Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Hubby solved noisy LP detector by disconnecting it – Bad idea!

Dear RV Shrink:rvshrink
We live six months at a time in a 35-foot fifth wheel. Recently our propane detector started acting weird so my husband just disconnected the wires. He failed to inform me of this repair technique and I was content that it was working properly again.

When I finally discovered that it was disconnected I had a fit. I want the safety features all up and running while we are living in our rig. I will put up with the constant false alarms if that’s what it takes. It drives him crazy when the buzzer goes off and we cannot find any gas leak. I think they must be very sensitive and we should just deal with it like everyone else. I am not confrontational. How can I convince my husband that they put these systems in for a reason? I want to know when I have gas. —Alarmed and Dangerous in Detroit

Dear Alarmed:
You need to be a bit more confrontational. Do not accept anything less than a functioning detector.

Propane detectors are like milk – they go bad after awhile. This is probably what is happening with yours. The sensor goes bad and it starts giving constant false alarms. It could also be bathroom sprays, refrigerator smells or the dog passing gas.

My guess is you need a new detector. It is well worth the sixty clams to replace. Make sure your smoke and CO detectors are up and running also. Ask your husband if he thinks you should drop your vehicle and health insurance. You can YouTube a couple videos of rigs burning and melting to the frame. That might get his attention.

Order a new detector and wire the old one back up. Deal with the false alarms until the new one arrives. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Editor’s note: Here are links from Amazon.com for smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, LP gas detectors, and combination smoke and CO detectors

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his new e-book: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.





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Tommy Molnar (@guest_20971)
5 years ago

We have to take down our smoke alarm every time we cook, and hide it under a pile of pillows. PITA! But we have to move the pillows to go to bed so we always ‘remember’ to put the alarm back up.

squeakytiki (@guest_21043)
5 years ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

I have the same problem and I ended up doing the same thing! And I put it under my pillows for the exact same reason too. Too funny.

Danny Wells (@guest_20926)
5 years ago

I had to replace our Combo unit . it was 6 years old. Ordered a new one from Amazon and it took no more than 15 minutes to remove and replace.
Better safe than sorry.

Vince (@guest_20842)
5 years ago

LP leak detectors are only good for 5 years from the time they were first connected to power at which time they need to be replaced. This is because of the detector hardwares lifespan and built-in obsolescence. Yes they’re expensive, most of them run $65 -$90 or more, plus installation if you’re not mechanically or electrically inclined. The thing you have to ask yourself is, isn’t your life, your families or your pets lives worth $65 to $90?

Marvin (@guest_20836)
5 years ago

This happened to us in a new RV, and it was the hairspray my wife was using. in the bathroom. We solved the problem by turning on the vent in the bathroom when she was using hairspray.

Wolfe (@guest_20779)
5 years ago

Battery powered detectors, with LCD PPM displays, are under $10 delivered if you want to augment/substitute. I prefer these because I can have more alarms (earlier warning), and they DON’T run down my 12V like the ultra-inefficient wired ones do.

There’s really no “good” reason to disable these alarms when you’re trapped in a box with VERY limited exits. Also, as RV Shrink briefly mentioned, they may NOT be entirely false alarms — many spray products use propane as the propellant, and some alarms detect Old Dog Gas as well as LP.

You’re not alone, though — my wife constantly disconnects my alarms as well, long before they even get a chance to false alarm. Drives me nuts since I’m a professional safety guy.

Danny Wells (@guest_20927)
5 years ago
Reply to  Wolfe

Wolfe, do you have a make, model, or Amazon number?

Wolfe (@guest_21207)
5 years ago
Reply to  Danny Wells

Here you go:
$5.80 LCD Carbon Monoxide Detector 85dB

$4 smoke detector: Lowes is easiest…

12V Combustible Gas Leak Detector Propane Butane


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