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Old 12-09-2018, 13:12   #31

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Re: CO detector saved me -- with no CO present

FINALLY! A documented death from using dry ice. 'cause folks have been debating that for boats for years now. I've been known to throw 20# of the stuff in a big cooler chest during a power blackout, and lesser amounts in the ice box or simply the home freezer (hey, it came with something else, might as well use it).

And the debate has always been, how much of it needs to turn to how much gas in how much space to mean anything. I guess "More than you can eat" in 30? cubic feet of car is too much.

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Old 12-09-2018, 22:21   #32
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Re: CO detector saved me -- with no CO present

Originally Posted by LeighWebber View Post
(...) These were NOT the "dual gas" models (propane + CO). I have separate propane detectors, and they were silent.


Are there any propane detectors that do not require wiring?

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Old 12-09-2018, 22:49   #33
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Re: CO detector saved me -- with no CO present

Thank you for your short and to the point dissertation. I will shorten your contribution even further. The person's guests who suffered headaches and irritated throats from a CO event in all likelihood suffered permanent brain damage. Sad.
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Old 17-09-2018, 09:23   #34
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Re: CO detector saved me -- with no CO present

Wow, I just learned at lot in the post about CO poisoning, oxygen recovery and dry ice. We keep CO and smoke detectors in the sleeping cabin and main cabin plus a fume detector in the bilge. One item I didnít see and thought might be beneficial to note is that all charging sources to the batteries should have temp sensors on the batteries (not room temp) and perhaps an electric monitoring system with alarms. It seems like battery temp sensors on chargers, solar controllers, etc. in the USA are optional where as in other countries they are included. Thank you for the great post.
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Old 17-09-2018, 09:57   #35
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Re: CO detector saved me -- with no CO present

Mazda tried to improve on Fiat, by using the new AGM batteries in the trunk so in theory there would be no fumes emitted and no trunks rotting out.

I don't know about Mazda but for at least ten years now BMW, Audi, and others that put an AGM battery in the trunk STILL use an external vent hose, from the battery to the open air under the car. Making it a "sealed" externally vented installation. Porsche being a member of VWG, I would expect they do the same, and the Florida oddity might involve a replacement battery or other complications.
It is a very common misconception that AGM and Gel Cell batteries do not outgas. Under normal (emphasis on normal) operating conditions they do not. But under certain circumstances the can. In the battery world these types of batteries are known as SVR (Sealed Valve Regulated) batteries. They are sealed only in the respect that there is no cap that you can remove to add fluid. They don't use a fluid in the same way as Lead Acid batteries. But if overcharged or overheated, the "fluid" inside can produce hydrogen gas. That is where the valve comes in. Each cell has a small valve in it. If the battery pressure increases to a certain point (I don't remember the actual PSI) the valve opens and the gas escapes. Beats having the battery explode. So the lesson here
is they still need to be in a ventilated compartment or vented to the atmosphere. The Coast Guard, ABYC, and other standards organizations still call for them to be in ventilated spaces. In other words don't put your brand new AGMs under your berth. (one person did that and it blew the bed, him and his wife out through the overhead) Make sure they are in a ventilated space.

Yes CO detectors will react to other compounds than CO. SO will propane detectors. They will alarm for almost any type of hydrocarbon (the one in my motorhome goes off every time my wife sprays one of those deodorizing sprays, and when our black water holding tank gets full and gas begins to build up. And the smoke detectors go off anytime we fry something on the stove. )

All detectors have a replace by date. Fire, CO, and gas detectors. Used to be five years. The latest ones I've seen say ten years.

All of these are life savers and cheap insurance.
"Dont tell me I can't, tell me how I can"
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Old 17-09-2018, 09:59   #36
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Re: CO detector saved me -- with no CO present

Regards lead acid batteries, an example of very large deeply cycled lead acids in small and fully enclosed spaces with many people confined in that space is diesel electric subs. They've been in use for over 100 years now.
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Old 17-09-2018, 16:55   #37
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Re: CO detector saved me -- with no CO present

Originally Posted by toddster8 View Post
Well, there was this case a couple of years ago.
Hydrogen sulfide inhalation killed mother, toddler found on Florida's Turnpike in June - Orlando Sentinel

I remember thinking at the time that it sounded pretty implausible. I used H2S in my daily work for many years, and there is ample olfactory warning before toxic concentrations occur. (Nowadays, OSHA would require that work to be done in a fume hood.) Anyway, the chemistry of sulfur is notoriously complicated, and it seems possible that freak circumstance might have produced some other toxic sulfur gas.

However, food for thought: some cars, like my old BMW have the battery in the trunk - effectively within the passenger compartment.

in higher concentrations, (still below "fatal") hydrogen sulfide is an olfactory anasthetic, and it binds to hemoglobin similar to carbon monoxide. Neither let go until that blood cell dies. So both do damage well below fatal exposure. The extreme danger is with folks who never worked around hydrogen sulfide. They get one awful sniff, then it just goes away. I must disagree with your "ample warning" statement, unless qualified by the olfactory anasthetic action. As to whether or not you can produce it by overcharging batteries may be debatable, hydrogen sulfide does form when any decaying organic material is covered in saltwater, so it is definitely a marine hazard we all need to be aware of. I learned by getting assigned to a ship of all Texans (and now one poor and abused cheesehead), and they loved their chewing tobacco, and they loved to spit in the bilge. Until I stopped them, every week they cleaned with citric acid, flushed the bilge, poured in 5 gallons of paint, and pumped the bilge. In less than a week, the h2s had turned all the shiny brass blue after stopping the citric acid and painting by bilge pump. Also noteable is that the human nose is far more sensitive than the chemical detector tests, we never did get a positive test.
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Old 18-09-2018, 18:08   #38
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Re: CO detector saved me -- with no CO present

Great story. Thanks for sharing. When we were excitedly heading out sail away on the boat we'd just purchased, I stopped on the way to buy CO detectors so that I could step on board with them, first thing. In addition to thinking that they were a good safety item, I did so to set a tone about how we'd always put safety first. Years earlier, our home CO detectors went off on several floors and we weren't sure why. It turned out to be "flame impingement" which happens when a pan doesn't sit quite right on a gas stove's grates. Who knew?
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Old 20-09-2018, 14:29   #39
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Re: CO detector saved me -- with no CO present

Yeah for you!! Great story,I was traveling with a buddy and planned a long trip and noted no co detector. HAPPY BIRTHDAY 2 co detectors!

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