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Old 11-02-2017, 08:33 PM   #1
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Propane and Smoke Alarm replacements

I went down to winterize my Classic today and noticed I was getting the low battery chirps from the smoke alarm. It made me think, is there a life expectancy estimate for the smoke and propane detectors? Since my trailer was built in October of 2003, it may be time. I do know however that I still have to pull the smoke alarm down before using the toaster or it will alarm. I know on my home smoke detectors I replaced them at year 20. My neighbor suggested making a change and I was able to put up dual sensors that were ion and photo sensor enabled. I think the photo sensor units require wired electric. I'm assuming the Airstream unit is ion. Not sure what to do on the propane since I've never heard it go off (good).

Jack
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Old 11-02-2017, 08:36 PM   #2
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I think the recommendation for smoke detectors is 10 years. Don't know about propane
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:38 PM   #3
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Jack, now lets rule out the obvious low voltage man. They are 12 volt ya know. Maybe even 9 volt.
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:39 PM   #4
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The recommended life expectancy of a smoke detector is 87,000 hours (9 years, 340 days).

Propane detectors are 5-7 years (depends on the detector)

Also don't forget you have (or should have) a carbon monoxide detector which also has a life of 5-7 years depending on the manufacturer.

You can get battery powered dual technology smoke detectors, although they can be a little difficult to find at the big box stores.

A good alternative to taking the batteries out is to put a shower cap over it. I find it easier and it's pretty obvious so its harder to forget you've disabled it.
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Old 11-03-2017, 01:31 AM   #5
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There's no point leaving the batteries in the detectors while the trailer is in storage and there's no one around to hear the alarm if it goes off.

The LPG detector is probably wired to your house batteries bypassing the use/store switch, so as long as the house batteries are connected it's active— unless you pull the detector's fuse.

The CO/Smoke detector may be powered only by disposable batteries. If so, pull the batteries. Batteries that go completely dead sometimes leak and ruin whatever device they're left in. But if yours is also wired to the house batteries with a disposable-battery backup, pull the fuse and the batteries.

The shower cap is a good idea to keep the alarm's sensor from getting dirty and making the detectors last longer, but it's no substitute for de-powering the detectors if the trailer is going to be in storage for months on end.
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Old 11-03-2017, 10:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenen42 View Post
The recommended life expectancy of a smoke detector is 87,000 hours (9 years, 340 days).

Propane detectors are 5-7 years (depends on the detector)

Also don't forget you have (or should have) a carbon monoxide detector which also has a life of 5-7 years depending on the manufacturer.

You can get battery powered dual technology smoke detectors, although they can be a little difficult to find at the big box stores.

A good alternative to taking the batteries out is to put a shower cap over it. I find it easier and it's pretty obvious so its harder to forget you've disabled it.
Carbon Monoxide detectors weren't included in the 2004 trailers. I do have one at home though and I definitely know those have limited life spans. I'll probably shop all the detectors over the winter and do a replacement in the spring.

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Old 11-03-2017, 12:31 PM   #7
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I replaced my bedroom to NEST. It connects to my WiFi when I am home. It also gives me status.

My Kitchen was still working, so I haven't replaced it. But when it breaks, it will be replaced by a NEST.
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Old 11-03-2017, 01:19 PM   #8
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When you replace the smoke detector, be sure to get a smoke detector that is UL 217 listed, as this ensures it is approved under NFPA 501C, smoke alarms intended for use in recreational vehicles.
https://standardscatalog.ul.com/stan...standard_217_8
Maximum life is 10 years, but we replace it at 7 to 8 years, of if the detector starts a "failed" beep.

We use a First Alert Z-combo (ZCOMBO-G), Smoke and CO, which includes a Z-Wave link the SmartThings hub in our trailer. It is listed to UL217 and UL2034 Standards. Our SmartThings system can alert us to an alarm when we are away from the trailer. For security, we also have motion detectors that work with the same hub.

We replaced the CO/LP detector near the floor in front of our closet, across from the refrigerator with: Marine Technologies 25-741-WT White Surface Mount, Safe-T-Alert Combination Dual Carbon Monoxide/LP Gas Alarm
It is powered directly from the batteries before the kill switch (1A fuse holder). Replace it every 5 years.

73/gus
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Old 11-03-2017, 10:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
The shower cap is a good idea to keep the alarm's sensor from getting dirty and making the detectors last longer, but it's no substitute for de-powering the detectors if the trailer is going to be in storage for months on end.
Sorry, wasn't specific enough. I use the shower cap when I'm cooking to keep the alarm from going off. Definitely pull the batteries from everything over the winter.
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Old 11-04-2017, 08:42 AM   #10
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My 12volt LP/CO detecter started chirping at 5 years old. Without any thought I replaced it. The $100 was worth a good night sleep. A $10 battery smoke alarm takes even less thought.
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Old 11-04-2017, 09:03 AM   #11
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Hi

The life of any of these detectors is a bit of a guess. The use environment (dust, dirt, grease ....) matters a lot. There is also a bit of variability unit to unit. Cheap ones seem to die a bit quicker than the rest. None of them last forever. If you get 10 years out of one, you are doing well. At anything over 12 years, you are very much on borrowed time ....

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