4

NOTE the following is while the camper is unoccupied and stored in my back yard.

The Propane/CO detector in my camper started going off randomly a few weeks ago. I thought it was from some random issue that I had caused invertably. I pushed reset and everything was fine for a while.

Then a couple to a few days later I would find it going off again. Now it will not reset. I have ordered a new one, after validating there is no GAS leak or CO issue.

Comments in reviews for a similar model suggest the expected life is 5 years, but some indicate less then a year. (product link on Amazon.com )MTI Industries 35-742-WT Safe T Alert 35 Series Dual LP/CO Alarm - Flush Mount, White

I know in the old days many CO detectors had a life of one event. If it went off, you had to replace it, no reset.

I suspect that my fumes from mowing with my old lawnmower are getting into the camper, and causing some of the alerts.

What is the life expectancy of Propane/CO detector?

Do trace amounts of propane or CO impact the life expectancy?

3

It depends on the device but 5-7 years seems like the max with some as short as 2 years.

The gas sensors in CO alarms have a limited and indeterminable life span, typically two to five years. The test button on a CO alarm only tests the battery and circuitry, not the sensor. CO alarms should be tested with an external source of calibrated test gas, as recommended by the latest version of NFPA 720. Alarms over five years old should be replaced but they should be checked on installation and at least annually during the manufacturers warranty period.

Carbon monoxide detector

Carbon monoxide alarms have a limited life, typically 5 to 7 years (some even less). Most people don’t realize they need to replace a $25 - $75 item after several years. Many manufacturers will state the limited life span somewhere in their manual; however, it’s usually not prominent.

Source

If you wonder if your carbon monoxide detectors are worn out, they probably are. CO detectors only have a five to seven-year life. Listing a build date or an expiration date on the label is a fairly new phenomenon. If there’s no date on yours and you can’t remember when you bought it, you’re probably due for a new one.

When to Replace a Carbon Monoxide Detector

In any case, it looks like yours definitely needed to be replaced.

  • The same comments hold for smoke detectors as well. In my home I've now switched to sealed battery detectors for both - once the battery is gone (10 years for the smoke detectors) the device needs to be replaced (and the sensor is designed to outlive the battery). Bonus for not having to replace the batteries every year, or hearing the chirps in the middle of the night when you forgot... – Jon Custer Sep 24 '18 at 16:55
  • MTI Industries (who seem to make various sensors for boats and RVs) has a banner on their front page (mtiindustries.com) stating " Replace your CO Alarms and Gas Detectors that are Over 5 Years Old." – Jon Custer Sep 24 '18 at 21:44
0

I ordered the new detector linked in the question, when it arrived I read the directions and learned about the 30 day reset window for end of life.

Question says:

The Propane/CO detector in my camper started going off randomly a few weeks ago. I thought it was from some random issue that I had caused invertably. I pushed reset and everything was fine for a while.

Then a couple to a few days later I would find it going off again. Now it will not reset. I have ordered a new one, after validating there is no GAS leak or CO issue.

When the detector has come to the end of it's life (specific signal slightly different from alarm) if you push reset, it will reset and work for 3 days. This can continue for up to 30 days. The strangeness with going off as described in the question, is the device working as designed for end of life.

When I changed the device I found it had a manufacture date of Aug 2011, or about 7 years ago. I purchased the 2012 model year camper used, so got about 5 years of life out of the Propane/CO detector.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.