True Value Blog Squad and The Handyguys

Installing A Carbon Monoxide Detector

In this audio episode of The Handyguys Podcast, we introduce our participation on the 2010 True Value DIY Blog Squad and then discuss carbon monoxide detectors.

True Value DIY Blog Squad

True Value DIY Blog Squad and The HandyguysFirst up, The Handyguys Brian and Paul would like to announce we have again been selected for the True Value DIY Blog Squad. We are excited to increase our hardware store visits and get started on some new projects we can share with our viewers and listeners.

The 2010 True Value Blog Squad is an excellent team. Make sure you check out all the other bloggers as they have some great content. The entire True Value Blog Squad is on Facebook and some are on Twitter. While you are there, make sure you follow True Value, and The Handyguys of course, on Facebook and Twitter.

Veteran Blog Squad Team
New Blog Squad Members

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors

Combination Smoke and Co detection by First AlertCarbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless, but highly toxic. On average, 170 people in the United States die every year from carbon monoxide produced by non-automotive consumer products. These products include malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, ranges, water heaters and room heaters; engine-powered equipment such as portable generators; fireplaces; and charcoal that is burned in homes and other enclosed areas. (CPSC Document #466)

The Handyguys discuss potential new rules coming to your area regarding CO detectors. Many updated building codes are requiring them. Where should you put a CO detector? Will you need one when you remodel or sell your house? Why would you want one if you have no sources of CO in your house? These are some of the questions The Handyguys discuss in this show.


We would like to amend some of the comments we made during the show regarding CO and CO detectors.

Sources of CO

We said “carbon monoxide comes, “as a result of burning fossil fuels.” – In actuality CO can come from ANY incomplete combustion. Most commonly, CO, if found in elevated levels in your home, would come from things like fossil fuel burning appliances or other burning sources like wood fires.

Molar Mass

We said “carbon monoxide is lighter than air.” Yes, it’s lighter but not by a significant amount. Carbon monoxide has a molar mass of 28.0, which makes it slightly lighter than air whose average molar mass is 28.8. (wikipedia). Because it’s similar to air in it’s molar mass, it will not easily rise to higher portions in your house.

First Response

We said “The first thing I would do, if I had a CO detector going off, is I’d open some windows.” This isn’t the best advice if you are getting the fire department involved. Best would be to evacuate the residence, but keep the windows closed and turn off the HVAC equipment. Why? Because it can help first responders more easily trace the source of the CO. If you have only one appliance, or other piece of equipment, that burns fuel, then the source of the CO is pretty obvious. If, however, you have multiple appliances that burn fuel, such as a gas-fed hot water heater, a gas-fed stove, and a gas-fed dryer, and a gas-fed heater, then it can be very difficult, if not impossible to trace the source of the alarm and differentiate a true alarm from a faulty detector. If the house is kept sealed, then fire department personnel can make entry (utilizing proper personal protective equipment) and take a gas-meter in with them that is equipped for CO monitoring. If the CO concentration level is far greater around the hot-water heater than anywhere else in the house, then they probably found the source. If the house is opened up and vented, then you lose that ability.

Hard Wired and Batteries

We said “You have hard-wired all of your smoke detectors, right? Why is that? So that if, um, you know, the biggest problem with smoke detectors is that the battery dies, so you want to have AC electricity to it, in case that battery is dead.” We meant to say that the battery is a backup for the smoke detector in the case of a loss of electricity. Those batteries should be changed regularly, the general recommendation is to change the batteries twice a year, each time you change your clocks.


Thanks to an avid listener and firefighter for pointing out some of our mis-speaks. We always value input from listeners and strive to be as accurate as possible.

We were one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. We have been compensated for our time commitment to the program as well as our writing and productions about our experience. We have also been compensated for the materials needed for our DIY project. However, as always, our opinions are entirely our own and we have not been paid to publish positive comments.

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