LP Gas Detector

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Woody

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Mar 10, 2005
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We recently spent three days at a sporting event where the daytime temps were in the 90's. Since we were drycamping we had to run the genset for the full three days, over 60 hrs total. Shortly after we arrived the first day I lit the pilot light on the stove and cooked some lunch. Shortly afterwards the LP Gas Detector went off and wouldn't reset.  We ended up without gas to cook or heat ho****er with all weekend, but at least we were cool. I did shut the gas off at the tank just in case we had an actual leak.
Concerned that we might be getting CO in the coach from the genset I watched the CO detector closely, but other than one time when it went off and immediately reset (it has done this before) that didn't seem to be the problem. We ran one of the vents on low just in case though.
When we returned I called a technician that I know at a local RV dealership and he advised to make sure the LP was shut off, air out the coach for 4 hrs. and then turn on the detector, he said if it didn't reset the problem was either a bad detector or low voltage from the battery.
To make a long story short--the detector did not reset.
I have a multi-tester, which I really do not know how to use, so I can check the voltage if someone walks me through it.
Is there any way to test the detector itself, other than what I have done ??
All help will be appreciated.

Woody
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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Davison Michigan
Well, for testing the voltage, Normally on 12 volt devices you have two wires, one is red, one is black,

Set the meter to 15 volt (or whatever is the first range GREATER than 12 volte)

Red probe to red wire, black to black, read dial,  Note, you likely have multiple dials (if it's an analog meter) so be sure you read the right scale,  (The top end of the scale should either match the range, in teh case of 15 volts that means it will say 15) or be equal to range*10^N  (this is a fancy math way of saying 1/10th, times, or 10 times or 1/100th, ro 100 times, or well you get the picture, a power of 10.

If it's a digital meter, then you simply read it.

I use both digital and analog, multiple meters, some older than I am, some newer, some mearusre frequency, capatence and even temperture (on one of them) about the only thing it does not measure is when it's time to make the coffee


As for testing the detector... You did that, it failed
 

Woody

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Mar 10, 2005
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917
Thanks John, I'll give it a try this weekend, when it is supposed to be at least a little bit cooler.

Woody
 

Woody

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Mar 10, 2005
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917
OK, I checked the gas detector, and now I have another enigma. First of all, the gas detector has 3 red wires and one yellow wire coming to it. Two of the red wires were combined before going into the detector so only two reds and the one yellow actually plugged into it.
After I took it loose from the wall I checked all connections and then turned it back on. It started beeping again so I turned it off, and then turned it on one more time. It quit beeping almost immediately. I turned gas on, turned on stove and water heater and everything works fine.
I con't figure out what happened unless there might have been some residual carbon monoxide in the wall, loose connection, or something like that.

Woody
 

Karl

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Mar 3, 2005
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Woody,

I'm a little confused. At one time you talk about the LP detector and another time the CO detector. They are different units. The LP unit is usually mounted below the cooktop and has a switch for shutting off the LP tank valve; the other is usually located in the bedroom and has a test switch. When you turn on the LP switch, it is normal for it to 'chirp' for several seconds before it turns on the LP valve. It is also sensitive to other gases from cleaning products, etc. Which is it that's giving you trouble?
 

Woody

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Mar 10, 2005
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917
Sorry about the confusion. It is the LP Gas Detector that is giving the trouble. It is mounted down low in the hallway of our coach between the kitchen and the bedroom, just outside of the bathroom. We also have two CO detectors, one is a combo smoke/CO detector that is in the bedroom and one is just CO and it is mounted down low in the kitchen. The only reason I was concerned about CO was because we had the generator running continuously for three days and it is located below and to the rear of the wall the LP detector is mounted on and I was concerned that maybe some CO gas from the generator had worked its way into the wall from underneath.
The LP detector is working OK right now. I have left it on with the gas turned on at the tank for four days now without it going off. Not sure right now what the problem was unless it was a low battery charge or a loose wire.
It obviously is a problem with the detector though instead of a gas leak, which is what primarily concerned me.
 

Jim Dick

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Feb 11, 2005
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Titusville, FL
Woody,

Many things can set off the LP detector. Hairspray and other aerosols can do it. Once my wife was making rum balls for a Christmas gathering and the gas from the alcohol set it off!

BTW, CO detectors should be mounted high on a wall but not in a corner. CO is lighter than air and will drift to the ceiling. LP, of course, is heavier and will drift to the floor.

 

Karl

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Mar 3, 2005
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Location
Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
Woody,

Jim is entirely correct, but let me add one thing: If either of them (CO or LP) go off, open windows and leave the coach as soon as practicable. DO NOT turn off light switches or other potential spark producers from inside your coach. It could be an LP leak, and you don't want a spark to ignite it. Best to pull the big plug outside if you're hooked up to shore power, or just let the batteries drain down. Even if it's not an LP leak, CO is a silent killer and it's best to check, re-check, and re-re-check for the possible cause. Hopefully, it's just a bad detector, but you want to err on the safe side 
 
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