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Old 11-13-2011, 10:32 AM   #1
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LPG Leak Detector Troubles/False Alarm beeps

My 2005 Intl 25' CCD came with a stock "Protechtor LP Gas Detector Series 2001", which I believe is made by a company called Atwood; though it says it was manufactured in China. It's giving me troubles, we just got back from a fall Rally and the darn thing started beeping every 30 secs in the middle of the night. There are three possible light colors flashing on led: Green - Power; Yellow - Fault; and Red - Alarm. The unit was solid yellow and beeped (very loud) every 30 secs. There was no gas leak, no problem, except with the unit. I could find no way to turn it off, and it caused my wife to have go outside with the dog into the cold weather for almost 90 mins as I tried to trouble shot everything. I, unfortunetely, couldn't find the owners manual on unit; did find a reference to it in the Airstream Owners manual, which said consult the manufactures guide. I discovered enough to know this wasn't an indication of a gas leak but that the unit was malfunctioning, why I don't know. I Unscrewed the thing, it's mounted 6 inches off the floor right near the furnace and discovered there is nothing to unplug and no way to turn the darn thing off. I was getting ready to just cut the wires and get my wife and dog in from outside when I noticed a black button which I pushed and it went back to green-power mode (no test tone sounded). This was all occuring from 3am to 4am so I wasn't thinking the clearest. As I checked the next morning I noticed that the button I pushed would have been the test button. Has anyone had a similar problem and know a solution. I am happy to replace the unit with a new one, but don't want to waste the money if all that was needed was an occasional test. Not sure where I read this, but somewhere I recall seeing something to the effect that the unit should be tested weekly or it can malfunction from something crudding up the sensor and it will go off to burn the crud away. I was actually at a weekend Airstream Rally and the folks I asked about this were long-time Airstreamers, but all had older units that came with no LPG detector so had no real insights. I am at loss and am going away for our last camping of the year over Thanksgiving and would be most grateful for anyones insight, so as to avoid a repeated sleepless night. I was told that LP gas has a scent added to it so if there is a leak it smells like rotten eggs (just like my homes natural gas) so with that informatiion I atleast know I'll smell a gas leak so am wondering what's the point of the detector; is this just something the lawyers thought up to avoid potential liability (I'm a lawyer so not being derogatory, I know what a litigous society in which we reside).

Thanks in advance,
Tim
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:47 AM   #2
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It will also go off because of low batt voltage
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:07 AM   #3
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Thanks, I don't think that was the case for us this time since we were plugged into AC. But who knows maybe I am missing something
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:24 AM   #4
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Here's a link to the manual for your detector:

http://www.atwoodmobile.com/manuals/...%20LP%20RV.pdf

The chart says for a solid amber light and repeating chirps to press test button to reset the device, if problem persists to contact manufacturer. Sounds like they anticipate that can happen! Too bad this is not included in all the warnings printed on the front that are so useless when you're standing on your head at 2AM trying to read them.

LPG being heavier than air will collect near the floor. It could possibly go unnoticed until the oven pilot for example set it off and that would be too late for everyone. The detector is hardwired to the battery so even putting the battery in store mode or pulling the shore power doesn't kill the power to it.

I think I have a new task on my to-do list... Install a disconnect in the wire behind the detector so if it wakes us up at 2AM and won't reset I can pull the 4 screws and kill it.
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkcru
It will also go off because of low batt voltage
Since it is hard wired to the battery, if the batteries were in store mode and got down to about 8-10 volts, the alarm would give a low battery alert even though the coach was fully powered by the converter.
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Old 11-13-2011, 02:08 PM   #6
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Hi from GA. . .the same unit did the same thing a month ago in my 05 Safari 25, so I did the American thing and threw it away and bought a new one (from Dyers) regards, Craig
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Old 11-13-2011, 03:57 PM   #7
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Tim,

I have an '06 and experienced the same problem. There are two issues usually involved here. A low battery will cause this and just because you are hooked into AC it doesn't mean your battery will be up to snuff. You could be having some problem with your converter.

Mine "requires" a test on a regular basis. I remember reading something about how dust can settle on the important parts over time and the test procedure is supposed to help clean things. I reset mine just like you did, in the middle of the night, and it worked fine the rest of the season. I tested it before the next season and so far, so good. I would try these things before I went and replaced it.

Good luck.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:30 PM   #8
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Supposed To Replace Approx. Every 4 Years

We had the same problem. There is a thread somewhere on the forums discussing this. Regardless, we found out these devices are intended to be replaced on a regular bases like smoke detectors are intended to be replaced on a regular basis.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:09 AM   #9
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LOL!

I have discovered the "Protechtor" is very apt when it comes to protecting one against a good night's sleep. Note the time - 5 a.m. PST - and I have been up for two hours since my rude awakening in the wilderness. I came here for the peace and quiet - ha!

First order of business when I get home: disconnect the &^%^ thing and replace with another model - something that is portable that I can place on the floor.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim_S View Post
My 2005 Intl 25' CCD came with a stock "Protechtor LP Gas Detector Series 2001", which I believe is made by a company called Atwood; though it says it was manufactured in China. It's giving me troubles, we just got back from a fall Rally and the darn thing started beeping every 30 secs in the middle of the night.
EXACTLY the same thing happened to mine, on my first outing. I must have accidentally kicked it or something. Careful perusal of the owner's manual (which I had to download, I didn't get one with my Interstate) shows that the fix is easy. Shut off the 12v power for about a minute to let it reset, then turn the power back on.

Never had a problem with it since then.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:13 PM   #11
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Test button works to reset detector

Ours went on yellow alert this evening when I walked closely by it -- chirped, turned yellow, and chirped @ 30 seconds or so. Had the wire cutters ready to kill the power to it, because it is (1) hard wired directly to the battery, and (2) no plugs or switches to d/c the power to it otherwise.

Then did a browser search for "fault Atwood Protector" and before I finished typing it in, this thread popped up. The "push the test button" worked when I held it in for 10 seconds. Went to green.

Replaced the Atwood Protector 2001 two or three years ago, per mfr recommendation. Still totally within its life cycle.

Our voltage is steady at 13+ vdc, we didn't use the range or oven tonight. But gas water heater had been running and tripped -- maybe, maybe not the cause.

Nonetheless, push and hold the test button for 10 seconds, it may switch to green. Ours did.
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:44 AM   #12
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Our LP Gas Protector went off yesterday for the first time. We have now figured out after a few minutes of the generator running it goes off. I push the test button and it stops beeping.

If there is a problem that is setting it off that would be good to know..otherwise I guess we are up for replacement also.
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Old 05-24-2014, 12:06 PM   #13
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Some of the devices (smoke detectors, LP gas alarms, CO detectors) have a limited sensor life, so they are now programed to go into a beep mode when they have reached the end of their design life. Four to seven years are the numbers I have seen. In essence they have a long term timer built into the electronics and after a certain number of hours they go off and cannot be reset.

Not every device has this feature, but when it does, and the life is reached, there is no solution but to replace it. The problem is was it just a false alarm which can be reset, or is it at the end of life? They need an indicator which clearly shows "end of life... replace me".
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Old 05-24-2014, 03:59 PM   #14
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Better minds than mine will chime in shortly, but some additional information might help resolve the issue more quickly.

If you can consistently set off the alarm when you first start running the generator I wonder if problem is with the generator and not the alarm. Can you duplicate this behavior when you are on shore power or does it only happen when you are running your generator? Does your generator run on propane or gasoline? How far away from your trailer is the generator when it is running?

It might even be possible that the converter is causing an intermittent voltage drop to the detecotor when it is powered by your generator? Do you see any of your lights dim or experience any other electrical gremlins when the detector goes off?

Until you determine what the root cause of the alarms really is you should try to be very careful not to ignore the beeping when it sounds. You should also try to resist the urge to disconnect it. Fortunately LP gas has a distinctive odor, so as long as you're not sleeping you'll probably know it if you have a real leak.

If your unit is older, I would buy a new detector - hopefully a replacement sensor will resolve your problem. Here is one version that you might consider that you could get quickly:

Atwood 36720 Hydro LPG Leak Detector - Household Alarms And Detectors - Amazon.com
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