Home Forums Truck Camper Adventure Forum Propane/CO alarm going off

Viewing 14 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #44702
      Joel
      Participant

      Anybody have a problem with their Propane/CO alarm going off when there is no leak? I have heard that these things have a limited life. Is this what they do when they have reached the end of that life? It used to do it midday with full sun and relatively high voltage, but now it’s doing it more often. Just wondering if anyone else has had this problem or has any suggestions.

      Thanks,
      Joel

    • #44704
      Carrie Miller
      Participant

      Yes, similar problems in my 2016 FR Palomino ss1500 pop up truck camper; first time I returned it to the manufacturer they replaced it, possibly was under warranty at that time, second time they returned it saying it was working; finally just removed it. I think it had something to do with my camper batter/power levels, not sure. EZ to replace. Good Luck. Carrie

      Carrie

    • #44712
      Joel
      Participant

      Thanks for the reply! So, are you saying that eventually it worked ok or that you never got it working right and removed it permanently?

      I’m ready to order a new one, but just wanted to check to see if anyone had a fix to try.

      Thanks,
      Joel

    • #44715
      Carrie Miller
      Participant

      It seemed to be an insidious drain on my battery which there are a few things in the camper that do this so I just did not put it back in. The first replacement appeared to work ok, then in about a year it went off again so I returned it to the co, they returned it saying it was working ok. And my battery was dead, this was over the winter if I recall. I just never reinstalled it because I think it was part of my battery going dead problem. I boondock a lot and had a couple of issues with my battery draining to dead; one was the noisy fridge fan the other was probably the co detector and the fan inside the battery compartment. IF your detector is fairly new the manufacturer may replace it for you. After 5 years I finally figured out that I needed a solar unit to keep my battery charged while boondocking so I bought a portable suitcase unit and this is the first year I have not had my camper battery run dead while out. Good Luck, Carrie

      Carrie

    • #44716
      Joel
      Participant

      Thanks Carrie for the info. I guess I’ll install a new one and see what happens. The camper is more than 5 years old, so maybe it’s just time for a new one.

    • #44717
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      A possibility to consider: We once purchased a motorhome with carpet in the hallway where the propane alarm was located (close to the floor). We treated the carpet with Scotchguard and were then plagued with alarms until we replaced the detector. A tech told us that we had contaminated the sensor in it. So… have you used any cleaning products, air fresheners, etc. near the sensor lately? End result is you’re replacing the detector.
      Bryan

    • #44719
      Joel
      Participant

      Thanks for the input Bryan. I don’t think we have ever used anything harsh on the floor. It’s vinyl and we usually just sweep and maybe wipe up with a soapy rag or surface wipe. I did find the operating specifications on the MTI website (Safe-T-Alert). The operating voltage is specified as 12 +/- 15%. That works out to 10.2 to 13.8 V. My charge controller will go above 13.8. I had suspected that it might be an over voltage problem since it seemed to happen midday when the voltage was high. But now it happens more often. I also thought that it might be detecting Hydrogen from the batteries, but I think that is very unlikely since the battery box is vented and the propane sensor is mounted low. If Hydrogen is being vented inside the camper it would immediately go up since it’s lighter that any other air constituents. When I replace it, I may experiment with the old one and see if it goes off at some high voltage.

      I also read in the owners manual that they expire after 5 years. It wasn’t clear, but I got the impression that it had some sort of timer and once that expired, the unit would render itself unusable. Anybody have experience with this? I think it said it would flash 2 red and 2 green when it reached end of life.

      Joel

    • #45785
      DaveW
      Participant

      Mine goes off when I have the camper plugged into shore power for a while. Otherwise it works fine. This was with the original unit as well as a replacement.
      I have equated this to high voltage and or some odor from the power converter/fuse box that is directly across from the propane sensor.
      I have checked with a propane detector and there is not propane around when it is going off like this.
      I have been meaning to put a switch to the sensor, but for now I pull the fuse.

      I hope this helps.
      Cheers,
      DaveW

    • #47935
      Joel
      Participant

      Finally following up on this thread…. I replaced the unit several months ago at the end of the summer. We took 4 or 5 trips with the new one installed and haven’t seen a problem yet. The real test will be next summer with higher temperatures and high charge voltage, but so far it seems good.

    • #48834
      Squish
      Participant

      When we first got our rig in 2016 we replaced all the detectors.
      But I didn’t notice the born on date for propane and C0 gas detector.
      Last year it started going off when the camper was parked. I figured it was maybe from a build up of heat and it’s location right by the battery.

      Finally during a pre-trip, pre-flight we tested the detector and it was bad. We tested both with the test button and released some gas next to it. It didn’t alarm so I pulled it off and replaced it. The build date only gave us a useful life of two years before the unit needed to be replaced. The new detector we made sure had not been sitting on the shelf for years like our first one. They only have a life span of 5 years or so it seems.
      Which sort of sucks because it’s so expensive.

      We lost a friend to a faulty furnace so we take it pretty seriously.

    • #48841
      ardvark
      Participant

      Propane detectors can be a nuisance, but they will sound off if propane or any similar gas is present long before you will smell it! Lifespan does vary given it has the quality control typically found in the RV industry.

      Remember propane is used as a propellant in many household sprays and it will sing in the presence of some odorants.

      Ardvark

      Steve and Andra
      2012 F350 6.2 gasser SRW LB
      Fab Fours front and rear in case we run into a rhino
      2019 Northstar Laredo SC

    • #49272
      2Z Bundok
      Participant

      Our CO (only not combination) detector woke us 2 nights in a row. I remember reading something about it that once it alarms it does not fully re-set. Sorry I can’t find the reference now and possibly specific to that model. We quickly replaced that unit with new and relocated it out of the furnace heat airstream. This is very different than our experience with fully resettable smoke detectors (located higher in the room) and “raw” propane detector (located near the floor).

    • #49275
      Jefe4x4
      Moderator

      Jeanie and I had our 1.5 year old combo CO/propane detector go off every night around 3 A.M. during the 2021 TCA Rally last week. The initial problem was a prop leak at the tank valve. But I’m still wondering how the prop smell got out of a sealed exterior cabinet and down to the floor of the camper as we smelled no gas inside, only outside. It may have travelled through the closed and sealed fresh water inlet. How, i don’t know. We drove the 6 miles to Quartzsite and replaced the tank.
      Same problem reappeared during the next night so i ripped the cover off and tripped the test button.
      Subsequent camping along the Bradshaw Trail we had no more detector going off.
      There seems to always be some mystery behind the detector going off at odd times.
      I was amused at the flimsy instructions when the CO/prop detector alarm goes off.
      1. vacate the RV. (@ 3 A.M.?)
      2. contact a qualified technician to fix it. (Steve, where are you?)

      In searching the internet for answers we ran across this funny gem.
      A couple in their RV had their CO alarm go off at odd times and could not find the reason why. They eventually found the culprit; their large and very gaseous pooch used to lay on the floor right in front of the detector and squeeze off a pop of methane tripping the detector.

      2020 Ford F-350 XLT FX4 4WD SRW SB SC 7.3L Godzilla Gas TorqShift 10R140 397 amps dual Alt dual batts Frnt Dana 60; Rr Dana M275 E-locker 4.30's 4580/4320/4066# payload 7243# curb wt. 11,300# GVWR 5-er prepped. 2020 Northstar Laredo SC, 12v compressor fridge, cassette, 320w Solar sub zero insulation.

    • #49277
      ardvark
      Participant

      Off course almost any related gas will set it off, however, detectors will “smell” propane way before a human’s sense of smell will notice it. And like any electronic gadget, the darn things can seem to have a mind of their own. 🙂

      Steve and Andra
      2012 F350 6.2 gasser SRW LB
      Fab Fours front and rear in case we run into a rhino
      2019 Northstar Laredo SC

    • #49780
      RM
      Participant

      Easiest way to handle this is to unhook all the detectors and replace with HOME Depot residential ones that run on AA batteries.
      My propane alarm would go off for no reason and a real PITA! especially at night or while cooking. Neighbors loved it too. I also replaced my CO detector and smoke detector combo the same way.
      You can remove the built in detector and place the surface mount over the hole if you want.
      Then just keep some AA batteries in the camper when replacement time comes.

Viewing 14 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.