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tkbowers

CO/Propane Detector Chirps

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I drive a 1994 Foretravel U-240. The Volta CO/Propane detector has started making a chirping sound, one chirp every +/- 45 seconds. This is an intermittent problem. Usually one of the lights (CO or Propane) illuminates when this occurs. This morning both lit up but eventually went off once the chirping stopped. This happened a few weeks ago while driving from the Sierras to the SF Bay Area. The propane does not shut off like it does during a full-blown alarm condition.

I checked connections for all propane appliances and found no leaks after spraying with a soapy solution. I suspect that this hard-wired system is original to my coach. I cannot find any thing online regarding Volta Technologies other than a kit for sale on Ebay.

I need suggestions for next steps.

Thank you.

Tom

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Chances are that is has reached its end of service life. Current models are shipping with around 7 years expiration. Instructions or manuf date maybe on the back. Doubt if it is repairable or available. Plenty others around. Good Luck.

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I agree with Rocky, these detectors do have a finite life.

The only other cause would be that BOTH chassis and house battery banks voltages are low (as I recall on your model Foretravel the detector has a positive feed from both banks-- easy to verify)-- quite unlikely, particularly when you are driving. So, next time this happens, check voltage at the detector. If good, replace the detector.

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I installed a new detector two years ago. It stated right on the package that it had a finite life of five years and would "chirp" when time was up. Possibly yours is the same way. I think ours also had a statement on the back repeating the information on the package. Try checking the front & back of your detector for any information. You might go online for additional info for your specific model also.

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Thank you everyone for your replies.

I believe that my batteries are in tip top shape. I closely monitor house battery voltage when traveling and always store the rig with batteries fully charged and disconnected.

What brand monitors do you recommend?

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Thanks Herman. I don't know if it's original equipment. The existing detector is a Volta and was made by Hydro Therm. I spoke to the parent company Atwood, and they indicated that the Volta is a very old model. This system is unique because it is linked to a normally closed solenoid valve on the propane tank. As far as I can tell, Safe-T-Alert is the only detector out there that supports this configuration. Shutting down the propane during an alarm condition seems like a good idea to me. The Safe-T-Alert system also supports multiple detectors. I would like to add one to the bedroom in addition to the galley.

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Yesterday I installed a new Safe-T-Alert combination CO and propane alarm. It came with a solenoid valve that shuts off in the event of an alarm condition. I have not yet replaced with old valve with the new one. The new alarm appears to be working with the existing valve. However, installation instructions state "Do not connect to an existing installed solenoid." They don't say why. I'll swap out the old valve if necessary, but would rather not unless there is a genuine safety issue here.

Any thoughts?

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Tom,

You can check with the manufacturer, but the solenoids are NOT standard 12 VDC. I do not know what harm you would do to either the new alarm (important) or the old solenoid (not so important).

Personally, I would get some Rectorseal #5 (assuming pipe threads) and install the new solenoid.

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After you get your new sensor/detector installed and turned on, check it for operation by pointing an UNLITE matchstick at the unit. Pull the "trigger", blow out the flame, and point.The butane fumes will trip the alarm if everything is done correctly.

As an aside, I recommend that everyone perform a periodic check of their detector, just to be on the safe side.

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I took Brett's advice and swapped solenoid valves today. It took a good 6 hours of my day with numerous trips back home and to the hardware store, but it appears to be working. Thanks everyone.

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