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CO alarm testing

i got a 35PPM from cig smoke on a digital

I dont trust "10 yr expected life" for either CO alrm or smoke detector


  • rlaggren
    rlaggren Member Posts: 160
    Not easy to test detectors

    The equipment to properly test detectors and provide hard numbers is not available at any "reasonable" price. Doing the testing is not rocket science but you need to follow an exact set of steps carefully if you want reliable results.

    IOW. There's no "retail" method of testing these products that I know of. But perhaps somebody here has a better take on this?

    disclaimer - I'm a plumber, not a heating pro.
  • how they work

    i dunno but the smoke alarm requires minimal puff o smoke to scream.

    i have 2 CO alrms ANCIENT- 1 is digital & 1 is not but claims to beeb @ 400PP & I tested it yrs ago by blowing car exhaust on it which worked ! so logically, if i blow exhaust on both CO alarms @ the same time & the non digital beeps, the digital should read ~400 PPM?
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    Murphy's Law?

    It seems to me you would need a cylinder of reasonably pure carbon monoxide, and suitable fixture (sealed  box) to contain the detector under test.

    By Murphy's Law, the other components of the car exhaust would poison the detector so that it would give erroneous readings after you did the test.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,628
    April Air sells

    a test cylinder which will give a 100 PPM reading. Not sure how to get one as I have not used one in years.

    I just replace the testers every two to three years.

    Cigar, cigarette etc. smoke will register on most alarms.
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