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Old 04-08-2013, 10:43 PM   #1
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lpg detector orientation

Did a quick search on this and dont see anything. Is the orientation of the gas detector important to its function? Im looking at turning it a 1/4 turm counterclockwise to fit the existing hole. The old one is coming out, its the original and the alarm glares when switched on. It doesnt matter if gas is on or off so Im assuming that its bad and in need of replacement. Thoughts?

Barry
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:31 AM   #2
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Did a quick search on this and dont see anything. Is the orientation of the gas detector important to its function? Im looking at turning it a 1/4 turm counterclockwise to fit the existing hole. The old one is coming out, its the original and the alarm glares when switched on. It doesnt matter if gas is on or off so Im assuming that its bad and in need of replacement. Thoughts?

Barry
Is the old one powered by its own battery, or does it run off the house batteries? If it has its own battery, then the constant alarm tone when it's switched on could be the signal that it just needs a new battery.

Regardless of the power source, the old one might just need a good cleaning; dust buildup could cause it to give a "false positive." That's usually more of a problem with smoke detectors, but LPG detectors aren't immune.

LPG detectors can give false-positive readings due to hairspray, bug spray, perfume, Lysol/Oust and other aerosol materials.

Lpg detectors can be ruined by being frozen, if there was condensation on the unit's sensor that froze. If the air is dry, though, freezing temperatures shouldn't hurt it.

Other than that, an LPG detector is entirely solid-state, no moving parts. Should work just fine right-side-up, upside-down, or sideways.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:42 PM   #3
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Protagonist,

Thanks for the tips. I had a chance yesterday to take another look at the detector. It is powered by the house batteries. I took some canned air and sprayed around the backside and into all cracks and crevices on the old LPG detector to see if that might help. When it is switched to the "power on" position it just glares away. I had already purchased a newer detector so I was curious to see if maybe I didnt have a leak that was causing the old one to sound off. Hooked up the new unit and no sound. Hit the test button and get a sounding response indicating it is working. I assume that the old one is toast and I will go ahead and mount the new one. It will be a whole lot easier for me to mount it in a vertical position as thats how the existing cutout is positioned. Should I have any concerns about this type of mounting? Essentially, it will be mounted at a 1/4 turn from its standard mounting position. Thanks again.

Barry
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bweldon View Post
Did a quick search on this and dont see anything. Is the orientation of the gas detector important to its function? Im looking at turning it a 1/4 turm counterclockwise to fit the existing hole. The old one is coming out, its the original and the alarm glares when switched on. It doesnt matter if gas is on or off so Im assuming that its bad and in need of replacement. Thoughts?

Barry
If it's been powered off for a month or more it may take as much as a few hours of beeping before it burns the accumulated crud off the sensor.

To answer your original question, they will detect hairspray and dog farts in all orientations, but must be installed rightside up in order to beep when boondocking at 4:00 in the morning when the furnace has run the battery down.

I gave mine a 1/4 turn flip into the trash when I tossed it.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:39 PM   #5
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Jammer,

This is hilarious! I think what your saying is its more trouble than its worth. I'm new to camping, in a trailer anyways. I guess I was coming at it from a perspective of trying to get all things "safety" in order (smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector & lpg detector). I guess it stands to reason that since they put the smell additive in the lpg, that you really dont need a detector. You smell it very easily if theres a leak. I don't have an lpg detect in my house and I have a gas hot water heater and gas stove. I'm curious to know how others feel. Is this a needed safety device or not? Thanks for the input Jammer.

Barry
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:04 PM   #6
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Yes, it's necessary. Compressed natural gas is lighter than air when it vaporizes, and collects up near the ceiling if it isn't vented through a window, door, or whatever. You'll smell it before it gets above the Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) or to any level that is harmful to your lungs to breathe it.

Propane is heavier than air when it vaporizes, and collects down near the floor. Unless you have a nose on your toes, it can build up to the LEL before you smell it, especially if you've got little ventilation. And since many RVers have a furnace, and electric outlets, and battery boxes, and other things that can provide a source of ignition all down near floor level, early detection is important.

As it happens, LPG detectors are also sensitive enough to detect propane before it reaches a concentration you can smell, even when you have good ventilation.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:51 PM   #7
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Some people, like Protagonist, think they're an important safety feature. I don't.

They were brought over into the RV world from the yacht world, where propane poses a much greater safety risk. A propane leak in a yacht tends to cause propane to accumulate below decks where it cannot escape, leading to fires and explosions. The yacht industry has pretty much moved to putting the LP gas cylinder and regulator in an airtight locker vented overboard, with a solenoid valve in the low pressure line that only opens when the propane detector is operating and doesn't detect any propane.

For a few years the solenoid valves showed up in the RV world, then disappeared.

The usual sources of propane leaks in an RV -- tank valves, pigtails, regulator, distribution piping -- are outside. Most of the appliances are essentially outside insofar as there isn't a path for leaking propane to enter the trailer. Burners and controls for the furnace, fridge, and water heater are all vented to outside and sealed from the interior.

Again this is in contrast to the marine world where propane piping is run inside the hull.

The only possible source of an interior propane leak is the range. The most common cause of RV propane detector trips caused by actual propane (rather than dog farts and hair spray) is an unlit stovetop burner with the gas on.

I maintain the smoke detector, CO detector, and fire extinguisher and won't spend a night in a trailer without all those present. I run the best brake controller I can find and a Propride hitch. On the other hand I don't see the propane detector as providing much of a safety benefit.
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