Recommendation for Carbon Monoxide Alarm/Detector

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ShoogyBee
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:54 pm

Recommendation for Carbon Monoxide Alarm/Detector

Post by ShoogyBee »

Greetings,

The old First Alert plug-in CO detector went bad and needs to be replaced. It went off with the most severe warning, so I called the fire dept and they came by with a handheld CO detector and inspected the area. It was a false alarm, so they suggested that I replace my unit since it seemed to be quite old.)

This CO detector was already in my residence when I moved in a few years ago. I've never purchased a new one before. Any recommendations? I noticed that only a minority of CO detectors are of the plug-in variety, whereas most are battery powered. It seems that most of them are manufactured by either First Alert, Kidde, or Nighthawk.

I'll probably check out Consumer Reports tomorrow, but I'll have to pay for an online membership in order to view the ratings and their recommendations. (I guess subscribing to the magazine doesn't grant me automatic access to their online ratings. Hmph.)

BTW the condo has a hardwired smoke alarm system, so I don't need a combination unit. Thanks in advance for your recommendations.

...
daveatca
Posts: 627
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:03 pm

Re: Recommendation for Carbon Monoxide Alarm/Detector

Post by daveatca »

CR says 89
Min scoreMax score56 90
All Carbon monoxide alarms Ratings
First Alert OneLInk CO511B carbon monoxide alarm
$36
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stickman731
Posts: 335
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Location: New Jersey

Re: Recommendation for Carbon Monoxide Alarm/Detector

Post by stickman731 »

Most brands are equivalent - what you need to know is that CO monitor's sensors have a shelf-life of about 5 years and should be replaced.

I also recommend that you purchase one that has product registration (Kidde and First Alert do have it) so that you can be alerted if there are any issues. Just google carbon monoxide detector recalls and you will see failures.

Here is an overview article from Consumer Reports - http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/co-a ... -guide.htm
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lthenderson
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Location: Iowa

Re: Recommendation for Carbon Monoxide Alarm/Detector

Post by lthenderson »

I have two First Alerts that have worked fine over the last five years since I installed them. One note though if you haven't bought any in awhile, most modern smoke and CO detectors have a finite shelf life programmed into them and once you install the battery, the clock starts counting down. I only figured out after it kept beeping even after replacing the batteries and then researching online. This forces you to replace them every so many years and I don't recall offhand how many years that was.
clutchied
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Re: Recommendation for Carbon Monoxide Alarm/Detector

Post by clutchied »

any 10 yr. lithium unit.
Rupert
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Re: Recommendation for Carbon Monoxide Alarm/Detector

Post by Rupert »

It has been my experience that the alarms last about 5 years, even the more expensive ones. So I tend to buy the mid-priced units, which cost $30-50 depending on whether you like the digital readout or not. They typically start beeping or the alarm sounds when they've reached their end of life. I always buy units from two brands just in case one of them has a manufacturing defect.
student5
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Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:07 pm

Re: Recommendation for Carbon Monoxide Alarm/Detector

Post by student5 »

I like the coexperts one-apparently pilots carry them in the cockpits.
slbnoob
Posts: 473
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Re: Recommendation for Carbon Monoxide Alarm/Detector

Post by slbnoob »

Any specific recommendation?
For me, plugged in sounds better than battery ones for walkways etc.
pochax
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Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:40 am

Re: Recommendation for Carbon Monoxide Alarm/Detector

Post by pochax »

we use kidde combination smoke (photoelectric)/ CO plug-in models that we bought via amazon.

they seem to work great.
Topic Author
ShoogyBee
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:54 pm

Re: Recommendation for Carbon Monoxide Alarm/Detector

Post by ShoogyBee »

Thank you all for your feedback! It turns out that the old First Alert CO detector was so old that it didn't even have a backup battery.

So I did some digging around online and I'm thinking of going with a Kidde plug-in unit with a sealed 10-year lithium backup battery. It may be more expensive, but at least I won't have to replace the battery every year or so. They make a few different versions of this particular CO detector; one that is relatively basic, another with a night light for hallway use, and a third one with a voice alert that is geared toward bedroom use.

http://www.kidde.com/home-safety/en/us/ ... p-dp-10yb/

http://www.utcccs-cdn.com/hvac/docs/200 ... gin-CO.pdf

Oddly enough, I found mainly Kidde CO detectors locally. I only came across one First Alert CO detector, and that was at WalMart.

Having a digital display which shows the numerical CO level (the old First Alert CO detector had this, too) seems to be a useful feature as well, in addition to the audible alert. The one disadvantage of the CO detectors with the sealed batteries is there may not be a way to shut it off entirely if it is giving false alarms. At least one can remove the battery in a non-sealed unit if it ends up being defective.

...
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lthenderson
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Re: Recommendation for Carbon Monoxide Alarm/Detector

Post by lthenderson »

I'm not a chemistry major so please correct me if I'm wrong but isn't CO lighter than air and thus rises to the ceiling making outlet based CO detectors closer to the floor the last to know vs high mounted ones? Also, most CO is released by incomplete combustion and would tend to follow warm air currents and thus rise that way as well? I have always put my CO detectors high on the wall or on the ceiling for those reasons. Maybe the effect is negligible. Someone know for sure?
kaneohe
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Re: Recommendation for Carbon Monoxide Alarm/Detector

Post by kaneohe »

lthenderson wrote:I'm not a chemistry major so please correct me if I'm wrong but 1) isn't CO lighter than air and thus rises to the ceiling making outlet based CO detectors closer to the floor the last to know vs high mounted ones? 2) Also, most CO is released by incomplete combustion and would tend to follow warm air currents and thus rise that way as well? I have always put my CO detectors high on the wall or on the ceiling for those reasons. Maybe the effect is negligible. Someone know for sure?
This link http://www.carbonmonoxidekills.com/carb ... placement/ suggests that your reason 2) above is
the dominating factor.........originates in warm sources and thus tends to be follow the same trajectory as the warm air. Don't know how large an
effect that is.

These other links suggest that placement height may not be critical:
http://www.jaymarinspect.com/carbon-mon ... ector.html
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21536403
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