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Old 19-07-2021, 17:20   #1
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CO2 Detector advice

I installed a residential C02 detector, like what you find at Home Depot, Amazon, etc. Near my Engine room & galley. The damn thing beeps false alarms all the time- when hatches are open, no engine is running, LPG is off at the source, no surrounding vessels that might influence it--my question: Is there a specific type suited to Marine application that is preferable, or did I just get a bum product? No petrol onboard BTW.
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Old 19-07-2021, 17:35   #2
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Re: CO2 Detector advice

Sofa King,

First off, you actually mean CO detector, NOT CO2. Carbon monoxide is very toxic, carbon dioxide is not (very).

CO detectors are not normally confused by LPG or fuel vapors. It sounds to me like your specific sample is bad. Household CO detectors work fine on boats.
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Old 19-07-2021, 18:27   #3
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Re: CO2 Detector advice

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Sofa King,

First off, you actually mean CO detector, NOT CO2. Carbon monoxide is very toxic, carbon dioxide is not (very).

CO detectors are not normally confused by LPG or fuel vapors. It sounds to me like your specific sample is bad. Household CO detectors work fine on boats.
Yes- CO- If I had an actual CO2 detector it would go off every time I popped a beer!
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Old 19-07-2021, 22:47   #4
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Re: CO2 Detector advice

Check the fluid levels in your batteries if they are FLA. C0 sensors are highly sensitive to hydrogen and over charged batteries is a common source. They are sensitive to fluorocarbons as well but I’m thinking you aren’t doing dry cleaning or brake jobs I’m your boat.
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Old 20-07-2021, 01:38   #5
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Re: CO2 Detector advice

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Check the fluid levels in your batteries if they are FLA. C0 sensors are highly sensitive to hydrogen and over charged batteries is a common source. They are sensitive to fluorocarbons as well but Iím thinking you arenít doing dry cleaning or brake jobs Iím your boat.
Ah HA! This is a probable culprit! I've a 3 battery bank right in the immediate vicinity & the issue started with the onset of Summer...I'll relocate & reassess- THANK YOU!
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Old 20-07-2021, 10:24   #6
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Re: CO2 Detector advice

Good lesson that the monitor is working just having trouble with hydrogen from batteries. Often alarms or GFCI circuits that trip are working, it is just easier to figure the unit has failed rather than track down the problem.
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Old 20-07-2021, 11:57   #7
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Re: CO2 Detector advice

One of the chief limitations of electrochemical [EC] sensors is the effect of interfering gases, [the ones that you are NOT trying to detect/measure with the sensor] on the sensor readings.
The reason that CO sensors are potentially susceptible to hydrogen [H2] interference is the reaction that is used to detect gas. Hydrogen is actually part of the detection reaction. The relative response to hydrogen depends on the brand and model of sensor. Some commonly used CO sensors show a relative response to hydrogen as high as 60%. Sometimes the cross sensitivity is presented as an advantage to customers. In some cases the response is so high the manufacturer tells customers the sensors should not be used at all, in the presence of hydrogen.
A more complete explanation ➥ https://www.indsci.com/en/the-monito...sors-the-same/
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Old 20-07-2021, 12:06   #8
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Re: CO2 Detector advice

Humorous episode at the dock last week with my combined CO and propane alarm. End of a long boat chore day, poured a healthy measure of gin. Closing fridge lid caught the edge of the tumbler and spilled contents on the cabin floor right under the alarm sensor. Beep! I triggered my propane alarm with ethanol!
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:09   #9
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Re: CO2 Detector advice

I know this is late to the game, but in the interest of spreading knowledge, here's a link to an article in Sailing Magazine that addresses the differences between marine grade CO detectors and residential ones:

https://sailingmagazine.net/article-...detector-.html

In a nutshell: Residential CO detectors will often give off frequent false alarms (just like the OP experienced) due to temporary CO spikes. Temporary CO spikes are common on boats, but not common on land. Marine CO detectors are designed only to alert when they detect CO for extended periods.

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Old 15-01-2022, 21:08   #10
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Re: CO2 Detector advice

Can you recommend a marine smoke and CO detector to use on 40’ sailboat?
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Old 15-01-2022, 21:17   #11
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Re: CO2 Detector advice

I've used the residential CO detectors on my boat for years and never had a false alarm. Typical cruising sailboat battery installations with 3-4 stage chargers give off very little hydrogen. I'd first suspect a faulty unit. It's cheap to rule that out by getting getting a 2nd home detector - maybe a different brand - and see if you have the same problem.
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Old 15-01-2022, 22:19   #12
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Re: CO2 Detector advice

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Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
I've used the residential CO detectors on my boat for years and never had a false alarm. Typical cruising sailboat battery installations with 3-4 stage chargers give off very little hydrogen. I'd first suspect a faulty unit. It's cheap to rule that out by getting getting a 2nd home detector - maybe a different brand - and see if you have the same problem.
Same here. Used a residdntial CO detector (Kidde C3010-D-CA) in 41-foot sailboat. Never a false alarm. (Its UL code indicates use for residential, RV or boats.)
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Old 15-01-2022, 23:39   #13
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Re: CO2 Detector advice

Thsnks. I ordered https://www.westmarine.com/buy/fireb...larm--18233056 and https://www.westmarine.com/buy/fireb...ctor--18379552 . I will post my experience after I try a few months
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Old 16-01-2022, 03:34   #14
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Re: CO2 Detector advice

It looks like you ordered a smoke alarm, not a carbon monoxide alarm. Interestingly enough, I haven't heard about any problems with residential smoke alarms giving off false alarms in marine environments. Only the carbon monoxide ones seem to have been doing that.

The marine-specific carbon monoxide detector I bought was this one from Defender Marine: https://www.defender.com/product3.js...=-1&id=3961887

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Old 16-01-2022, 05:23   #15
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Re: CO2 Detector advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Lex View Post
It looks like you ordered a smoke alarm, not a carbon monoxide alarm...
Note the and.
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