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pioneer
We were camping in Cody Wyoming where it is wide open and it was a very windy day. We kept smelling what we thought was propane. Even our propane sensor went off and right after that the carbon/monoxide detector went off. We called someone in to take a look and he said it was because the wind was blowing the exhaust fumes from the water heater back into the camper. Has anyone ever had this problem?
pianotuna
Hi Pioneer,

Did you have a roof vent open? If it were windy in the "right" direction that would produce a vacuum that might assist the exhaust being sucked inside the RV too. I've had my co detector go off when running my generator on a rack on the back of the RV.

QUOTE(pioneer @ May 24 2007, 08:10 AM) *

We were camping in Cody Wyoming where it is wide open and it was a very windy day. We kept smelling what we thought was propane. Even our propane sensor went off and right after that the carbon/monoxide detector went off. We called someone in to take a look and he said it was because the wind was blowing the exhaust fumes from the water heater back into the camper. Has anyone ever had this problem?
John Blue
This is a bit odd. The water heater should not give off "Co" due to no carbon in propane. A number of things can set them off. One night our co detector went off due to wifes foot near it. She move the foot and alarm stopped, now thats a bad foot. Propane detectors will pick up number of gases. The wind can pick up gases and move them a long ways. In Cody I do not remember any large plants, more or less all dessert and clean air. I would write this one off.
pianotuna
Hi John Blue,

Propane is C3H8 -- lots of carbon. Have a look here:

http://www.c-f-c.com/specgas_products/propane.htm

Also look here for documented injuries from propane due to CO.

http://www.carbonmonoxidedeaths.com/

QUOTE(John Blue @ May 24 2007, 09:00 PM) *

This is a bit odd. The water heater should not give off "Co" due to no carbon in propane. A number of things can set them off. One night our co detector went off due to wifes foot near it. She move the foot and alarm stopped, now thats a bad foot. Propane detectors will pick up number of gases. The wind can pick up gases and move them a long ways. In Cody I do not remember any large plants, more or less all dessert and clean air. I would write this one off.
Texasrvers
We're not as technically savvy as you guys, but I do know that our propane sensor has gone off every now and then for no apparent reason. I have no idea if it was windy or not when it happened. Since this could be very dangerous we had everything checked out by an RV service the first time it went off, but no problem was found. The next time it happened we thought maybe the sensor was bad, so we had it checked but it seemed to be fine, too. It has gone off 2-3 other times after that, and we have always tried to check things out since ignoring it could result in some bad consequences. I do know that other things can set them off. Lysol spray used to set off the one in our previous RV. I don't think it is a good idea to completely ignore them when they go off. After all they are trying to tell you something, and what if it really is a leak. Better safe than sorry in this situation.
John Blue
pianotuna,

Thanks for the informatiom. I did not think propane had carbon, I see that was wrong.

Per other information propane in presence of oxygen will burn to form water and carbon dioxide. In low oxygen levels then burn will form water and carbon monoxide.

We see propane engines used to clean floors in Wal-Mart stores, hospitals, large warehouses, and etc. Everything at Walt Disney World runs on propane or electric inside and outside. We all use it inside our RV's to cook with and have no problems.

So I guess as long as we have 20-22% oxygen we should be OK.

We have been in parking lots and a motorhome running pump gas on generator would set off our alarm in short time. We have never found this problem with propane or diesel generators.
boater
we had this type of thing on our boat one time in maryland. the co detector went off in the middle of the night. it turned out that a boat with a desiel engine had started up to go fishing and had left the engine running while he got ready. scared the you know what out of us.
Glenn Norton
we have to disconnect our battery to stop the propane detector from sounding off almost every time we fuel up at gas stations. Some house batteries "gas off" and make the detectors sound off as well. If you smell propane or something like it you still need a vent or window open. In a windstorm you may need to shut down the offending appliance.
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