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Carbon Monoxide Detector Recommendation?

Mike

Senior Member
I found a total of 4 detectors that appear to be made for this purpose (not wire-in and not battery)

COSTAR (looked like it might have some interesting technology however),
GE (The one Martin carries)
Macurco (one with and without buzzer).

The last one is not very aesthetic (all are UL listed).

I wound up going with the one AO has. Since they are all listed, performance should be fairly equivalent...
 

jlehnert

Active Member
As you mentined, most of the CO detectors have similar capabilities. Macurco used to have a nice looking semi-flush mount unit, but I believe they stopped making it. More importantly, I had three of the Marcurco units, and everyone of them died within 3 years. I'm coming up on 2 years for the replacement GE units, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I still have 2 Marcurco LP detectors installed, and they seem to be holding up.
 

Mike

Senior Member
One note on the detector I referenced that I got from AO: If you had one from a few years back, there was a recall on them (no relation to automated outlet of course). If the chip inside has a red dot on it, it is part of the recall. When I was doing some research later I came across it on the ge dealer site.

The issue was detection sensitivity was reduced from a 5 year span to 1 year and it would not notify you. This is not an issue with current detectors (and this was end of 2002 or so if I recall), and mine was fine (blue dot currently).
 

jlehnert

Active Member
Excellent point on the recall. I'd forgotten about that. You're probably safe buying from an established dealer, but I'd be very careful getting them off of eBay or the like.
 

Spanky

Senior Member
The current CO technology uses a relay contact closure to trigger an alarm on the M1. Any CO detector that will work with 12VDC and has the relay contact closure will work.

The CO detectors that we have worked with do not have trouble signals like smoke detectors, only alarm signals. This will probably change in future years.
 

Digger

Senior Member
I am using the Costars for about 6 months or so and I am about to set up the M1 to drop out the furnace and the dryer should I have a CO alarm (use a relay to drop out the furnace and an Insteon Appliance Module to drop out the gas dryer). That is once I get the serial module for my M1.

The Costars retail for about $70 but can be purchased for a lot less if you look around. I purchased them based on a recomendation of an installer/friend and some research on the net and elsewhere. So far so good. I have 4 installed and 2 more to put in (no I dont live in a mansion).

As I was typing this I realized I need to drop out the hot water heater..... so much for a well made plan. But it will be an excuse to order more Insteon devices :ph34r: Nobody tell my wife!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Mike

Senior Member
Digger said:
So far so good. I have 4 installed and 2 more to put in (no I dont live in a mansion).
Well, depending on whose documentation you read, they can be recommended in virtually every room. This seemed to change depending on the manufacturer though. Some were 'put it everywhere' and others were one on each floor, outside sleeping areas, etc.

Depending on your approach I can see how they can add up. I plan on adding a couple more myself.
 

jlehnert

Active Member
I'm with Mike. One in the basement with the hot water heater and furnace, one near the gas fireplace, and then three more near the sleeping areas. Because I have bedrooms on both the first and second floors, that covered me for having one on each floor.

The other type of detector you might want to consider is a gas detector if you use LP or natural gas. I've got one in any place where there is a gas appliance (fireplace, cooktop, furnace and hot water).

Some people might consider all this overkill, but as far as I'm concerned, the detectors are dirt cheap compared to my families lives.
 

Digger

Senior Member
I have a stand alone gas detector in the basement. Each bedroom has a CO as does the hallway (all on the 3rd floor). The other two are going in the basement (currently I have standalone units down there). I am leaving my standalone units for CO and Smoke in place as redundancy doesnt hurt when it comes to these types of things.

BTW kids dont wake that easily to the fire alarm going off so if you automate your lighting you should program all lights to come on when there is a fire or CO alarm.

If you have the ELK M1G you can have it announce the zone name in alarm. So if the alarm goes off you know where to stay away from on your way out. I have blocked an exit now and then during fire drills with the kids. They are young but the earlier you start to teach them the better.
 

rrockoff

Active Member
I just installed a couple of Macurco CM-15A's. I connected the two power wires to +VAUX & Neg. and wires from NC / COM to my next available zones (don't forget the EOL resistor). The M1G has a specific zone definition (17) for Carbon Monoxide.
 

Sacedog

Active Member
Do most people mount their COs in the ceiling, or down low on the wall. I was under the impression that they needed to be mounted low to be effective. Also, why can't these be painted? As long as you do not block any openings, and only paint the cover when it is off of the unit, won't you be ok?
 

Digger

Senior Member
Do most people mount their COs in the ceiling, or down low on the wall. I was under the impression that they needed to be mounted low to be effective. Also, why can't these be painted? As long as you do not block any openings, and only paint the cover when it is off of the unit, won't you be ok?

Its a UL (Underwriters Laboratories) requirement to mark them "Do Not Paint". People will paint them and contaminate them. If you dissassemble them and carefully paint them you would probably be fine.

Years ago I was a tech for commercial fire alarms. We sold a system to an electrical contractor for a Sony Movie Theater. We got a service call for false alarms. We went to check out the smoke detectors that were false alarming and could not see them on the black ceiling since the contractor had spray painted them black. He was out $110 a detector since he contaminated the chamber.
 

rrockoff

Active Member
Do most people mount their COs in the ceiling, or down low on the wall. I was under the impression that they needed to be mounted low to be effective. Also, why can't these be painted? As long as you do not block any openings, and only paint the cover when it is off of the unit, won't you be ok?


Per the Macurco CM-15A instructions, the CO detector needs to be mounted 4' to 5' from the floor. I think this is to make it the same height as an average person's face for breathing. Another worthy note: they strongly suggest that you do not mount the CO detector in a corner. I'm guessing this would be due to the possible dead air space found in the corner, similar to the reason you would not mount a smoke detector in a similar space.
 

gatchel

Senior Member
I currently have 2 System Sensor CO1224's installed. They have an internal sounder and well as the dry contacts for the panel. When they hit their end of life the trouble relay opens. They estimate the life to be 6 years.

http://www.systemsensor.com/co/


They have been installed for about 6 months. So far so good.
 
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