Run furnace and smoke detector goes off.

Discussion in 'Heating / Cooling Systems' started by WVhillbilly, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    Middle of June we went to Benezette, PA for a long weekend.
    Weather was wet, then great. Except it got pretty chilly at night, as in low 40s chilly.

    No problem says I, we have a camper now instead of a tent so I'll turn the heat on.
    Clicks right on, heats up nice. For about 5 minutes, then the smoke detector starts going off.

    Odd, as I didn't see any smoke but did smell a bit of "new" burning off the heater as it's never been on before.
    I pulled the smoke detector battery and let the heat run for about 10 minutes to get the chill out of the camper. Got the electric mattress turned on and warmed up (life saver right there) and went to sleep.

    Before going to sleep I turned the furnace off and put the battery back in the detector, because I didn't really trust it to run while I was sleeping.

    I did have a couple of the windows unzipped just a few inches to keep some fresh air coming into the camper.

    My theory is that since we hadn't used the furnace before that there was some residue or something burning off. I know that the new detectors don't need to "see" smoke and that is what was going on.

    Thought I'd post up here and see what those that have more experience thought about this.
    I don't want to freeze, nor do I want to leave the battery out of the detector and wake up dead from some sort of new furnace poisoning. As that would surely ruin my camping trip.

    And if you can use an electric mattress in your pop up, get one. They are great, we would have froze without it.
     
  2. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    It is normal for a first use furnace to set a smoke alarm off. When doing a PDI, we will take the battery out so we don't have to listen to the noise, like you did.
     
    WVhillbilly and nineoaks2004 like this.
  3. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Make sure its not the co detector
     
    Blackripley likes this.
  4. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    You are always going to have some residue "dust" burning off on the furnace on the first ignition of the year.

    PERSONAL OBSERVATION - I understand the need for a smoke detector and the liabilities that companies face when building products like campers. But I think that putting a smoke detector in a pop up camper is ridiculous. We almost always have a campfire when we camp and when the wind is blowing in the right direction, our smoke detector would get set off every time. I never had the need for one in my tents, so I don't use it in my pup. Batteries are always disconnected.

    I once had the smoke detector go off at three in the morning when the smoke from a neighboring campfire drifted our way. That was my last straw with mine. Battery came out and never went back in.

    CO detectors, on the other hand, are NOT included in this discussion and are a totally different animal not to be messed with.
     
  5. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    Nope, it's in a different location.
    But I didn't trust it enough to go to sleep like that.

    We use regular bedding in the pop up, instead of sleeping bags.
    In my bag I'd of been fine down into the low 30s.
    I will say that the furnace warms things up pretty quick considering that it's a tent mounted to a box.

    Wouldn't say a pop up would be my first choice for cold weather camping, but these days when it's cold I just camp at home.
     

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