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Old 04-13-2014, 08:49 PM   #1
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Question LP Alarm Madness!!

Hello everyone!

We've been camp hosting at Camano Island for over a month now. Thankfully the weather has been gorgeous and we have not had to really use any propane to stay warm. We have a hot plate for cooking, so we don't even use propane for cooking either! Hosting has been a great way to save money.

However, we're cooking on the hot plate and the humidity in the RV gets up to about 60%ish and our LP alarm goes off. What the...

So we're not even using propane and the alarm is going off when the RV gets humid. Is there a connection to humidity and when the LP Alarm activates? Should we be alarmed about our alarm??

Would love to have your help figuring this out before we make an RV technician's day with a repair bill!

- W

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Old 04-13-2014, 09:17 PM   #2
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I live in Florida where relative humidity in excess of 90% is a common summertime occurence and have never had a fresh Propane detector false alarm on me. If your coach is more than five years old it would not surprise me that the detector is false alarming as they do not last forever. My old one started randomly alarming when it was six years old. I replaced it with a Propane/CO detector that I bought on Amazon that fits the same opening size. There should be a label on the back of the unit that indicates its life expectancy. If it has "expired" then it should be replaced.

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Old 04-14-2014, 12:43 AM   #3
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Yes, LP detectors do age out. I just installed a new one and it was labeled as 7 year life. RV fire safety expert Mac McCoy does not recommend LP/CO one unit detectors. Propane is heavier than air and the detectors should be mounted near the floor. CO is lighter than air and the detector should be mounted on or near the ceiling.

Sidenote........ smoke alarms with photoelectric and ionization detection combined give you the best window of safety to save your life. I just replaced both of mine for this reason.
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:31 AM   #4
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I just had this thread in the last few weeks. Mine was being set off by dust. Remove it and gently use air pressure to blow it out, fixed ours.
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:45 AM   #5
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Get a separate LP gas detector. Also if you have a paid fire department in the area they probably have a flammable gas detector and can come by and check and see if there is a problem that your nose maybe missing. As far as a CO detector you can get a combination CO/Smoke detector.
Good Luck get it fixed. You don't want your coach featured in a fold out of a fire service periodical.
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:43 PM   #6
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First: The proper name of the alarm, even though it says "Propane" on it's name plate, is "Explosive gas" it detects many explosive gasses, Of which Propane is but one, another is the favorite gas of Project Blue Book,, Methane (Swamp gas, also fart gas) propellent in hair spray or cooking oil sprays, alcohol vapor, gasoline vapor, and more.

Second.. It is moisture senistive as well, water will set it off. (Please do not ask how I know) Drying it out helps here.

And as I pointed out to someone else, What your nose knows and what it sinffs for are not the same thing.. Propane is odorless and colorless, you can neither see nor smell the gas.. So they add stuff to it to make it STINK... Your nose knows the additive, the detector knows the gas. Which being heavier than air hangs near the floor.

IF you are not using propane, turn it off at the tank.. If the alarm still drives you crazy, then how old is it, 5 years is iffy, 10 is over due for replacement.
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:13 PM   #7
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we had a bad/expired/old unit in our previous coach (less than a few months old). i was told by the manufacturer that even "new" detectors sometimes have old sensors in them because they sit on the shelf for X months or years before being installed. once we replaced it, problem solved. lesson for us--these things do go bad.
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Old 04-14-2014, 02:14 PM   #8
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If detector is more than 5 years old it may be signalling replacement needed. I had problem with low voltage to unit and that would set it off as well. Replaced 2 brand new ones due to voltage being below 12 volts even though specs say they should work well below the min voltage mine was seeing.
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Old 04-14-2014, 02:26 PM   #9
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Our Dogs would set ours off occasionally. Best we could do was keep them away from it.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:02 AM   #10
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Do these Explosive Gas (LP) detectors detect ammonia? Would mounting one in the refrigerator boiler area provide an early warning to an amonia leak that precedes the notorious refer fire?
Dave & Lynne - Retired & livin' the dream. '04 Bounder W32 on Workhorse W20 chassis powered by GM 8.1L gasser.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:10 AM   #11
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I found when my battery charger peaks out at about 14 volta, my propane alarm activates and keeps alarming until voltage drops to 13.4.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:11 PM   #12
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Low battery's can cause false alarms and will start chirping when they get very low. I recently replaced the batteries on mine, it was chirping even after I replaced the batteries. They only last for about 10 years. I bought a new one at Target for $15.00 and no more false alarms or chirping.

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