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Thread: Carbon Monoxide detectors

  1. #1
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    Carbon Monoxide detectors

    Does anyone here by chance have any experience or knowledge of carbon monoxide detectors specifically as they are used in travel trailers.

    I am in process of preparing trailer for a trip having hauled it out of storage and replaced tires and bearings etc.

    Now the Co2 detector is chirping end of life chirp. Research on my particular unit shows it to be junk used by trailer manufacturers with poor support Even tried calling the company got a mailbox that is full and no one is answering calls.

    Not worth the effort to hunt them down.

    So i am going to look for a replacement.

    But here is the thing. My knowledge of these things says they should be placed near the floor on the wall not on the ceiling. As i understand it CO2 floats on the ground so if its ceiling mounted by the time it detects the co2 the occupants of the space will have succumb to the CO2.

    reason i am asking is before i go and just repeat placing another one in the old ones location i would rather get it right.

    I do have another one in the trailer that's mounted low down near the fridge and battery charger about a foot off floor height and i know it really works after she who shall remain nameless made a mistake with a gas appliance.

    But having one in the other end of the trailer could be handy for more localized issues in that end given there is a door on the room.

    Any suggestions input or recommendations will be appreciated.

    Will also see what the RV guys forum says about this but as has been said before I have some regard for our members here even as it pertains to matters non woodworking. Other forums I dont know anything about the poster.

    We never had these gadgets back where i came from. We should have given the idiot way we heated our homes. Cannot believe we survived to see another day. We had open flame gas burning heaters on wheels back there how are these things legal would they be legal in Northeast North America with our sealed houses in winter . DUH thank goodness there was no insulation and incredibly leaky windows and doors. Oy Vey i get the shivers just thinking about those days and how lucky we were as kids. Parents knew no better.
    Last edited by Rob Keeble; 08-26-2014 at 03:17 PM.
    cheers

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    ... We should have given the idiot way we heated our homes. Cannot believe we survived to see another day. We had open flame gas burning heaters on wheels back there how are these things legal would they be legal in Northeast North America with our sealed houses in winter . DUH thank goodness there was no insulation and incredibly leaky windows and doors. Oy Vey i get the shivers just thinking about those days and how lucky we were as kids. Parents knew no better.
    The difference back then was parents were parents. They taught their kids the dangers of open space heaters and the kids obeyed! Sad to say that so many of today's kids would play around and see what would burn fastest in one of those heaters!

    As to CO2 detectors, I have no personal experience with them. I looked at a couple of selections and got a little chuckle from the instructions. It said not to mount it closer than 4" to the ceiling. Methinks I'd be mounting it more like 4" off the floor!
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  3. #3
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    Bill i think you may have misunderstood my post a little. As kids we did not get any education as to Carbon Monoxides existence never mind even smoke detection. It was my parents who had no knowledge in order to educate the kids. We never messed with these appliances as kids.

    Mom smoked like a chimney and in the house. First i learnt of smoke detectors was in my business life related to protecting the computer room.

    I think many in North America and perhaps Europe under estimate the sophistication of the building codes in these parts and the aspect of UL influence and tort law on safety.


    Again what is a lets say average $50 or even less item is not that cheap in territories in the world where $50 gets multiplied by say a factor of 11 and becomes really meaningful loot in local terms in that territory thus making the life saving device non attainable.


    Example one would think my Dad having spent extensive time on a Navy ship with explosives especially in his time with the way a big gun was loaded, would have had some knowledge of the subject rub off somewhere along the line.

    Had that happened and had we known and acted on the aspect of having items like smoke detectors and co2 alarms in our homes back where i came from then a maid of my Dads would still be alive today well perhaps not given age but she would have at least lived longer.

    She lost her life because she could not smell. In her specific case a propane cooker was used in a closed room for cooking.

    Yeah DUH but that's with hindsight of what i have learnt coming to North America and experiencing the building code etc and availability of these devices and their use and even to the point of local fire houses having street signs in fall alerting residents to check those smoke detectors going into winter. All things now I see people here take for granted.

    Well she lit a candle in the room full of propane and boom. My Dad suffered 3rd degree burns rescuing the baby in the fire. The maid died of injuries. Very sad event. I was not around at the time I think it was when i was away in the Military.

    If general knowledge in a third world country of the hazards of open flame and fuel burning appliances was greater well there would perhaps be less loss of life in squatter camps where at times one neighbors folly results in many wiped out while they sleep.

    I feel there is little excuse for this kind of event in my parts of the woods now given the code yet you cannot stop people doing what happened in the recent power outage during winter where a young girl and her grandma died after bringing the BBQ indoors to provide heat.

    The heater i linked to in my post is very typical of what we had. We would have it in a closed room in winter with no window open and even door to rest of house closed. No one ever wondered why we nodded off sitting around reading or playing games or listening to radio (no TV until 1975). That's what makes me gasp. My parents never thought about the oxygen the unit was burning or the fumes. We would get headaches and wonder why. Mom would say its just stuffy. But never open a window, logic was heat was costly so why let it go out the window.
    Not even funny even in hindsight because this practice over there has not changed as is evidenced by the heaters still being sold.

    But of insight into how the other half of the world lives.


    By the way I fully agree with you on the ceiling mount issue. That's what made me make this post could not fathom the merits of having a CO2 detector ceiling mounted. Now i got to think about how to patch the place they have the base for the one i am going to replace because my next will go at floor height.

    For information we never had any homes equipped with central air or furnace. Few houses have piped nat gas and then only in very few cities and even then areas within city. Majority rely on electric heating or portable propane (LPG gas) heaters. Of course in the poorer communities its paraffin and all that goes with it. A US/Canadian Fire Marshal would have fits if they were to see what goes on over there by our standards here.
    cheers

  4. #4
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    OK Rob first of all lets get a few things straight. Carbon Monoxide is CO not CO2 which is carbon dioxide. CO is produced from incomplete combustion of fuels and is only slightly lighter then AIR that is what you are concerned with in the trailer not CO2 which is heavier than AIR. A CO detector show really be installed in the breathing zone not on the ceiling and not near the floor. It should be installed somewhere between the source of the emission and the sleeping area. (I used to work for 3 different manufacturers of environmental instruments so I and vary familiar with the proper application of these devices.)
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Arnold View Post
    The difference back then was parents were parents. They taught their kids the dangers of open space heaters and the kids obeyed! Sad to say that so many of today's kids would play around and see what would burn fastest in one of those heaters!
    Do you really think htat 50 years ago kids didn't do incredibly stupid things against their parents' advice? You must have had a sheltered childhood.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Baer View Post
    OK Rob first of all lets get a few things straight. Carbon Monoxide is CO not CO2 which is carbon dioxide. CO is produced from incomplete combustion of fuels and is only slightly lighter then AIR that is what you are concerned with in the trailer not CO2 which is heavier than AIR. A CO detector show really be installed in the breathing zone not on the ceiling and not near the floor. It should be installed somewhere between the source of the emission and the sleeping area. (I used to work for 3 different manufacturers of environmental instruments so I and vary familiar with the proper application of these devices.)
    I think he is concerned about CO2, which can build up in a camper if it's shut up tight, they are on the floor area usually, The CO sensor is usually up towards the ceiling, sometimes combined with a smoke alarm.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  7. #7
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    Darren I was mearly trying to explain that CARBON MONOXIDE is CO and is essentualy the same approximate weight as air and is the result of combustion weather it be from a heater or from and engine. I was part of a study we did for the national parks service about CO buildup in houseboats at lake Havasu some years ago and one of the problems was the detector located in the wrong location. When people do confined space entry they ware CO detector and we always taught them to put them on their chest near the breathing area. The CO2 detectors we made actually were located near the floor since CO2 is heavier then air. CO2 is a natural occuring substance although it is also a green house emmission from power plants etc. A heater or an engine produce CO not CO2.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Tulk View Post
    Do you really think htat 50 years ago kids didn't do incredibly stupid things against their parents' advice? You must have had a sheltered childhood.
    Certainly didn't have a sheltered childhood!!! Sure, we did stupid things. But, we were made to understand the dangers of space heaters because they were so prevalent.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Baer View Post
    Darren I was mearly trying to explain that CARBON MONOXIDE is CO and is essentualy the same approximate weight as air and is the result of combustion weather it be from a heater or from and engine. I was part of a study we did for the national parks service about CO buildup in houseboats at lake Havasu some years ago and one of the problems was the detector located in the wrong location. When people do confined space entry they ware CO detector and we always taught them to put them on their chest near the breathing area. The CO2 detectors we made actually were located near the floor since CO2 is heavier then air. CO2 is a natural occuring substance although it is also a green house emmission from power plants etc. A heater or an engine produce CO not CO2.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  10. #10
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    My bad its me again. Sorry i did not mean CO2 just getting carried away with the carbon i mix things up all the time. But its co detector i was after. I did some research and picked up a kidde brand combo smoke detector and co detector. Good for 10 years and to the new Canadian spec.

    Yeah i read up the whole issue is that carbon monoxide mixes with air and can rise hence the ceiling mount versions. In most trailers it appears they have two. One that does propane and carbon monoxide near the refrigerator and another in living area. Good thing about unit i picked up it has a round base so i should be able to screw off the existing ones base and use the same mounting holes i hope and put the new one in the same location.

    Just asked Linda about whether her mom has smoke detectors yet back in SA she confirmed my memory is correct we did not have neither carbon monoxide detectors nor smoke detectors. Go figure. Just because the house is made of brick dont mean things inside and the roof aint combustible. Roof is not as combustible as over here due to using clay tiles and pretty much zero insulation in the ceiling.

    anyway alls well ends well thanks for chiming in guys. Apologies again for the confusion i created.
    cheers

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