Carbon monoxide detector - can you replace the batteries

Danny

Legendary Member
Location
York
Some years ago I was persuaded to buy a carbon monoxide detector when British Gas came out to do our annual service.

The 3 AAA batteries that power the detector finally expired the other day. Clearly the assumption is that you will buy a new detector once the batteries have expired as the cover to the battery compartment displays the warning message "Once fitted this cover CANNOT be removed".

Is there any good reason why I should not just fit new batteries and go on using the detector?
 

Mark_Robson

Senior Member
I don't see why not, as you say the sealed battery cover is probably just a ploy to get you to replace the unit.
My only concern would be that because of it's age the units detector may not be functioning but I guess that you could always expose it to your cars exhaust fumes and see if it alarms.
 
It will depend on what type of alarm it is. Some have ten year batteries fitted which cannot be replaced, so you would have to replace the whole unit.
Others may have ten year batteries which are implacable.
And then there are those where you should replace the battery on an annual basis.

Should yours need to be replaced completely I would advise going to a local DIY store to purchase one. British gas prices are usually double what you will pay elsewhere.

Incidentally the same advise above also relates to smoke detectors, except in that case many fire brigades around the country will supply an fit them free of charge.
 

rusky

CC Addict
Location
Hove
Two smoke, one in the hall, one on the landing & one CO although I just checked & the batteries have leaked in it!

The CO lives in the kitchen as the boiler is in there but as we have just had a woodburner installed, I'll either get two or have one in a central location.
 

Svendo

Guru
Location
Walsden
I have two fire detectors, one optical on with 'hush' feature on the landing above the kitchen, fewer cooking alarms, and one ionisation in the lounge.
I keep stopping at the CO alarms in the supermarket and thinking 'I really should have one of those, the boiler in my house is VERY old', then carrying on anyway.
I promise I'll get one next time!
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
My CO detector does have replaceable batteries. It uses 3 AA cells and each battery slot has a clever spring-loaded bright red prong which is raised like a flag when the slot is empty. This prevents the closure of the alarm unit without the correct number of batteries being installed and is very obvious when you look at it.

I have a vague recollection*** that the actual sensors in CO detectors have a limited life which I think was of the order of about 10 years. Something to do with impurities in the air being absorbed into the active surface of the sensor.

It is important to keep dust out of them by giving them a quick once-over with a vacuum cleaner from time to time.

Don't paint them!

For anybody who doesn't have a CO detector - I strongly suggest that you buy at least one (see below)!

*** Many of my recollections these days are vague. I had severe CO poisoning a few years ago and I'm sure that I suffered brain damage but at least I'm still alive. I was alone in the house and was unconscious for a couple of hours in a fume-filled room so I'm pretty lucky to have survived! (For those of you who meet me on forum rides and think that I'm odd - I wasn't quite as odd before Mister CO introduced himself to me! :tongue:)
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
Svendo said:
I have two fire detectors, one optical on with 'hush' feature on the landing above the kitchen, fewer cooking alarms, and one ionisation in the lounge.
I keep stopping at the CO alarms in the supermarket and thinking 'I really should have one of those, the boiler in my house is VERY old', then carrying on anyway.
I promise I'll get one next time!
That's decided it - I'm going to start a separate thread on this subject! I'll have my lunch first, but honestly - you don't want to mess with CO!
 

vernon

Harder than Ronnie Pickering
Location
Meanwood, Leeds
Danny said:
Some years ago I was persuaded to buy a carbon monoxide detector when British Gas came out to do our annual service.

The 3 AAA batteries that power the detector finally expired the other day. Clearly the assumption is that you will buy a new detector once the batteries have expired as the cover to the battery compartment displays the warning message "Once fitted this cover CANNOT be removed".

Is there any good reason why I should not just fit new batteries and go on using the detector?
I thought that I'd do that with the British Gas one that I had. I recall prising it open to replace the batteries and and for some reason or other found that it was not a viable proposition. I can't remember the exact details though - it might have been that the batteries were a non standard size
 
Top Bottom