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Old 11-11-2011, 06:53 AM   #1
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Carbon Monoxide Detector


I recently purchased a 60,000BTU Propane jet heater for the garage. The instructions say to leave the garage door open 6 inches when the unit is running. I also purchased a plug in digital Carbon Monoxide (CO2) detector for the garage. The readout has never been past 0. I asked a firemen how to test the CO2 detector and he told me to run an extension cord to the back of the exhaust of my car with the CO2 detector plugged in to the extension cord. It still reads 0 even with the CO2 detector right at the exhaust is the CO2 detector broken? Is there a better way to test it other then pushing the test button?

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Old 11-11-2011, 02:16 PM   #2
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Carbon Monoxide Detector


A number of manufactures list that test as reasonable cause for voiding the co detecter warrentee. If you test it over your gas stove or in the draft diverter of a natural draft furnace, it might make returning it if it doesn't work...easier.

I think residential co detecters are better than nothing but I've always been amazed that they work at all compared to the cost that's 15 x higher, clean start up & shut down working procedures and the yearly recalibration requirements that a gas tech's co detecters need.


Last edited by how; 11-11-2011 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:10 PM   #3
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Carbon Monoxide Detector


Yeah, it's busted now.

IIRC, the CPSC says that new CO detectors should be 99% reliable so if you want aircraft level reliability, the so-called "six nines", 99.9999%, have 3 in your house.

(1-0.99)^3= 0.000001
100x(1-0.000001) = 99.9999.

Two will give you 99.99%.

Or spend a few hundred on a CO detector the calibration of which is traceable to the NIST. It may not come with an alarm, though.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 11-11-2011 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:12 PM   #4
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Carbon Monoxide Detector


Typing an entire post in a large font size and making it bold, makes it hard to read. I reduced its size, and removed the bold.

Do you have a CO2 detector(Carbon dioxide), or a CO detector(carbon monoxide).
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:08 PM   #5
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Carbon Monoxide Detector


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Typing an entire post in a large font size and making it bold, makes it hard to read. I reduced its size, and removed the bold.

Do you have a CO2 detector(Carbon dioxide), or a CO detector(carbon monoxide).
It's a Carbon Monoxide detector.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:26 PM   #6
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Carbon Monoxide Detector


Most UL CO detectors are unreliable. It probably was defective when you bought it, return it.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:40 PM   #7
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all 3 I had were d.o.a.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:41 PM   #8
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Carbon Monoxide Detector


Today's detectors are certainly better than nothing. Like many other technologies these things have benefitted from advances in electronics and manufacturing to bring the costs of real technology down to consumer levels.

Read the wiki link below about the sensors. Most today use an electrochemical sensor that is reliable and fairly accurate... plenty accurate enough for a warning device... as opposed to a measuring device. Comparing them to expensive commercial calibrated devices that are primarily desgined to measure accurately is not fair. 25% accuracy may not sound good but it is plenty good enough for this warning/safety function and if anything the mfgs probably bias the alarms to be more conservative than they need to be.

The OPs detector may not be broken. They take a while to read in low concentrations. The display on the Kidde model I have goes blank when it first senses CO and the little red decimal flashes. But it takes a long time... like minutes to actually get enough CO to give a readout in low concentrations like around a kitchen stove hood.

I just don't want folks to see a thread like this and decide forgo something that could save their lives based on outdated information.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_monoxide_detector
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:05 PM   #9
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Carbon Monoxide Detector


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Typing an entire post in a large font size and making it bold, makes it hard to read. I reduced its size, and removed the bold.

Do you have a CO2 detector(Carbon dioxide), or a CO detector(carbon monoxide).
I write everything in Word so as to spell check the document before posting. I will make sure in the future that the font size is set to 2.

Kent
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Most UL CO detectors are unreliable. It probably was defective when you bought it, return it.
If it wasn't broken before it is defiantly broken now! I purchased it from a warehouse store about a week ago, so they have a 30 day return policy I will take advantage of. How much CO does a Propane heater put out?
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
Yeah, it's busted now.

IIRC, the CPSC says that new CO detectors should be 99% reliable so if you want aircraft level reliability, the so-called "six nines", 99.9999%, have 3 in your house.

(1-0.99)^3= 0.000001
100x(1-0.000001) = 99.9999.

Two will give you 99.99%.

Or spend a few hundred on a CO detector the calibration of which is traceable to the NIST. It may not come with an alarm, though.
I told the manufacturer how I tested it and they were livid! They told me it was pretty much broken now. Does a 60,000BTU propane heater put out a lot of CO? It has never gotten past 0 on the CO detector.
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by raylo32 View Post
Today's detectors are certainly better than nothing. Like many other technologies these things have benefitted from advances in electronics and manufacturing to bring the costs of real technology down to consumer levels.

Read the wiki link below about the sensors. Most today use an electrochemical sensor that is reliable and fairly accurate... plenty accurate enough for a warning device... as opposed to a measuring device. Comparing them to expensive commercial calibrated devices that are primarily desgined to measure accurately is not fair. 25% accuracy may not sound good but it is plenty good enough for this warning/safety function and if anything the mfgs probably bias the alarms to be more conservative than they need to be.

The OPs detector may not be broken. They take a while to read in low concentrations. The display on the Kidde model I have goes blank when it first senses CO and the little red decimal flashes. But it takes a long time... like minutes to actually get enough CO to give a readout in low concentrations like around a kitchen stove hood.

I just don't want folks to see a thread like this and decide forgo something that could save their lives based on outdated information.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_monoxide_detector
Great article. How can you test a CO detector if your not allowed to have it sniff out CO?
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:36 PM   #13
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Carbon Monoxide Detector


Residential CO detecters are better than nothing but people should not become CO complacent just because they have them.

Their false alarms in the presense of water vapour are annoying.

The manufactures no CO test policy is the perfect no refund plan.

Some Californian models automatically sound an alert after four years to signal the time to replace them but who remembers that four years after the purchase date. This alert is often interpreted as a CO presence.
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:38 AM   #14
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http://www.coexperts.com/
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:51 AM   #15
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Carbon Monoxide Detector


Quote:
Originally Posted by raylo32 View Post
Today's detectors are certainly better than nothing. Like many other technologies these things have benefitted from advances in electronics and manufacturing to bring the costs of real technology down to consumer levels.

Read the wiki link below about the sensors. Most today use an electrochemical sensor that is reliable and fairly accurate... plenty accurate enough for a warning device... as opposed to a measuring device. Comparing them to expensive commercial calibrated devices that are primarily desgined to measure accurately is not fair. 25% accuracy may not sound good but it is plenty good enough for this warning/safety function and if anything the mfgs probably bias the alarms to be more conservative than they need to be.

The OPs detector may not be broken. They take a while to read in low concentrations. The display on the Kidde model I have goes blank when it first senses CO and the little red decimal flashes. But it takes a long time... like minutes to actually get enough CO to give a readout in low concentrations like around a kitchen stove hood.

I just don't want folks to see a thread like this and decide forgo something that could save their lives based on outdated information.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_monoxide_detector
Because of UL requirements, they are not nearly as good as they should be, and will leave you expose to Co levels above what OSHA allows in a work place/space. So why is it ok to have higher levels in your home then allowed in a work space for 8 hours.

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