How to deal with an RV carbon monoxide detector false alarm?
This is a good question since we’re speaking of vehicles where there are quite a few sources of carbon monoxide.
False alarms might not always be the case so it’s best if you follow the entire guide to learn when it’s necessary to take precautions and how to deal with false alarms.
Whenever a CO detector starts alarming, users should first attempt to determine if there is a carbon monoxide leak. If that’s not the case then the detector should be power cycled and the batteries should be replaced to solve the false alarms.
How To Recognize A False Alarm On CO Detector?
Since carbon monoxide is an invisible and poisonous gas that is released from burning materials such as oil, coal, wood, and fuels you should first make sure that the alarm is false.
False alarms can be caused by the following:
- Vehicle’s exhaust
- Cooking smoke near the CO detector
- Fuel-burning appliances
In an RV there are not many ways that could produce carbon monoxide but it’s important for users to inspect thoroughly whether there is truly a poison gas inside the vehicle!
Note: In case there is a CO leak inside the vehicle, all people should leave and call 911.
Let’s see how you can resolve false alarms on your RV’s carbon monoxide detector:
How To Fix a False CO Detector Alarm In an RV?
To resolve the false alarms of the carbon monoxide detector we should first make sure that the vehicle is not having a CO leak.
To do so we strongly suggest users follow the solution in order for a chronological inspection of the problem.
Let’s begin with the most important.
Solution #1 Verify There Is No Fire
When your RV’s carbon monoxide detector goes off, in most cases there is a reason for the alarming event.
Except for thinking it was a false alarm, you should actively verify that there is no fire or smoke inside or outside the RV.
Signs of CO leak:
- Weird gas odor.
- Thick air.
- Yellow stains.
Carbon monoxide is mainly released when something is burning.
So in case of a fire, there is a great chance that carbon monoxide will exist in the released smoke.
ALERT: When noticing a sign of a CO leak, you should immediately call 911.
Solution #2 Mute The Detector
The best way to suppress a false alarm on your RV carbon monoxide detector is to mute the device from the current state of alarm.
You should notice that this won’t mute the detector in general but only suppress the current ongoing false alarm.
In that regard, if you’ve verified that there is no actual carbon monoxide inside the RV, you can mute the detector the following way:
- Use a chair or step on something to reach the device.
- Locate the Test and the Mute button on the bottom panel of the detector.
- Press and hold the Test/Mute buttons together.
- Keep holding these buttons for 15 seconds.
- Your alarm should stop chirping/beeping now.
Note: If you do not see a test or a mute button on your RV carbon monoxide detector, search for any button that can work as a mute function.
Solution #3 Air Out Your Vehicle
Except for fire, many other substances and gasses can trigger the alarm of your RV’s carbon monoxide detector.
The next thing you should attempt is to completely air out your vehicle and dispose of all gasses that may trigger the alarm.
To air out your RV vehicle completely, open all windows as well as the doors.
Make sure that nobody is inside the RV while the device is airing out and keep all sources of ventilation open for about 1 hour.
Keep in mind that in case of a carbon monoxide leak, airing out the vehicle is only a temporary solution. In such cases, there is a danger of CO poisoning.
Tip: Upon exiting the vehicle, make sure that you haven’t left a stove or an oven working.
Solution #4 Power Cycle The Detector
Whenever the RV carbon monoxide detector false alarm appears, the cause could be related to an OS bug or insufficient power flow.
This problem is mainly generated by the batteries that are inside the detector and you should power cycle the device to resolve the problem.
Here’s how you can power cycle your carbon monoxide smoke detector in easy steps:
- Have a reach of the smoke detector with your palm.
- Grab the body and rotate it counterclockwise.
- Remove the detector from the mounting bracket.
- Slide open the battery compartment.
- Expose the 2 AAA batteries on the back of the body.
- Eject the batteries and wait for 5 minutes.
- Re-insert the batteries.
- Re-build the body of your smoke detector.
- Test the device.
Note: It may take up to 15 minutes for the smoke detector to go off in case of a CO leak.
Solution #5 Reset The Detector
Your next step should be to perform a reset on the carbon monoxide detector.
If the false alarms keep coming up, then by resetting the operating system you will be able to clear this fault and prevent the device from beeping in your RV.
Here’s how to reset most of the RV carbon monoxide detectors:
- Grab a hold of the bottom panel of the detector.
- Spin it counterclockwise.
- Remove the panel.
- Next to the battery compartment, there is a reset button.
- Press and hold the reset button for 30 seconds.
- Your carbon monoxide detector should reset every moment.
- Test if the issue is now fixed.
Note: Your detector may take up to 10 minutes to complete the reset. Don’t interact with the device for the time being.
Solution #6 Replace Detector Batteries
If nothing worked so far, we strongly suggest replacing the batteries of your detector.
If this problem hasn’t been fixed by now, then the false alarm problem is most likely to be related to the battery source of your detector.
Here’s how to replace the batteries of your CO detector in easy steps:
- Grab the bottom part of the detector and remove it by rotating clockwise.
- Expose the battery compartment.
- Open the compartment.
- Remove the two AAA batteries inside the device.
- Insert a fresh pair of AAA batteries.
Notice: Mind the polarity of the CO detector’s compartment and the batteries.
Why Does My RV Carbon Monoxide Detector Keep Beeping?
When the detector is constantly beeping, there is only one possibility besides “low battery”.
Temporarily uninstalling your detector, also known as the “long reset” is a process where you disassemble your detector for a couple of hours.
As with other devices, your detector may also develop software bugs that can cause the device to constantly “beep” without proper reasoning.
Take out the batteries and put them away temporarily. Now you just wait.
It’s recommended to wait for around 3-4 hours and then reinstall the batteries.
If the problem persists, you’ll need to replace the batteries before drawing conclusions.
Note: While the detector is uninstalled, make sure to preserve its pieces in a clean place.
To resolve false alarms on your CO detector, verify that there is no actual fire and perform a power cycle on the device. Next, air out your vehicle and factory reset the detector via the reset button. Finally, replace the detector’s batteries.
Now that we know why RV carbon monoxide detector false alarm appear frequently, we can easily prevent the cause, therefore, eliminating the sudden alarms.
It’s important to take a look at any burning appliances every time the detector alarms to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
We hope that this post was helpful and to discover more related topics, make sure to check our technical blog.
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