Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-07-2018, 07:17 PM   #1
Member
 
Lifeisawave's Avatar
 
City: Portland
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Life's a Wave
Vessel Model: 1978 Marine Trader
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 8
Vape Fume Detector Going Off

We bought a 1978 Marine Trader Trawler last year. Recently our vape fume detector has started going off. The weather has been getting nicer and it seems to go off more often on hotter days, but that might just be a coincidence.

The problem is that we can't find the vape fume detector. Turning off the shore power and flipping the breakers doesn't stop the alarm. Although turning off the batteries does. That means that it must be hardwired into the battery somewhere. Beyond that, we have no idea where it is or how to fix the problem!

The alarm is definitely coming from our engine room and we've tried following all of the wires down there connected to the battery, but we can't find anything that looks like an alarm. The person who owned the boat before us installed it, so we don't know which one we have or where it's located. I guess that means that there's always the possibility that we've seen it and just don't know what it looks like.

Any suggestions? Because we live on the boat and just turning off the battery isn't exactly an option.
__________________
Advertisement

Lifeisawave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 08:03 PM   #2
Guru
 
OldDan1943's Avatar
 
City: Aventura FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Kinja
Vessel Model: American Tug 34 #116
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 2,209
Just guessing, the bilge area?
__________________

__________________
And you folks thought I knew what I was talking about?
I do believe my intuitive gene has died.
OldDan1943 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 08:09 PM   #3
Guru
 
djmarchand's Avatar
 
City: Litchfield, Ct/Punta Gorda, Fl
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Atlas Pompano 23- outboard
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 3,786
I am not sure what a "vape" fume detector is, maybe some kind of anti smoking thing?

But seriously, there are several kinds of detectors on boats: CO, propane and gasoline fumes. I suspect you are talking about the latter. The location could be anywhere in the engine room down low. You will just have to start at the alarm panel and work your way backwards until you find it.

I don't have any experience with gasoline fume detectors but if they are like propane detectors, they fail quite often and have to be replaced.


But I am a little puzzled. Marine Traders generally come with diesels, and diesels don't need gasoline fume detectors. So could it be a propane detector? If so the detector is in the galley area near the floor.

David
djmarchand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 08:35 PM   #4
Member
 
Lifeisawave's Avatar
 
City: Portland
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Life's a Wave
Vessel Model: 1978 Marine Trader
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 8
The boat is diesel, so you're probably right it wouldn't be a gasoline detector.

It could be a propane detector. The heat and stove are propane powered. Our insurance doesn't cover propane appliances, though, so they're all disconnected.

We called a mechanic and he told us that it was likely a vape fume detector. He said to look for a control panel to turn off and potentially to look at the flapper...? He wouldn't even come out, he just said that we'd be able to find it and turn it off. We haven't been able to find it.

We can't even find the exact location of the alarm. It seems to resonate from under the stove and behind a wall in the engine room. But who would put an alarm so inaccessible?

We've looked down by the bilge pump, but there isn't anything electronic that low. Everything is higher up in the engine room and none of it looks like any kind of detector. We can locate the batteries, wires that connect to the lights, the plumbing, and the speakers. But we can't find anything that looks like it's connected to an alarm. It would have to be, though, if turning off the batteries also turns off the alarm.

It does seem like whatever the alarm is, it's malfunctioning. We just can't locate exactly where it's coming from. We don't know precisely what we're looking for or how to de-activate it or repair it when we do find it.
Lifeisawave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 08:37 PM   #5
Enigma
 
RT Firefly's Avatar
 
City: Slicker?
Country: Bumpkin?
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 11,109
Greetings,
Welcome aboard. As suggested, it will take some detective work. What better way to become more familiar with your new vessel...I would also suggest you look for an insurer who will cover propane. Can't live in the PNW hungry and without heat or so I'm told.
__________________
RTF
RT Firefly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 08:43 PM   #6
Guru
 
High Wire's Avatar
 
City: Cape May, NJ and Englewood, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Irish Lady
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,316
Overcharging batteries can cause severe Hydrogen gassing which can trigger vapor detectors as well as CO2 detectors.
__________________
Archie
1984 Monk 36 Hull #46
Englewood, FL and Cape May, NJ
High Wire is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 08:44 PM   #7
Member
 
Lifeisawave's Avatar
 
City: Portland
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Life's a Wave
Vessel Model: 1978 Marine Trader
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Greetings,
Welcome aboard. As suggested, it will take some detective work. What better way to become more familiar with your new vessel...I would also suggest you look for an insurer who will cover propane. Can't live in the PNW hungry and without heat or so I'm told.
It gives us an excuse to BBQ more often

I'm about to just take pictures of every control panel and ask if any of them look like they're connected to an alarm. It's that or wait for it to go off and strategically disconnect every wire one by one. Although that seems a little daunting.
Lifeisawave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 08:49 PM   #8
Guru
 
City: Sydney
Country: Australia
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1,623
Dont rule out that the fume detector is faulty
gaston is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 08:53 PM   #9
Member
 
Lifeisawave's Avatar
 
City: Portland
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Life's a Wave
Vessel Model: 1978 Marine Trader
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by High Wire View Post
Overcharging batteries can cause severe Hydrogen gassing which can trigger vapor detectors as well as CO2 detectors.
If that was the case, wouldn't the alarm go off constantly, instead of just periodically? And wouldn't we have battery failure as well?

Although, if that is the problem, what would you suggest? We're connected to shore power, so we can turn off the battery. The only things that don't work on shore power are the water and the overhead lights. It's possible to turn them off periodically, but not necessarily something that we're going to be able to do all of the time.
Lifeisawave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 08:57 PM   #10
Guru
 
City: Sydney
Country: Australia
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1,623
First action I would take if I couldn't find any sign of smell using my nose would be relocate the detector to outside the hull and see if it sets off the alarm
gaston is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 09:11 PM   #11
Guru
 
OldDan1943's Avatar
 
City: Aventura FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Kinja
Vessel Model: American Tug 34 #116
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 2,209
It is required OEM hard wires these detecters to the house batteries.
Considering it is not original equipment and not a self contained battery operated unit, the previous could have wired it into any convenient circuit.
Have you pulled the stove and oven to see if it is located behind?

One of the first thing I did, after I bought this boat, was to replace the hardwired detecter. I have forgotten the required frequency for replacement.
__________________
And you folks thought I knew what I was talking about?
I do believe my intuitive gene has died.
OldDan1943 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 09:20 PM   #12
Member
 
Lifeisawave's Avatar
 
City: Portland
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Life's a Wave
Vessel Model: 1978 Marine Trader
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
It is required OEM hard wires these detecters to the house batteries.
Considering it is not original equipment and not a self contained battery operated unit, the previous could have wired it into any convenient circuit.
Have you pulled the stove and oven to see if it is located behind?

One of the first thing I did, after I bought this boat, was to replace the hardwired detecter. I have forgotten the required frequency for replacement.
We have not done that. The alarm does sometimes sound as if it's coming from the stove or behind the stove, though. The propane isn't connected and we've disconnected all of the wires that we can see in and around the stove. But that is a good idea. It's screwed into our counter tops, so we haven't tried taking it out completely, but that is a possibility!
Lifeisawave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 09:49 PM   #13
Guru
 
OldDan1943's Avatar
 
City: Aventura FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Kinja
Vessel Model: American Tug 34 #116
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 2,209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifeisawave View Post
We have not done that. The alarm does sometimes sound as if it's coming from the stove or behind the stove, though. The propane isn't connected and we've disconnected all of the wires that we can see in and around the stove. But that is a good idea. It's screwed into our counter tops, so we haven't tried taking it out completely, but that is a possibility!
First, check the adjacent cabinets for the detecter or unknown wiring.
__________________
And you folks thought I knew what I was talking about?
I do believe my intuitive gene has died.
OldDan1943 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 10:03 PM   #14
Guru
 
hmason's Avatar
 
City: Stuart FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Magic
Vessel Model: Grand Banks 46 Europa
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,037
A decibel meter might help you locate the alarm.
__________________
Howard
Magic, 1996 Grand Banks Europa
Westport, CT and Stuart, FL
hmason is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 11:03 PM   #15
Enigma
 
RT Firefly's Avatar
 
City: Slicker?
Country: Bumpkin?
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 11,109
Greetings,
Mr. Law. Mr. HW raises a very valid point regarding batteries and out gassing.


In response to your questions (post #9)...The batteries may only be out gassing periodically and not be at the point of failure yet.



In any case, the primary problem is still the location of the alarm. When you find that it should be straightforward to trace the wiring to the detector. I also agree with the "detective" comments above.


__________________
RTF
RT Firefly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 11:09 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Doug's Avatar
 
City: Victoria, BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Timeless
Vessel Model: CHB 34
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 163
Search online to find photos of CO, propane and other fume detectors so at least you know what youíre looking for.
Just a thought. Are you sure itís a vapor detector and not a bilge pump alarm or other alarm youíre hearing.
Doug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2018, 06:45 AM   #17
Guru
 
djmarchand's Avatar
 
City: Litchfield, Ct/Punta Gorda, Fl
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Atlas Pompano 23- outboard
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 3,786
I doubt if it is a propane detector if the sound is coming from down low. Propane detectors have a control panel, alarm and on off switch that are located either near the main DC panel or near the stove but at eye level within easy reach. The actual detector is located on or near the cabin sole usually below the propane stove. So if the sound is coming from below then it is almost certainly not a propane detector.

It only goes off if you disconnect the battery and not the main DC breaker, right. I would look at the battery or the battery switch and you will find a heavy cable feeding the starter, another 6 gauge or so wire feeding the main DC breaker and 2-3 smaller 14-12 gauge wires feeding things powered directly from the battery like the bilge pumps and critical alarms like CO and propane.

When the alarm sounds, disconnect each of these smaller wires one by one until it goes off. Then follow the wire and see where it goes.

David
djmarchand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2018, 11:42 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
City: Chicago
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Sea Jay
Vessel Model: Non Trawler ;-) Ask me if it matters LOL
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 319
Iíd be worried of just assuming itís faulty, thus disconnecting it.
Gmarr is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2018, 11:43 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
City: Chicago
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Sea Jay
Vessel Model: Non Trawler ;-) Ask me if it matters LOL
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug View Post

Just a thought. Are you sure itís a vapor detector and not a bilge pump alarm or other alarm youíre hearing.

I wonder this one as well- bilge alarm
Gmarr is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2018, 12:21 PM   #20
Guru
 
OldDan1943's Avatar
 
City: Aventura FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Kinja
Vessel Model: American Tug 34 #116
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 2,209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gmarr View Post
I wonder this one as well- bilge alarm
We are all thinking it is a Vapor detecter based upon Lifeisawave comment.

Because there is no gas onboard, other things.
How often does this alarm?

Seldom is there alarm associated with the bilge pump starting and stopping. Usually it is a high water alarm and not all boats have a high water alarm.
Worth checking the bilges for water.
Things that might contribute to water in the bilges include A/C condensates drains, if they do not drain overboard directly.

My AT did not come with high water alarm. I installed one in each compartment (4) plus a bilge pump counter at the helm station.
The high water alarm is a 4 inch bell that will wake the dead.
__________________

__________________
And you folks thought I knew what I was talking about?
I do believe my intuitive gene has died.
OldDan1943 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
alarm, marine trader, vape fume detector

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:32 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012