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Monday, June 10, 2013

When to Replace Your RV Carbon Monoxide Detector

Keeping your RV carbon monoxide detector working properly is no joke. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of malfunctioning engines or appliances, so you can see why having a working carbon monoxide detector is especially important in an RV. Though high levels of carbon monoxide poisoning aren’t always fatal, it can result in permanent damage to your body, including your heart and central nervous system. Since carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, a detector is the best way to ensure your safety.

If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your carbon monoxide alarm, or you just purchased a used RV and aren’t sure about the previous owner’s level of upkeep, it’s time to check your detector and make sure it’s working properly. Here are a few steps to determine if your sensor is working well:

  1. Make sure the sensor is installed in the proper place. In an RV, this will be about 5 feet off the floor and close to where everyone will be sleeping.
  2. Test the CO detector by clicking the test button. If it goes off, this doesn’t mean that the sensor is detecting carbon monoxide. It simply means that the RV is receiving power and the alarm function works.
  3. If your alarm has a digital display, such as on the Atwood Digital Gas Alarm, you can place a lit cigarette or incense near the alarm and it will register that there is carbon monoxide in the area.
  4. If your carbon monoxide tester isn’t digital, you will have to purchase a test kit. Test kits include a container of carbon monoxide that is designed to set off the alarm. You may want to wear earplugs when testing your sensor this way, because it will certainly be loud. If your detector goes off, the sensor is working properly. If not, it’s time for a new detector.

Despite running these tests on your CO alarm, your detector still might be old and if you can’t remember or simply don’t know when the detector was purchased, it’s best to just buy a new alarm. Typically alarms are good for 5-7 years. Our most popular alarm, the Safe-T-Alert Dual CO/LP Gas Alarm, is good for 5 years, and also features propane detection as well. For more information on carbon monoxide prevention, visit the Center for Disease Control’s carbon monoxide page.

RVUpgrades.com provides RV accessories, supplies, and parts including a variety of gas detectors for LP, carbon monoxide, and smoke. Visit out store to see our complete selection of motorhome upgrades.


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  2. I'm an electrician and my experience says that such devices like carbon monoxide detectors are quire durable and long-lasting which are required to be replaced almost after 10 years of gap unless there is any kind of damage to the device.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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