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carbon monoxide detectors in an attic


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#1 AnotherOne

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 11:05 AM

We have a furnace in the attic that uses natural gas (not the best place for it, but that's how the house was built). There is a natural gas detector, a heat detector and a carbon monoxide detector in the attic with the furnace. A few days ago, the carbon monoxide reported trouble and the yellow light was flashing. It's a Macurco CM-13 and is about 8 years old.

Anyway, I've pulled the detector from the attic and disabled the zone and I've been looking at replacing it and noticed that operating temperatures on most detectors are 40 to 100 degress f. But my attic ranges from say 15 to 125 degress.

So, should I just replace it and hope for the best or not replace it. There is a CO detector in the hallway below the attic as well. I'm leaning towards replacing it, but thought I seek out advice here. As an aside, the building code here does require CO detector and natural gas detector in the same room as a natural gas furnace.

Thanks.

#2 CollinR

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 12:59 PM

Don't worry too much about it, CO is lighter then air although not by much. It would be unlikely for it to appear inside the house.


You should normally install CO detectors near sleeping areas rather then very close to potential sources, just get a couple of plugin units and put them in hallways ect.

#3 AutomatedOutlet

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 01:22 PM

Actually, air and CO are so close together in weight that for all practical purposes they are the same weight.

Colin is correct though that the normal place to install CO sensors is in the living spaces of the house. That's really what counts in this case.

#4 rfdesq

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 01:35 PM

Why not just replace it with the same unit? You got 8 years out of a CO detector when System Sensor detectors only last 6 years.

#5 AnotherOne

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 06:28 PM

Why not just replace it with the same unit? You got 8 years out of a CO detector when System Sensor detectors only last 6 years.


That was going to be my next question - I have 5 CO detectors and they where all installed in May 2000. Only the one in the attic has had a trouble indicator go off, but should I just replace the other 4 as well.

#6 Digger

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 06:33 PM

Why not just replace it with the same unit? You got 8 years out of a CO detector when System Sensor detectors only last 6 years.


That was going to be my next question - I have 5 CO detectors and they where all installed in May 2000. Only the one in the attic has had a trouble indicator go off, but should I just replace the other 4 as well.



The new UL requirements are (or very soon will be) that they detector be marked with a life expectancy just like smoke detectors. The longest life expectancy I have seen is 6 years claimed by the Quantum Group and Napco. Many are 5 years.

In my opinion I would replace them.

#7 rfdesq

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 08:57 PM

In my opinion I would replace them.

I agree, it's either now, or in a few months as each one fails.

#8 AnotherOne

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 11:12 PM

Thanks for the all the info and great opinions. I'll replace all the detectors and not put one in the attic.

One last question - what's the life expectancy of smoke detectors? And if it's on the detector, where do you look?

#9 rfdesq

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 11:39 PM

One last question - what's the life expectancy of smoke detectors? And if it's on the detector, where do you look?

I personally haven't seen an expiration date on a smoke detector. I've switched to System Sensor 2 wire with the clean me feature. But, I have some that I installed 23 years ago and are still going strong.




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