1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Look behind you

    Default Co detector ????

    I have been on a few calls where the homeowner states that their co detector has gone off and we have determined that the cause of the alarm was a battery back up for the house sump pump. The battery is a car battery. My question is does anybody know what this gas may be and if it causes any hazards. I found a few articles of batteries off-gasing pure hydrogen but i don't know if that is relevant to the lead-acid battery. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Halligan84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Blackwood NJ, USA


    The sump pump battery probably has a charger. Batteries generallly emit hydrogen while being charged.

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    I can't find the article, but I read somewhere about a Hydrogen and Sulfur compound being produced when deep cycle batteries are charged. It also turns out to be an interferant for most of the technology used by home CO detectors.

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    N. Ridgeville, Ohio


    There was an article about people with golf carts that were being charged in their garages causing the same issue.
    Jason Brooks
    IAFF Local 2388

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Cross Sensitivity

    You are on the right track. The charging of lead acid batteries does off gas Hydrogen. Most CO detection devices are cross sensitive with Hydrogen because of similarities of the two materials. We ran into the same problem with electric wheelchair batteries. A scene can very quickly turn from a possible CO investigation to a flammable atmosphere. You can check with your detectors manufacturer to determine the cross sensitivity ratio of your detectors. Our AreaRae has a 1:1 ratio meaning it displays Hydrogen just as it would CO.

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