CO detector quit after five years, why?

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Folks,

It woke us up last night ... BIPP .. BIPP .. BIPP ... accompanied by
"err" on its LCD. Same when running on the (full) backup battery so it's
unlikely an electrolytic. It is a "First Alert CO614" and has a brown
cylinder about the size of an AA battery where it says SEN+ and SEN- on
the PCB.

Anyone know whether these can be rejuvenated somehow? Maybe the sensor
needs cleaning?

The instruction on the back simply says that three chirps means
"malfunction / end of life". I've read that they often only last 5-7
years but that's a bit disappointing. Or indeed normal? The one in the
living room is well over 10 years old and still fine.

--  
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com/

Re: CO detector quit after five years, why?


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I think the sensor contains some sort of chemical electrolyte that absorbs  
the gas being detected - it isn't going to last forever.  


Re: CO detector quit after five years, why?
Ian Field wrote:
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Dang. I was afraid that it's something like that. I just wonder why the
living room sensor has already lasted 2x that time. Maybe better technology?

--  
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com/

Re: CO detector quit after five years, why?


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Classic "YMMV".  


Re: CO detector quit after five years, why?
Ian Field wrote:
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Yeah, beats me why though. Because nobody smokes here and the wood stove
where you get the occasional ash dust is right next to the living room
sensor. It's the Kidde brand, maybe those last longer?

I guess any attempts to repair would be futile and I'll just have to
look for a new one.

--  
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com/

Re: CO detector quit after five years, why?
wrote:

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Probably a replacement sensor costs as much as a new unit.  

The professional O2 detectors have a large percentage of the cost in
the sensor.  

It would be nice if someone would come up with a cheapish one that
uses a VCEL sensor.  

Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany


Re: CO detector quit after five years, why?
Spehro Pefhany wrote:
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Definitely, because there'd be high shipping charges while a whole
detector could be bought at Costco. I just ordered a valve for a test
apparatus, a tiny thing the size of a relay. Since it wasn't urgent I
chose the cheapest ground shipment option. A whopping twelve bucks!


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This is similar to the one we have in the living room, seems to last
forever:

(Amazon.com product link shortened)

--  
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com/

Re: CO detector quit after five years, why?


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In the UK, if you mail order goods from abroad - Royal Mail extort a  
racketeering 'handling fee' to collect any duty on the goods.

I've heard that private carriers are even more predatory.  


Re: CO detector quit after five years, why?
Den torsdag den 8. maj 2014 22.53.00 UTC+2 skrev Ian Field:
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here I think it is pretty much the same for all of them, around 20 euro

anything under ~10 euro including shipping is exempt from both VAT and  
the handling fee  

(Amazon.com product link shortened)

49.99 with free shipping, if it last 5 years that's not going to break  
the bank

-Lasse

Re: CO detector quit after five years, why?
Lasse Langwadt Christensen wrote:
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You can get much better deals than that. Plus this is the one that
lasted much less than the brand in the living room, so I'll be looking
for that one now.

--  
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com/

Re: CO detector quit after five years, why?


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As someone else mentioned - that one might simply not be complaining about  
having expired.

Read the label before parting with money!  


Re: CO detector quit after five years, why?
On Thu, 08 May 2014 12:37:17 -0700, Joerg wrote:

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Or the built-in-test failed first?

(I'm always suspicious about built-in-test.)

--  
Tim Wescott
Control system and signal processing consulting
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Re: CO detector quit after five years, why?
Tim Wescott wrote:
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Quite possible. They both have self-testing though, it's probably a
legal requirement. I'll see if I can get the kind we have in the living
room because that's lasted much longer.

--  
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com/

Re: CO detector quit after five years, why?


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It'd probably only last a year in my flat unless I kept all the windows  
shut - there's a busy bus route on the road that passes in front.  


Re: CO detector quit after five years, why?
Den torsdag den 8. maj 2014 22.34.48 UTC+2 skrev Joerg:
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http://www.manualslib.com/manual/51639/First-Alert-Co614.html?page=6#manual
..
6 Year End of Life Timer. Every 24 hours of operation a counter stored in
memory is updated. When the count equals 6 years of true operation, meaning
actually powered-up, a malfunction chirp (triple chirp) will sound once a minute
at the time of the 45 second Power-LED flash
..


-Lasse

Re: CO detector quit after five years, why?


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One I bought some time ago for an elderly relative recently started making  
fault warning beeps - new batteries didn't help.

I vaguely remember something on the original packaging about a 5 yr service  
life.  


Re: CO detector quit after five years, why?
Lasse Langwadt Christensen wrote:
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Oh, that's nasty, a built-in expirtion counter. I sure won't buy that
brand again.

--  
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com/

Re: CO detector quit after five years, why?


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I would - how else would I know when its no longer safe to rely on?!  


Re: CO detector quit after five years, why?
Den fredag den 9. maj 2014 19.00.42 UTC+2 skrev Ian Field:
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yeh I'd say it is a nice feature that is basically forces you to get a  
new one when it is most likely no longer reliable

-Lasse

Re: CO detector quit after five years, why?
Ian Field wrote:
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By measuring the fuel cell current and noticing when it shows a gradual
drop-off.

--  
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com/

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