP.

AND ONCE AGAIN I REMIND HER TO TURN ON THE FAN!
 

Back2PA

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Gizmo100 said:
The only thing I would not like about the combination unit is you may not know why it's going off. My wife is always setting off the detectors because she forgets to turn on the exhaust fan. If it's just the smoke alarm..No big deal. But if it's the CO alarm we open the door to let in fresh air ASAP.

AND ONCE AGAIN I REMIND HER TO TURN ON THE FAN!


I have the combo units and they have a voice that tells you what's up
 

HappyWanderer

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Back2PA said:
I have the combo units and they have a voice that tells you what's up
If not a voice, there should be a display that shows the reason for activation.
 

Len and Jo

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Gary RV_Wizard said:
There is nothing unique about CO or smoke/fire detectors in RVs. Same specs for the sensors. However, it is wise to have 12v or dry cell battery operated devices rather than 120v-powered units so they work when the RV is not plugged to shore power or genset.

An integrated smoke & CO detector is potentially less effective for the reasons kdbgoat cites. Better to have separates so they can each be at optimum height and location.
Thanks Gary, that is what I figured.  Smoke is smoke and CO is CO.
 

Isaac-1

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There are some differences about the ones that are certified for RV use Look up UL 2034 and NFPA 501c and 1192

These differences have to do with such things as how long the low battery alarm will sound, and their life expectancy in typical RV environments with wider temperature and humidity swings than typical residential environments


See this link also https://smalltownrv.com/uploads/3/5/4/3/35435934/detector.pdf
 

Bill N

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slacker72 said:
Are there any battery powered propane detectors?
Your nose is the best and cheapest propane detector.  Propane and natural gas is infused with an odorizer designed to make it detectable to humans.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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As Isaac points out, the UL has a testing specification for the designation of "RV Use", UL 2034 for CO detectors and UL 1484(RV) for smoke detectors. However. RVIA standards do NOT require that detectors used in RVs meet those UL test specs.

The use of the acronym "RV" in the UL specs appears to be somewhat broader than our scope of interest, likely including salt water yachts, ATVs, etc.  The testing includes a 48 hour exposure to salt spray, 30 days at 150 F. and 3 days at -40.    Few systems in our RVs could withstand those extremes. I'd hate to see what a typical RV would look like after 48 hours in a continuous salt water spray.

The testing for the UL RV Use designation is expensive by itself and making the product capable of passing it adds more expense. That's why you see so few with that UL-approval  labeling. The detector doesn't detect any better - it just holds up longer in extreme conditions.
There are, however, detectors that are NFPA 1192 approved, and that's the important measure. The RVIA also has a list of approved detectors that their manufacturers use in new construction. Here is one example:
http://www.brkelectronics.com/pdfs/2016/04/15/75e7f29c.pdf


Re the mounting height:  CO mixes readily in air and CO detectors work at most any height.  LP, though, is heavier than air and LP detectors must be located near the floor.  Thus a combo LP/CO unit must be mounted low, near the floor.
 

Rene T

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Bill N said:
Your nose is the best and cheapest propane detector.  Propane and natural gas is infused with an odorizer designed to make it detectable to humans.

I wouldn't want to depend on my nose while I'm sound asleep.
 

Gizmo100

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HappyWanderer said:
If not a voice, there should be a display that shows the reason for activation.

Maybe I could find one that has a voice that would remind her to "TURN ON THE EXHAUST FAN" ;D ;D
 
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