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Old 01-18-2017, 03:46 PM   #21
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Just protect yourself with a fire/smoke, a propane/monoxide detectors. I have 2 CArbon Monixide detectors because I sleep better knowing I have 2.
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Old 01-18-2017, 04:13 PM   #22
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Does having two CO detectors allow you to detect CO2?
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Old 01-18-2017, 04:56 PM   #23
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Does having two CO detectors allow you to detect CO2?
It takes two. I don't know how you could could only run one CO detector, because what would it be co-detecting with??
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Old 01-18-2017, 05:26 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
Beverly, don't be too frightened by the more alarmist responses you've received. These heaters are made for indoor use, and you already intend to provide ventilation via open windows/vent. According to the owner's manual for the Mr. Heater Little Buddy model #MH9BX, "> This heater requires a vent area of 9 square inches (example 3” x 3” opening) minimum for adequate ventilation during operation. Do not use other fuel burning appliances inside."
Just measure your window and vent. A single window 6" high that's opened an inch and a half would meet the requirement. If in addition you crack open another window, or the vent, you should be quite safe. And if you only operate the unit on low (4000 BTU rather than 9000 BTU), even less gaseous byproducts would be produced and the vent requirement is only 4 square inches (see Mr. Heater's MH4B, 3800 BTU, owner manual). I can't imagine you needing the high setting in a 13'er unless it's way, way below freezing in a howling wind. I often only needed the 1500 BTU setting on my Black Cat.
Maybe I am more sensitive to irritants than you . I own a Mr Heater Little Buddy . It may emit low levels of carbon monoxide but it also emits other substances that for me irritate my eyes , nose and throat . When I use the heater in my deer blind I make sure the heater is downwind.. If this is being an alarmist than so be it.
I for one would not advise anyone to run am unvented gas heaters in a enclosed spaces and much prefer to error on the side of caution.
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Old 01-18-2017, 06:46 PM   #25
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Hey Let's all remember... All detectors have a LIFE SPAN and should be replaced after the date stamped on them is reached.
They do not last for ever.... just because you put new batteries in them.
Check yours today to see if it is still operational.
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Old 01-18-2017, 06:53 PM   #26
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On that note:

When I replaced my propane detector the dealer called the distributor and was told that it would need to be replaced five years from the date of installation, not from the date on the propane detector. I had asked because the sticker on the detector was already six months stale.
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Old 01-19-2017, 03:50 AM   #27
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Glenn. This may or may not be true. Can you believe your dealer? and can he believe the service rep, and I use service in the sense of lip service not Tech, whose job it is to SELL thier product even if it's out of date.
After all the date stamped covers thier A--.

Went here to see data:
http://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-...ector/view-all
But as stated I did not reserch it very far. I do remember once while changing the house smoke detector it said the Cancer causing gas inside, that makes it work does degrade in time.
CO detectors + propane detectors may or may not be different. but I doubt it.
Wanna Chance It......It being important?
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Old 01-19-2017, 07:42 AM   #28
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...CO detectors + propane detectors may or may not be different. but I doubt it.
A propane detector and a carbon monoxide detector are two different things. But they are sometimes combined into a single unit. I'm pretty sure that's what Darwin meant.

Dual LP and CO Detector

It looks like Scamp only supplies a battery-powered CO detector. I would at least add a smoke detector for the trip home if you plan to use the trailer. The LP detector, stand-alone or combined with and replacing the battery-powered CO detector, would be a good safety upgrade later. It has to be hard-wired to the 12V system.
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Old 01-19-2017, 07:55 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
Glenn. This may or may not be true. Can you believe your dealer? and can he believe the service rep, and I use service in the sense of lip service not Tech, whose job it is to SELL thier product even if it's out of date.
After all the date stamped covers thier A--.

Went here to see data:
When to Replace a Carbon Monoxide Detector | The Family Handyman
But as stated I did not reserch it very far. I do remember once while changing the house smoke detector it said the Cancer causing gas inside, that makes it work does degrade in time.
CO detectors + propane detectors may or may not be different. but I doubt it.
Wanna Chance It......It being important?
The ionization type smoke detectors emit low level radiation.
When we installed / maintained , fire alarm systems / smoke detectors in public housing and multiple occupancy units we used the 5 year rule. The original installation was inspected and tested . The date of the inspection was the starting date of the 5 year life span. If there was no inspection on record then the date stamped on the detector was used as a start date.
We installed smoke detectors in a large number of housing units / dormitories at both public and private institutions ( Colleges).
We would install the detectors and call for inspection. When we went to make the inspection about half the smoke detectors were missing . The students had removed them because they were " radioactive". According to tests the smoke detector emitted less radioactivity than the old glow in the dark watches.

** Testing your smoke detector by pushing the test button will tell you if the battery is good and the horn works. Formal inspection is done using canned smoke or an approved smoke simulation powder .**

** If your desire is to have the best in smoke detection then you need to install smoke detectors that employ both ionization and photoelectric sensors . One is better for burning fires , the other for smoldering fires.**
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:04 AM   #30
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Even at low levels carbon monoxide is very toxic. It is odorless, colorless and tasteless so you won't know it's there. A carbon monoxide detector is a must. The detectors you buy at the hardware stores aren't very accurate or durable. Moisture inside your unit is also a concern as there will be quite a bit of this produced as well. Opening windows/vents defeats the purpose as most of your heat will be lost. An indirect fired unit with an outside combustion air source and flue venting is the best way to go. No matter what heating system you use, a CO detector is necessary. Low oxygen levels inside your unit will not be a concern.
There are no safe levels of Carbon Monoxide. I agree with Mike. As noisy are RV furnaces are, they vent to the outside and eliminate toxic combustion gases and added moisture in your rig. That said we keep a roof vent cracked 24/7 to lessen indoor pollution, like off-gassing from building materials, cooking, body odors, bathroom odors, etc. Our rigs are very small spaces and fiberglass is airtight so gas concentrations can build up quickly. Houses are very leaky in comparison. At your next FGRV rally pay attention to the various smells in the rigs you visit. Not all these odors are good for you.

I use a CO detector, but feel much safer eliminating possible CO sources than relying on some low-bid Chinese tech gadget to save my life.

I also use explosive gas and smoke detectors, though my DW can smell propane long before some gadget alarms.


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Old 01-19-2017, 08:04 AM   #31
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My desire is for people to read the link about the experation date stamped or taged on the back of thier CO or propane or smoke detectors and make the decision if they want to chance it by using an out of date appliance.
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Old 01-19-2017, 09:17 AM   #32
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My desire is for people to read the link about the experation date stamped or taged on the back of thier CO or propane or smoke detectors and make the decision if they want to chance it by using an out of date appliance.
The,5 year replacement rule is based on UL and NFPA testing criteria. From what I was told by fire inspection authorities and from classes I took was that after 5 Years the failure rate for detectors was unacceptable . That does not mean that every detector that is more than 5 Years old is defective . The manufacturer nor the vendor set the standard even though they could / would benefit
The issue with photo electric detectors is that they are affected by dust and need to be cleaned When is the last time you dusted out / cleaned your smoke detector ?. People often remove , disconnect , remove the battery from , smoke detectors due to nuisance alarms.
In our area all residential smoke / CO detectors must be hard wired with a battery backup . Smoke detectors installed as part of a security system do not meet the standard so in certain cases you will end up with a dual system .

The requirements for smoke ,CO and propane detectors are from the building code / fire codes and not from the NEC.
If fire protection is required in a structure then the wiring for the system has to be instaled to NEC standards and comply with the UL listing of the detector
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Old 01-19-2017, 12:29 PM   #33
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Carbon dioxide,CO2, and carbon monoxide, CO, are two very different gases. They are both produced by combustion. CO2 is the product of complete combustion. It is also the product of human respiration. It isn't very toxic except at extremely high concentrations. CO is the product of incomplete combustion. It is extremely toxic. It combines with the oxygen carrying component of the blood and causes chemical asphyxiation. There are various types of sensors available to monitor these gases. Most are the electrochemical type. They are cheaper, often go out of calibration and have a finite life span of one to two years unless they are exposed to extreme conditions. There are other types of sensors available that cost more and last longer. These quality sensors aren't likely to come in an RV.
Most flammable gas sensors use a hot wire to catalytically combust airborne flammables like propane and measure the heat produced as an indication of gas concentration. They have a flashback arrestor to make them explosion proof. Other types of sensors for flammables are also available but don't usually come in trailers.
There are other components in propane. Some, like mercapten, are added as odorants so you will be able to "smell" a leak as propane has almost no odor. Other impurities may also be present and are often responsible for the irritation reported by some people when "direct-fired" heaters (no exhaust venting to the outside) are used. You won't need a CO2 sensor in a trailer. You do need a CO and a flammable gas sensor. Both should be maintained and replaced as per the manufacturer's specifications.
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Old 01-19-2017, 12:53 PM   #34
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Propane is odorless and a additive is put in it so we can smell the rotten egg smell.
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Old 01-20-2017, 05:32 AM   #35
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I've posted this on another thread also dealing with ventilation questions

I've been wondering...The little test button they all seem to have...
Is that testing the actual working device or just the battery and/or hard wire conection.?

Suppose the only way to check the device if you have a question is to blow smoke on it...Smoke Detector, I did this- alarm good.
introduce propane to it via small unlit propane touch...for LP leak detector...I did this - alarm good.
How would I check the CO or CO2 detector.?.
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Old 01-20-2017, 10:12 AM   #36
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Signs and Symptoms of CO poisoning

The retired paramedic in me thought this might be an appropriate place to include this information. Through the course of over 30 years in the EMS field, I have run on my share of CO poisoning cases.

Most of the time, it was for sick family members - several of whom started having symptoms within a short period of time. Clear tip-off that it is environmental. Several times, it was to pronounce death. I will say, most frequently the fatal cases were the result of suicide, and were obviously intentional.

That said, CO can and will kill folks unintentionally. Any time you have combustion appliances (furnace, range, fireplace, water heater, space heater, etc), it is common sense to have working CO detectors.

If you suspect you have a CO problem, most fire departments have very accurate CO detectors and can check a residence quite quickly. (There will be a charge most of the time). As EMS, we often would call them to confirm or negate our suspicions.

Here are the Signs and Symptoms of CO poisoning, according to the Mayo Clinic:

Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include:

Dull headache
Weakness
Dizziness
Nausea or vomiting
Shortness of breath
Confusion
Blurred vision
Loss of consciousness

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be especially dangerous for people who are sleeping or intoxicated. People may have irreversible brain damage or even be killed before anyone realizes there's a problem.


If one, and especially if more than one of you start experiencing some or all of these symptoms, it is time to suspect CO poisoning. GET OUT, get fresh air, then call for assistance.
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Old 01-20-2017, 10:20 AM   #37
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How would I check the CO or CO2 detector.?.
CO is carbon monoxide.
CO2 is carbon dioxide, which is not an issue.
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Old 01-20-2017, 11:01 AM   #38
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All good information folks. I'm an Industrial Hygienist. CO is the most common toxic air contaminant. It is odorless, colorless and tasteless. By the time you are experiencing symptoms you are already in trouble. As stated previously, get out and get fresh air immediately. CO is not metabolized by the body. The only way to get rid of it is to breathe it out and this takes time to do.
Usually, the test button on a gas detector is to check that the battery, electronics and sensor of the unit are still functional. The problem is that the sensor can go "out of calibration". The sensor is set to alarm at a specific gas concentration. This means that it won't alarm at trace levels of gas (false positive) but will alarm when the gas concentration becomes significant. As the sensor ages or becomes contaminated, its sensitivity can change so that it may not alarm until the gas concentration becomes excessively high and then it doesn't provide the warning needed.
I use a calibration gas of known concentration to test sensor response. Better quality sensors have an adjustment so that the unit can be made to alarm at the correct concentration of gas. Gas sensors installed in trailers may not have this.
Carbon monoxide and flammable gases like propane are too dangerous to take chances with. Always have sensors for both and always follow the manufacturer's recommendations for replacing them. Your health and safety is too important to gamble with!
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Old 01-20-2017, 06:02 PM   #39
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Both smoke and CO detectors are living longer lives these days. I bought this one, good for 10 years. Just haven't installed it yet.
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Old 01-20-2017, 06:40 PM   #40
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Good for 10 years from when?.....I opened my new one that said 10 years too and the date inside lable on back of detector was 2012...
I guess we all have to use that good judgement and common sense and use extra blankets and snuggle more..oooo I like that....
Or drink more____________ I let you fill in the blank.
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