Best Combustible Gas Detectors

The following are some of the most common questions about Natural Gas Detectors:


What is the difference between a KIDNE COEG-3 NIGHTHAWK AND A HIGH VOLTAGE COIL?

A) There is no difference between these two types of detectors. They both detect carbon monoxide (CO). The only thing that distinguishes them from each other is their sensitivity.


How do I know if my detector works?

A) You will not be able to tell if your detector works unless you have it working.

If you don’t have it working then how can you know whether or not it detects CO?

When the gas leaks out of a house, there is usually no way to determine if the detector detected any gas at all.


Can I use a cheaper model than the one I bought?

A) No. All detectors must be manufactured with high quality materials and work properly. Most of the cheap models will not detect CO. They may even emit a foul odor when they malfunction. Some of these detectors are made in China and come with faulty components which could cause the unit to explode!


Is it safe to keep my detector outside?

A) It is not safe to keep a detector outside when it is exposed to the elements. Moisture and rain will seep inside the unit causing it to malfunction or explode from time to time. The detector does not last as long when it is exposed to the rain. It wears out faster than normal.

5) I just moved in to a house with a detector already installed on the ceiling of every room.

What should I do?

A) If the battery is already dead, then replace it. Carbon Monoxide can be deadly and you should never take a chance with your life. Some of these detectors may already be defective or they may go defective anytime soon. You had better replace all of them even if they seem to work properly.


Does my detector need to be replaced?

A) If the detector is over 7 years old then it should be replaced. Also, if you see that the unit is damaged in any way then you should replace it immediately. It doesn’t matter if the damage is noticeable or not because even tiny dents can cause the internal parts to break and malfunction.

If your detector displays a date of manufacture on the back, then this means it is at least 7 years old and should be replaced immediately.


What is the proper placement for a natural gas detector?

A) Do not place the detector in a high-traffic area or near an appliance. Check the user’s manual to see the right placement.

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If I have a carbon monoxide detector and a natural gas detector, do I really need a smoke alarm as well?

A) You should always have a smoke alarm even if you have a combination detector. Smoke is just as deadly as carbon monoxide and natural gas leaks. It is best to have separate smoke and gas alarms.


Do I need a permit to install a natural gas detector?

A) No, you do not need a permit from the city hall for this. This is an item that the government does not tax so you do not need to get anything from the city hall before you buy one. You can order it online or buy one at any hardware store.


How much does a natural gas detector cost?

A) A good quality natural gas detector can cost as little as $20 or as much as $200 for the electronic digital type. The average price is between $50 and $100.


Is a carbon monoxide detector really necessary?

A) This is an important safety device that every home should have. It may save your life and the lives of your family members. It gives you an early warning when there is a leak so you can evacuate the premises before it is too late.


Is safety certification important when buying a natural gas detector?

A) You should always buy a detector that is approved by an independent testing laboratory. The Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) are the most recognized testing labs in North America. These labs will test the detector and give it a seal of approval.


Where can I get my natural gas detector serviced?

A) Most detector manufacturers have authorized service centers where you can take the unit for regular check-ups. If something breaks down then you can always return it for servicing as well.


Do natural gas detectors have a short lifespan?

A) The detectors do have a limited life span and should be replaced every 5 to 10 years. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the model that you have.


Do I need an electrician to install a natural gas detector?

A) No, you do not need an electrician. The detector has a plug that you can easily connect to a wall outlet. It is quite simple to do and you also save money because you do not have to pay the cost of having an electrician do it.

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What is the purpose of a carbon monoxide detector?

A) This device detects the presence of carbon monoxide in the air. If there is a leak of this colorless and odorless gas, then it will alarm you in time to save your life. Almost 3,500 people die every year from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning in the United States.


What types of carbon monoxide detectors are available?

A) There are two types of detectors that are currently on the market: digital and older-technology type. The newer digital detectors are said to be more sensitive and more accurate in detecting carbon monoxide levels.


What should I look for when buying a detector?

A) There are two things you should look for when buying a detector: the placement of the sensor and how it sounds its alarm. The sensor must be close enough to the highest level of potential carbon monoxide to give you adequate warning. The alarm must be loud enough to wake you up if you are asleep.


Is a battery-powered or an AC-powered detector better?

A) We recommend you buy a battery-powered unit. These units can be moved from room to room or taken with you when you leave your home. AC-powered units must be hardwired into your home’s electrical system.


Should I get a single or a multipack of detectors?

A) We recommend that you buy a multipack of detectors especially if there are multiple floors in your home. With a multipack, you will always have a replacement unit when the time comes.


Do I need to replace my detector every year?

A) No, the detectors do not need to be replaced every year. However, you should replace it after five to ten years just as an added safety precaution.


What are the two types of smoke detectors?

A) The two types of smoke detectors are the ionization and photoelectric types.

Ionization – These are more sensitive to fast flaming fires rather than to slow burning fires. They are perfect for homes with easily ignitable materials.

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This type of detector is more suited for commercial applications like hotels and hospitals.

Photoelectric – This type of detector is more suited to homes with slow burning fires. These work best for homes with little or no carpeting and few plastics or halogenated plastics.


Should I get an AC or a battery-powered detector?

A) If you have a standard home and do not have any special power requirements, we recommend you buy a hard-wired unit so you do not have to worry about buying batteries every year.


Is there a difference in the way the two types of smoke detectors function?

A) The only difference is that photoelectric units can take slightly longer to detect the presence of smoke. However, both types will still get the job done.


What does the “sensitivity” button on my detector do?

A) The word “sensitivity” is sometimes misused by manufacturers to mean “performance.” Sensitivity only adjusts the detector’s “reaction” time to different levels. Since flaming fires are fast and smoldering fires are slow, you must set your detector to match the type of fire that is most likely to occur in your home.


What types of batteries should I use in my smoke detector?

A) The preferred battery is a AA alkaline battery. This will give you the best combination of reliability and cost.

27) I have a photoelectric smoke alarm. The batteries in it are weak, but when I change them the smoke alarm still does not work.

What is wrong?

A) Your unit may have been “locked out” due to a power outage or another reason. Press your test button. If after several minutes it still does not operate, lock-out tagged. Return detector to retailer for replacement.


How do I change the batteries in my smoke alarm?

A) Most all smoke alarms use either a 9-volt or a AA battery. The type of battery you have will determine the access to the battery chamber of your detector.

To access the battery chamber you will need to remove the detector from the ceiling and then follow these steps:

Step 1: Using a “screwdriver”, remove the screws from the detector’s cover plate.

Step 2: Carefully remove the cover plate and save the screws for later.

Step 3: Gently pull down on the detector’s battery housing to remove it from the detector. This may take a few tries since it will be attached by a wire.

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Step 4: Using your “screwdriver”, remove the old batteries.

Step 5: Install new batteries and then replace the battery housing into its original place.

Sources & references used in this article:

Best Practices in the Allocation, Commissioning, and Maintenance of Ultrasonic Gas-Leak Detectors by E Naranjo, G Neethling – SPE Projects, Facilities & Construction, 2011 –

Use of combustible gas detectors in Safety Instrumented Systems–A practical application case study by S Famuyiro – Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 2018 – Elsevier

Finding the best calibration points for a gas sensor array with support vector regression by A Shmilovici, G Bakir, S Marco… – 2004 2nd International …, 2004 –

… vs. infrared gas monitors: each proven technology has its pros and cons for monitoring combustible gases in the workplace. A site-specific analysis will reveal the best … by A Austin – Chemical Engineering, 2002 –

Artificial neural network (ANN) application in dissolved gas analysis (DGA) methods for the detection of incipient faults in oil-filled power transformer by F Zakaria, D Johari, I Musirin – 2012 IEEE International …, 2012 –

Early detection of combustible gas leaks using open path infrared (IR) gas detectors by E Naranjo, S Baliga – Advanced Environmental, Chemical …, 2012 –

Positioning of gas detectors at offshore installations by JA Båfjord – 2011 –

Portable combustible gas detector by LD Tice – US Patent 6,987,459, 2006 – Google Patents