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RV propane detector lifespan | When should you replace them?

Carbon Monoxide Detector. Having a detector can mean the difference between life and death in the event of a leak. In this article, we will discuss a few ways to detect an LP Gas leak and explain and discuss the RV propane detector lifespan. An RV propane detector’s lifespan is generally 5-7 years. LP Detectors can, at times, prematurely malfunction, giving us an audible warning alarm. Most LP Gas detectors will tell you if the unit needs replacing by displaying a yellow indicator light. LP Gas detectors are tied to the RV battery. For this reason, the detector will work as long as you keep the batteries charged.

 

Best Propane Detectors

 

RV propane detector lifespan1. Safe T Alert RV Trailer Camper Lp Gas Mini Lp Gas Detector Sm Black 20-441-P-BL

 

20 Series – Propane/LP Gas Alarms Feature

Download Manual

20 Series Operating Specifications

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2. KOABBIT Plug-in Carbon Monoxide / LP Gas Alarm Detector

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RV propane detector lifespan3. Atwood RV Propane Detector 

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RV propane detector lifespan 4. Gasknight Propane Natural Gas Propane Detector

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MTI Industries 35-742-WT Safe T Alert5. MTI Industries 35-742-BL Safe T Alert 35 Series Dual LP/CO Alarm

35 Series Flush Mount – Dual Alarms Features

Download Manual

35 Series Flush Mount Operating Specifications

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6. MTI Industries 40-441-P-WT Safe T Alert 40 Series Professional Propane/LP Gas Alarm 

MTI Industries 40-441-P-WT Safe T Alert 40 SeriesThe Safe T Alert 40 Series Professional Propane/LP Gas Alarm is designed for the rugged RV environment and is ideal for Class A motor homes, Class B van campers, Class C mini-motor homes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, trucks, and folding campers.

It features advanced technology with an “Alarm Mute” button that silences the alarm when the RV is ventilated and a rapid recovery sensor that resets when silenced or reactivates if dangerous levels of propane remain. Easy 12 Volt installation means there will be no missing or dead batteries to replace. Meets RVIA/NFPA requirements. Listed to UL 1484 RV.

Features

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7. MTI Industries 35-742-WT Safe T Alert 35 Series Dual LP/CO Alarm 

MTI Industries 35-742-WT Safe T Alert 35 Series Dual LP CO AlarmThe Safe T Alert 35 Series Dual LP/CO Alarm is designed for the rugged RV environment and is ideal for Class A motor homes, Class B van campers, Class C mini-motor homes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, trucks, and folding campers. It features advanced technology with an “Alarm Mute” button that silences the alarm when the RV is ventilated and rapid recovery sensor that resets when silenced or reactivates if dangerous levels of propane or CO remain. Easy 12 Volt installation means there will be no missing or dead batteries to replace. Meets RVIA/NFPA requirements. Listed to UL 1484 RV and UL 2034 RV.

Features

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Combustible Gas Leak Detectors

uei gas leak detector cd100aUEi Test Instruments CD100A Combustible Gas Leak Detector

The CD100A is the service person tool designed to detect combustible gas leaks in residential and small commercial applications. The semiconductor sensor responds instantaneously to all combustible gases. The easily adjusted, steady tic rate provides a precise indication of the leak source. The CD100A can be used in tight quarters where others might not fit.

Product Features

CD100A detects these types of leaks

Acetone, Industrial Solvents, Alcohol, Jet Fuel, Ammonia, Lacquer, Thinners. Benzene, Methane, Butane, Naphtha, Ethylene, Oxide, Natural Gas, Gasoline-Petrol, Propane, Halon, Hydrogen Sulfide, and Toluene.

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INFICON Gas-Mate, Combustible Gas Leak DetectorGAS-Mate® Combustible Gas Leak Detector

NFICON raises the bar on combustible gas detectors with GAS-Mate, the ideal tool for locating leaks. GAS-Mate is also intrinsically safe so that you can leak check with confidence.

GAS-Mate outperforms other models with twice the sensitivity of many competitors – down to 5 ppm methane, the main natural gas component. GAS-Mate also detects many other combustible gases, such as ammonia, propane, ethanol, and hydrogen sulfide.

No calibration is required for GAS-Mate or its field-replaceable sensor. Simply turn the unit on, allow it to warm up for a few seconds and it is ready to pinpoint any gas leaks present quickly.

To prove that GAS-Mate has the performance and durability for your job, it carries an industry-leading, 3-year over-the-counter replacement warranty – three times what most other manufacturers offer.

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Techamor Y201 Portable Methane Propane Combustible Natural Gas Leak Sniffer DetectorTechamor Y201 Portable Methane Propane Combustible Natural Gas Leak Sniffer Detector

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RV Propane Detectors Lifespan: A Guide to understanding them.

The world we live in is in a constant state of change. Similarly, the modes of living and recreation are also transforming. People are seeking out more affordable, practical, and minimal lifestyles, which sometimes mean abandoning the age-old notion of permanent homes in the heart of busy metropolitans.

One such unique option is motorhomes. Motorhomes are vehicles equipped with accommodation, and other temporary living facilitates, and are used for travel as well as recreational use. Apart from recreational purposes, many people use motorhomes as their only homes.

A problem pertaining to the safety of motorhomes, especially gas leak accidents, pose a great threat, which needs to be addressed urgently. Statistics show that exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) is the main cause of poisoning deaths in the world.

More specifically, according to U.S. Fire Administration, in America, in 2016, out of the 364,000 residential fires over 50% were results of accidents incurred during cooking, and almost 10% were caused by heating accidents. The statistics include the gas leak disasters that take place in motorhomes such as RVs. ‘

Over the years, several technological precautions have been taken to eliminate the threat of gas leak disasters. Installation of different gas detectors and smoke detectors in RVs is one such precaution put in place to prevent human tragedy and destruction of property. It also ensures a safe, fun-filled recreational experience for the campers and a tension-free living experience for the permanent residents.

The effectiveness and overall functionality of LP-gas detectors are a matter of great importance. Similarly, it is an essential matter to replace LP-gas detectors timely to prevent imminent disasters. As a result, it is an important matter to determine the lifespan of RV Propane Detectors.

Use of Propane Gas in Motorhomes

Motorhomes such as RVs usually use propane gas for a range of purposes. It has a strong, pungent smell. It is used for cooking, heating water, refrigeration, and central air and heating systems. Propane is used because it is cheaper than petroleum gas, readily available during travel, and relatively more environmentally friendly.

Despite its utility, propane gas is flammable and exposure to the gas can cause a series of health hazards such as suffocation, restricted breathing, dizziness, headaches, weakness, irregular heartbeats, nausea, vomiting, and loss of concentration. Moreover incomplete combustion of propane produces carbon monoxide, apart from carbon dioxide and water.

Carbon monoxide is a lethal, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. It replaces the oxygen present in a person’s red blood cells, causes severe tissue damage, and most probably death. Once the lifespan of RV Propane Detector is over, it is unable to detect the concentration of propane gas and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere.

How does a RV Propane Detector Work?

In order to determine the RV Propane Detector’s lifespan, it is important to understand how the LP-gas detectors work. The main function of a gas detector is to measure and indicate the concentration levels of various gases using advanced technologies in the proximity of the sensor.

These devices are usually operated by battery and are essentially used for safety purposes. For the sake of portability and practicality, they are manufactured as stationary, singular units, and they indicate gas levels through a range of audible and visible indicators which include, but are not limited to alarms, lights, cellular devices notifications, or a combination of other signals.

Due to advancements in technology, the gas detectors, including the ones which detect liquefied petroleum gases, are multifunctional and possess the capacity to detect several gasses at once. In certain places, and in certain cases a series of different gas detectors are used together to form a protection system.

Catalytic Sensors

LP-gas or Propane Detectors primarily include either a catalytic sensor or infrared sensor in their mechanism. The catalytic sensor’s main function is to detect the levels of hydrocarbons and other combustible gases. They work based on the process of catalytic oxidation. These sensors are usually manufactured a platinum treated wire coil which fulfills the purpose of detecting elements.

Additionally, it also has a second wire which acts as a compensating element. As the combustible gas, in this case, propane touches the surface of the catalytic surface, the process of oxidation takes place which produces heat that, in turn, increases the resistance of the wire that acts as a detection element.

However, the resistance of the compensating material remains unaffected despite the presence of propane; it serves to compensate for changes in ambient conditions. The sensor functions based on the change in resistance of the detecting element and compensating element. A bridge circuit is used to determine any change in resistance.

A drawback of catalytic sensors is that they function properly in the presence of adequate oxygen in the surroundings. Hence, these sensors need a certain level of oxygen available to combust the combustible gas; they will not work in zero or low oxygen atmospheres. Such RV Propane Detectors are not preferred for camping in mountains and traveling through high altitude regions.

Infrared Sensors (IR Sensors)

Infrared sensors or IR RV Propane Detectors identifiers work by means of an arrangement of transmitters and collectors to recognize flammable gases, explicitly hydrocarbon fumes. Normally, the transmitters are light sources and receivers are light identifiers. In the event that gas is available in an optical way, it will alter the intensity of the light transmission between the transmitter and receiver.

The modified state of light decides if and what kind of gas is available. Specifically called non-dispersive infrared detectors, these systems frequently make use of two detectors and two optical channels of various frequencies set before each detector.

One channel is tuned to the target gas and presented to the gas while the other channel is left unexposed and serves as a kind of a reference. Retention of IR light happens at the frequency of the target gas, making these detectors profoundly gas specific. Another advantage is that these locators don’t lose their affectability to target gas even after the delayed introduction.

Units are available that monitor point sources (short-range) and open path sources (long-range) Short-range, portable propane sensors are used in RVs particularly, especially for their longevity.

Propane Detectors used in RVs are usually 12-volt battery (DC) powered units, weighing 150g made of flame retardant resign. They operate within the temperature range of -10 to +45 and below 85% RH humidity.

In some alarm systems, alarms are connected to an electric solenoid valve on the propane tank that shuts down in the occurrence of power disruption, or complete failure. Other detectors incorporate simple alarm systems that activate in the presence of propane. Moreover, as propane is a heavy gas, heavier than air, the RV Propane Detector is usually mounted near the floor of the RV.

Determining RV Propane Detectors’ Lifespan

Most RV Propane Detectors’ lifespan is between 5 to 7 years. Unlike other detectors, the duration is counted since the moment the device is powered up, not from the date put in service. In order to ensure timely indication of its expiry, most Propane Detectors have an end-of-life signal to indicate the need to replace the device. Also, most detectors come with an expiry date.

KOABBIT RV Propane Detectors

Among the vast range of RV Propane detectors available in the market, the KOABBIT detector is one of the most effective, multi-purpose options. It comes with a high sensitivity dual sensor design. Koabbit carbon monoxide fire alarm system uses a catalytic propane sensor and an electrochemical carbon monoxide sensor.

It is easy to use and has an LCD digital display which clearly shows levels of Gas that the device has calculated and stored. This value ranges anywhere from 0ppm to 3000ppm. Moreover, it updates every 9 seconds to take into account any sudden and abrupt changes in the atmospheric concentration of gases. It is equipped with a voice alarm.

When the concentration of carbon monoxide exceeds 1000ppm or the concentration of combustible gas, such as propane gas, reaches 6%, the LCD screen lights up and begins to display the concentration value, and the red LED light flashes and a loud alarm with an 85-decibel loudness is emitted, immediately alerting the people inside the RV of the danger.

Apart from ease of access, and a foolproof intimation system, Koabbit RV Propane Detector comes with the option of easy installment. It can be easily mounted on any wall or ceiling without the aid of an electrician. This particular brand of RV Propane Detectors is widely available on several online stores including Amazon.

How to Replace an Expired RV Propane Detector?

In case, an RV Propane Detector’s lifespan is over, it is essential to replace it with a new one immediately. In order to replace the propane detector, firstly, turn off power to the detector. Since the power source of the detector is usually a DC circuit, the power can be turned off by detaching the fuse from the power panel.

Secondly, unscrew the faceplate of the detector a snip the two wires leading to the sensors. Thirdly, connect the leads from the new detector to the wires you cut. Match up the colors – red and black – and use connectors for a secure connection. Lastly, screw the propane detector back in place.

 

FAQ

How do you test an RV for propane leaks?

If You suspect a propane gas leak in the LP Gas System, consider having the propane system checked by an RV technician if you do not feel comfortable checking the system yourself. You can also purchase a Portable Propane Methane and Natural Gas Leak Detector for around $30.

One way to test for leaks and verify that the propane gas detector is working properly would be to use a cigarette lighter. Hold the lighter near the sensor. You do not want to light the flame, just push the lever down to release the butane gas. Listen for an audible sound. No sound means the detector needs to be replaced. Also, propane is heavier then the air consider kneeling to the floor to detect the propane smell.

You can use a propane gas leak detector or search for the leaks using a leak detection fluid or soapy water (1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap to 2 cups of tap water, gently mixed). Simply spray each fitting and connection throughout the complete propane system.

A pressure drop down test should be done annually or when you suspect a possible leak using an lp gas manometer. The video below will explain how to complete the test.

What is the lifespan of an RV propane detector?

Yes, LP Gas Detectors do go bad. The RV propane detector lifespan is generally 5-7 years. If you keep getting false alarms, the unit will need to be replaced.

Can propane fumes kill you?

A high concentration of propane gas can displace oxygen in the air. If less oxygen is available to breathe, symptoms such as clumsiness, fatigue, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, and fatigue can result. As less oxygen becomes available, collapse, convulsions, coma, nausea and vomiting, and death can occur.

Where do you mount a propane detector in an RV?

Mount propane gas detectors in bedrooms and living areas. Propane gas detectors should be placed at pillow height, being that propane gas is heavier than air.

Install CO alarms (Carbon monoxide)  at bed height in bedrooms, and all other living areas mount around 5 FT.