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Leak Detectors ranging from CO to H2O

posted Apr 19, 2010, 11:25 PM by Jackson Luk   [ updated May 16, 2010, 10:29 PM ]
Today we installed several smoke detectors that came with carbon monoxide (CO) detection for a home owner.  The home owner asked a good question of why we opted for the slightly more expensive smoke detector that also detects Carbon Monoxide.

Well, I explained that we usually install smoke detectors with CO detection when ever we install a gas stove since unburned CO can be very dangerous.

Sine most people know about smoke detectors but very little about Carbon Monoxide, this is some information from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission: 

  • What is carbon monoxide (CO) and how is it produced?

    Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly, colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. It is produced by the incomplete burning of various fuels, including coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, and natural gas. Products and equipment powered by internal combustion engine-powered equipment such as portable generators, cars, lawn mowers, and power washers also produce CO.
  • You can read more information at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/466.html

  • In short, Spend a extra few dollars on your smoke detectors and get one with CO detection this gives you an extra piece of mind.
    And always check your alarm and detectors' battery, they only work if they have power.
    Always check the smoke detectors of a new home. The previous homeowner may have removed the battery, the device may be malfunctioning, or the battery may be dead.

    Now for Natural Gas Detectors
    And if you have a Large gas range you can also pickup a Natural/Propane gas detector.  I found you can easily pick one up from Amazon.com.   Look for  Safe T Alert brand.  Here is their website http://www.mtiindustries.com/co1.htm for more info.

    And finally Water Detectors
    I have done many repairs for customers who had a broken water line from their refrigerator.  I highly recommend getting a water alarm such as ones like Zircon Leak Alert Electronic Water Detector which can also be easily found on Amazon for around $10 bucks.  This will sound
    an alarm when it detects 1/32 of an inch of water.  Many water leaks start out small and undetected from appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators and can usually stopped before it gets bad.  I think they also have something similar at Home Depot or Lowes for about $30 that looks like a toy Frog.

    I know many people will say, it doesn't do any good when your on vacation or not at home, but as with most alarms, it gives you an extra measure of prevention when you are home.  And the reason I refer to buying on Amazon.com is that 1. you don't need to go to the store 2. it usually has very good prices. 

    Best leak prevention is checking your installation.  With most gas pipes, good old soapy water is still the easiest.  I have a hand held gas detector for professional use and hard to reach places, but most cases, soap water does a great job in finding leaks. 

    I also recommend using the braided stainless steel compression tubing when possible for dishwashers and refrigerators.  The compression heads that come built into the threaded tubing are much more easier to install and have less chances of leaking compared to the old style copper tube with compression rings that can leak when the appliance is being moved or put back into place.  Most hardware stores sells only about 6' lone pieces and are very expensive.  Check online stores like Amazon, I have ordered 12' tubing online for less than the cost of 3' tubing in stores.

    I hope this information was helpful. 
    Most of these detectors are $10 to $20, but can save you hundreds.

    Jackson Luk,
    Apr 20, 2010, 12:16 AM