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Old 06-25-2007, 08:43 PM   #1
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LP Gas Detector alarm - no reason

Boondocking on the Metolius River this past weekend. I was sitting out by the fire and my wife was taking a shower in our 16' Bambi (her first shower). She poked her head out of the door and asked what was that sound. I went in and heard the LP gas detector making a constant tone/alarm. The green light was blinking normally and there was absolutely no smell of LP gas. I checked the small manual on the unit and none of the troubleshooting conditions matched this situation. After about 10 minutes of listening to the annoying sound (the test button did not silence the alarm), the tone ust stopped.

Battery power was within normal range (11.94 volts when I checked 30 minutes later).

The only thing I can suspect is that water somehow got to the panel or the leads and created an abnormal fault condition and then after 10 minutes or so the "short" was cleared when the moisture/water dried. The panel on the 16' footer is on the outside wall of the shower. If this is the case, then I need to figure out how water got there.

Any ideas why this happened?

Thanks,
Hugh Hegedus
2007 16' Bambi
Bend, Oregon
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:49 PM   #2
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11.94 volts of battery voltage is completely dead, and could cause all kinds of electrical glitches. Fully charged is more like 12.65+ volts.
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:08 PM   #3
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11.94 volts - completely dead? - don't think so

Thanks Overlander63 for the quick reply, but it seems hard to believe that 11.94 volts represents a completely dead battery. A) it was a brand new Interstate battery and fully charged/floated with an Xtreme battery conditioner/charger b) it had supplied the 12V power for the trailer for the previous 36 hours (fridge fan, occasional water pump, a few lights at night) and C) it continued to supply power for all above without any problem following this condition with the LP detector for the rest of the day. Yes, the voltage was on the low side because the loads placed on it for the previous 36 hours, but calling it dead seems an exaggeration.

I should also say that the manual for the LP detector actually states that the detector will provide alarm notification of dropping voltage, but only when the voltage gets below 10 volts. Also, the indication for this condition did not match my scenario. Again, the light continued to blink green as normal and the tone was a continuous one.

I suppose a call to the Detector Manufacturer might provide an answer as well.
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:14 PM   #4
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Open Circuit Voltage
~ State-of-charge
12.65 V 100 %
12.45 V 75 %
12.24 V 50 %
12.06 V 25 %
11.89 V 0 %
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:46 PM   #5
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I have seen the chart that Terry refers to, and I have also seen this one. If you use this chart you would have roughly 40% of your battery left when you checked it. However, you stated that your wife was in the shower. that means the pump was running and you had a much lower voltage at that time. Either way you did not have much battery left at that point and that may be the cause of the false alarm. Just to be safe, check with the detector company. Better to be safe then.....
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Old 06-25-2007, 10:17 PM   #6
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Smile Hi,

Was You wife cooking? My detector goes off eveytime she cooks. Our detector runs on 9v battery.
Regards from Russell in Hot and Sunny Tucson Az.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:02 AM   #7
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Richard,

Your voltage chart lines up better with my memory and the status panel on my Bambi. Thanks for that. I did consider the fact that she was showering and that the draw would have dropped the voltage lower. The concern was that the indications on the LP detector for a low voltage condition (mine is hard wired to the battery) were not present. I plan to call the detector company today and see what they say. Thanks all.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdhegedus
I plan to call the detector company today and see what they say. Thanks all.
Let us know what they say, it may help the next guy with the same problem.
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:03 AM   #9
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On our last outing, the LP detector went off but I believe it is because I was applying spray on sun block in the coach.

Maybe it was some form of spray something or other. Sometimes dust settles on the sensor part of the detector. Maybe a blast of compressed air if it continues.

Also, if your batteries are really low, the little blinking light on the detector will blink yellow or red, instead of green.

Jonathan
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:17 AM   #10
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Next time it happens, just press on the button for about 5-10 seconds to reset.
It happen to me on the 2005 Safari when it was less then 1 year old, in the middle of the night while with full hookups and nothing on other then the clock on the microwave. And no, it's not connected to the shower wall.
It hasn't happen again. (knock on wood).
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Old 06-27-2007, 05:44 PM   #11
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Thanks all. I have a question into Atwood on this. Just as a follow up to the last couple posts:

- I did try hitting the test button to silence the alarm; no effect
- no sprays/chemicals of any sort in the trailer; my wife doesn't use hair spray (she's naturally beautiful )
- and there was no cooking going on a that time.

We'll see what Atwood has say. Will post back.

Hugh
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Old 06-27-2007, 07:03 PM   #12
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LP Gas Alarm

Mine went off several times, before I found out that my puppy was pushing the test button with his foot!!!!


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Old 06-27-2007, 07:08 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Gunnyusmc
Mine went off several times, before I found out that my puppy was pushing the test button with his foot!!!!


Don
Oh, brother. Imagine trying to explain that to tech support after the initial call in...
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:47 PM   #14
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Answer - Kind of

Well, I spoke with a Technician at Atwood (the LP Detector manufacturer) and his answer, though lacking in the kind of confidence you normally hope for when talking with the company that makes the thing, was that the detector might have picked up some other chemical "smell" that triggered the abnormal alarm. He said since the trailer was new, there might have been some offgassing that the detector picked up. He said that if the situation re-occurs they would be happy to replace it, but thinks I should be fine.

He did not think that water was an issue, nor the battery, as he said that there were clear alarm repsonses that I would have seen with the low battery, but I didn't (unless off course the detector has some flaw).

Well, that's the last word.

Kind of makes me want to simulate an LP leak and make sure the thing really does work.

Well, I'll carry on.

Hugh
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