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How do I know if my CO alarm went off because of Carbon Monoxide?


Guest dorothperk

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Guest Erin Averyt

the CO alarm at my parents house keeps beeping I am home alone my mom says she just put new batteries in the CO alarm and it keeps beeping every hour on the hour should I go outside and be out of the house I don't feel sick I am just wondering thanks

Concerned 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi, 

Can anyone solve a problem. I have purchased a dual smoke and carbon monoxide alarm with a speaking alert notification. It has recently been randomly going off for no reason. Today it went off and when I took it down to reset it, water came out, approximately 50ml....there was no problem of a water leak present. Question is ....can the alarm attract condensation ?

Kind regards

Gary

 

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Hi Gary

some manufacturers, very successfully, use water based CO sensors. The air penetrates a membrane and causes a reaction with the sensor. I have never heard of a CO alarm leak before but maybe you are the unlucky first. I would suggest contacting your retailer about a replacement.

Harry

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...
Guest Julie G.

Not sure if anyone can help... My carbon monoxide alarm started ringing for something like 15seconds and then has stopped by itself. I have been using hot water from the tap in my kitchen and the tap was on for like 10 seconds but it was enough for the boiler to go on. I wonder if the alarm started because of the boiler and then stopped because the boiler stopped. It had never done that before and when we moved in this flat 3 months ago, that alarm kept ringing and an electrician came and fixed it so I dont know if it's a default or if it detected a leak from the boiler... What should I do? 

And Also, I am pregnant so I worry even more and first thing I did was to check the symptoms on the NHS website. They recommend to go to A&E to be checked if I suspect being exposed while pregnancy... I dont have any of the symptoms so I am not sure if I should go and wait for hours at the hospital to be checked. What would you do? 

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Guest CAFinNY

The CO alarm went off in my house today.  It's HOT outside, in the 80's, the furnace is turned off, the wood stove is not burning (hasn't for months!), hot water heater is not running, there are no possible sources in our house that I can think of.  It is closed, all the windows & doors are closed except for in the attic.  I've left the house to do my research at the local library.  From what I've read, I think it may be old & needs replacing.  I didn't notice if the neighbors were using their grill, but that is the only cause I can think of.

 

any other suggestions?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, I have a Nest that is less than a year old. A Kidde CO detector manufactured 2014 and Fireangel CO-808 manufactured 2008 (which says to replace it after 5 years). About 1am the Fireangel went off at deafening volume constantly until i removed the battery. All 3 detectors are in the same room and neither of the others were affected. I had no gas appliances running but had switchrd thre boiler off maybe 1-2 hours before. After reading some advice here i waited a bit and put the battery back in, it didn't go off again but i left 3 downstairs and 2 upstairs windows open a couple of inches. Is the most likely problem that the 2008 alarm is out of date? I ordered 4 more CO detectors today so i can have one next to each gas fire, cooker and boiler and i intend to book a gas service. If nothing turns up should i assume the unit is faulty? How accurate are detectors with digital displays?

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It could have been a false alarm, it happen with fire alarm detectors caused by many unusual things, insects, dust, steam and if it has now cleared then leave it to see if it happen again. However if it is more than ten years old, it needs replacing, check with the manufacturer.

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Guest Halloween Insense

Can insense somehow set of a co / carbon -monoxide alarm? We were burning Halloween insence 7-9 hours ago in the hall by the front door. Now just afterr 4am our co alarm is chirping about once  minute. I have woken and aware I have a sore throat (which could be from the insense). Couldn't take the batteries out of the alarm but disloged them enough to clear the chirping, which hasn't come back. The alarm is about end of life, but is it possible at all it's detected the insense ?

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Yes, incense does produce carbon monoxide (CO) and is actually used as a source of carbon monoxide to test a carbon monoxide alarm. However, I would expect an alarm rather than a chirp once a minute if the levels of CO were high. The chirp you have observed indicates either an error (eg due to the age of the alarm) or a low battery. You need to either change your alarm or replace the battery.

Harry

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Guest - Jellyb

Hi

Our CO alarm is less than a year old.  However, the alarm has been going off around the same time in the morning, but not every day.

The boiler has been off for around 1 hour at this time and my husband's car has left the garage around 2 hours before.  I do have a "dustbuster" mini hoover on charge in the room where the boiler is, in case that makes any difference?!

I'm confused as to why the alarm goes off some mornings and not others, but when it does, it's at roughly the same time.  I take the batteries out for a second or so and then put it back near the boiler but if doesn't go off again.

Any suggestions?  The boiler is being serviced in a weeks time. 

Thanks

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Hi

I am aware that re-charging open batteries (eg car or boat batteries) can trigger carbon monoxide alarms. However, your batteries are most likely sealed, so this should not be the cause. Is your house detached? If you live in a terraced house it could be your neighbour's appliances setting off your alarm (eg if you share a chimney stack system) as the gas finds its way through cracks in walls and chimneys.

Harry

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Thanks Safelincs,

We are end of terrace, but our neighbours vent/cage is outside, next to where the pipe for our boiler is.  Sorry, don;t know the technical terms!  It's the fluted shaped pipe where our boiler vapours go outside.  Their vent with a wire cage over it is outside about 3 feet away.  I noticed the vapour/"smoke" coming from theirs this morning so I know they've had their appliance on.

I turned our heating off at 6.45am and our alarm went off at 7.40am.  I can smell something when I go into where the boiler is, but I can't put my finger on it.  In any case I believe CO is odourless.  I put the alarm in the garden until it stopped beeping (2-3 mins) and put it back on the shelf in the boiler room.  I had to leave around 10 mins later but it hadn't gone off again by that point.

Any more suggestions as to what this might be?  Also, is there anything I should be asking the gas engineer to do when he comes on Monday?

Thanks.

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The difficulty for the engineer will be that the period of CO detection is very limited, so most likely he will detect nothing when he turns up. You could increase your confidence about your detection of CO gas by placing a second CO alarm in the area. I would choose one with digital display so you get an actual reading.

You also need to ring Gas Emergency Services on 0800 111 999 to tell them that you suspect carbon monoxide from either your or your neighbour's gas appliance. It is probably best to tell them the exact times of the alarm.

Harry

 

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Well, typically, neither the new or old alarms went off this morning.  However, the digital alarm displayed a reading of 30 - 31 when the boiler was on and stayed at 30 upto an hour after it was switched off.  I then had to leave the house.

The instructions say that it will go off after a level of 50, so I assume that a reading of 30 - 31 is acceptable?

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While 50ppm (ppm = parts per million) are seen as a 'safe level' to short term exposure, and 35ppm for an 8 hour exposure, there is no actual 'safe level for carbon monoxide as every carbon monoxide molecule is potentially able to block a red blood cell's ability to carry oxygen through the body. So even relatively small exposures will affect you in the long term. However, the European standard EN50291-1, which must be adhered to achieve a kitemark, only requires an alarm trigger of 50ppm.

This is why I personally prefer a digital display, as this allows me to see even small increases of the gas which enables me to act quickly to prevent a build up of carbon monoxide.

Harry

 

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