Carbon Monoxide Measurements - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-03-2009, 05:00 PM   #15
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Well, that's sobering reading. I've tried contacting the Kidde company that produced my Atwood detector (one of those discussed) and a couple of other manufacturers to find out how much their detectors may be influenced by water vapor, oxygen depletion, etc. So far, I haven't gotten past the marketing folks who just quote the official brochure. I've also called Camco, maker of the Wave heaters. They maintain that if we observe the ventilation instructions in their manual, the heater will produce only carbon dioxide. I didn't pick at this, knowing that nothing is 100% efficient. The lady also stated that they have not had a single case reported of CO poisoning in the many years they've produced the heaters; however, she was quick to say that until I prove otherwise, to believe the CO detector. I may order one of the detectors mentioned on that website, just to get a "second opinion". We can always use another CO detector around the house. I'm not ready to give up on this yet. I'm satisfied the heater is safe on low. I guess I can always pull it out and add the legs to make it a portable shop heater, but I'm not there yet.

Thanks for the great reference.

Parker

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Old 03-03-2009, 10:40 PM   #16
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This is a really good topic Parker and thanks for continuing to pursue this issue. I'm very interested in your findings.
While your at it, could you pick up a Mr. Buddy and test it.....
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:23 AM   #17
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The old gas fired (Hydro Carbon) cat heaters warned the user to light them outside and get them burning good B4 taking inside. It could B that the light up process puts some CO in the air and once it is operating there is no CO.

Here is something to try:
Open the windows and door, light the heater then wait 15 minutes and then close up like you would do when camping and get your reading then.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
Here is something to try:
Open the windows and door, light the heater then wait 15 minutes and then close up like you would do when camping and get your reading then.
Good idea. I'll try that. Something else that occurred to me is to check the propane regulator pressure to be sure it's not running too high. Everything seems fine on the low heat setting, but maybe on high it's getting too much fuel to burn efficiently. I'm going to rig up a water manometer and check it.

Parker
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:46 AM   #19
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Okay, here's the latest. As Darwin suggested, I lit the heater with lots of ventilation and let it come up to operating temperature before closing the ventilation down to something more like the recommended levels. The CO levels gradually started increasing, so I don't think that's the answer.

I whipped up a water manometer and checked the propane pressure. It is reading 10.5 inches, and 11 is the desired setting while operating, so all is well there.

I started messing with the location of the detector, which is very near the ceiling on the rearward facing side of the closet. If I lower the detector a foot or so, the reading drops to 0. Then I recalled the Kidde person asking me if I followed the recommendations about where NOT to install the detector. One of those reads "Do not install in dead air spaces such as peaks of vaulted ceilings or gabled roofs." I'm starting to suspect that I've found an overly sensitive place to mount the detector. Right now, it's sitting on the table. I'll let it run an hour or so and see if it's still reading 0.

Parker
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Old 03-04-2009, 02:21 PM   #20
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When I start replying to my own postings, does that mean it's time to get a life?

I think I've just about exhausted all options on this project. I did learn that I probably picked the most sensitive location in the Scamp to mount the CO detector. Whether that's good or bad depends on your point of view I guess. I moved the detector to several other locations while the heater was running on high with reasonable ventilation (any more would have negated the heater) and it seemed to indicate around 40 ppm of CO on average. With the heater on low, the detector reads 0.

My conclusions are that we'll run the heater on high only long enough to warm up, then reduce it to low. We won't ignore the CO detector. I'm happy I picked one with a digital readout. I think it would be easy to have levels of CO that probably aren't very healthy for long term exposure, while still never triggering a simpler detector's warning.

This has been an interesting project. Along the way, I got to check my propane regulator pressure and accomplished a leak test at the same time. Here's a link to the water manometer and its use. http://www.rverscorner.com/manometer.html

All the best,
Parker

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Old 03-04-2009, 02:57 PM   #21
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Here is what my CO alarm states. Nighthawk by Kidde:

11-35 ppm: Ventilate your home – monitor the unit for raising CO levels.

35-100 ppm: Ventilate your home – call a qualified service technician to inspect for possible sources of Carbon Monoxide.

100+ ppm: If no “flu-like” symptoms are being experienced, follow the previous procedures.

If ‘flue like” symptoms are being experienced…
Immediately evacuate the premises.
Call 911 or your local fire department.
Do not re-enter your home until the problem is corrected.
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:50 PM   #22
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If you are answering your own postings, me thinks you must not be quite dead yet, so any thoughts on getting a life are premature at best and entirely irrational at the other end of the spectrum.

Now, what was the problem?

Oh yeah! CO detector making too much fuss. We've got one of those too. Had it mounted in dead air space above the front bunk. I took it apart and clipped the wire to the noise maker temporarily, then was able to watch the digital readout.

Operating the cook top burners annoyed it the most, but the level just rose slightly above the alarm trip point and no further. YMMV.

So relocating the CO detector is on my to-do list, near the top, I might add!
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:22 PM   #23
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This CO Detector......I looked up on Ebay but only saw the plug in type....is yours battery operated, or is it a plug in model that you have chosen to just run off the battery "power outage option" ? I want to get a digital read out one myself.

thanks
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:36 PM   #24
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This CO Detector......I looked up on Ebay but only saw the plug in type....is yours battery operated, or is it a plug in model that you have chosen to just run off the battery "power outage option" ? I want to get a digital read out one myself.

thanks
Mine is the Atwood 900-0140, made by Kidde. I ordered it from PPL. Here's a link to it:

http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/lp-gas/...co-detector.htm

I don't know if it will work, or if you'll have to paste the address into your browser.

It runs on three AAA batteries. The propane detector is hard-wired in. Since the CO detector generally is mounted higher, I didn't want to have to run wires up to it. As it turns out, I'm glad it can be moved around.

Good luck!
Parker
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