Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Hero \"smelled\" CO gas?

Marty Member Posts: 109
Co by itself is..... but often times there can be an odor from other things directly related to it.


  • John R. Hall
    John R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246
    Correct me if I'm wrong

    But CO is odorless. So what's up with this story?

  • jp_2
    jp_2 Member Posts: 1,935
    CO orderless,

    byproducts of poor combustion, more than not, Stinky....
  • JimH
    JimH Member Posts: 89
    combustion byproducts

    There are plenty of other combustion byproducts pesent
    in flue gas which do have a smell, especially if the com-
    bustion is under less than ideal conditions.

  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 1,030
    again, misleading facts

    He was outdoors and smelled the exhaust. The gas company detected CO in the furnace exhaust. Really? No joke!

    So, where does it say there was CO in the home or that anybody was exposed?

    On the other hand, it is good they got it checked but they missed a golden opportunity to inform the public you cannto rely on your mailman's nose to smell the aldehydes or that you can have CO without aldehydes present or how many of the lay public can even recognize aldehydes, much less appreciate their significance.

    At least nobody was reported hurt............that they know of.
  • Larry (from OSHA)
    Larry (from OSHA) Member Posts: 716
    any news article helps the cause

    but the highest reading I remember getting was over 300 in a bakery and the only thing I smelled was bread. On the other hand, I became the most concerned when in a boiler room and the smell of aldehydes almost knocked me over. That one was "only" 200 or so but the lack of ANY makeup air for this decently sized process boiler was part of the reason that it was making people in the office above it sick. So, there ya go...

  • Timco
    Timco Member Posts: 3,040

    I recently had a call about 'leaking byproducts' in a tight boiler room with little comb air and found the natural gas line had a leak under the 90+ yr old floor and with the heat of the boiler room, smelled really strange. Tiff 8800 rang out on every crack in the floor! Ran a new gas line in and bored some comb air holes in the brick and all was great!

    Just a guy running some pipes.
  • I agree with Larry...

    ANY press coverage, raises awareness, and that in and of itself can save lives. He probably just happened by as the unit was starting up and smelled raw NG, which will get your attention.

    For what its worth, I've seen one (1) boiler that had ZERO CO in its flue gas stream, and even I could not explain why...

    If you aren't testing, you're just guessing, and someones lives could be at stake.


  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    CO stories

    I am of two minds on this. First, I hate seeing CO stories at all(and I see more than you can possibly imagine). Second, I am glad to see CO put in the spot light. For too long it has been ignored. BUT, when it is in the spot light, the info that comes along with it is usually so bad it makes me wish it never got reported. BUT, I am glad it is being covered.

    The answer to all of this is out there. The technology exists to end this insanity.(If not end it, at least put one heck of a dent in it)

    Yet it continues. Why? Why is it that 99.9999% of PHVAC shops do not own digital testing equipment? Why is it that classes on CO and combustion testing are not booked solid until Christ comes back?? Why is it that I can find no test holes on gas fired appliances? Why is it that I find no CO readings recorded on oil fired appliance service records? Why is it that even after certain states mandated CO alarms I still get CO poisoning stories from those states? And WHY does it NOT surprise me that some yahoo reporter says that a mailman "smelled CO" when it is commonly known that ALL reporters learn this mantra before graduating journalism 101, "CO is an odorless, colorless gas......." Apparently they are not required to read what they write?

    I can tell you this folks. I know WITHOUT ANY DOUBT that the civil litigation is about to start. (Already has) It is about to become the next asbestos. Only difference is, they stopped installing asbestos many years ago. Combustion appliances get installed EVERY DAY all over America. Generator companies are at the top of the list but the lawyers are smart people. The personal injury lawyer I spoke to the other day (he called me) said he had set up a Google News Alert for CO poisoning. Now he sees every story I see. These people network. Nothing sells like a national crisis.

    Get trained, get testing, stop guessing.

    Mark H

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Ken D.
    Ken D. Member Posts: 836

    The odors are other elements of the flue gasses. If you smell the aldehydes, it is an indication of CO, but not always. And often you have high CO with no odors. If you are in a building with low levels of aldehydes and others, your sense of smell gets accustomed to the odor, so you don't notice it. Thats why a quality CO detector is so important.
  • don_185
    don_185 Member Posts: 312

    I was on one last night about 7 pm.As soon as I got to the
    front door I could smell it coming from the stack on the roof.

    Went inside to the gas furnace and one of the burners had
    a lazy flame.Stuck the tester up in the hx and it was putting out 2235 ppm co.The the tester went into error mode.

    It had a nighthawk co detector right beside the furnace that never went off.He did happen to say that when he used the fireplace that it would go off every now and again.


  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 1,030
    what are we doing?

    I guess my frustration here is echoed by Mark but I'll add:

    what are we doing everytime we read an article? Do we contact the station with information showing them the real issues, give them questions that need to be asked locally and followed up on? How often have you read a followup story on CO? Very seldom. The public gets a fluffy headline then it is dropped.

    So my question is, now that we recognize the dangers and are involved at an individual level, what have we done to form a national organization whose mission is to followup on all reported CO cases? We can easily put together a packet to send to the local news station. Aside from the customary clarification of CO issues themselves with links to sites, it can contain a list of questions one of us has generated illustrating how much of the story they missed with suggestions on followup questions.

    The case in point would be one where the reporter could ask the homeowner and emergency officials exactly what went wrong, if anyone was injured, and what they did to a) repair the problem and b) safeguard against exposure. The info sheet can contain not only info. on non-UL2034 alarms but testing and more.

    I agree exposure about CO being a danger is a good thing at the core but when it get whitewashed, it tend to dilute its impact. Why else do we read of so many people who bought CO alarms then ignore them when they sound? I think it's time we each got more involved.
  • John R. Hall
    John R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246

    I often follow-up with e-mails to TV and newspapers when I see a story like this, which I sent a follow-up to. We have to keep beating people over the head with this. But even when you do, tragedy still strikes. The object is to: NEVER THROW IN THE TOWEL.
This discussion has been closed.