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 > Lesson learned, about winterizing using blow-out method

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willald

NC

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Posted: 10/29/13 07:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, temperatures here have started dipping down to freezing, so Saturday I had to officially end the camping season, and winterize the RV.

Anyway, I went through the usual procedure I use for winterizing - Remove water filter, run some antifreeze through/into the water pump, run air compressor to blow out all water lines, pour antifreeze down all traps/drains, etc. Have always used compressor blow-out method, and it works great for us.

Well, I'm finishing up pouring antifreeze in the bathroom shower and sink, when CO detector goes off. Cannot get it to quit alarming, sensing presense of CO in the RV. I open several windows, turn on bathroom fan, it finally quits. Turn off bathroom fan, a few minutes later it (CO detector) starts squealing AGAIN. I turn fan back on, let the fan run (with several windows open) for a good 20 minutes, CO detector then turns off, and everything is good.

At first I thought that this was a bad CO detector. Have had that happen before. However, the fact that after ventilating the RV for a while it cleared out....Well, seems there must have been CO present inside.

Oh, and no, the generator was NOT running, there was no gasoline engine running anywhere close by, no indication whatsoever of CO (and all gas appliances were turned off, gas bottles closed, shut off).

Soooo, apparently in the process of winterizing the RV, SOMEHOW, enough CO gas got in the RV to trip the detector. After thinking a bit, I realized what must have happened:

Air compressor was sitting in the garage when I was running it, when blowing out the lines. I run a long 100' air hose from compressor in the garage out to the RV when inflating the tires or winterizing. Compressor has always stayed in the garage.

I can only guess that there must have been some CO gas lingering around in the garage from when one of the cars pulled in earlier, and the compressor sucked it into its tank when running. Have been using compressor blow-out method for winterizing for years, and never had this happen before. But, makes sense how it could happen, when compressor's air intake is just a foot or so off the ground and inside the garage where the cars are.

Anyway, lesson learned from this: I think from now on when winterizing, I'm going to first purge the compressor tank of all air in it, roll it outside away from the garage, before turning it on. Hopefully that'll prevent any CO gas from getting sucked into the air compressor, and blown through the pipes and into the RV.

Has anyone that uses compressor blow-out method, ever had something like this happen? Any other ideas/theories on what may have caused the CO detector to go off in this case?


Will & Angela
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WyoTraveler

Northwest, Wyoming

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Posted: 10/29/13 08:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Guess it could have sucked CO2 into compressor tank. Good to know. I have a huge floor mounted air compressor in shop. Never gave it much thought before.


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GENECOP

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Posted: 10/29/13 08:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We use the Blowout and Antifreeze method but have the VAIR compressor so it's is outside with me at the street water connection.....

Homer

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Posted: 10/29/13 08:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

in 40 years never had this happen. I agree with your deduction, unless your dog was in the coach with you. I will say one thing about your CO detector, it must be ultra sensitive. Again the dog could set it off, I have heard of lots of people finding that to be their problem.

Vulcaneer

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Posted: 10/29/13 09:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Interesting theory. I do understand, that CO could enter in through the intake into your compressor tank, as you describe. And when blowing out the lines, could go from compressor tank and out the faucets into the RV. If the CO did enter in to your compressor tank it would be....well....COMPRESSED. And as such might be quite CONCENTRATED. So blowing a little through the lines might actually be blowing a high concentration through the lines. The thing that impresses me is that you could figure that out. I never would have thought that through. Good job.

But because of the high concentration coming in to your trailer, I would not think your CO detector is OVERLY sensitive. Probably working just fine. And good thing it is too. So I would not worry about the CO detector.

* This post was edited 10/29/13 09:42am by Vulcaneer *


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old guy

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Posted: 10/29/13 09:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

this happened tome the other day, only mine is more confusing then yours. my compressor sits in a storage room not the garage and I also ran 100 ft of hose and was sitting in the chair trying to think of what next to do and the alarm went off. got it off and a few minutes later it went off again. it finally settled down and I have no idea why it went off.

mlts22

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Posted: 10/29/13 09:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One of my old habits with air compressors is to pull the ring so the tank blows itself out when done. This comes from the expensive Iwata compressors that are used in airbrush makeup work. Very precise machinery, but they do need to have the tanks emptied after a work session so there is no chance of water getting in the tank (there are water traps, but even then, any water going out the end severely screws up an airbrush job.)

I can easily see that happening though. It can be easy to position an air compressor near a generator's exhaust.

willald

NC

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Posted: 10/29/13 09:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Homer wrote:

in 40 years never had this happen. I agree with your deduction, unless your dog was in the coach with you. I will say one thing about your CO detector, it must be ultra sensitive. Again the dog could set it off, I have heard of lots of people finding that to be their problem.


Wow, a dog tripping the CO detector?? Never heard of that one.

No, we don't have a dog, I was only one in the RV when this happened. Can't blame this one on a dog.

We had a CO detector go bad about a year ago. It just started going off all the time, for no reason (and of COURSE, it started doing it at 3am when we were out camping, haha!). Had it replaced under warranty (very glad it was under warranty, them things ain't cheap!!) Ever since then, when that thing goes off, I immediately suspect the detector itself is faulty. That weren't the case this time, the detector was doing exactly what its supposed to do (and I'm glad it did).

Will

willald

NC

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Posted: 10/29/13 10:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mlts22 wrote:

One of my old habits with air compressors is to pull the ring so the tank blows itself out when done. This comes from the expensive Iwata compressors that are used in airbrush makeup work. Very precise machinery, but they do need to have the tanks emptied after a work session so there is no chance of water getting in the tank (there are water traps, but even then, any water going out the end severely screws up an airbrush job.)


Yes, every now and then, I pull the ring and drain out the compressor tank of all its air (mostly I do it 'cause the loud hissing noise it makes is a fun way to scare the cr*p out of some stray cats that hang around our house, haha!!)

Apparently, I need to pull that ring and purge the tank out more often.

Will

powderman426

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Posted: 10/29/13 10:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Get a CO alarm with a digital readout then you will know how many parts per million of concentration you have and whether its a reason to be concerned.


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