House Hacking Project: CO Detector Retrofit
One of our smoke detectors from post 12. The Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010 (Cal. Health & Safety Code §§ 13260 et seq.) requires that all dwellings in CA are to have carbon monoxide detectors as of 7/1/2011. The only time most home owners hear about this is when they list their home for sale, and need to become compliant. However, it is a smart move to add one of these devices before that time. It is an added protection from partially burnt fuels that can displace oxygen and potentially poison a dwellings occupants.
Luckily complying and retrofitting can be a super simple task. If you have interconnected alarms, it is a 5 minute operation. This model from Kidde is a direct replacement. It is a combo CO/smoke detector with battery back up. The hardest part is getting the ladder back out!
Step one is to remove the smoke alarm and grab an appropriate screwdriver. We need to remove the old base plate, it isn’t compatible with the new detector.
Base plate removed, exposing the junction box. The new base is larger in diameter, and covers up any color discrepancies from painting and fading.
The new base installed. Simply put over the in place screws and clock into position. Tighten gently.
Plug in new detector, lock into place and remove the batteries shipping block. Hit the test button. It would be wise to let the family know ahead of time, all of the alarms screeching at once can be noisy! If all of the smoke alarms sound off, you are good to go. The second phase is the CO alert, and this model is verbal. Hit the button again to stop the test mode. Green light means it is working. Done!
If you don’t have interconnected alarms, there are plenty of battery only or 120v plug in CO detectors available for easy installation.