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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Carbon Monoxide Detector

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stumper92

Virginia

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Posted: 09/14/12 07:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just had a situation that caught me off guard. I am currently dry camping at an offroad event. When I got back to the camper this evening, I turned on my hot water heater for a shower. While the water heater was warming up, I fixed something to eat (cold sandwich no stove or oven). About 2 hours after turning on the water heater, I jumped in the shower. Just as I was finishing my shower, the carbon monoxide detector began to alarm ( located over the bed). A few minutes later the propane gas detector alarmed but only for less than a minute. I got dressed quickly and shut off the water heater and fridge. Opened all the windows and shut off the propane. It took about 20 minutes for the carbon monoxide detected to quit alarming. Anyone ever have a situation like this? If so, did you figure out what happened. I am certainly glad these units have these safety features in place.

naturist

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Posted: 09/14/12 07:27pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If there is indeed a problem somewhere, I'm glad your life was saved by those alarms. And you should very definitely get everything checked out.

I've never experienced anything like that. So I can only imagine it musta been scary. Best of luck tracking down the cause.





popupcamping

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Posted: 09/14/12 07:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would head to a home depot or other and pick up a CO detector for a back up.

maybe the unit is faulty and is giving a false positive. Having another would determine this.

powderman426

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Posted: 09/14/12 07:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Although any CO detector is better than none, I feel the one with a readout is much better. That way you have an idea of how bad the levels are . Nighthawk makes a nice one.


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Photomike

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Posted: 09/14/12 07:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have heard of heat and humidity setting one off as it was going bad. As others have said get another one (a readout is nice) to check yours.


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ksbowman

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Posted: 09/14/12 08:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You might check the heat tube on your water heater to see if wasps or mud dobbers have made a nest in there and blocked most of the tube. I've have the mud dobbers block both my furnace and water heater and cause venting and clean burning problems.

stumper92

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Posted: 09/14/12 09:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all the input. I will definitely check into a unit with a readout. What concerned me most was that both the carbon monoxide, and the propane detector went off. They are two separate units mounted in different locations. It was dark when the alarms went off, so I will check the water heater more closely tomorrow. For now it stays off.

Rich&Yvonne

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Posted: 09/15/12 11:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had ours go off while applying bug spray on ourselves inside the camper. I had to fan the detector until enough air shut the alarm off. I've also heard steam or high humidity will set it off.


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msiminoff

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Posted: 09/16/12 11:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

At group camping/tailgating events, it is not uncommon for exhaust from one RV's generator to enter another RV. As you might imagine this can lead to tragic consequences.
How close were you to other campers or generators?

I suggest that look for the possible source(s) of CO and propane in your TC. Since you had been running the water heater, that's a good place to start; Did you have a window open above the exhaust vent maybe? What other propane appliances did you have on?
This is also good time to do a soapy-water leak check of all of the propane fittings in your TC.

I'm glad that you have these detectors and that they appear to be doing their job. I'd much rather have a false alarm than no alarm. Let us know what you find.

Cheers,
-Mark


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portscanner

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Posted: 09/16/12 11:43am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All the above are good suggestions and I would check all of the above.

I would also add, what was the condition of the batteries at the time? Could you have had low voltage? Low voltage will cause false alarms

Also, how old are the detectors? I have found they deteriorate over time and start providing false alarms after a couple of years old. Check for and see if there is a manufacturing date or an expiration date on the back of them.


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