How do I test my propane leak detector?

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How do I test my propane leak detector?
by Steve Savage, Mobility RV Service
People have asked me: “How do I test my propane leak detector?” The short answer is: Most detectors cannot be reliably tested. Some detectors even come with directions noting attempted testing will void the detector warranty.
The reason you can’t simply spray propane or butane at the detector is straightforward. Detectors are designed to sample what is called “parts per million.” If you spray hair spray or something which uses butane as a propellant at the detector and it goes off, it tells you only it will detect a 100% concentration. In most cases, you would already be on fire with that high a concentration.
Propane detectors are to be replaced every five years or according to the date sticker on their face. Carbon monoxide detectors also have a five-year life span, and smoke detectors have a 10-year life span. No detector can be repaired.

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