Tips for Installing a CO2 Sensor

The proper placement of carbon dioxide gas monitoring alarms is one of the most important factors in ensuring their effectiveness. Careful consideration should be given to the devices’ placement, electrical wiring and protection.

It is also important to comprehensively train employees so that they are aware of what to do if the monitoring alarms are triggered. A risk assessment is an initial key to safety in all circumstances.

There are two components in every CO2 monitoring and safety alarm system: the CO2 sensor and the remote display.

It is important to note, however, that while both of these devices include audible and visual alarms, each must be installed differently.

Installing the CO2 Sensor

An initial site assessment should consider a number of factors to ensure that systems are installed correctly.

Before the site assessment, it is prudent to ascertain which local and state codes are in place and whether or not these require specific monitors to be fitted.

For example, these may require the addition of strobe lighting for additional visual notification of alarms or that systems be connected to the fire alarm panel in order to trigger an automatic call to the local fire department in the event of a CO2 leak. 

These requirements are generally mandatory and fines are issued if these requirements are not met.

Different applications are designed to enable coverage of different areas of a site.

Enclosed Beverage Systems

These applications require that monitors cover approximately 1250 ft2 and that monitors be placed within 10 ft of the bulk CO2 storage tank, cylinders and the BIB rack.

Larger spaces may necessitate the use of additional monitors. Enclosed spaces, such as closets, bathrooms, offices and keg coolers, may also require additional monitoring as gas can become trapped in these spaces.

Purposefully Enriched Areas

Applications where CO2 is deliberately injected into a space (enrichment) should allow for larger coverage areas. For example, indoor agriculture tends to account for larger coverage areas due to the continuous circulation of CO2 in the environment. A gas detection monitor in this setting can effectively cover less than 2000 ft2.

It is important that each installation be considered individually, however, as every setting has its own layout and enclosed spaces which may impact monitoring requirements.

Tips for Installing a CO2 Sensor

Image Credit: CO2Meter, Inc.

Where Should the CO2 Sensor be Mounted?

Once the approximate location of the sensors, the confined space and how many are required has been defined, the next step involves determining where to mount them.

Tips for Installing a CO2 Sensor

Image Credit: CO2Meter, Inc.

CO2 can be understood as behaving like flowing water. As water fills a cup from the bottom upwards, the same can be said of CO2 in interior spaces, such as draft coolers, breweries, restaurants and grow facilities.

CO2 gas is heavier than regular air, meaning that it will flow downstairs or accumulate in low-lying areas first.

The CO2 sensor unit should, therefore, be mounted no higher than 12-18 inches (45-60 cm) above the floor.

Power Considerations

Power should be the next step to be considered. CO2Meter’s CO2 safety monitors use a 110-220 VAC 50/60 Hz to 12 VDC power, but a 24 VDC hardwired power option is available for settings where normal wall power is not easy to access.

It is important that the CO2 sensor is carefully positioned so that it cannot be accidentally damaged when moving nearby crates, boxes or gas cylinders.

When using the power adapter, it is also important to ensure that the plug is secured to the wall so the alarm cannot be accidentally unplugged.

Installing the CO2 Remote Display

The CO2 sensor unit and remote display unit are each fitted with audible and visual alarms.

Tips for Installing a CO2 Sensor

Image Credit: CO2Meter, Inc.

The CO2 sensor monitors are designed to be installed in an enclosed space where a CO2 leak may occur, while the remote display has been designed to be installed outside the space. This allows the remote display to warn employees of a potential gas leak before they enter the area.

Remote display units should be installed at eye level, close to the door frame of any door leading to the enclosed area, with a potential for gas leaks. These units should also be fitted on the same side of the door as the handle, so the remote display is not obscured when the door is open.

CO2 safety monitors from CO2Meter can be daisy-chained, allowing up to three remote displays to be connected to a single CO2 sensor unit. A second CO2 sensor unit will be required in settings where there are more than three entry doors, however.

Safety Signage Considerations

Once the CO2 sensor unit and remote display(s) have been installed, safety signage should be displayed at every door. It is important that this signage be visible whether the door is open or closed.

Tips for Installing a CO2 Sensor

Image Credit: CO2Meter, Inc.

Every CO2 safety monitor from CO2Meter is supplied with the necessary safety signage in both English and Spanish.

It is important to note that the suggestions presented here are best practice examples gained from experience, but these should not be considered an endorsement of any specific location in a building for sensor installation.

Every installation is different, and it is important to seek advice from a local building inspector before implementing a gas monitoring system.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by CO2Meter, Inc.

For more information on this source, please visit CO2Meter, Inc.

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