Propane detector keeps beeping! - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-26-2017, 04:26 PM   #21
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Propane Detector

Propane is heavier than air. These detectors should ALWAYS be mounted low. There may be a good reason it quit alarming when .mounted higher. We had a co2 detectors on a boat that alarmed when turned on. I called the manufacturer, he asked if we had batteries close by. The same gas batteries produce is what they test them with.
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:31 AM   #22
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Thanks for your responses.

To clarify, after reading your helpful answers, and the great pictures by Gordon, it is the Propane Detector that keeps beeping an alarm.

Since we had the Escape 5.0 to a dealer to check for leaks, i believe we are safe to assume the issue is with the batteries. It seems the most logical next step to check.

This is a great forum, as I did not know a regulator from a detector. And the pictures make clear ( as well as the horrid story from Darwin Maring) the importance of having that detector.

What we took for malfunction, is probably the detection of something...who knew. We will definitely want to add a toggle switch so we can shut it off if it detects something in the middle of the night while camping. That is one bone chilling alarm.
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:42 AM   #23
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Valerie,

I have been following this thread as well. I recently bought an '81 Scamp with a two burner stove. I know the stove works. I also know there is an original OLD style regulator on it and NO leak detection. I was uncomfortable thinking about the age on the lines as well as the connections in the stove unit. I do believe I am going to pull out the propane lines and the stove. There is no other use for propane on this unit as it is very bare bones. It does not have a roof fan and is just not an ideal place to cook. I was planning on using my portable stove anyway, like I have always done.

I am upgrading the electrical and think I might add an induction burner later. Should I add back the propane capabilities at a later date, it WILL have a detector in the system. Now I know what they are and why you need them.

Better safe than toasted. Thanks for opening the learning door.
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Old 05-27-2017, 07:51 AM   #24
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We will definitely want to add a toggle switch so we can shut it off if it detects something in the middle of the night while camping.

Note: When it goes off, get up, do not turn on any switch, open door and get out of there. Do Not turn the unit off and go back to sleep.
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Old 05-27-2017, 08:08 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
... Do Not turn the unit off and go back to sleep.
I think what he meant to say was:

Do NOT turn the unit off and go back to sleep!!!!!

Please hardwire the detector, do not add an off switch. Thats a good way to get killed.

Find out why its going off and fix that problem.


Edit: actually there is a good reason to have the detector off while the trailer is in storage and not being used (to prevent battery drain). But the way to do it is with a master switch that cuts off all power to the entire trailer, and use that only when the propane is off at the main valve, or the tank is removed.
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Old 05-27-2017, 09:30 AM   #26
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The 'pane detector in our Casita almost always goes off when we are first setting up camp. It consistently corresponds to when we are connected to city water and bleeding the air out of the system. So, either it's something offgassing in the hose, lines or hot water heater or something in the water itself. Have not found any evidence of gas leaks. We just turn on the fan and shove something in front of the alarm to mute the sound.
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Old 05-27-2017, 09:56 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeBreez View Post
The 'pane detector in our Casita almost always goes off when we are first setting up camp. It consistently corresponds to when we are connected to city water and bleeding the air out of the system. So, either it's something offgassing in the hose, lines or hot water heater or something in the water itself. Have not found any evidence of gas leaks. We just turn on the fan and shove something in front of the alarm to mute the sound.
Should there be an actual gas leak, turning on the fan could cause a spark from the switch or if the fan has brushes an arc from the brushes and armature could also ignite the gas.

Does it do it with the master valve on top the Propane Tank turned off?

The problem with shouting Wolf (Detector always going off) could be a major problem when it really detects gas and the alarm is ignored and a fan is turned on.

ME, I would do everything I could to find out what the problem is.
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Old 05-27-2017, 11:26 AM   #28
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First, the propane alarm will detect propane in such small concentrations that if it goes off, it is only remotely likely that propane density would have reached explosive levels. Second, using a toggle switch to silence the alarm would be done in conjunction with turning the valves on the propane tank off. I have had the propane alarm go off when the tanks had been shut off for days. And third, some here have implied that "one could die" if the propane alarm isn't hardwired. I find that somewhat amusing because the propane alarm in my previously owned Scamp with a propane cooktop, furnace, and water heater was NOT hard wired. It wasn't hard wired because Scamp didn't installs propane detector at all.
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Old 05-27-2017, 12:46 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by CPW View Post
...And third, some here have implied that "one could die" if the propane alarm isn't hardwired. I find that somewhat amusing because the propane alarm in my previously owned Scamp with a propane cooktop, furnace, and water heater was NOT hard wired. It wasn't hard wired because Scamp didn't installs propane detector at all.
1. No you cannot die just because the alarm is not hardwired. That is not an accurate paraphrasing of my statement. The problem is that with a switch, sooner or later the switch will be turned off by mistake (perhaps by children), or on purpose and then not turned back on. Its just too easy to forget that little detail, with the result that your alarm is off. Then if you have a leak, that's when you can die.

2. True, Scamp does not install propane alarms. But when I put the propane alarm in my Scamp, I did it according to the manufacturer's recommendations and best practices (i.e. no switch).

3. My propane alarm does have a mute function that will silence the alarm while you are airing out the camper. And I would wager that most others have that feature also. But to know that, one has to RTFM.

Everyone can do as they please but I stand by my recommendations.
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:04 PM   #30
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Speaking of reading the manual.. I just re-read it and noticed this:
Note: All -P units will automatically shut down 5 years after being attached to a power source. This is a new RV regulation. A warning beep that begins days before the unit ceases to operate. (sic)

Could the OP's beeping be an end-of-life alert? What is the model make, model number , and installed date? You camper is 2013? Hmmm.. 2017-2013 = 4, but maybe....
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:13 PM   #31
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My propane alarm also has a mute button that when depressed, silences the alarm for about ten seconds. Then it sounds again, so you can mute it again over and over. I do not criticize your recommendations Gordon. Whatever works for you. I installed one in my Scamp also, hardwired. But when one has false alarms in the middle of the night, and knows they are false from extensive testing, one does not want to stay up pressing the mute button every 10 seconds. Furthermore, I do not worry about it being inadvertently shut off. I put a toggle switch in a well protected location, and there is a green LED on the alarm itself. Let us not forget that batteries in smoke/CO detectors can die and inadvertently not be replaced. I frequently glance at the alarm to make sure it is powered on. I have corrected the cause of my false alarms, but am glad I still have a toggle switch. And given the fact that Scamp cannot be bothered to install a propane alarm, I'm not convinced that any recommendation by a manufacturer (probably for liability reasons) or an individual to hard wire when installing one is critical. Honestly, I worry more about blow outs, crazy drivers, and bad power hook-ups more than propane explosions.
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:17 PM   #32
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No safety system, such as a propane or carbon monoxide detector, should have a switch that easily shuts it off. Sooner or later, to fix a nuisance alarm, or by mistake, or even because of a real problem, they will be left off and then they are defeated and useless. It's just too easy to silence it until it's "fixed" or to just quiet it until morning and go back to sleep.

It's the same reason you never install a valve between a pressure relief and a water heater.

But given that, is there a way to shut them off and avoid a constant battery drain? Such as when the trailer is left unplugged while unoccupied?

Carl, you are the exception to the rule because you understand the systems so well and won't fall into the trap. Hopefully.
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:19 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by CPW View Post
... But when one has false alarms in the middle of the night, and knows they are false from extensive testing, one does not want to stay up pressing the mute button every 10 seconds....
.
I think I would consider replacing it if it repeatedly false alarms. My propane alarm has never sounded and was installed 18 months ago.
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:23 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
..
But given that, is there a way to shut them off and avoid a constant battery drain? Such as when the trailer is left unplugged while unoccupied?
...
Of course, the master battery cutoff switch I mentioned above. That stops all phantom loads on the battery leaving only internal discharge to worry about. And it makes the camper safer when stored or parked and not used (with the power off).
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:30 PM   #35
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Along that same line, my toy hauler had a small propane leak that I could never find. Very annoying. And the previous owner had already disconnected the propane detector. Unless the tanks were turned off there was a scent of propane and after being off for a while, there was air in the lines.

It seems like a straight forward detection problem, but I wasn't able to find it. I didn't go the the next level of valving off each appliance separately to narrow it down, and eventually I sold it for other reasons (I found our Ollie). Meanwhile I went over that thing from stem to stern and never found it.
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:36 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
I think I would consider replacing it if it repeatedly false alarms. My propane alarm has never sounded and was installed 18 months ago.
Perhaps you failed to carefully read my post, specifically, "extensive testing." Mine was replaced and the new one did the same thing as the original.
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:41 PM   #37
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Gordon,

Yes, the master switch, of course, but then it needs an inline fuse if it's not on a breaker. I haven't looked at how mine is done. But after this conversation, I will.

Mine lives in the garage, plugged in, with the propane valved off. And we're away.
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Old 05-27-2017, 02:25 PM   #38
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Propane dector.

I want to also say DO NOT TURN OFF THE PROPANE DETECTOR AND GO BACK TO SLEEP. To assume your safe is to fail, also DO NOT INSTALL A SWITCH FOR ANY SAFETY DETECTOR. Install a main disconnect, whether switch or plug device. This will save your battery when stored. If you are stored at home install a battery maintainer and you'll allways be ready to go battery wise. I agree the battery gases are probably the problem but you don't need to have them in the trailer to breaathe either.
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Old 05-27-2017, 02:48 PM   #39
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Our 5th wheel had a very sensitive
Propane detector and would alarm on Right Guard deodorant .
I had to turn on the vent fan when using it to keep the alarm quite.
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Old 05-27-2017, 02:59 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by CPW View Post
Perhaps you failed to carefully read my post, specifically, "extensive testing." Mine was replaced and the new one did the same thing as the original.
No I read it carefully.. its just that "extensive testing" could mean different things and you never mentioned that you replaced it.

It would be enlightening and probably pertinent to the subject of this thread to hear more about your extensive testing. What was the methodology? Did you reach any conclusions? Do you talk to the manufacturer and if so what was their take on the repeated false alarms?

PS..
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPW
Honestly, I worry more about blow outs, crazy drivers, and bad power hook-ups more than propane explosions.
Here I could not agree more. The overall risk from the propane system is small compared to the other risks we deal with. Did you happy to catch my essay regarding a fire at my campsite recently? (And I don't mean in the fire ring!)
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