How- to-Disable-or-Replace-an-RV-Carbon-Monoxide-Detector

How to Disable or Replace an RV Carbon Monoxide Detector

You need to be safe. That's the job for the many detectors that are recommended for your RV. With their presence, you can relax, enjoy your vacation and each other. All you have to do is learn how to do proper maintenance on them to keep that atmosphere going.

How to Disable or Replace an RV Carbon Monoxide Detector: To disable a carbon monoxide all you need to do, if it is built into your electrical system is to locate and pull the fuse. If it is a battery-operated device, then all you need to do is open up the back and pull out the battery.

When you need to work on your carbon monoxide detectors, you need information. To get that information continue to read our article. It is filled with the information you need to know so you can handle your detector maintenance properly

How to Disable RV Carbon Monoxide Detector


Carbon monoxide detectors are very important. There are so many sources for CO gas that it is vital you have something to warn you when it is present inside your RV. As you may already know, carbon monoxide is a silent killer and it also has no odor. That makes using a detector even more vital.

But there comes a time when all good things have problems. Even carbon monoxide detectors malfunction. When that happens you need to know how to disable it so it can be fixed or replaced.

The 2 simple ways of doing this are by either pulling the battery on a battery-powered unit or by locating the fuse and taking it out of the fuse box. There is a third way to disable a carbon monoxide detector.

When you open the one that is wired directly to your RV’s electrical scheme, you will see a bunch of wires. All you have to do is get a pair of wire cutters and snip the correct wire and the unit is disabled.

Disabling CO detectors is quite simple and very easy to do. It only takes seconds and then you can go back to sleep letting the task to repair or replace wait till the next morning.

RV Carbon Monoxide Detector Location


This can be a delicate and confusing issue even though it looks simple enough. Many carbon monoxide detectors are combined with LP gas detectors. Why this is so is not really known except that these combinations may save some space on your RV’s walls.

What makes it a difficult and confusing issue is that LPG is heavier than air and its detector need to be closer to the floor. While the carbon monoxide detector needs to be higher up, roughly 5 feet high off the floor.

Carbon monoxide is not like LP gas. It is lighter than air and it rises up towards your ceiling in warm rooms. When the room is cold, then the gas will remain closer to floor level.

Once you figure out the height issue, if you have a combination detector, then you need to place the device nearest where everyone sleeps. You may want single CO detectors just in case.

How to Replace RV Carbon Monoxide Detector


There will come the time when you will need to replace your carbon monoxide detector. These devices have a short shelf life and even if they are not used, that life passage does not stop.

When the life expectancy arrives or there is a malfunction, for whatever reason, you will need to replace your CO monitor. You are not going to get around this, it will happen at some point in your ownership of an RV.

For battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors, the replacement doesn’t take that much. If they use adhesive patches or screws to stay in one place, you just do a twist and they should come off. Then unpeel the replacement adhesive patches and stick up the new detector.

Or just use the screws already in place and twist your new battery-operated device in the same spot your old one was in. If you are using new screws or you are just installing a new one, make sure when you drill your screws in that you are not hitting hidden wires.

When you are replacing built-in models you have two choices. You can do it yourself or let a qualified tech handle the problem for you. If you do it yourself, you will need to know which wires to disconnect and reattach on the new device.

A few simple twists of the screwdriver should release the wires from the old model and a few more twists should reattach it to the new. Replacing a carbon monoxide detector is just basic home repair work and the owner’s manual may help you.

How to Test Carbon Monoxide Alarm in RV


Once you have installed your new CO detector, you will need to test it. But first, you should be aware that all carbon monoxide detectors are not the same. Some will have flashing red lights, some will have flashing green lights or some will have steady red or green lights and all these lights tell you is that everything is normal.

For sake of argument, we will go with the flashing red light and the color of the light doesn’t matter here as the testing is the same for all digital models. Battery operated ones usually need a test kit which should be widely available in RV parts stores.

After you have installed the device, the flashing red light should appear about every 30 seconds. If it doesn’t, then you need to replace the battery ASAP, or you have connected the wires wrong. If it does, flash every 30 seconds, then you can begin your test.

If you are a smoker, your cigarette will do the trick and if you are not a little stick of burning incense will test the device for you. Just hold the cigarette or piece of incense 6 inches away from the detector and if the digital model gives you a reading then it works properly.

If you get a series of beep, usually 4 at a time, then the non-digital device is also working properly. All the test button does is let you know that the device has power and it is operating normally.

The test button does not show that the device is registering carbon monoxide. You can also buy a test kit to help you with non-digital detectors. The test contains carbon monoxide designed to set the detector off.

How to Reset Carbon Monoxide Alarm in RV


There are two types of carbon monoxide detectors on the market when it comes to resetting functions. There is the automatic model which will reset itself, usually after 10 minutes have passed.

These are great, if you can stand the noise for that long as you do not have to do anything to reset them. The other model is the manual reset device. This device has a button you need to push when the alarm sounds for any reason.

The button is very easy to find as it is located on the front of the device. Now it can be on the edge, in the middle or other places on the detector but it should always be right on top where you can see it and easily access it.

Once you press the button and depending on which brand and model it is, hold it for about 5 to 10 seconds to reset the detector. That is all there is to it.

When Should I Replace My Carbon Monoxide Detector

There are several situations where you will need to eventually replace your CO detector. The first is when you start hearing a little chirping sound. This sound lets you know that the device has used up its life and it is no longer a good carbon monoxide detector.

The second situation is when the device malfunctions. This will happen as nothing is perfect in this world and some bad models do make their way to the marketplace. The third situation will be if the detector gets damaged by accident through no real fault of you or your family. Accidents happen and things get broken.

The key to replacing the detector is that you do it as soon as you can as carbon monoxide is not a gas you want to fool around with and RVs have many sources of carbon monoxide.

Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

Practicing good carbon monoxide prevention is a smart way to have a great time on your vacation and remain nice and safe. Here are a few tips to help you prevent any carbon monoxide situations:

  • Test the detector every time you use your RV - you want to make sure that it is operating normally and is able to detect the gas.
  • Inspect your generator’s exhaust system every time you use it - this will help you see if it is emitting the exhaust properly and there are no leaks.
  • Close your windows and vents - this is normally done when you are in a high traffic area like rush hour traffic. Also, if you are parked next to a running vehicle or generator.
  • Make sure to follow all instructions - when you are operating a gas heater do not ignore the manufacturer’s use instructions and warnings. If you do, you could create the very CO situation you want to avoid.
  • Direct the generator’s exhaust - the exhaust outlet should be pointed away from your RV and not in the direction of your neighbor’s.
  • Oven and range use - if your RV is cold, and the heater is not doing the job, never use these appliances to heat your RV.
  • Open vents and windows when cooking - this will let the carbon monoxide escape easily and protect you from those dangerous situations. Even a small crack when it is cold outside will help a lot.

Where does Carbon Monoxide Come From

Carbon monoxide comes into existence whenever any fuel is burned. It doesn’t matter the type of fuel. It can be created through the burning of gas, diesel, propane, natural gas, coal, and even wood.

When it is created, carbon monoxide is the leading cause of deaths when people are poisoned. That is why when you use your RV you should keep your vehicle well ventilated, especially on cold and rainy days. Letting the gas remain inside will lead to dangerous situations for you and your family.

How the gas gets inside your RV is quite simple and there are a variety of ways it gets access. Here are some of those ways:

  • Cooking in a closed environment.
  • Using the hot water heater in a closed environment.
  • ​Running a space heater that requires fuel in a closed environment.
  • ​Using propane or natural gas appliances throughout the day or night.
  • ​Exhaust leaks from your RV or vehicle or through those RVs and vehicles that are parked close to yours.
  • ​Campfires that are close to your vehicle will let it happen.
  • ​Wind or wind gusts can bring the gas inside your RV through cracks, leaky areas and open windows.

Some Final Words

RV use is a great way to see the country. You get to travel to great locations vacation packages and tours do not normally go to. That is a great option when you do not like tourist traps or crowds.

To make your RV time even better, you should learn the basics about carbon monoxide detectors, their triggers and their repair. This knowledge should protect you and your family from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Knowing when and how to replace your carbon monoxide detector is essential for continuous protection. Also, disabling it is good to learn when it malfunctions and your RV is nice and safe.

Practice good carbon monoxide safety habits and your RV time should be better than ever.

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