CO Detector - Year-round?

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JJ Campbell
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CO Detector - Year-round?

Postby JJ Campbell » Wed May 20, 2020 7:14 am

I just purchased the Tocsin3 CO detector. Is it wisest to use it all year or is Winter only sufficient?
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Tecnam P92 Eaglet

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drseti
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Re: CO Detector - Year-round?

Postby drseti » Wed May 20, 2020 8:17 am

I would say year-round. You may assume that the only way for CO to enter your cabin is through the heater system, but that would be a dangerous assumption. Exhaust pipes and joints can leak too, and your firewall probably isn't impervious to gas molecules. You have it, so by all means use it!
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
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3Dreaming
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Re: CO Detector - Year-round?

Postby 3Dreaming » Wed May 20, 2020 8:37 am

I had a friend who installed a smoke system on his experimental airplane. When he would turn it on he was amazed at the smoke and smells that came into the cockpit. That is a pretty good indication of the bad stuff you are breathing when you are flying anytime, even when the cabin heat was not in use.

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David
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Re: CO Detector - Year-round?

Postby David » Thu May 21, 2020 5:32 pm

I have the same device and have it on my shoulder harness, and I do get a fair amount of smoke that comes in when I turn on smoked. I use it year round just part of my startup procedure.
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EAA 1434 Belfast ME
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JJ Campbell
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Re: CO Detector - Year-round?

Postby JJ Campbell » Fri May 22, 2020 8:04 am

I just flew with my new Tocsin3 hanging from a D-Ring on my vest for the first time. I could not hear it or feel it when I turned it on after starting the aircraft. I'll be using some Velcro to mount it to the dash so I can add it to my instrument scan.
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Re: CO Detector - Year-round?

Postby fatsportpilot » Fri May 29, 2020 5:53 pm

I live in a hot climate and never need to turn on cabin heat but I often smell oil from the engine especially if it's overheating (it was 105 F outside a few days ago and the engine did NOT like that). I have to assume that CO poisoning is a real possibility. Extra danger because the exhaust system constantly has leaks patched up with metal straps and foil and the firewall is not airtight.

I'm about to get a cigarette lighter socket CO detector https://www.guardianavionics.com/CO-Gua ... _p_12.html with an 85dB alarm. I hate changing button batteries so this thing should be great. It detects 50 ppm and sets off the alarm. Those horrible $4 chemical ones I've heard can sometimes take more than 200 ppm to even begin to change color!

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Re: CO Detector - Year-round?

Postby drseti » Fri May 29, 2020 7:33 pm

When this thread started, I did some research into electronic CO detectors, settled on the Tocsin 3, ordered it from Sporty's, and last Sunday (in preparation for my annual inspection) did once around the pattern with it. It gave me a low alarm (35 ppm) on upwind, a high alarm (100 ppm) on crosswind, and peaked at 150 ppm on downwind! I came in, landed, pushed the plane back into the hangar, uncowled it, and commenced my condition inspection, starting with the exhaust system. Three of the four exhaust pipes had breaks in them.

It's worth noting that the colored dot showed nothing. I looked up its specs, and was surprised to find that it darkens only after four hours of 100 PPM exposure. Rather worthless, IMHO. In fact, that's long enough to develop symptoms, so you might just as well be your own CO monitor.

Since then, I've ordered a full new exhaust system, received it, installed it, and today I did an extended test run-up. Unit peaked at 4 ppm -- I can live with that.

This experience has motivated me to prepare an EAA Webinar on carbon monoxide. Unfortunately, it's not scheduled until January, but since that's peak heater season in North America, I guess it's good timing. I've already prepared the PPT slides (surprising how productive one can be when the flight school is shut down...)

Stay safe, guys and gals. I'm now a firm believer in electronic CO monitors.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
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Wm.Ince
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Re: CO Detector - Year-round?

Postby Wm.Ince » Fri May 29, 2020 10:45 pm

Excellent report, Paul.
Looking forward to that presentation.
Bill Ince
CTSW (E-LSA)
Retired Heavy Equipment Operator


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