Wiring a Boat’s Carbon Monoxide Detector

Hi Kevin,

Could you please briefly outline location of carbon monoxide detector on a cruiser? Do I have to dedicate a unique circuit to the monitor.

My boat has two state rooms so I assume two monitors are required. My current plan is to wire directly to bus bar coming off battery and not to main electrical panel.

Thanks,carbon monoxide warning


Hi Sanford

I would refer to the CO monitor’s installation manual or the manufacturer’s website for the best location.

  • Size the wire for 3 percent voltage drop but do not use wire smaller than 16 awg.
  • Use circuit protection at the source of power.
  • If you are using a breaker, I like to use a push to reset style for co monitors instead of a rocker style to make it more difficult to turn off.

I also prefer to wire CO monitors and bilge pumps to have constant power and not be controlled through a battery switch, but sometimes it is not possible to accomplish this.

Hope this helps,