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Old 22-02-2012, 23:52   #1
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Carbon Monoxide ( Lots of Research - No Solid Answers )

I am posting this on two different forums because I believe it could be very useful to many people if I can collect some real data.

I just spent the last four hours researching CO detectors, mostly out of frustration that after so long I could not simply find a proven product.

There are people who are saying they use regular home CO detectors from home depot like the below (I like that they have batteries, a screen to add comfort, and are cheap enough that you can buy a couple models for redundancy)

Amazon.com: Kidde KN-COPP-B-LP Nighthawk Carbon Monoxide Alarm, Battery Operated with Digital Display: Home Improvement

Amazon.com: First Alert CO615 Carbon Monoxide Plug-In Alarm with Battery Backup and Digital Display: Home Improvement

Amazon.com: Kidde KN-COPP-B Front Load Battery-Operated Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Digital Display: Home Improvement

There are also people who say that these tend to be set off too easily and that it is worth paying more for marine grade sensors that won't set off with common boat cleaners, etc.

MTI Industries 65-541-WT 12-V Surface Mount Hard Wired Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Amazon.com: MTI Industries 65-541-WT 12-V Surface Mount Hard Wired Carbon Monoxide Alarm: Home Improvement
Marine Technologies Boat Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Amazon.com: Fireboy-Xintex Xintex Carbon Monoxide Detector: Home Improvement


Has anyone heard anything definitive for one way or another? Any personal experiences?

Thanks so much.

Currently I'm leaning towards getting the hard wired Safe-T-Alert "marine grade" and the Kidde battery operated/LCD version for redundancy. I'm not itching to spend the money but I figure it's a very worthwhile investment. Would prefer to just know a product that worked very well and stick with that though.
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Old 23-02-2012, 00:02   #2
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Re: Carbon Monoxide (Lots of research, no solid answers)

Well, setting them off to easily is just not a concern for me. I want that thing on a hair trigger as it were.

I'm currently an inexpensive kiddie in my travel trailer after a near death experience, and I can't see why it would not work fine on the boat too. the only concern for me is battery contacts getting corroded, VS the marine ones that are hard wired. My cheapo one has a 5 year life, I dunno about the more expensive ones.

And your plan sounds perfectly sane to me. For a couple hundred bucks it's not worth fretting over. your plan sounds like cheap piece of mind to me.
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Old 23-02-2012, 00:09   #3
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Re: Carbon Monoxide (Lots of research, no solid answers)

Thanks xymotic, I agree with you assuming they aren't so trigger sensitive that they go off without proper cause and cause you to ignore or even disable them.

5 years would be great. I'm not needing something that will last forever, just be reliable and function as needed.

Which Kidde model do you use?
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Old 23-02-2012, 00:25   #4
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Re: Carbon Monoxide (Lots of research, no solid answers)

the 'night hawk'

oooh marketing spent some time on that on eh!?
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Old 23-02-2012, 00:55   #5
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Re: Carbon Monoxide (Lots of research, no solid answers)

I've had a cheap 9 volt battery home CO detector on my boat for the last several years. Originally had a Dickinson Antarctic heater, now have a Webasto heater. Detector has never gone off. Either I've had no CO problems or it's been broken all those years. The green LED comes on and it beeps like it should when I press the test button though.


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Old 23-02-2012, 01:07   #6
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Re: Carbon Monoxide (Lots of research, no solid answers)

The smart CO sensors are capable of ignoring bogus conditions but at the same time alerting if low levels have been around too long. There's more to it than just "beep like hell if any CO is detected".

I find it easy enough to test. On a day with not a lot of wind just wave a lighter or candle around (really close to the meter). If your meter works you'll see it starting to register a couple PPM.
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Old 23-02-2012, 05:25   #7
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Re: Carbon Monoxide (Lots of research, no solid answers)

We use a Kidde battery type which is approved for home use but given the average home is a bigger space than our boat. Given the cost (or relative lack of it) if it needs replacing I'll do so with the same model. I managed to 'acquire' some CO test gas and it certainly worked when exposed to that. It has never activated due to exposure to cleaning materials.
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Old 23-02-2012, 05:47   #8
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Re: Carbon Monoxide (Lots of research, no solid answers)

See ➥ Detector Detective
(and note the date)

FWIW: I was previously unaware of the UL standard 1524 “Carbon Monoxide Gas Detectors for Marine Use”
http://www.techstreet.com/cgi-bin/detail?doc_no=ul|1524;product_id=20193
UL Products Index


How Much CO is Too Much? (In Parts Per Million (PPM)
200 PPM Slight headaches within two to three hours.
400 PPM Frontal headaches within one to two hours.

800 PPM Dizziness, nausea, and convulsions within 45 minutes. Insensible within two hours.

1,600 PPM Headache. Dizziness and nausea within 20 minutes. Death within 30 minutes.

3,200 PPM Headache and dizziness within five minutes. Death within 30 minutes.

6,400 PPM Headache and dizziness within one to two minutes. Death in less than 15 minutes.

12,800 PPM Death in less than three minutes.
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Old 23-02-2012, 09:29   #9
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Re: Carbon Monoxide (Lots of research, no solid answers)

BTW, our neighbors also found out that these will also detect a battery cooking off!
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Old 23-02-2012, 09:33   #10
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Re: Carbon Monoxide (Lots of research, no solid answers)

I tested mine simply by putting it right next to the exhaust of a Honda gasoline generator. It worked. It's odd that it did not sound when I put it right against the exhaust outlet of one of my diesel engines.
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Old 23-02-2012, 09:50   #11
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Re: Carbon Monoxide (Lots of research, no solid answers)

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
I tested mine simply by putting it right next to the exhaust of a Honda gasoline generator. It worked. It's odd that it did not sound when I put it right against the exhaust outlet of one of my diesel engines.
Unless it is under heavy load, a diesel puts out little to no carbon monoxide. Really!
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Old 23-02-2012, 10:02   #12
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Re: Carbon Monoxide (Lots of research, no solid answers)

ABYC A-24 Carbon Monoxide Detection Systems
http://www.abycinc.org/committees/A-24.pdf
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Old 23-02-2012, 10:09   #13
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Re: Carbon Monoxide (Lots of research, no solid answers)

I have a Kidde battery operated one. Recently it went off after a couple of minutes idling in the slip with an unusual following wind. That was a real alert - display was showing 200ppm. Must have filled the boat with exhaust fumes.
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Old 23-02-2012, 10:15   #14
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Re: Carbon Monoxide (Lots of research, no solid answers)

One of the things my insurance company insisted on as a condition of cverage was a marine CO detector because we have a propane stove. I aked about the engine, and they said diesels produce so little CO that it was not worth worrying about. I would imagine you would smell a diesel exhasut leak anyway. Oh, and the underwriter was very specific - the CO detector had to meet the UL1524 marine standard - no household detectors. Apparently they work differently - the marine detectors are triggered by average concentrations over time and the houshold detectors trip on detection of a set concentration. I was curious, so I mounted one of each side by side. The household detector tripped often on transient detections. Sometimes all it took was a gasoline powered boat passing close by when the ports were open. If that were the only detector I had, I would have disabled it in short order because it was so annoying. Frequent false alarms and the likelyhood that it will be disabled is probably the main reason the 1524 standard exists. Just my 2 cents. YMMV
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Old 23-02-2012, 10:16   #15
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Re: Carbon Monoxide (Lots of research, no solid answers)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
ABYC A-24 Carbon Monoxide Detection Systems
http://www.abycinc.org/committees/A-24.pdf
Yes it seems no one is referring to UL 1524 in their product descriptions but instead are using UL 2034

This one seems to offer battery power, LCD screen and is UL 2034
Amazon.com: ProTech 7035 Lithium Battery Powered Carbon Monoxide Detector with Digital Display and Memory: Home Improvement

Might be good to combine that with a hard wired version of another brand to have a fallback.

As far as I'm concerned, if it is is important enough to have one, you should have two since you're still at a single point of failure.
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