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ancora 01-27-2015 09:02 PM

CO detector question...
 
Had my boat inspected by a member of the Power Squadron. He recommended that I get my CO detector calibrated(?). In the Feb/March issue of Boat U.S. magazine there is an article on CO detectors: "The chances of an exhaust leak in a boat with diesel engines causing serious harm are low enough that having a CO detector is not part of the ABYC standards for such boats." No propane on board, ergo, I do not need a CO detector?:confused:

FlyWright 01-27-2015 09:08 PM

I've never heard of calibrating a CO detector. I thought they just get replaced after their drop-dead date printed on the back panel.

BruceK 01-27-2015 09:12 PM

The mechanic servicing my previous diesel boat spotted an exhaust leak at the turbo, only because a shaft of sunlight caught it rising. He is an experienced ex Navy/subs man, and was immediately concerned, warning that children are especially susceptible to C02. Based on his advice, take care.

psneeld 01-27-2015 09:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ancora (Post 302583)
Had my boat inspected by a member of the Power Squadron. He recommended that I get my CO detector calibrated(?). In the Feb/March issue of Boat U.S. magazine there is an article on CO detectors: "The chances of an exhaust leak in a boat with diesel engines causing serious harm are low enough that having a CO detector is not part of the ABYC standards for such boats." No propane on board, ergo, I do not need a CO detector?:confused:

May want to ask him how you go about calibrating a CO detector....I am curious....

Delta_JimS 01-27-2015 09:34 PM

I recently installed a Kiddie CO detector as I think I had previously been sickened by low-level CO.(I do have propane) It's only a $25 unit, but the next level up was over $100.

It has not registered on my boat usage, but this weekend it showed a peak reading when I got to the boat of 17ppm. Both of my neighbors are twin gassers and I suspect that is where the CO came from as they had been running their engines in their slips, including gensets.

Don't know how accurate this low-cost monitor is, but it does give me some peace of mind that it has an LCD that gives some kind of relative CO reading. I mounted it amidships above the stairway to the forward V-berth. Thought I had a picture, but could not find it. Actually, rather looks like it belongs there with the other pilot station instruments and is easy to see and monitor. Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend....

ksanders 01-27-2015 10:29 PM

We have diesel and no propane.

We have CO and smoke detectors. These were purchases at Home Depot, just like the ones at my dirt house.

If you do a search you will find it very difficult to locate a confirmed case of a CO poisoning death from diesel.

Sisuitl 01-27-2015 10:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psneeld (Post 302588)
May want to ask him how you go about calibrating a CO detector....I am curious....

I'm really curious too. On lab type equipment you use a canister of reference gas with a known concentration of CO, then adjust the readout until it matches the reference. I have never seen a boat CO detector with that capability. Usually they get torn out and replaced when the sensor reaches its expected life expectancy. I imagine most people would have a hard time even buying a reference cylinder.

Diesels can put out surprisingly little CO. I once tried to demo a detector by holding it in an exhaust stream. Didn't work, further testing showed the detector working properly.

Jay N 01-27-2015 10:39 PM

Only time I've had a CO alarm, was when downwind of a gas generator on another boat.

CaptTom 01-28-2015 07:28 AM

Not to knock the Power Squadron, but even the best organizations can have misinformed but self-confident members. Or even idiots.

But the reason I'm posting is that you may not want to buy a "dirt" CO alarm for a boat. I've read that they are set to alarm immediately at a very low concentration. Marine units are supposed to use some sort of averaging over time to reduce false alarms.

I can confirm that the one I bought at a big-box store gave frequent false alarms, even with no engines running anywhere near the boat. It may be because I was working aboard in the winter. Perhaps they're not made to work in the cold, or maybe condensation on internal parts caused the problem.

jleonard 01-28-2015 07:39 AM

I never heard of calibrating one either...However 2 years ago I was required by BOATUS insurance to get a "free" survey and one result was I was required to install one to keep my insurance.
So I bought one at Home Depot and installed it.
Never got a false alarm in 2 seasons.

They also have a lifespan. I had to replace one in my house in October because it was 7 years old. It wouldn't stop chirping even with new batteries. Then I read the fine print. It was done. Some are 5 years.

C lectric 01-28-2015 11:39 PM

I installed an inexpensive CO detector in the V-berth about 4 yrs ago with the intention of replacement every 5 yrs. which is ahead of the Kidde schedule 7 and now 10 yrs] simply to be on the safe side. It usually just blinks at us.

We have a diesel boat and a diesel stove for heat but I thought just in case.

Last year it screamed. I had the boat closed up , it was COLD, and had used the little alcohol Origo stove for , i guess, too long and it reacted. So they do work and it alerted me to a developing problem. We opened the door, hatch and windows to clear the cabin and it settled down.

Just because the boat is not gasoline does not mean a problem cannot occur.

hmason 01-29-2015 01:22 AM

Dirt CO detectors are not for marine use. If you want one for the boat, buy a proper one.

Forkliftt 01-29-2015 07:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Delta_JimS (Post 302594)
I recently installed a Kiddie CO detector as I think I had previously been sickened by low-level CO.(I do have propane) It's only a $25 unit, but the next level up was over $100.

It has not registered on my boat usage, but this weekend it showed a peak reading when I got to the boat of 17ppm. Both of my neighbors are twin gassers and I suspect that is where the CO came from as they had been running their engines in their slips, including gensets.

Don't know how accurate this low-cost monitor is, but it does give me some peace of mind that it has an LCD that gives some kind of relative CO reading. I mounted it amidships above the stairway to the forward V-berth. Thought I had a picture, but could not find it. Actually, rather looks like it belongs there with the other pilot station instruments and is easy to see and monitor. Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend....


I've never thought of that possibility- but it's just another reason to have one.


1983 Present 42 Sundeck
Twin Lehman 135's
✌️

psneeld 01-29-2015 08:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hmason (Post 303062)
Dirt CO detectors are not for marine use. If you want one for the boat, buy a proper one.

Is there a link or place that supportive info is available?

Anyone have ABYC info that rules out general alarms and has specific requirements of "marine" ones?

....not sure I have ever read an official report that said they were unacceptable...especially on boats not even required to have them.

From personal experience...they work just fine and seem to work just as well as the expensive marine wired in ones.

jleonard 01-29-2015 08:40 AM

From what I saw the way it calculates the various ppm levels is a little different. I think it averages over a greater time which means a HD model may alarm more often.
The European spec is also different.
I know when the surveyor I had told me I had to get one, he recommended a typical HD type. Said that would meet the insurance requirement.
Not that he was the sharpest surveyor in the box, but it is what he said.

psneeld 01-29-2015 08:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jleonard (Post 303113)
From what I saw the way it calculates the various ppm levels is a little different. I think it averages over a greater time which means a HD model may alarm more often.
The European spec is also different.
I know when the surveyor I had told me I had to get one, he recommended a typical HD type. Said that would meet the insurance requirement.
Not that he was the sharpest surveyor in the box, but it is what he said.

that is all my understanding too.

for a gas boat that my get too many false alarms...a marine one may be better than a dirt one without a battery because of the false alarms....

but till it was an issue...I haven't seen it as an issue to use a specific kind/brand/power source.

I am curious though if a requirement has popped up...seems every day someone is changing my life ....makes me feel less safe than when I was a crazy 20 something....:D

sbu22 01-29-2015 11:16 AM

hmason - why is a "dirt CO monitor" inappropriate for boats? CO is CO. A "proper" monitor sounds like code for "pay 6 X the going price" for the magic UL label. The UL 1524 standard seems to be all about hard wired installation requirements - not sensor performance.

Reminds me of when I flew (and wrenched) light planes in the deep boonies. Amazing how many parts were sitting on the shelf at the local auto parts store that were "identical" to the unavailable in less than a week TSO'd piece. And, at 20% the cost of the TSO'd part.

Obviously, discretion (and the base knowledge to apply that discretion) is required.

The highly touted concept that diesels present no CO risk is BS, as well. Diesels present a substantially lower risk of CO generation when compared to gas engines. However, that performance has much to do with state of tune and equipment. I know, from industrial experience, that it is not unusual to see 1,000 - 2,000 ppm CO in diesel exhaust. Without effective ventilation, that concentration can put people into nausea, dizzines, headache symptoms and even fatalities within 30-60 minutes.

I have six distributed about the boat, all Kidde "dirt" models, I think $20 a pop, they last 5 years (my schedule to account for effects of humid environment on sensor - think they're supposed to be good for 7-8). Periodically "calibrate" them by walking out to the parking lot and seeing if they squawk downwind of my truck's exhaust. Amortized cost - $2/month.

sbu22 01-29-2015 11:19 AM

And, zero problems with spurious alarms - each time they've activated, there's been a reason. 2 instances in close to 4 years that I can recall.

ksanders 01-29-2015 11:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sbu22 (Post 303153)
hmason - why is a "dirt CO monitor" inappropriate for boats? CO is CO. A "proper" monitor sounds like code for "pay 6 X the going price" for the magic UL label. The UL 1524 standard seems to be all about hard wired installation requirements - not sensor performance.

Reminds me of when I flew (and wrenched) light planes in the deep boonies. Amazing how many parts were sitting on the shelf at the local auto parts store that were "identical" to the unavailable in less than a week TSO'd piece. And, at 20% the cost of the TSO'd part.

Obviously, discretion (and the base knowledge to apply that discretion) is required.

The highly touted concept that diesels present no CO risk is BS, as well. Diesels present a substantially lower risk of CO generation when compared to gas engines. However, that performance has much to do with state of tune and equipment. I know, from industrial experience, that it is not unusual to see 1,000 - 2,000 ppm CO in diesel exhaust. Without effective ventilation, that concentration can put people into nausea, dizzines, headache symptoms and even fatalities within 30-60 minutes.

I have six distributed about the boat, all Kidde "dirt" models, I think $20 a pop, they last 5 years (my schedule to account for effects of humid environment on sensor - think they're supposed to be good for 7-8). Periodically "calibrate" them by walking out to the parking lot and seeing if they squawk downwind of my truck's exhaust. Amortized cost - $2/month.


I liked your post, but in my research I have found it very difficult to find any reported deaths from CO with diesel as the source. I'm not saying impossible only because I could be proven wrong.

If diesel is dangerous, just how many people died in the last decade from CO poisoning sourced from diesel fuel?

jleonard 01-29-2015 12:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ksanders (Post 303156)
I liked your post, but in my research I have found it very difficult to find any reported deaths from CO with diesel as the source. I'm not saying impossible only because I could be proven wrong.

If diesel is dangerous, just how many people died in the last decade from CO poisoning sourced from diesel fuel?

I don't know that but I did find some articles of people who died from CO due to a faulty oil furnace. The ones I read were all due to a faulty air heat exchanger that was blowing fumes into the house.
Most of the deaths were from either natural gas or propane furnaces.
So I guess from that I would say that it's a possibility.
Don't forget that one of the effects of CO poisoning is MENTAL CONFUSION.
We may all be sucking in too many fumes!!:rofl:

Xsbank 01-29-2015 12:51 PM

I had a wired CO detector that didn't work, (can't remember the company, big company, sorry, I'm not on the boat) just squealed when I connected it. I wrote to the customer service people for help replacing it and got no answer. Re-wrote, still no answer. So I did the expected thing, ripped it out, pulled all the wires and bought one with a battery from Home Depot and it works just fine. Marine - rubbish.

sbu22 01-30-2015 11:14 AM

Ksanders – You’re missing the point.
1. Diesel engine exhaust contains consistent and measurable concentrations of CO. Seems to run in the 1,000-2,000 ppm range. These units were, of course, ugly construction and oil field equipment. They do not emit the same pink, rose scented exhaust that our boats do, but still….

2. The “motor powered cabin vessel” (or something to that effect that the USCG uses as a descriptor to characterize the boats on this forum) have, in my experience and by any objective standard, generally poor interior ventilation (air exchanges per unit time).

3. CO exposure is responsible for about 15,000 ER visits and 500 deaths per year in the US. Been pretty consistent throughout 1999-2010. These numbers exclude structural fires, suicides, etc., etc. See the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report if you want to drill down the data. I don’t believe you’ll find a data level that distinguishes between gasoline, propane, and diesel.
4. CO is not an asphyxiant – it does not do damage by displacing O2 in the atmosphere. It is a true toxic agent, inhibiting the blood's ability to carry O2 to vital organs.

5. The insult (damage) produced by CO exposure is a function of CO concentration and the duration of exposure to that concentration. For example, an acute exposure to CO at the 12-13,000 ppm level will fatal in 1-3 minutes; an exposure to just 400 ppm for 4 hours is expected to be fatal.

6. The UL CO detector set point standard reflects this “dose” relationship.
a. > 400 ppm CO, device must alarm between 4 and 15 minutes
b. > 150 ppm of CO, device must alarm between 10 and 50 minutes.
c. > 70 ppm of CO, device must alarm between 60 and 240 minutes.

I did not intend to tread on the closely held belief by many recreational diesel boaters that the diesel propulsion and fuel systems are as benign as a kiddy pool in the backyard.

I have DC plugs lanyarded to every through-hull. Because I expect an imminent through-hull failure? Getting ready for a transPac? Nope. Just a firm and long held belief that Murphy was an optimist and I’m going to do everything I can to insure the safety and longevity of the boat, my passengers, and myself.

When presented with a toxic source with no (zero) warning properties, semi-confined spaces below, and a relatively inexpensive means of managing that risk (even though it’s low probability), I’ll go with the “good” vice the “proper”. To each his own.

ksanders 01-30-2015 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sbu22 (Post 303431)
Ksanders – You’re missing the point.
1. Diesel engine exhaust contains consistent and measurable concentrations of CO. Seems to run in the 1,000-2,000 ppm range. These units were, of course, ugly construction and oil field equipment. They do not emit the same pink, rose scented exhaust that our boats do, but still….

2. The “motor powered cabin vessel” (or something to that effect that the USCG uses as a descriptor to characterize the boats on this forum) have, in my experience and by any objective standard, generally poor interior ventilation (air exchanges per unit time).

3. CO exposure is responsible for about 15,000 ER visits and 500 deaths per year in the US. Been pretty consistent throughout 1999-2010. These numbers exclude structural fires, suicides, etc., etc. See the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report if you want to drill down the data. I don’t believe you’ll find a data level that distinguishes between gasoline, propane, and diesel.
4. CO is not an asphyxiant – it does not do damage by displacing O2 in the atmosphere. It is a true toxic agent, inhibiting the blood's ability to carry O2 to vital organs.

5. The insult (damage) produced by CO exposure is a function of CO concentration and the duration of exposure to that concentration. For example, an acute exposure to CO at the 12-13,000 ppm level will fatal in 1-3 minutes; an exposure to just 400 ppm for 4 hours is expected to be fatal.

6. The UL CO detector set point standard reflects this “dose” relationship.
a. > 400 ppm CO, device must alarm between 4 and 15 minutes
b. > 150 ppm of CO, device must alarm between 10 and 50 minutes.
c. > 70 ppm of CO, device must alarm between 60 and 240 minutes.

I did not intend to tread on the closely held belief by many recreational diesel boaters that the diesel propulsion and fuel systems are as benign as a kiddy pool in the backyard.

I have DC plugs lanyarded to every through-hull. Because I expect an imminent through-hull failure? Getting ready for a transPac? Nope. Just a firm and long held belief that Murphy was an optimist and I’m going to do everything I can to insure the safety and longevity of the boat, my passengers, and myself.

When presented with a toxic source with no (zero) warning properties, semi-confined spaces below, and a relatively inexpensive means of managing that risk (even though it’s low probability), I’ll go with the “good” vice the “proper”. To each his own.

That is a wonderful detailed explanation of the risks. Thanks!

Now, I'll revert to my original challenge.

Show me some documented deaths from CO that was emitted from a diesel source.

With 500 CO deaths a year you'd think that you could find some that are documented as being from diesel. I know for a fact that I can find them documented as being from gasoline, and natural gas. They're easy to find.

What I am trying to do is to separate theory from reality. Yes, in theory CO can kill. Yes in reality people actually die from CO poisioning derived from gasoline and natural gas every year.

So where are all the diesel CO deaths? Thats the reality that I'm after. I'm not being snide here. I actually at one point searched for diesel related CO deaths and they just were not there.

hmason 01-30-2015 04:33 PM

I've been asked why a "marine" CO detector was the correct one to use versus a Home Despot variety. I'm not an engineer but can talk from personal experience.

I installed a battery powered CO detector, I believe it was a "First Alert" or "Kidde" brand can't recall for sure. It would often alarm when running our diesel generator. I could never find an exhaust leak or source for exhaust intrusion through a window etc. I read (again I can't recall where) that a marine CO detector operates on a different algorithm than a "home" model. I bought a marine CO detector, battery powered, mounted it in the same location as the "home" model and never had an alarm since. Same generator, same dock, same windows etc., etc. Perhaps the home model was defective, or the marine model was defective. Both worked fine in test mode.

This all occurred on our previous boat. I'm still in touch with the new owner and he has not had an alarm sound either. That's a study of one, not scientific, probably not reproducible, but convincing enough for me.

One other thought, we do a lot of anchoring and also have a mooring in one of our favorite locations. I have no clue as to the exhaust conditions of boats up wind of me, and some run those gas powered Honda things. A CO detector gives me some comfort in those conditions. BTW, anyone who runs a generator during sleeping hours is not a considerate neighbor and should have their generator license revoked. Just sayin'. :angel: Howard

Art 01-30-2015 10:45 PM

Anyone know of statistical reports regarding annual "marine related" deaths from CO poisoning?

Interesting link and quote:

http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/pages/safety/carbon2.aspx

What "parts per million" concentrations of carbon monoxide mean to your health:

100 ppm .01% Slight headache in two to three hours
200 ppm .02% Slight headache within two to three hours
400 ppm .04% Frontal headache within one to two hours
800 ppm .08% Dizziness, nausea, and convulsions within 45 minutes. Insensible within two hours.
1,600 ppm .16% Headache, dizziness, and nausea within 20 minutes. Death in less than two hours.
3,200 ppm .32% Headache, dizziness and nausea in five to ten minutes. Death within 30 minutes.
6,400 ppm .64% Headache and dizziness in one to two minutes. Death in less than 20 minutes.
12,800 ppm 1.28% Death in less than three minutes.

Northern Spy 01-30-2015 11:33 PM

If you only acted upon statistics, you wouldn't have a CO detector in your boat.

But you would always wear a pfd and you would never drive or ride in a car either.

That said I do have a CO detector in my boat. Mainly for cooking a small space. It is not a marine rated version. It uses TWA sampling and has a digital display. It does not give me nuisance alarms. The only time it has gone off is in a no wind harbour when a nearby boat started up the old crusaders and let 'em warm up for a while...

Art 01-30-2015 11:52 PM

Although I’ve still not located answer to…”Annual number of marine deaths due to CO?” Here’s a bit more info:

Carbon Monoxide Questions and Answers

http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Carbon-Monoxide-Information-Center/Carbon-Monoxide-Questions-and-Answers-/

How many people are unintentionally poisoned by CO?

On average, about 170 people in the United States die every year from CO produced by non-automotive consumer products.

These products include malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, ranges, water heaters and room heaters; engine-powered equipment such as portable generators; fireplaces; and charcoal that is burned in homes and other enclosed areas.

In 2005 alone, CPSC staff is aware of at least 94 generator-related CO poisoning deaths. Forty-seven of these deaths were known to have occurred during power outages due to severe weather, including Hurricane Katrina.

Still others die from CO produced by non-consumer products, such as cars left running in attached garages.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that several thousand people go to hospital emergency rooms every year to be treated for CO poisoning.

Northern Spy 01-31-2015 12:23 AM

You know you don't have to die to be affected, Art; CO causes bain dramage.

Art 01-31-2015 02:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Northern Spy (Post 303619)
You know you don't have to die to be affected, Art; CO causes bain dramage.

Heck - Maybe that's the mental problem with our national govt! Progressive and pervasive brain damage because of too much CO out their rears in tightly closed rooms while smoking Cuban cigars ...making illegal deals... just a thought! :facepalm:

I'd still like to learn the stats on number of annual deaths from CO in the marine sector. Somewhere that number exists!

psneeld 01-31-2015 07:13 AM

That number may exist...but without enough other info to have any meaning.

All sorts of stats are tossed around ....try and make rational sense out of most of them without the original report wrapped around them.

dhmeissner 01-31-2015 10:06 AM

This is what they sell at Fisheries Supply

CDM4 Carbon Monoxide Detector - 2 Models - Xintex | Fisheries Supply

Art 01-31-2015 11:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psneeld (Post 303633)
That number may exist...but without enough other info to have any meaning.

All sorts of stats are tossed around ....try and make rational sense out of most of them without the original report wrapped around them.

I beg to differ! Of course it has meaning to learn the actual number of "marine" deaths due to CO poisoning. Would be great too if the attributable factors of from where the CO originally emanated were broken out in the statistics.

IMHO... If in any location (boat, house, car... etc) we are to not keep CO producing equipment in good condition and to be sure there is adequate ventilation or correct exhaust flow-away so that the CO detector never needs to sound-off; we've not correctly done our job. That said, it is always a good idea to have a CO warning device just in case!

One scorching hot day as we approached our Tolly in covered dock we could hear a warning sound inside. Yup, it was our CO detector. No one was at our dock area, gentle breeze, and our boat had not been started for weeks. Once reset button was pushed the detector shut off and did not start again. Boat was cooking-hot inside. We opened all vent areas. Only thing I can figure was temperature activated the CO alarm... maybe fumes from overheated materials in Master Stateroom had given the CO a false reading?? We keep it in good condition and have not heard it before or since. This year we will get two new ones aboard.

Bacchus 01-31-2015 12:04 PM

I'm relatively new to diesels so this thread caught my interest.
First season w/ my Mainship I had both CO detectors give alarms which I attributed to out of date detectors and have not had any alarms since replacing w/ identical marine / RV type units.

From the searching & reading I've done:
to ksanders original point "Show me some documented deaths from CO that was emitted from a diesel source."
From a book I found : CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING EDITED BY DAVID G. PENNEY
The chapter Carbon Monoxide Dangers in the Marine Environment explores in depth the nationwide deaths due to gasoline propulsion & generator engines
"At this point (published 2008) , there are no poisonings known to have been associated with marine diesel-powered engines of either type"(propulsion or generator engines).

Another source (agreeably not marine related) is cited in "Diesel fumes do kill: a case of fatal carbon monoxide poisoning directly attributed to diesel fuel exhaust with a 10-year retrospective case and literature review*."
States: "Lastly, an extensive literature review produced no scientifically reported cases of fatal CO poisoning attributed to diesel fuel exhaust."

Another study of Myths / Facts: " There is Not Enough Carbon Monoxide In Diesel Exhaust To Kill" This study explores the executions, during the holocaust, by poison gas.
Cites - two scientific studies done by engineers show that it is possible for diesel engine exhaust to contain lethal amounts of carbon monoxide:
And Concludes: "Murdering people using diesel engine exhaust is not "idiotic" or "simply incredible" as Berg claims. A diesel engine can easily be mistuned to produce a lethal amount of carbon monoxide. Adjusting the fuel pump or blocking the air intake is not rocket science and does not require mechanical or engineering skills that were outside the capabilities of the SS technicians who ran the engines."

Bottom Line: I now agree the statistics do not support even a low level of hazard in the diesel marine environment.
Will I keep my detectors and make sure they are operational - yes - if for no other reason than peace of mind that I am also protected from CO from other sources - raft-ups w/ gassers, etc or for the one-in-a -million chance that air flow could somehow become restricted while running (engine or gen set).

Northern Spy 01-31-2015 12:24 PM

Sorry Art, I can't give you any empirical data, but anecdotally I've got lots. I've carried personal multi-gas monitors for much of my working career. They keep getting better, smaller and cheaper BTW. The most common alarm I get is CO. The one I carry now is set to 25ppm, TWA 10hrs. Generally speaking, they are almost nuisance alarms as I am rarely in a single area for that length of exposure. If I am in a confined space however there is more cause for concern.

Back in my submarine days, high CO was common from the cooking on board as the catalyst burner couldn't always keep up with the food burner.

As far as boating goes, as a diesel guy, the apparent likelihood of CO poisoning remains low. As mentioned above, the only incident was not caused by me. But as I am in a relatively confined space and sleeping with family members, I remain cognizant of the risk. The consequences span from a slight headache to death.

Of course, you as a petrol guy have a higher risk, as the likelihood is higher. A slow cruise with a tailwind could bring on a headache.

Cheers,

Mike

RT Firefly 01-31-2015 12:50 PM

Greetings,
Better to have at least "dirt" detectors than none at all. I can live with the false alarms.

Northern Spy 01-31-2015 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RT Firefly (Post 303700)
Greetings,
Better to have at least "dirt" detectors than none at all. I can live with the false alarms.

Zactly!

Sisuitl 01-31-2015 11:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Art (Post 303689)
One scorching hot day as we approached our Tolly in covered dock we could hear a warning sound inside. Yup, it was our CO detector. No one was at our dock area, gentle breeze, and our boat had not been started for weeks. Once reset button was pushed the detector shut off and did not start again. Boat was cooking-hot inside. We opened all vent areas. Only thing I can figure was temperature activated the CO alarm... maybe fumes from overheated materials in Master Stateroom had given the CO a false reading?? We keep it in good condition and have not heard it before or since. This year we will get two new ones aboard.

Yep. Hot plastic or paint can off-gas fumes that trigger certain sensors. Also drying paint. It can be a pain.

Wouldn't leave home without one though. I'm not overly concerned about the engine but there are other CO sources out there - any gas engine nearby, the galley stove, or heaters. Not that you southerners need to worry about having a a box with flames in it on board to keep you (and your plumbing) from freezing.

eyschulman 02-02-2015 10:18 PM

In the State of Washington your registration comes with a notice and sign that must be posted on all boats concerning the danger of CO and this sign is part of the CGAUX vessel safety check provided the examiner is informed and on his game. There is no requirement for an alarm SX but I think it is a good idea and I personally prefer the more sensitive unit. I rather see a couple of false alarms then somebody overwhelmed because they were in a place where the gas collected in a circulation pocket.

sbu22 02-04-2015 07:41 PM

As with any occupational epidemiology, confounding factors abound. The search for CO/diesel/marine/deaths won't turn up much. Because, among other reasons, I suspect it doesn't happen much. But, I would not discount the possibility due to the known toxicity of the agent. There was a rather interesting study done in the case of a truck driver found dead in his rig at a rest stop in Kentucky. Turned out it was CO due to exhaust leaks - he had bedded down in his sleeper with engine running. The really interesting conclusion of the study that looked at a hundred or so similar cases over a ten year period was that many medical examiners had not conducted blood work as part of the post and had relied, instead, on visual cues. Short answer is a lot of misdiagnosis because the MEs were looking for lividity (that isn't always present) to indicate CO poisoning rather than the more definitive blood tests.

It's a low probability, I believe, but the risk is not trivial.

On another note, a commentor above was referring to the "test" function on the alarms. "Test" validates the signal processing circuitry - not the sensor. They do wear out, and probably faster in the temp extremes and humidity that boats present than in a conditioned environment. Unless you have access to cal gas, etc. the best bet is to replace them at regular intervals.

Art 02-04-2015 08:41 PM

Ya know, and of course...


There is much good reason to have CO detector aboard a boat... however, its useful signal is only needed for "if" / "when" CO accumulates inside living/working/sleeping areas (especially enclosed area with no clean-air transfer).


So... not to diminish the good of these detectors, but, why would captain of a "normal-sized" pleasure craft allow things to happen that places CO concentration into danger levels?? For over 100 years there were boats with no CO detector. For decades my family and all we knew had boats with no detector.


The premises we operated under, being in full knowledge of CO poisoning:


- Never sleep with any engine running or propane stove burning
- Always have at least some way for clean-air to enter confined areas and for the air inside to exit so the air is consistently refreshed
- If tailgate exhaust draft happens while running either close off rear openings in salon (if equipped) and open front openings, or change speed, or change course


The simplicity of not having CO accumuate an area of a moderate sized pleasure boat is not rocket science.


That said... I do appreciate CO detectors and keep them in good condition. Ain't technology great!

psneeld 02-04-2015 09:03 PM

Read the USCG reports on CO deaths.

A large number of maritime deaths have been reclassified as CO poisoning. Thus their big campaign several years ago. True that the majority were from knuckleheaded things like "teak surfing" or the weird ones with the houseboats where swimmers came up into a generator exhaust void under lake houseboats.

But then the weird ones get you too....like the lady that went to sleep in the aft cabin and all they could figure was CO traveled along the hull from the genset exhaust, came in the aft head sink drain and slowly filled the cabin while underway....now that is a stretch and not the captains fault...but possible. There are things besides detectors that help...like no sleeping without being checked on...but come now...how many balls do we juggle?

Plus...ever been in a tight slip with canvas up on a gasser?... or just next to one?When I worked for Sea Ray...those installed detectors would sound off within minutes of starting the engines some days. Not false alarms either....

Captains fault? Sure...why not....just pray that philosophy doesn't bite you if one of those one in a million ones get you.....

jleonard 02-05-2015 07:35 AM

One of the reasons that I got one (besides the fact I was told to get one or lose my insurance) is that when at a dock, most if not all gas engine boats warm up at the dock before departing. Sometimes they run for 15 to 20 minutes (or more) and if they are within a few slips, you are getting doused in CO. And for most of that time they are running cold.
Then there's the dock queeners who fire up once a week and run for 15 minutes.
So there's a lot of gas engine idle time going on around the dock.

Art 02-05-2015 08:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jleonard (Post 304943)
One of the reasons that I got one (besides the fact I was told to get one or lose my insurance) is that when at a dock, most if not all gas engine boats warm up at the dock before departing. Sometimes they run for 15 to 20 minutes (or more) and if they are within a few slips, you are getting doused in CO. And for most of that time they are running cold.
Then there's the dock queeners who fire up once a week and run for 15 minutes.
So there's a lot of gas engine idle time going on around the dock.

All good reasons. How often does your CO detector sound off?

If it does sound alarm because of others running engine(s) at your dock what do you do, leave the area or ask them to shut-down or pull-out of slip?

Wxx3 02-05-2015 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ksanders (Post 302608)
We have diesel and no propane.

We have CO and smoke detectors. These were purchases at Home Depot, just like the ones at my dirt house.

If you do a search you will find it very difficult to locate a confirmed case of a CO poisoning death from diesel.

Kevin,

The only case I know was in Alaska. I think they were coming back to Valdez.
I think no one died, but it was just luck and they were in hospital for a while.

ksanders 02-05-2015 10:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wxx3 (Post 304990)
Kevin,

The only case I know was in Alaska. I think they were coming back to Valdez.
I think no one died, but it was just luck and they were in hospital for a while.

Thanks Richard!

Even though the risk from my boat of CO is minimal to none, CO detectors are part of most smoke detectors sold now days.

So it was easy, buy a bunch of smoke detectors and get CO detectors to boot!

psneeld 02-05-2015 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ksanders (Post 305001)
Thanks Richard!

Even though the risk from my boat of CO is minimal to none, CO detectors are part of most smoke detectors sold now days.

So it was easy, buy a bunch of smoke detectors and get CO detectors to boot!

what? No canaries?

Baker 02-05-2015 02:10 PM

I think y'all are splitting hairs here and getting a bit "semantical". Diesel, technically, has enough CO to kill you. But I think you have to concentrate and make a very large effort to make that happen....ie wrap your lips around the exhaust pipe or pump diesel exhaust directly into a closed space for a long time. Other than that, you are basically safe.

But, I think this needs to be brought up to people who are in the market for their first "bigger" boat. The threat of CO poisoning is probably one of THE BIGGEST advantages of going with a diesel powered boat(explosion hazard as well). With all due respect to our gas powered brethren, there is no way on earth I would sleep well at night with a gasoline powered generator running in the bilge. I just wouldn't. End of story.

One other thing....Most of the marine type CO detectors will be alarmed by battery gas. If your wet cell batteries are in not that great of shape, it can set off your detectors.... my Mainship used to do that until the batteries were replaced.

psneeld 02-05-2015 02:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baker (Post 305080)
I think y'all are splitting hairs here and getting a bit "semantical". Diesel, technically, has enough CO to kill you. But I think you have to concentrate and make a very large effort to make that happen....ie wrap your lips around the exhaust pipe or pump diesel exhaust directly into a closed space for a long time. Other than that, you are basically safe.

But, I think this needs to be brought up to people who are in the market for their first "bigger" boat. The threat of CO poisoning is probably one of THE BIGGEST advantages of going with a diesel powered boat(explosion hazard as well). With all due respect to our gas powered brethren, there is no way on earth I would sleep well at night with a gasoline powered generator running in the bilge. I just wouldn't. End of story.

One other thing....Most of the marine type CO detectors will be alarmed by battery gas. If your wet cell batteries are in not that great of shape, it can set off your detectors.... my Mainship used to do that until the batteries were replaced.

Happened to me last spring...woke me up at 0300....groggy....took me a minute to remember some work with the battery charger.

Opened up the engine hatch and reached in to feel the batteries. One 8D was crackling and hissing so out on the dock it went.

why doesn't that crap happen at 1500 instead? :D

Baker 02-05-2015 02:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psneeld (Post 305081)
Happened to me last spring...woke me up at 0300....groggy....took me a minute to remember some work with the battery charger.

Opened up the engine hatch and reached in to feel the batteries. One 8D was crackling and hissing so out on the dock it went.

why doesn't that crap happen at 1500 instead? :D

The same reason why your smoke detectors at your dirt house start chirping at 3am!!!!....and then you have to go on a "listening adventure" to determine which is the offending one.....gawd that pisses me off!!!!! The funny thing is...is that the capacitance is such that in those detectors, they are AC powered and DC powered. I have unplugged them and taken the battery out and it was still chirping.....this after being woke up at 3 am and taking 10 minutes for my sample journey around a house with tile floors echoing every chirp... You think you have the damn thing neutralized and it chirps AGAIN!!!!.....with no power source!!!!!!! I almost lost it and threw it against the wall!!! I know now....

Sisuitl 02-05-2015 09:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wxx3 (Post 304990)
Kevin,

The only case I know was in Alaska. I think they were coming back to Valdez.
I think no one died, but it was just luck and they were in hospital for a while.

From the engine?

CO poisoning has been a serious problem in B.C. over the years on small commercial fish boats. I've never seen a case that wasn't associated with someone trying to keep warm in a closed cabin with a catalytic heater, faulty stove, or gas engine.

OTOH I haven't done an extensive literature search on the subject. Could be, as someone alluded to above, that no one is looking closely.


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