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Old 09-08-2020, 10:55 PM   #1
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Carbon Monoxide

As Iím writing this we are camping in Moab, itís in the forties so the furnace was on and off during the day and in the evening. You may have guessed from the title, the First Alert smoke and carbon monoxide alarm started beeping indicating carbon monoxide detected. I turned off the furnace opened a window but the alarm came back few times after silencing it. I took the batteries out and reinserted and now itís silent. Itís important to mention that before we left for the trip, while loading the trailer it suddenly started the alarm. I didnít think much of it just changed the batteries to a new set. Long story and a short question, anyone dealt with a bad First Alert carbon/smoke detector?
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:35 PM   #2
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How old is the alarm and when did you last replace the batteries?
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:41 PM   #3
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The alarm is the one supplied by Escape, June 2018 is the date on the back of the First Alert, as I stated I changed the batteries few days ago. Now started beeping again, the only thing running is the fridge (on propan)
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:52 PM   #4
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I have separate smoke detectors and CO detectors. Having a combo unit complicates trouble shooting. Sorry.
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:10 AM   #5
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No problem any help is appreciated
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Old 09-09-2020, 05:50 AM   #6
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As the only thing on is the fridge, and you're still getting the alarms, try turning off the fridge. Better yet, turn off the gas at the bottles.

Is it smoky in the area from all the fires burning in CA or just campfires?
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Old 09-09-2020, 06:19 AM   #7
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Effie, you did not mention if you are dry camping or if you have hookups. I suspect you might be dry camping if you are running the refrigerator on propane. However, if you determine that the furnace and not the CO detector is at fault, AND you have shore power, find a local hardware store and purchase a small quartz heater if you don’t already have one. I have a dual wattage (900w and 1,500w) quartz heater that has never been run on the higher setting and it keeps my 5.0TA in the 72į F range when the outside temperatures are down to 30į or so.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:00 AM   #8
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Sensitive sensors

Yeah, if you're downwind of the fires, that could easily be it.


A mid-90's era Ford Ranger pick-up I had would have the check engine light go on only in one spot on the way to work. This happened only on calm, cold January mornings. After a mile or 2, the light would go out.


A buddy solved this quandary. It occurred to him in the same area. He surmised that the methane coming off a nearby closed landfill pooled in low spots and set off the vehicle sensors, as one drove through the methane cloud, picking up "unburned" fuel error message. I think he's right.


Sensors are sensitive, but dumb.
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Old 09-09-2020, 05:57 PM   #9
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Finally back online, (Weboost Drive Reach makes it happen). Last night I did another reset (batteries out/in) on the First Alert and went to sleep with the furnace off, no alarm all night and after running the furnace in the morning still no alarm. Just to play it safe I bought a new carbon monoxide detector, see if the old and the new one behave identically.

I was dry camping last night and still am (in a different location)

Thanks for everyone trying to help, I know this is an issue no one wants to give the wrong advice.
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Old 04-19-2021, 05:18 PM   #10
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Just a word of caution, if you're planning a big trip! I've been in an out of my trailer dozens of times over the past several days. Propane is shut off and I really don't spend much time inside. All well and good, until this morning. The First Alert Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (combo) Alarm - SCO5RVA was BLARING. You know, enough to almost wake the dead. It's not the batteries, it's aged out.

Now, to find a replacement. I'm leaving for Spring NOG in less than two days. I WANT THIS ALARM. If you think manufacturers are having logistics problems, so are owners of trailers. I scoured everywhere in the Portland area for a replacement. Too late to order on Amazon, even with Prime. I finally found one at a Target. Bought it! I pick it up in the morning.

So while no one wants to replace this type of thing prematurely, ya gotta plan ahead... right now maybe waaay ahead.

Be safe, be well.
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Old 04-19-2021, 05:48 PM   #11
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Hope springing eternal in the breast of this old man, I was in the county recorder’s office today buying a trout stamp and noticed that one lady had “passports” on her responsibility desk plate. My passport has expired and I’ve been meaning to get a new one. Checking on line got pretty complicated for me and a call to the big post office in Cedar Rapids was a dead end. So I asked her about it and she said she could indeed fix me up all the way to dropping the paperwork and payment in mail. I’d have to do that myself. She said it would take 8 to 12 weeks to get. That was ok with me because the eternal hope is a trip to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada in mid September. Working on the paperwork tonight and calling my new girlfriend tomorrow. The point being you have to think ahead on about everything these days.
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Old 04-19-2021, 05:56 PM   #12
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Our CO/smoke detector failed in the middle of the night in Glacier NP, summer 2019. After ensuring it was a false event, and when detector kept going off next day outside, replaced it on the road. I chalked it up to a poor $35 unit.

So, yes, have had it fail.
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Old 04-19-2021, 09:35 PM   #13
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Smoke detectors have a limited life and should be replaced every few years. I do have a spare propane detector in my kit, I think I’ll add a smoke/co. 2018 in glacier was very smoky, not sure about 2019. 8 to 10 years is the recommendation. So a year lifespan is not good
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