So I Don’t Blow Up: Kidde Nighthawk CO and Gas Detector KN-COEG-3

by Josh on December 30, 2010 · 3 comments

in Projects

“Just don’t blow yourself up.”

That’s what I’d hear from friends, family and even store clerks when I talked about my recent work updating the natural gas supply in the kitchen and installing a vintage Chambers stove that I had improved with an oven safety shutoff.  Well, it has been a month since I finished those projects and if I was going to blow myself up with a gas leak it would have happened by now.  (Settle those bets, people.)

Seriously, though, natural gas/methane is explosive and dangerous; carbon monoxide combustion gas stealthy and deadly.  I won’t accept putting my family or my home at risk as a result of my DIY projects.

Kidde CO/Gas detector in kitchen

So along with my work on the gas line and kitchen stove last month, I also installed a Kidde Nighthawk KN-COEG-3 carbon monoxide and explosive gas detector that I picked up at True Value hardware.  Although it looks pretty much like an ordinary smoke detector, but instead of alerting me to when I’ve burned dinner, the Kidde warns of risks from either a natural gas leak or CO build-up from improper combustion.  Because my family’s bedrooms are a floor above the kitchen, with several doors between the two locations, this detector gives me peace of mind that even overnight we would be alerted to a gas problem in the kitchen in time to safely exit the house.

Installing the detector was a snap.  I set the detector up on the soffit shelf in our kitchen on the same wall as the stove and the gas line, about 15 inches from the ceiling.  Then I ran the power cord behind the shelf support and down to a power outlet in the wall behind the refrigerator.  There’s no concealing a white cord set next to a red wall and cherry woodwork, but it’s as neat and unobtrusive an installation as I could get.

Detector gas level

Reviews of the Kidde KN-COEG-3 detector on Amazon cite a propensity for false alarms or over-sensitivity.  Fortunately I haven’t had any such problems yet.  The digital display usually just shows “0” for zero parts-per-million of CO, with a small blinking dot to indicate the unit is working.  The detector also stores maximum readings for CO and gas, which I checked for this review.  The “14” maximum value for gas shown here likely got set during the initial stove set-up and lighting the pilot flames.  It was too low a reading to ever trigger an alarm.

Who should consider adding a CO/Gas detector in the kitchen?

  • people who cook with natural gas or propane
  • people with young kids who may play with a gas appliance
  • people with bedrooms separated from the kitchen by floors or multiple doors
  • people who don’t want to blow up

We’ve all seen news stories about house explosions or carbon monoxide poisonings and know the risks are real.  With a gas detector in the kitchen– along with properly placed smoke and CO detectors throughout the house– I can report that the peace of mind is real, too.

Disclosure: I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program and my DIY project as well as my posts about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Becky January 1, 2011 at 3:07 am

My gas detector went off yesterday when I was making egg nog. I *think* from the alcohol in the nog… I am able to tuck the long cord into the back so the unit can be plugged directly into the socket with no cord visible.

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TonyT January 11, 2011 at 4:23 am

Using touch-up paint on the wire to match the wall would be an added touch to hide the addition. I am a freak about the cords standing out against the paint.

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Josh January 26, 2011 at 1:45 am

Yes, I really should paint or conceal that cord. I haven’t done it because I’m actually really tired of the red color and would like to repaint, but I need to convince Ms. Bungalow of that.

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