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Old 03-16-2023, 02:25 PM   #1
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CO/Propane detector life

So Atwood says 7 years and the clock starts ticking when first powered up. So is it 7 years from that date or does it pause when the battery is disconected for winter storage.

Our 2017 HT has a detector date of Feb. 2016, so it's due for replacement soon. But soon as in a few months (7 years from when it was first turned on), or subtract winter storage and due in another year or two?

I'm more curious than trying to push the envelope. I hate the 2AM wake-up chirps, so we're going to order soon regardless.
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Old 03-16-2023, 02:42 PM   #2
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I have never had one last over 5 years. I would get one to carry because it will fail soon for sure.
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Old 03-16-2023, 02:49 PM   #3
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My wife has a built in reminder to replace it. Once I hear "when did we last change the CO detector?" I just pull up Amazon and order one. Doesn't matter if it's three years or six. It's time when she who must be obeyed says it's time.
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Old 03-16-2023, 02:53 PM   #4
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Mine was 1 week. I've disconnected every one I've had on every camper. Everything sets them off and it drives Bugsie crazy. I even took the batteries out of the smoke alarms. My wife kept using them as a cooking timer.
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Old 03-16-2023, 04:04 PM   #5
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Mine says Smoke detector but we just say "the toast is ready!" when it goes off.
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Old 03-16-2023, 04:46 PM   #6
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Current smoke and CO/LP detectors have a life based on make date, not in use time. My current pair are at 6 years and I may just change them out proactively before summer travel. Gritz, they do make smoke detectors with override buttons that might make you a little safer.
Note, both LP/CO and smoke detectors benefit from an occasional cleaning via duster of vacuum cleaner.
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Old 03-16-2023, 07:47 PM   #7
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So an obvious question. If I remove the shore power and the only battery in the trailer when the trailer is parked at home, does that stop the CO/Gas detector life countdown?
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Old 03-16-2023, 09:00 PM   #8
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Not by our experience. We're on CO/propane detector #3, in a 2012. The last one lasted about 4 1/2 years, and our battery goes into the shop when we winterize it, which runs around 7 months of any given year here in NYS. By past performance, the clock starts when it's first powered up, and it doesn't stop.
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Old 03-17-2023, 03:56 AM   #9
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So an obvious question. If I remove the shore power and the only battery in the trailer when the trailer is parked at home, does that stop the CO/Gas detector life countdown?
"Not by our experience. We're on CO/propane detector #3, in a 2012. The last one lasted about 4 1/2 years, and our battery goes into the shop when we winterize it, which runs around 7 months of any given year here in NYS. By past performance, the clock starts when it's first powered up, and it doesn't stop."

Thank you JFR. That's what I was curious about.

Ordered a replacement yesterday. Due in next week before we leave.

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Old 03-17-2023, 10:27 AM   #10
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Note, both LP/CO and smoke detectors benefit from an occasional cleaning via duster of vacuum cleaner.
My Safe-T-Alert CO/Propane detector is now 11 years old and still functioning. I vacuum it out after every trip. For the past 6 years I've tested it with some of my ex wifes old hairspray and off it goes. How is this possible 6 years passed it's expiration date? Lol, I purchased a replacement 4 years ago and it's nearing it's expiration date as well still in the original packaging. Hummm.
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Old 03-17-2023, 11:53 AM   #11
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I wouldn't suggest using hairspray for a test. The detectors use a gas permeable membrane that the sensors are behind. My thought is that the hairspray could\would end up on the membrane, collect super fine dust which would reduce sensor's sensitivity. Also, keep in mind that such a test only would test for the propane sensor, you wouldn't know about the CO sensor. I would use a butane lighter for a test (with no flame) instead, most all propane detectors are not really specific to propane and butane will set them off as well (even dog farts will set them off if the dog is close enough to the detector when he farts. lol ).

BTW, I believe that all CO detectors made after 2009~2010 were required to have a end of life sensor built-in, those before that time may or may not. ~CA
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Old 03-17-2023, 01:41 PM   #12
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I wouldn't suggest using hairspray for a test. The detectors use a gas permeable membrane that the sensors are behind. My thought is that the hairspray could\would end up on the membrane, collect super fine dust which would reduce sensor's sensitivity. Also, keep in mind that such a test only would test for the propane sensor, you wouldn't know about the CO sensor. I would use a butane lighter for a test (with no flame) instead, most all propane detectors are not really specific to propane and butane will set them off as well (even dog farts will set them off if the dog is close enough to the detector when he farts. lol ).

BTW, I believe that all CO detectors made after 2009~2010 were required to have a end of life sensor built-in, those before that time may or may not. ~CA
Throughout all of my fire schooling they ALWAYS say that the sensor or membranes in any smoke/CO detector are at the end of the useable life after 5 years! A life is not worth the small price tag on replacing the unit after 5 years. I know that some are now saying that they have a 10 year or 7 year life but that is the battery not the sensor.
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Old 03-22-2023, 05:11 PM   #13
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Our CO detector is located down low about two feet from the door. Any time a rig pulls in to the spot next to us or even just drives by it sets off the alarm. The furnace is next to the door and every time we run the heat, it sets off that damn alarm. We asked the selling dealer to put a switch on it so we can turn it off. Of course, the dealer could not do that. We did install a switch and we usually turn it on when we arrive somewhere. It stays on until it goes off and scares the fur off out dogs at which time the switch goes off until we get home. Do I wish I could rely on the thing? Sure, do I enjoy hearing it go off at all times of the day and night? Well, maybe not.
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Old 03-22-2023, 05:15 PM   #14
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Our CO detector is located down low about two feet from the door. Any time a rig pulls in to the spot next to us or even just drives by it sets off the alarm. The furnace is next to the door and every time we run the heat, it sets off that damn alarm. We asked the selling dealer to put a switch on it so we can turn it off. Of course, the dealer could not do that. We did install a switch and we usually turn it on when we arrive somewhere. It stays on until it goes off and scares the fur off out dogs at which time the switch goes off until we get home. Do I wish I could rely on the thing? Sure, do I enjoy hearing it go off at all times of the day and night? Well, maybe not.
See Post #4
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Old 03-22-2023, 05:46 PM   #15
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My home detector started beeping last week. I replaced the battery and still beeping. I called my home security company and they told me it had to be replaced as it was at it's five year replacement date. They actually program it to require replacement.
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Old 03-23-2023, 06:52 AM   #16
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Our CO detector is located down low about two feet from the door. Any time a rig pulls in to the spot next to us or even just drives by it sets off the alarm. The furnace is next to the door and every time we run the heat, it sets off that damn alarm. We asked the selling dealer to put a switch on it so we can turn it off. Of course, the dealer could not do that. We did install a switch and we usually turn it on when we arrive somewhere. It stays on until it goes off and scares the fur off out dogs at which time the switch goes off until we get home. Do I wish I could rely on the thing? Sure, do I enjoy hearing it go off at all times of the day and night? Well, maybe not.
It is possible that your furnace has a crack in the heat exchanger and when it runs, CO from the combustion is getting into your trailer. I would suggest you get it checked other wise you might not wake up some morning when camping.
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Old 03-23-2023, 09:27 PM   #17
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Mine started chirping after 3 months of using my brand new 27u. Dealer said my propane tank was leaking and that my furnace was faulty. They kept the unit for over 5 months making repairs during covid. Once I received my unit back, it was plugged in for less than an hour in my driveway and started chirping again. The propane had not been valved in and nothing, I mean nothing, had been powered up in the unit other that the DC battery switch. I purchased a new detector, and it started chirping within 2 hours of being installed. I removed the unit and now use a portable unit from Lowes, from the same manufacturer, and have never registered a ppm of anything. Go figure!

BTW, I have 2 "like new" detectors for sale.
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