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Lisle 09-12-2019 11:35 AM

Propane/CO alarm going off? Casita 16'
 
My propane was turned off for 2 weeks at the tank, but the alarm went off multiple times during the night one night. And there was no combustion going on in the camper -- no lighter, no candle, etc. This has happened several times. Seems like it happens when the windows are all closed because of cold or noise from other campers, even though I always leave the bathroom window open. When the alarm goes off, I've opened the door and put on the exhaust fan and fanned some fresh air at the alarm. That seems to reset it. Is it possible that it is me passing gas that is setting it off? Methane also detected by the alarm?

Right now, the propane is on and I've been leaving the window over the table open a couple of inches during the night, and the alarm hasn't gone off. However, it is getting too cold to do that all night here in northern New England.

Any thoughts on what is going on? Is this a malfunction or am I doing something wrong? It did seem that a couple nights when I'd eaten something that made me pass alot of gas, it happened more.

Jon Vermilye 09-12-2019 02:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lisle (Post 755219)
My propane was turned off for 2 weeks at the tank, but the alarm went off multiple times during the night one night. And there was no combustion going on in the camper -- no lighter, no candle, etc. This has happened several times. Seems like it happens when the windows are all closed because of cold or noise from other campers, even though I always leave the bathroom window open. When the alarm goes off, I've opened the door and put on the exhaust fan and fanned some fresh air at the alarm. That seems to reset it. Is it possible that it is me passing gas that is setting it off? Methane also detected by the alarm?

Right now, the propane is on and I've been leaving the window over the table open a couple of inches during the night, and the alarm hasn't gone off. However, it is getting too cold to do that all night here in northern New England.

Any thoughts on what is going on? Is this a malfunction or am I doing something wrong? It did seem that a couple nights when I'd eaten something that made me pass alot of gas, it happened more.

Yes. Lots of different gasses will set off the propane detector, including hydrogen from charging batteries. A good bean dinner will do the trick!

floyd 09-12-2019 02:42 PM

Maybe its dirty or defective.?



Mine has never gone off because it is still in the blister pack on a shelf in the shop.

Carl V 09-12-2019 09:18 PM

I had a combined CO/LP detector in my Trillium. About a year ago the alarm went off at like 2 am. Boy that sure wakes you up! My dog was freaking out!
On this detector, the CO and LP alarms are different, and it was the CO alarm that sounded. However, there was NO combustion going on anywhere, we were on an electric site and all LP appliances were off, no pilot, nothing. Also my detector was fairly recent, just over 1 year old.
I pressed the button to mute the alarm, I ventilated the camper just in case, and we got back to bed. Some sort of false alarm I figured.

20 minutes later, we'd just fallen back asleep, the damn alarm goes off again...
Again we jump like 2ft above the bed, and now the dog is in total panic!
I mute the alarm again, check again on what could cause this or bring CO in the camper, and there is nothing!!
So I pulled the detector's fuse on the converter, left the trailer windows open just in case, and we tried to get back to sleep. It took a couple hours this time!

Once back home, I tried the detector again. It took some time but eventually the CO alarm sounded again, and eventually it started to flash an error code, indicating that it was faulty and needed to be replaced. That's still on my "to do list"...

And my dog still doesn't want to get in the camper!

Stephen_Albers 09-13-2019 09:55 AM

Replacement Schedule?
 
Check your manual. Most alarm instructions call for a periodic replacement since they go back from shelf life. :omy

Bing M. 09-13-2019 12:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon Vermilye (Post 755233)
Yes. Lots of different gasses will set off the propane detector, including hydrogen from charging batteries. A good bean dinner will do the trick!

So will bad breath! My gas checker will activate from several gasses. Can follow a gas leak to its source. Not sure about BO tho! LOL

ARVZ 09-13-2019 01:22 PM

Carry an accurate CO meter/alarm like this and you can see what the actual level is and be informed at much lower CO concentrations, before you have suffered neurological damage. CO Experts – Carbon Monoxide monitors A lot of private planes carry these, for obvious reasons.


Standard CO alarms do not go off until you are close to dying.

Lockman 09-13-2019 02:43 PM

Had a similar instance happen last year. After just pulling into our camping spot somewhere in Kansas the co/propane detector was going off. I vented all the windows and that did not help. I used the campgrounds emergency phone and called the local Fire Dept. Told them its not an emergency so don't rush, but we will be outside waiting for them. They arrived in 5 min.and determined that it was most likely due to co from the TV exhaust. They made sure everything was OK before they left and the Captain gave me his personal cell phone # to call at any time if it happened again. Better to be safe than sorry. That's their job, so don't feel you would be bothering them, they rather you call them.

Jann Todd 09-14-2019 03:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lisle (Post 755219)
My propane was turned off for 2 weeks at the tank, but the alarm went off multiple times during the night one night. And there was no combustion going on in the camper -- no lighter, no candle, etc. This has happened several times. Seems like it happens when the windows are all closed because of cold or noise from other campers, even though I always leave the bathroom window open. When the alarm goes off, I've opened the door and put on the exhaust fan and fanned some fresh air at the alarm. That seems to reset it. Is it possible that it is me passing gas that is setting it off? Methane also detected by the alarm?

Right now, the propane is on and I've been leaving the window over the table open a couple of inches during the night, and the alarm hasn't gone off. However, it is getting too cold to do that all night here in northern New England.

Any thoughts on what is going on? Is this a malfunction or am I doing something wrong? It did seem that a couple nights when I'd eaten something that made me pass alot of gas, it happened more.

It appears you have a 2018 trailer. So it is not old. They do go bad after a few years. There's an expiration date on them. We had the exact same problem and aired the trailer out but like you said a little while later it went off again. If it is under the bed like ours I think the lack of fresh air and the warm air from the converter nearby, hot water heater, etc caused it to go off. We never could remedy the problem so we removed the fuse and got a portable one to hang on the wall above the bed. Yes everything sets them off. Human or animal gas, hair spray, sometimes certain cooking fumes, cat box, animal breathing near it, etc. I think the ones in the Casita's are to sensitive. The remedy is to remove fuse and get a portable one for your safety.

Jann Todd 09-14-2019 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by floyd (Post 755234)
Maybe its dirty or defective.?



Mine has never gone off because it is still in the blister pack on a shelf in the shop.

I believe she is talking about the built in one most likely under the bed. Leaving something important like a CO detector on your shelf is not safe. It has an expiration date so you are just letting it go bad for no reason. They are put into RV's for a reason. That reason is safety.

Glenn Baglo 09-14-2019 04:02 PM

That date on the back of the detector is not an expiration date. It is date of manufacture.

The propane detector is good for five years from the date it is hooked up to electricity.

I got this information from the distributor because I was concerned that I was paying for a new detector that was already six months old according to the sticker.

floyd 09-14-2019 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jann Todd (Post 755401)
I believe she is talking about the built in one most likely under the bed. Leaving something important like a CO detector on your shelf is not safe. It has an expiration date so you are just letting it go bad for no reason. They are put into RV's for a reason. That reason is safety.

True it may go bad, I just accumulated it, so no loss.
I don't have one in my trailer and don't want one.
As much as I love ya, you're not invited to sleep in my trailer so... no worries!;)


Note to all...
Get one and use it if it helps you sleep better.
(anyone see the irony in that?):rolleyes:

glens2422 09-14-2019 05:37 PM

I had the same problem on a 2017 Liberty deluxe and tried everything mentioned above. Mine was the CO2 alarm...make sure you know which one is going off by the sound. Had to reset constantly at very inconvenient times. Called the manufacturer and was told it was very sensitive so I did not even drink a beer in the Casita for fear the alcohol would set it off. Finally called Casita and they sent me a new alarm and it has not gone off since. FYI you need a rivet tool to install the new alarm. Good luck.

Glenn Baglo 09-14-2019 05:43 PM

You may have a CO alarm or a propane gas alarm, or combo of the two, but I doubt you had a carbon dioxide alarm ( CO2 ) since that's what you exhale.

glens2422 09-14-2019 05:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo (Post 755421)
You may have a CO alarm or a propane gas alarm, or combo of the two, but I doubt you had a carbon dioxide alarm ( CO2 ) since that's what you exhale.

Thanks for the correction :cool:

Lisle 09-14-2019 09:00 PM

Thanks for your replies. Yes, my Casita is a 2018, so the alarm should not be too old. And yes, it is CO and propane. I don't know if it makes a different sound for one or the other -- no mention of that in the manual. When it has gone off, it is usually in the night. The first 3 nights it happened, the propane tank was turned off and had been off for 2 weeks so I don't think propane set it off. And there was no smell of propane. With the propane heater and hot water heater off, and the refrigerator running on 120, I'm not sure what in the camper would have heated it up. I think I'll call Casita and see if they will send me a new one. It is REALLY not fun to be awakened in the middle of the night with the darn thing going off! And when it happened multiple times in one night!!!! Plus the next morning I had to apologize to the folks camping quite close on both sides of me for waking them up in the night, too.

Glenn Baglo 09-14-2019 09:51 PM

In the meantime, vacuum the face plate and wipe it with a damp cloth, which, according to the instructions for my propane detector, should be done weekly. I do it more like every six month.

Jann Todd 09-15-2019 08:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo (Post 755403)
That date on the back of the detector is not an expiration date. It is date of manufacture.

The propane detector is good for five years from the date it is hooked up to electricity.

I got this information from the distributor because I was concerned that I was paying for a new detector that was already six months old according to the sticker.

You are right the newer ones are the manf date. They used to have the expiration date on some of the alarms. Now you have to figure out the month and year they will expire. Trust me they expire and start beeping almost exactly the month and year they are suppose to. Have had 3 of them do that. But at least we know they are doing what they are suppose to.

gordon2 09-15-2019 09:23 AM

Q: If two identical alarms are used, one powered up all the time and the other only powered up 50% of the time (and with no battery backup used), will the alarms signal end of life the same time? How do they know the date? Or do some judge age by the radioactive? Do they have internal clocks running on a separate power source?

Jann Todd 09-15-2019 03:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gordon2 (Post 755473)
Q: If two identical alarms are used, one powered up all the time and the other only powered up 50% of the time (and with no battery backup used), will the alarms signal end of life the same time? How do they know the date? Or do some judge age by the radioactive? Do they have internal clocks running on a separate power source?

They must have an internal clock or some internal factor because in our motorhome it has died at the given time. We keep the power off in it unless we are traveling. So it is only powered up about 10% of the time.

Fred762 09-16-2019 12:04 PM

Alarm
 
Ours did this in our 2018 Indy Casita17..nothing worked..except vacuuming the thing..wh helped for awhile. Finally got tired of the alarm and removed the fuse. Told the new owner all about it. He said don't sweat it bks his brother was an electrician and could fix anything. Nuff said. Ours was used only for 1 1/2 seasons. Grrr.

dmad1 09-16-2019 09:25 PM

I was having the same problems with our Casita. Read on this forum a post saying he cleaned the small vents on the front of the detector. I gave mine a good cleaning and have not had the problem since. Seems like he was saying dust accumulates on the narrow vents and restricts the air flow.

Siepierski 09-18-2019 11:43 AM

If your batteries go below 11 volts the propane detector will go off. Don't know of anyone has mentioned this

Carl V 09-18-2019 04:56 PM

True but in my case the detector has different alarms and LEDs blinking sequence depending if it's a CO alarm, propane alarm, end of life, low voltage, faulty unit, dog fart, etc.

The Enns 09-18-2019 05:04 PM

Lol. I’ve read about this irritating noise problem quite a bit on a casita forum. They seem waaay too sensitive. Folks say the detector needs to replaced after 4-5 years but our 2018 did the same this summer. Removing the fuse deactivated the fan and rear lights too so that wasn’t an option, so my hubby cut the damn wire. I know.... not best solution. But we sleep like babies now. ☺️

hlivesay 09-18-2019 05:57 PM

Let me just add, that the CO detector has a life span. And the new to yours in a new RV may have been in the manufactures inventory for a while.

I have used handheld gas monitors before and all gas sensors have a life span that varies on what gas you are monitoring. Thus my suggestion is to get a separate Co Detector, just like at home with a wired fire detector I have a separate back up just to be safe. Good Luck

gordon2 09-18-2019 06:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hlivesay (Post 755783)
Let me just add, that the CO detector has a life span. And the new to yours in a new RV may have been in the manufactures inventory for a while.
...

But I understood that the clock does not start running until they are powered up.

Kiddie says this about their alarm...

Eight years after initial power-up, this unit will “chirp” every 30
seconds to indicate that it is time to replace the alarm. A label
has been provided that has “Replace by” printed on it. Write the
replace by date on the label and affix it to the front of the alarm
so that it is visible after mounting. The date written on the label
should be after eight (8) years of cumulative power.

computerspook 09-18-2019 07:58 PM

Had mine in the house go off. Used some pc compressed air to blow it out and that seemed to take care of the problem.

Joel in WA 09-19-2019 09:19 AM

We had a bottle of cinnamon whisky break in the cupboard, and the aroma set our alarm off. It was fine after we cleaned it up and aired it out.

Raspy 09-19-2019 10:16 AM

The detectors can sometimes be "reset", but cutting the power to them for a minute and then re-connecting. You might be able to find an inline fuse and pull it for a minute, then replace it.

I've seen this work and was shown the trick by an Oliver technician. In that case, it reset it to normal.

gordon2 09-19-2019 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raspy (Post 755830)
The detectors can sometimes be "reset", but cutting the power to them for a minute and then re-connecting. You might be able to find an inline fuse and pull it for a minute, then replace it.

I've seen this work and was shown the trick by an Oliver technician. In that case, it reset it to normal.

There is a some risk in doing this since a CO alarm will trigger on cumulative exposure to CO. For example, one alarm's manual says this:

Per UL 2034 requirements, the CO sensor will not alarm to levels of
CO below 30 ppm and will alarm in the following time range when
exposed to the corresponding levels of CO.

70 ppm CO Concentration 60 – 240 minutes
150 ppm CO Concentration 10 – 50 minutes
400 ppm CO Concentration 4 – 15 minutes


So as you can see, if you have a 70 ppm exposure causing the detector to alarm after at least an hour of exposure, and then you power cycle it, then you will continue to be exposed to the same 70 ppm of CO for another hour or more until it alarms again. Reset it again and now your getting a triple exposure.

Raspy 09-19-2019 06:41 PM

Gordon,

That is how the pros do it. And to not do it means to listen to it going off. Disconnecting it permanently means no protection at all.

I would not want to listen to it, and I do want the protection. So, resetting it makes the most sense. Besides, you could always leave the door ajar, or the fan running during the waiting period to clear the room of any CO.

gordon2 09-19-2019 07:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raspy (Post 755867)
...That is how the pros do it.

By power cycling the detector? I highly doubt that any true professorial deals with CO alarms by only "resetting" it, at least not until they have at least tried to figure out why it is alarming and verifying that it is a false alarm.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raspy (Post 755867)
And to not do it means to listen to it going off.

I am surprised to hear that since I have never had a false CO alarm. In fact I have an alarm/detector in the house, near my garage and a vent-less fireplace... it has a digital display that is supposed to show CO readings below the alarm threshold. It has never displayed more than zero point zero. So I even wonder if its working at all. But if it did alarm, I would truly respect that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raspy (Post 755867)
...I would not want to listen to it, and I do want the protection. So, resetting it makes the most sense. Besides, you could always leave the door ajar, or the fan running during the waiting period to clear the room of any CO.

Well, I will agree that if you do power-cycle the alarm, you should also ventilate the area and also do what you can to figure out why it alarmed. But I would not "reset" it more than once since that defeats the protection you get from the detector measuring the cumulative CO exposure as opposed to instantaneous or short term exposure - the protection that you said you want.

Glenn Baglo 09-19-2019 08:31 PM

I think there is much confusion about which alarms people have, as in they didn't read the instructions and they don't actually know what they have. That makes posts here confusing as well. Doesn't help that there are now combo Propane Gas / Carbon Monoxide alarms.

Jann Todd 09-19-2019 09:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raspy (Post 755867)
Gordon,

That is how the pros do it. And to not do it means to listen to it going off. Disconnecting it permanently means no protection at all.

I would not want to listen to it, and I do want the protection. So, resetting it makes the most sense. Besides, you could always leave the door ajar, or the fan running during the waiting period to clear the room of any CO.

Sometimes resetting them doesn't work. We pulled our fuse but bought a portable one for safety. The portable one has never gone off. I think in the Casita's they are in a bad location, under the bed with the converter, hot water heater, etc. It always went off about the same time every night after we closed up the door and windows. We always make sure we have a detector though. The only time the portable one went off is when it chirped to tell us it was expired. Then we went to a store and bought a new one while we were on the road.

Raspy 09-19-2019 10:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jann Todd (Post 755880)
Sometimes resetting them doesn't work. We pulled our fuse but bought a portable one for safety. The portable one has never gone off. I think in the Casita's they are in a bad location, under the bed with the converter, hot water heater, etc. It always went off about the same time every night after we closed up the door and windows. We always make sure we have a detector though. The only time the portable one went off is when it chirped to tell us it was expired. Then we went to a store and bought a new one while we were on the road.

This may be the best solution, in the long run. A new detector in a better location.

Resetting them is just the first thing to do, to see if it fixes the problem. If it doesn't, it's time to try something else. And it's WAY better than listening to it for the entire trip.

The idea is not to just shut it off, but to get it to be more accurate and stop beeping for no reason. I, for one, would not spend a long time listening to that thing when I could try something to make it stop. The one I saw doing this was in the middle of the day, with the door wide open, no appliances running, and nobody in the trailer. Obviously, there was no danger. So, resetting it was totally appropriate. Plus, resetting it was a normal first step. And it worked.

I have never claimed that reseting them was the answer to all problems forever. It is just one thing to do first, which stops the racket and may fix the problem. I have seen it work, and I would definitely try it on mine while out camping. Who wouldn't?

It does sound like some of them are in the wrong location too.

jpowersphoto 03-22-2021 06:45 PM

possible Propane leak or something else?
 
Hi everyone,

I have a 2020 Casita travel trailer and my Atwood detector alarm went off last Thursday evening. I opened the windows and turned off the propane just in case. Initially we thought maybe one of the kids farted in the trailer. So we all had a good laugh and went to bed. I turned the gas back on Friday and the alarm did not go off again in till Sunday evening. I guess my question is do I actually have a gas leak or is the Atwood detector not working correctly? Keep in mind that the vin date says it was built 5 months ago. Should I be having this type of problem already?

computerspook 03-22-2021 07:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpowersphoto (Post 808871)
Hi everyone,

I have a 2020 Casita travel trailer and my Atwood detector alarm went off last Thursday evening. I opened the windows and turned off the propane just in case. Initially we thought maybe one of the kids farted in the trailer. So we all had a good laugh and went to bed. I turned the gas back on Friday and the alarm did not go off again in till Sunday evening. I guess my question is do I actually have a gas leak or is the Atwood detector not working correctly? Keep in mind that the vin date says it was built 5 months ago. Should I be having this type of problem already?


A lot of fire departments will allow you to pull your camper over to the station and they will check the current status of the gases in it. That would tell you for sure.

Stephen_Albers 03-22-2021 08:01 PM

Open flame propane is not a good idea in any trailer and really a bad idea in a small one because it pumps huge amounts of water vapor, heat and gas into a small space. Switching to electric solves a host of problems.

AC0GV 03-22-2021 08:01 PM

Mine also
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jpowersphoto (Post 808871)
Hi everyone,

I have a 2020 Casita travel trailer and my Atwood detector alarm went off last Thursday evening. Keep in mind that the vin date says it was built 5 months ago. Should I be having this type of problem already?

Mine (2017 Scamp) went off several times when new also. I used a vacuum cleaner and a soft brush to clean the MFG dust out and it has not gone off again. Now that may be good or bad, but it still tests OK.

computerspook 03-23-2021 04:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stephen_Albers (Post 808881)
Open flame propane is not a good idea in any trailer and really a bad idea in a small one because it pumps huge amounts of water vapor, heat and gas into a small space. Switching to electric solves a host of problems.


You put out more water vapor than a cooking fire will.

AlanKilian 03-23-2021 09:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by computerspook (Post 808895)
You put out more water vapor than a cooking fire will.


Ooooohhhhh......


I love physics questions I don't know the answer to.


So, (math, math, math)...
(probably wrong somewhere, people will tell me where I messed-up, FOR SURE)


My Scamp Suburban stovetop has two 6,500 BTUH burners.
I read Propane has 21,600 BTU/Pound.
Divide (and the units MATCH!) we get 3.3 hours per pound of Propane.
One pound of Propane produces 1.75 pounds of water, so 1.75 pounds of water every 3.3 hours is 0.53 pounds of water as vapor per hour of running the stove.


Humans breath about 20 times per minute and produce about .03 grams of water in each breath.
That's 1,200 breaths per hour equals 0.08 pounds per hour.


So.... Humans produce far lower RATE of water vapor than a propane stove.


However....
If you are so obnoxious that you breath for 12 hours you produce about a pound of water vapor and it would take one burner of a stove about 1.8 hours to produce that much, so I do believe, based on my running the stove for about 20 minutes to make coffee, that I INDEED do produce more water vapor than my Propane stove!:eek:



Refs:
https://www.amazon.com/Suburban-2937.../dp/B003CVRNFO
https://www.exothink.com/Pages/btu.html
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/healt...81-vital-signs
https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwic...-oddest-reason
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f93/engi...ne-104216.html

Defenestrator 03-28-2021 03:59 PM

The math's likely right, but I'll throw a couple complicated wrenches in:
Breathing may be the biggest way humans shed moisture, but it's not the only one. Sweat adds up too, especially if it's hot. Also, I strongly suspect that the rate at which humans shed (vs absorb) moisture is tied to current humidity.

computerspook 03-28-2021 04:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlanKilian (Post 808911)
Ooooohhhhh......


My Scamp Suburban stovetop has two 6,500 BTUH burners.
I read Propane has 21,600 BTU/Pound.
Divide (and the units MATCH!) we get 3.3 hours per pound of Propane.
One pound of Propane produces 1.75 pounds of water, so 1.75 pounds of water every 3.3 hours is 0.53 pounds of water as vapor per hour of running the stove.


Humans breath about 20 times per minute and produce about .03 grams of water in each breath.
That's 1,200 breaths per hour equals 0.08 pounds per hour.


So.... Humans produce far lower RATE of water vapor than a propane stove.


Think there has to be a problem with your math.

One thing to consider is that generally you are supposed to vent while cooking and some of the cooking gas therefore water is leaving the trailer. But I will say absent better information if you don't vent then this is likely close to accurate. But I think you totally miss on the people.

Part of it may be the sources of water from the body mentioned above. Now that I can find you lose into the local air the least amount of water when you sleep and more while awake and doing things. But apparently in 8 hours sleep you lose at least a pound and sometimes close to 2 pounds when at a normal environmental temp. And that is 8 of the 24 hours if you are staying in the camper 24 hours. So likely a person is putting out like 6 pounds in a day. Can't find a better number but that seems to be a good value. And that is for one person. The next one probably does 2 also.

I do know from observation that just being a person in a camper does produce a pretty noticable amount of water vapor. If it is colder outside than inside the windows will quickly fog up and start having water running down them. A lot of times I have my camper out I am part of a response and someone else is cooking for us so the stove is not used. And I see very little difference in how wet the windows get with or without cooking happening. It seem s to mainly be a factor of how long I am in the camper.


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