Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Duct tape stops the screams for help: Abductions made easy.

Today's regularly scheduled blog has been post-poned due to the events that happened last night.

About 10 days has gone by since I last drove my DeLorean. I decided to start it up to ensure the battery would not die. Connecting the battery charger is a serious pain in the ass, back, and sometimes fingers. I hate doing it, and avoid it whenever possible.

So, just before bed, around 11 p.m., I ran into the garage, and started the ol' D up. After about a minute, the battery charge indicator rose to a good level. I ran the engine for another minute, then shut it off. As I've done in the past, I ran the engine without opening the main garage door. I've never had a problem before, so I had no reason to think I would have a problem this time.

Dang, I hate being wrong.

I settled into bed and tossed and turned for about an hour, which is typical for me. Then, just as I started to doze, the Carbon Monoxide Detector in our room chirped a warning, and the amber "warn" light illuminated. Suz buried her head in blankets and pillows, anticipating the next screeching chirp. I got out of bed, climbed up on a stool, and read everything I could on the cover of the CO detector.

There was no useful information on the cover. So, I waved towels around, and walked around the house looking for the cause of this mysterious CO emission. The furnace was off, the car had been off for over an hour, and the water heater wasn't running at this time. I was puzzled and perplexed, baffled and annoyed, all at once.

The incredible beeping continued despite my towel-waving efforts. I checked the unit, and discovered a "Test" button. Pushing the button reset the detector, and I happily settled into bed again. Approximately 10 minutes later the whole joke started again. I reset the unit once more, but it persisted.

I climbed on the stool again and discovered there were no batteries. It was hard-wired to the house! Furious, I began punching the CO detector as hard as I could, trying to break it. The tough little unit resisted my attack, and I ended up cutting my knuckles up pretty badly.

In a comical Steve-Martin-meets-The-Three-Stooges kind of way, I ripped the detector off the ceiling. Instructions on the inside told me to open all windows, call the fire department and kill my neighbours. I followed the first instruction, and reset the unit again.

With perfect, fresh air pouring into our house we again went back to bed - only to be awoken by the ear-splitting, red-lighted, full-stage alarm. I ran downstairs and grabbed the essential "Duct Tape" and my tool kit. The tape was ideal to cover the alarm as I unscrewed the detector from its base-plate. Knowing now, that the detector was defective, I disconnected the wires, but not before suffering some hearing damage.

Most people would think this to be a very stupid action, similar to disconnecting a smoke detector that is trying to warn you there's a fire raging just outside your door. But the difference is this: neither of us had a headache, nausea, or any sign of CO poisoning - coupled with the fact that the Jameson CO detector was made in Mexico.

At 1:30 a.m. I finally went to bed, sweaty and angry.

This morning I called their 1-800 number, which directed me to their website, www.icca.invensys.com, which could not answer my question:
Why would fresh, outside air trigger a full-stage alarm?

The only useful bit of information I found was that the hard-wired type of detectors become more sensitive with age.

That's no consolation to my left ear, which will be happy once I smash the detector into pieces.


Blogger Useless Man said...

DANGER WILL ROBINSON DANGER! This is the perfect proof that you are indeed The Useless Wonder!

12:42:00 PM

Blogger stillfindingnemo said...

Is it me...or does that sucker look scorched?

5:37:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

Useless man, I'll take that as a compliment.
SFN, yes, it appears that someone, at some point, has burned the detector with something.

5:47:00 PM

Blogger Ellie Creek Ellis said...

welll, that really sucks but is better than the alternative! (CO poisoning and the alarm not working...)

11:06:00 PM

Blogger Rainypete said...

Sounds like it's just out of adjustment. Take a large framing hammer........

7:13:00 AM

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