View Poll Results: How often should a CO Detector be replaced? You may choose more then one...

Voters
28. You may not vote on this poll
  • No, it's just a marketing tactic

    2 7.14%
  • Yes, replace every two years

    7 25.00%
  • Yes, replace every three years

    6 21.43%
  • Yes, replace every four years

    1 3.57%
  • Yes, replace every five years

    7 25.00%
  • Click here if you think only the sensors need to be replaced

    4 14.29%
  • I Don't Know

    2 7.14%
  • What is a CO Detector?

    0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Results 1 to 13 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania / NJ
    Posts
    155

    Should Carbon Monoxide Detectors be replaced periodically??

    I have heard that CO detectors need to be replaced every two years. Is this true, or is it just a gimmick for the manufacturers to sell more product?

    Does anyone have any research or materials to back it up?

    Thanks for sharing.....


    P.S. If you choose the last option in my poll, do yourself a favor and read this: http://www.msnbc.com/onair/nbc/dateline/monoxide.asp

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    415
    Is changing the oil in your car every 3000 miles a marketing gimick. I
    am a big advocate of CO detectors and for 20 to 40 dollars I would rather
    replace the CO detector than take the chance, its like insurance... good to have but best if not needed. I would also go as far to say have a CO detector on every level of your home. So yes, replace every two years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    First, any CO detector that uses a chemical absorbtion sensor should be replaced right away with one that has an electronic sensor.

    The electronic sensors in the average CO alarms have about a 3-5 year life expectancy, so I recommend replacing them every 3 years.

    There is a whole other topic of discussion on the merits of the average CO alarm vs a low level CO alarm, but I won't get into it.

    If you are using the much more expensive low level CO alarms, I would go with what the manufacturer of that specific device recommends. I believe the sensors last longer in them, but I'm not sure.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Posts
    6,247
    Any carbon monoxide alarm bearing a UL 2034 rating should be replaced as soon as possible as it provides no real protection.
    99% of all carbon monoxide alarms produced with the UL 2034 rating use a metal oxide semi-conductor (MOS) or colorimetric sensor both have been proven to be completely unreliable.

    The only sensor worth having in a carbon monoxide alarm is an electrochemical sensor like those found in low level CO monitors & combustion analyzers.
    The low level monitors will tell you if the sensors go bad so there is no guesswork involved as when to replace it.

    You can spend a little money & get no real protection from carbon monoxide or spend a little more cash & get true piece of mind.
    Have you set up a Google alert for Carbon Monoxide yet?
    Click here to find out how.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    415
    Thanks davidr for that insight. I did a little search on CO detectors because of your post... I did not know about the low level units (you learn some-
    thing every day). Do you have a link to product info on low level CO
    monitors for the home.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Westlake, Ohio
    Posts
    2,470
    CO detectors should be replaced when they go bad. Good ones check themselves. Low levels alarms can be checked with smoke from a match. UL approved alarms have no way of being checked unless you can make over 70ppm of CO for 4 hours or 400ppm of CO for 15 minutes. The test button on the alarms only shows the horn is working not the sensor.

    Although sensors have been known to have an average life of 5 years there is no way to know if yours only had 1 year life. How often do smoke detectors get replaced? With independant tests showing that new store alarms are bad over 30% of the time how would you know if you are getting rid of the good one and buying a bad one??
    captain CO

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Posts
    6,247
    Quote Originally Posted by mbarson View Post
    Thanks davidr for that insight. I did a little search on CO detectors because of your post... I did not know about the low level units (you learn some-
    thing every day). Do you have a link to product info on low level CO
    monitors for the home.

    Thanks
    The ones that we handle are from the National Comfort Institute www.nationalcomfortinstitute.com.

    It is called a NSI 3000, I even carry one with me in my service bag for my own protection while on calls.
    Have you set up a Google alert for Carbon Monoxide yet?
    Click here to find out how.

  8. #8
    Follow the manufacturer's advice. If you have a good CO detector, it will remind you.

    If you have an exceptionally good CO detector then it may have the ability to be calibrated.

    Here's one that has a lifetime of 15 years and a calibration interval of every 2.

    http://www.airspill.com/miva/merchan...gory_Code=CO2M

    It also depends on the technology used in the sensor. Here is a good resource:

    http://media.msanet.com/NA/USA/Porta...r/multigas.pdf

    With catalytic sensors, the electronics can determine when they need replacing. Could be 5 years. Could be 15. Without the ability to calibrate or test with a real concentration of a real gas, replace periodically seems to be the only option which you might find in a home CO monitor.

    Our Hydrogen catalytic detectors have a calibration interval of about 6 months and it reminds you. A home CO/combustable gas detector says it will remind you and it should last about 7 years.

    It's not a black and white answer, technology, whether it can be calibrated are factors.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Westlake, Ohio
    Posts
    2,470
    Quote Originally Posted by keepitsimplestupid View Post
    Follow the manufacturer's advice. If you have a good CO detector, it will remind you.

    If you have an exceptionally good CO detector then it may have the ability to be calibrated.

    Here's one that has a lifetime of 15 years and a calibration interval of every 2.

    http://www.airspill.com/miva/merchan...gory_Code=CO2M

    It also depends on the technology used in the sensor. Here is a good resource:

    http://media.msanet.com/NA/USA/Porta...r/multigas.pdf

    With catalytic sensors, the electronics can determine when they need replacing. Could be 5 years. Could be 15. Without the ability to calibrate or test with a real concentration of a real gas, replace periodically seems to be the only option which you might find in a home CO monitor.

    Our Hydrogen catalytic detectors have a calibration interval of about 6 months and it reminds you. A home CO/combustable gas detector says it will remind you and it should last about 7 years.

    It's not a black and white answer, technology, whether it can be calibrated are factors.
    Before advising people on CO alarms it might be helpful if you learn the difference between CO & CO2. Neither sight you posted had anything to do with CO!! One CO2(carbon dioxide) and the other combustible gases only not CO(carbon monoxide).
    captain CO

  10. #10
    Captain CO:

    You know, your right and I need new glasses. An extra oxygen molecule makes a big difference.

    Point I was trying to make is that sensor technology determines replacement interval. Kidde recommends every 5 years to take advantage of new technology.

    This resource

    http://www.figaro.co.jp/en/item2.html

    essentially says that with a solid state sensor, life is long but doesn't say how long.

    This URL http://www.figarosensor.com/products/2442Dtl.pdf

    shows the circuitry for CO sensors and it's ability to check for malfunctions.

    The only way you will know is to test regularly with a calibration gas. For rsidential, the solution is replace periodically and certain systems can determine if sensors are faulty.
    Last edited by keepitsimplestupid; 02-04-2007 at 08:13 PM. Reason: Sensor electronics

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Central MN and the Twin Cities
    Posts
    1,530
    Officially my answer is comply with manufacterur specs which depending on model and sensor is 2-5 years. One of the questions I ask homeowners while I am there is always do you have a CO detector? I immediately follow that with how old is it? The majority I see are over 5 years old. Often over 10 years old. I tell them that they are wall decorations at that point and explain why. I designed a flyer to leave with customers explaining the difference between 2034 detectors and low level monitors, along with the difference in sensors and the life of them. There are some web site links on the flyer. The office can sell alot of monitors from people calling in after the check things out for themselves.
    Warning: Just because I am over the head injury doesn't mean I'm normal!

    The day I stop learning.... I'm dead!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Posts
    6,247
    Quote Originally Posted by grasshopper View Post
    I designed a flyer to leave with customers explaining the difference between 2034 detectors and low level monitors, along with the difference in sensors and the life of them. There are some web site links on the flyer. The office can sell alot of monitors from people calling in after the check things out for themselves.

    Very nice.
    Have you set up a Google alert for Carbon Monoxide yet?
    Click here to find out how.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1,887
    i bought a low-end Kidde detector which will expire in 7 years. "Seven (7) years after initial power up, this unit will "chirp" every 30 seconds to indicate that it is time to replace the alarm."

    here's another Kidde 7-year

    my old Kidde Nighthawk went nuts after 7.2 yrs.

    .
    Last edited by lk; 02-15-2007 at 11:07 AM.

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