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Old 11-17-2007, 12:25 AM   #1
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That Darn CO Detector

Was working on the van out in the driveway this evening (engine off), started hearing a high pitched beep from inside, one beep every 15 seconds or so. Turned out it was the CO detector. Checked the manual, and it says there is some sort of electrical problem with the detector and to contact the manufacturer for help. So I just pulled the 3A fuse and it shut right up.

I have a CO detector I use in the house, it also detects propane/methane. Can I just use this in the Sportsmobile until I get the built-in CO detector looked at?

Has anyone read the test procedure for the built in CO detector? You have to shoot unburnt butane into it! My home detector all you have to do is push a button. I wonder if this is an old model or something. Has anyone replaced the stock CO detector? What did you use?

Discuss amongst yourselves.
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Old 11-17-2007, 09:30 AM   #2
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The original CO dector in my van was cream and had a date printed right on the face of it, October 2007 I think. I had SMB Texas put a new one in since it was July 2007 at the time and the new one is black and has a date- 2009 maybe?

Anyway if your van is pre-cover dating it's likely that your detector is old enough you should just replace it.

I think the ones I've got had a button to test too. Haven't looked at it closely in awhile.
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Old 11-17-2007, 11:52 AM   #3
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Mine expired last month

My detector says October 2007 too. What does this really mean? I wasn't sure if this is just some gimmick so you have to buy a new one or not.

Does anyone actually know what the expiration date means?

Steve
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Old 11-17-2007, 04:53 PM   #4
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I used to have a cabover camper with the same type of CO detector and when the campers battery (think automotive size) would start to go dead the CO dectector would start to chirp like you mentioned. You might look to see if your house battery is going dead.
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Old 11-18-2007, 12:34 PM   #5
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We did determine on last night's camping trip that the CO detector is very sensitive to battery voltage. Running the engine for 30 minutes before turning in for the night wasn't sufficient to keep it quiet. The only thing we had running to drain the battery was the refrigerator on level 3. Might be time for a new battery. And I'll look into replacing that detector too. I don't want to have to shoot unburned butane into it to test it. Just give me a simple TEST button and have it blow my ear drums out, like every other detector I've used.
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Old 11-18-2007, 04:28 PM   #6
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My CO detector used to beep at me once in a while (I believe if the van had sat unused for a week or so), but since I got my solar panels, I haven't heard a beep since. Now if I could only say the same about my smoke detector. I replaced my 9V battery even though it seemed good, and I'm still getting it beeping at me (no smoke or fire). May have to replace it if I can't figure something out.


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Old 11-18-2007, 07:03 PM   #7
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I have found that using 9V Lithium batteries instead of alkalines in fire/CO detectors gives a much longer life. The manufacturer claims 10 years. I started using these after being woken up at 3AM trying to find out which one of the eight smoke detectors in the house was the one that was complaining about the low battery. The next morning I went to Interstate batteries and bought a case of the 9V Lithiums...
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Old 11-20-2007, 04:01 PM   #8
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OK just to close this out, the CO detector is quite sensitive to battery voltage. Opened up the compartment containing the house battery, checked the date code, and I'm quite amazed that the ORIGINAL house battery was still in there holding a charge.

Went to a boat shop today while waiting for Discount Tire to stick some new tires on the SMB, and discussed options for deep cycle batteries. A 7 year old battery might hold a charge today, while the temperature is in the 60's, but its days are numbered. When it comes to batteries, I like to err on the side of replacing them too soon.

The guy at the boat shop said that he couldn't believe that this battery was still ticking. I replaced it with an interstate battery brand deep cycle unit, it was a perfect and exact fit in the custom fiberglass box that SMB austin had built for it. I decided against the AGM battery due to the likelihood that I'd need to also replace the charger. Just not in the cards right now.

So we'll feel more secure with a new house battery in the back, and hopefully this will let us sleep all night without the CO detector bitching at us.
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Old 11-20-2007, 05:03 PM   #9
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You might also check at Costco. The one here has the deep cycle Optima batteries (the Yellow battery) for about $100. (The red optima is the starter battery and slightly cheaper than the deep cycle model.) Optima batteries are gel filled and can be tipped without leaking acid - great batteries.
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Old 11-20-2007, 05:10 PM   #10
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Just don't listen to what the battery installer says about Optima- do your research online first. I put a BlueTop in my Jeep to go with a powersucking milemarker winch and had to argue with the guys at Pepboys to get them to install it. It's been great!
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