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.

CO with new GB142 install, another look

for a west coast lawyer or an east coast lawyer?

I'm pissed off too. I have a smart installer who I offered the use of my Fyrite pro 125 any time he wants it. 6 months, no calls. It's not like he jumped up and bought on the next week. He should know better, I blathered at length about the need for testing.

Yup, it's time to start taking names and sending lawyers.

Making new friends and influencing people.

jerry
«1

Comments

  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    A lesson for the naysayers here

    For several years now I have been posting about the importance of testing the equipment we install and service.

    Many times I have been told that I am "preaching to the choir". Well that may be, but from where I am sitting I hear a lot of folks out of tune, off key and singing the wrong song.

    Go read the original thread again. 999ppm CO ambient. This has NOTHING to do with the boiler, the fuel, gas pressure or "make-up" air . It has EVERYTHING to do with the FACT that the PROFESSIONAL DID NOT TEST!

    Do you fence-sitters and naysayers see now how easy it is to kill someone??!?!?! That freakin' quick!

    If you set something on fire, BY GOD you better know how to CONTROL that fire!!!!! And you all set stuff on fire EVERY DAY!

    This isn't a freakin' game! It IS life and death!

    The builder on this job had high enough levels of COHb in his blood to warrant MUCH closer monitoring.

    The homeowner has a wife and two small children. What would have happened had they been living there?!?!?!?!

    This story makes me freakin' sick to my stomach. Almost sick enough to start offering my services to lawyers looking to nail someones hide to a barn door after they make this GD mistake! I am dead serious! This HO has grounds to sue the living pants off of this "seasoned pro"!!! Who, BTW, waited THREE days to call and ask if the HO was OK!

    The HO is a volunteer fireman and HE recognized the symptoms he was having and retrieved his testing equipment from the firehouse after he was almost freakin' killed. He found 999ppm CO in his house!!!! What if he wasn't a fireman??? Hmm??? What then??? Another headline, that's what. Another Google hit on my computer and another "CO" post that would be ignored by so many here.

    To those of you that are trained and testing, ignore this rant. Those of you do not test EVERY DAMN COMBUSTION APPLIANCE, I am pleading with you. Get trained, get testing. The lives of your customers depend on it. They trust you. They think you have left their home safe and you may honestly think you have. But if you aren't testing the fire you started, you do not know for sure.

    I didn't start the CO thread this year due to the fact that I have been seeing more posts here about CO. Well.....I am going to start a new one. And I will keep it going until Dan takes it down. I am going to keep this issue in the face of the industry until the industry gets it.

    In closing, I posted a story here back in 2004 about two children that were killed days before Christmas from CO. Would have been their first Christmas. A "faulty water heater" was determined to be the source of the CO. "Faulty water heater"???? NO! It was a faulty person that killed those babies and given the chance I would testify to the BEST of my ability to see that jerk in prison. What is the difference between a guy that gets behind the wheel after 15 beers and a "PRO" that sets something on fire and doesn't test??? I'll tell ya' what. The drunk can at least claim that his/her ability was impaired. What would the "PRO" claim as a defence???

    If you haven't guessed by now.........I am angry.

    Mark H

    P.S. The first image you see is that of a girl that was killed by a "faulty furnace"........Yah...right.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
  • Richard_13
    Richard_13 Member Posts: 5
    Co Poisoning


    I'm with you Mark,

    I have said this a million time's. Customers,Homeowners & Contractors all think that It is a scare. That all were looking for is to get money out of them. No one want's to even think about it or (as they say) wont happen to them!!!

    We test everything we install but, some how after talking with Jim Daveis about every two weeks he will call, I feel we need more training on this subject.

    I will be going to his Boston class and get the real deal from the pro himself. Thank's Mark
  • Darin Cook_2
    Darin Cook_2 Member Posts: 205
    It seems so simple

    > I'm with you Mark,

    >

    > I have said this a

    > million time's. Customers,Homeowners &

    > Contractors all think that It is a scare. That

    > all were looking for is to get money out of them.

    > No one want's to even think about it or (as they

    > say) wont happen to them!!!

    >

    > We test everything

    > we install but, some how after talking with Jim

    > Daveis about every two weeks he will call, I feel

    > we need more training on this subject.

    >

    > I will

    > be going to his Boston class and get the real

    > deal from the pro himself. Thank's Mark



  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    No one cares until someone gets sick or dies

    I can't tell you how many people give you that cocked eyebrow they would give a snake oil salesman when you discuuss the dangers of CO. New Years Resolution for ALL hydronic companies - INVEST IN A METER. I'm a small company and I have two for when one goes in for service. If that Central VT Ho lets that guy back in his house, he really is risking his families life. I hope he listened. Guys who don't test are putting their heads in the SAND. MAd Dog

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Brian_18
    Brian_18 Member Posts: 94
    Free Bonus Gift

    Why don't Pro installers just give each HO a new CO detector with EVERY new install (or serious service job)? It would promote good will, AND help stop the needless loss of life. Really, they're only $30, bury it in the cost of doing business, and show the HO that you really care about them.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    GReat idea Brian

    We have tried that, but many folks just don't care..."oh we have one already...blah blah." Unfortunately, the $30 ones don't detect at low enough levels to do the proper job, but they are better than nothing. The best ones cost us close to $150.00. When people want the best and are paying for a top notch installation, they will go for it. Which is only 25-30% of people. Even the market we are in. Long Island, upper middle class..$$$$$$ is usually the object, and we just can't keep giving these things away. We already get looks for being priced higher than average. Mad Dog

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Made the hair stand up on the back of my neck...

    I would NOT want to have to meet Mr Hunt in a court of law. He's what is referred to as a dominant expert witness in the system. Bad news for the other side...

    ME
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    Mark

    I think there are a few reasons why guys don't test.

    1. The manufacturers have done a good job of making combustion appliances as safe as they can and a LOT of people, even "technicians", think everything is factory preset. Can't begin to tell you how many times I've heard that! From counter personnel to customers to reps and even "technicians" who should know better.

    2. "Can't afford an analyzer". Boy oh Boy!.........Let's see what you can afford after the lawyers get done with you in the wrongful death suit. That is, if you're not in prison!

    3. Many techs are older and don't grasp the difference between older housing and appliances and the new "tightly wrapped" stuff. You just don't have the AC/H in new houses to help keep the air clean. No chimney vacuuming out harmful gases.

    I could go on but I gotta run. Short version, CO has always been dangerous but even moreso now with the new appliances and construction mathods.
  • Xc8p2dC_2
    Xc8p2dC_2 Member Posts: 150
    Great topic

    And as a NEW homeowner.. In a 3 bed 2 bath 1300sqft ranch

    I have 5 AC tied smoke detectors with a CO also tied in and a Kidde AC/bat CO and Gas detector with readout in the hall and every trip down the hall gets a peeky

    Cost>> $300+

    Electric bill>> a few cents a Mo

    My Wife and childrens lives>>> PRICELESS
  • Empire_2
    Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
    Also as a \"Note\"

    To all the do-it -yourselfers,.Please,...PLEASE spend the money to have a professional install and TEST your equipment. Your KIDD's are depending on YOU!!!! Great topic MARK. Keep up the good work:)
    Mike T Buffalo, NY
  • Troy_3
    Troy_3 Member Posts: 479
    Combustion testing

    I just asked a local wholesaler how he gets around all the homeowners that he sells his condensing equipment to, knowing they have no test equipment? His reply- "It really isn't needed. I just tell them to turn the adjustment screw till it lights good." WOW! Needless to say, I don't buy his brand.
  • Supply House Rick
    Supply House Rick Member Posts: 1,404
    I ask our customers

    If they test all equipment on Installs and Service Calls. 95+% the answer is NO. I had a well respected Contractor this morning say "I have been doing this so long, that I can tell by eye and sound if it's set up right" "We don't need no stinking Test Equipment!" It's more than sad, it's tragic! Mark, you are doing everybody a favor by keeping this in everyone's freakin' face. Write more articles for magazines, contact all the local newspapers. Homeowners should demand the results every time they have a service person in their house. PLEASE TEST YOUR OWN EQUIPMENT AND ALL OF YOUR CUSTOMERS. Isn't it worth it? Thank God we don't sell Condensing or any HVAC equipment to homeowners, who needs that on their conscience...
    Have a Safe & Happy 2006,
    Rick
  • Jim Davis_3
    Jim Davis_3 Member Posts: 578
    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Mark!

    So nice not to have to be the only loose cannon out there today. 25 years later and it is still much of the old misconceptions. Tight homes-POOP!! Equipment is manufactured safe-POOP!!! Gas Companies, Fire Departments and Code Officials know more about CO than heating contractors-POOP!!(Yet they are the first to interfer with us doing our job correctly when we know how!) What if all manufacturers required a specific combustion test, static pressure, air-flow, Delta T before they would warrant their equipment? Fire Department in Mass. just told homeowner that 16ppm of CO dumping from their boiler into the house was okay and that the contractor was trying to scam them. Gas company just told contractor to rip out all the repairs he made to furnace because they didn't like them and give the homewowner their money back and return equipment to its original unsafe mode. Manufacturer just told owner that it is okay for their boiler to make 1500ppm of CO as long as it is venting. New code in Boston requires sign hung 8 feet above grade all sidewall vented appliances to prevent snow from covering them with at least 1/2" lettering. Is snow near sighted or far sighted??? This is after several deaths last winter when vents were covered by snow. Where are the safeties? GAMA states that eyeballing flame this year will be more important. How about the school in Vermont that has a CO problem. According to the paper they will monitor the school and whenever the CO levels get high they will evacuate the school until the CO is ventilated and then the kids can come back in. A dry drain does not make CO and most are on the negative side of the inducer so how would this let CO out? Mark and the rest of you thanks for being so refreshingly critical!!!
  • Brian (Tankless)
    Brian (Tankless) Member Posts: 340
    Can't afford a meter ???

    I personally know every plumbing/heating contractor & "certified" gas fitter/tech within a 50 mile radius of me. One of them, who brags that he cleared over $900,000 last year "takes care of" two enormous Raypac constant- circ DHW boilers in a 270 room, three story hotel. These look like two king-size beds side by side, and four feet tall, and about 2.5 million btu's each. That company does NOT own a CO tester, let alone a combustion analyzer. "Don't need them, I know how to set these things up".

    I was at that hotel to talk about individual electric tankless units and GFX heat recovery.

    One boiler was down, the other "limping along & tripping out" and no hot water in the rooms. I asked the super if there was a sound in the boiler room that he couldn't hear? The huge B&G wasn't running!!!!! and there was no backup. I was wearing my electrician's hat, so I found the problem in the starter right away. Yeah, hot water.

    This site, and Mark Hunt in particular had gotten me very curious about this testing stuff. So I went to EVERY HVAC & plumbing supplier in S.W. Louisiana. Some had brochures, but NONE had EVER sold a single analyzer of ANY type, EVER

    Basic testing equipment is not expensive. Consider the Fieldpiece DL-2 which I bought with the Amp-head (CO head is on the way), it measures, stores, saves & downloads data into your computer spreadsheet programs. Many other heads are available for this great Logger. Check out www.fieldpiece.com

    CYA & save their lives, by testing.

    Gotta go guys, keep on testing.

    Brian.
  • Brian (Tankless)
    Brian (Tankless) Member Posts: 340
    Emergency..This just in.

    As I was reading this thread and typing a response, my buddy Ernie called complaining about how bad he felt. Flue, sick, tired, didn't feel like going outside, headache. Bells started going off in my head.

    It was 11.0 AM and he was still in bed!!!!!!! "Ernie, how are you heating the house? "Well, you know, the two small gas space heaters on low & the oven". "Get out of bed now, turn all gas stuff off, open the doors and get outside".

    This happened AS I was reading this thread.

    He's OK, but I told him I want to meet with his landlord.

    I'll keep you posted.

    Thanks, Mark, keep it up.

    Brian.
  • Jim Davis_3
    Jim Davis_3 Member Posts: 578
    Tankless

    Not sure you will be very happy with your Fieldpiece. Okay for ambient testing and personal protection but not real good at diagnosing equipment problems. You need the hand pump and probe for it and when testing you would have put the probe in the flue and pump it for 3 to 5 minutes continuously to diagnose a problem.
  • Brian (Tankless)
    Brian (Tankless) Member Posts: 340
    I really appreciate your concern Jim

    but I'm not a gas or burner guy. I got the F.P. mostly for logging electric motor efficiency type work.

    The CO head will be used exclusively for ambient readings & personal use, as you suggest. I just want to be able to say "you have a problem here, get a pro".

    I know enough to know what I don't know, thanks to you guys.

    I'll stick to my job, but that extra tool could be a lifesaver one day.

    My other response in the same thread regarding my freind, Ernie was what got me thinking more about the whole thing. You see, Ernie is a maint guy for a VERY prominent man who has over 40 rent houses here in town.

    He has NO smoke or CO detectors in ANY of his houses. This will really wake him up, and I could possibly sell & install 40 + smoke & CO monitor/detectors. Any suggestions?

    I WILL be meeting with this man soon.

    Take care, & thanks again for what you all do.

    Brian.

    Thanks Jim.

  • Jim Davis_3
    Jim Davis_3 Member Posts: 578
    No problem

    The fact that you have awareness will save lives and we do appreciate your efforts.
  • chaz_3
    chaz_3 Member Posts: 6


    What equipment is the best and offers training for me and my employees.
  • Timco
    Timco Member Posts: 3,039


    Fyrite not only sells damn fine equipment, they offer factory trained classes on their equipment every so often.

    T
    Just a guy running some pipes.
  • Timco
    Timco Member Posts: 3,039


    Thanks, Mark, for 'keeping the fire burning' on this important topic...and adjusted properly.

    T
    Just a guy running some pipes.
  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
    Co.

    Posting this so I can get locked into the thread. I took the NCI course and hope to take Tim's class in R.I. February I test all of my installs and on all pre season check ups. I preach co testing and low co monitors on all my company stationary. I have come across several co incidents and have gotten the cold shoulder from the "man of the house" Talk to the wife protecting her children and you get the "do what ever it takes" (some times not getting paid to quick is part of it).
    I work mostly just west of Boston and have found the local gas company good at shutting down and red tagging appliances with high co. I like to use them for the final decision because it adds an independent opinion and also a record that the equipment was shut down in case the home owner tries to start it up again.

    Maybe Dan can make co its own section I find the more I learn the more I need to learn.

    Mitch,
  • Darin Cook_2
    Darin Cook_2 Member Posts: 205
    Testing Equipment

    should be in every companys truck! NO EXCEPTIONS! People will spend two grand on a propress tool but won't pony up the cash for a CO tester????? Would you want me take my .44 mag, put one round in the cylinder, spin it and put it against your head and pull the trigger? I seriously doubt it. But everytime someone walks out of a customers house without testing what is going on there, they are putting you and your families life on the line with LUCK being the only safety factor. I don't know about you but I DO NOT want anyone gambling with MY LIFE like that.

    I test specifically because I could not live with myself knowing that because of my IGNORANCE OR NEGLIGENCE I killed someone or severely maimed them for life, especially a child!!!!!! NO WAY!!!!! Mark and myself have found so many accidents waiting to happen and fixed them before Murphy's Law kicked in. There have been times when people have gotten very mad at us because we had inconvenienced them. But we knew it was the right thing to do(saving their life).

    Go to NCI's course. Jim Davis is THE man to talk to about combustion and CO. Plus he is really funny to boot. You will laugh but more importantly you will learn a great deal. I warn you though, you will be scared to death knowing all the bad things you have done or not noticed to fix.

    I work with Mark everyday, so I will let everyone know now. He is on the WARPATH about this. Too many people messed up for life or killed. This IS NOT acceptable any longer. Our industry can be changed. And it will be. I back my partner 100% on this matter. Let the battles begin.

    Darin
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    Here's the solution Darrin

    I know there are hundreds, if not thousands of Homeowners who hit this site every day. Most of them come here to seek advice or to see if they can learn something about their heating system. I'd dare bet that a few dozen or so are reading this thread as I type.

    All it would take to make testing mandatory is for homeowners to demand that the installer or technician show them a print out of the combustion test on their equipment. And I mean DEMAND to see it. All it would take is a simple question when they call for service, such as, "Do you, or does your company, do a combustion test as part of your standard service?" If the answer is no, politely tell the person or company that you'll be finding someone who does. It's as simple as that. The owner of the equipment is clearly in the driver's seat on this problem. They alone have the "power" to make combustion testing mandatory.
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    Yes


    I agree that if customers were aware of this issue they can choose companies that offer the service. Sooner or later the contractors in the area would get in line.

    Unfortunately, customers think about their combustion appliances once a year if you're lucky and then they assume that the PRO is checking for proper combustion and venting. BOY would they be surprised!!!

    The more I thought about this incident last night the angrier I got. There is absolutely no reason for stuff like this to happen. Darin and I were talking just a while ago and he made a PERFECT point. Combustion testing is as much a part of our jobs as soldering pipe or designing systems.

    Drop the ball on a design or a solder joint and you'll have some issues, but no-one will die. Drop the ball on combustion and the body count starts.

    To any homeowner that is reading this thread I have a favor to ask. If you get a few moments to make a few phone calls try calling three of the bigger PHVAC companies in you area and ask if a digital combustion analysis is part of an annual clean and tune. If they say no, ask if they offer it at an additional charge. Post your findings here.

    You will be quite amazed at the answers you get.

    Mark H

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    Brian


    Please keep me posted on this. You can e-mail me updates if you like.

    Mark H

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    Send


    lawyers, guns and money!

    We just finished a new house for a partner in one of the areas larger personal injury law firms. A VERY SUCCESSFUL law firm I might add and HIS GB did NOT spew forth death.

    I got 8 stories from Google this morning that I am going to go through and start the CO thread again.

    It's all about education. If threads like these reach a few people then it was worth it.

    Thanks Jerry!

    Mark H

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • What needs to be done?

    I remember when CO on this sight was not talked about very much. I also remember some very good debate that took place. There are some of us who are very passionate about this subject. Since my first incident in 1966 when eight people died from CO poisioning due to gas equipment with the vents turned into the house on space heating to get it warm in the house. I have been on a campaign ever since. So we are making progress but still have a long way to go.

    Recent developments in Mass concerning a death of a little girl prompted me to attend some hearings on proposed changes which are nothing but bandaids over a cancer. I had not planned to say anything but I got so frustrated with all the rhetoric from GAMA, gas equipment manufacturers, first responders, state officials,heating contractors all looking for the easy way out. SO I went up to the microphone and simply said, "this will not stop happening until it is mandatory that all gas equipment and oil equipment be tested at time of installation and documentation be presented to gas inspector." I went on, "it should also be required that all equipment be tested at least once a year and documentation be presented". I further stated, "That existing CO detectors are useless and should be banned and a requirement for low level alarms be mandated." It must be made code or it will not be done and then it must be enforced. The entire Mass Plumbing and Gas Fitters Board nodded their heads in agreement with me. Now they have to make it happen. We will see.

    At the recent Gas Networks Conference I was on a panel for discussion. This issue came up and a very well known Contractor TV personality and I had a disagreement about this very subject. He weilds a lot of influence with trades people and does not think installers should be testing. He wants the gas companies to do it. The truth is the gas company is not responsible THE INSTALLER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PROPER INSTALLATION AND SAFETY OF THE EQUIPMENT, NO ONE ELSE. This gentelman needs to get his head on staight and use his influence to get things done right.

    I just was involved with a court case concerning an unsafe installation done by a liscensed contractor. I do not usually testify against contractors but this was such a case of neglect that I could not walk away from the request to testify. With out getting into all the particulars the unit was overfired and making CO (there were many more things wrong with this install). You will love this, the court ruled that because there is not a specific requirement for a contractor to conduct a combustion test or CO test and because the manufacturers literature did not specify such a test the contractor was not responsible for conductiung such a test. All of my efforts to convince the court that it is implied in the requirement for safe operation of the equipment they ruled other wise.

    We still have a long way to go. Manufacturers must put this in their manuals along with expected readings. It also must get into code requirements.
  • Brian (Tankless)
    Brian (Tankless) Member Posts: 340
    Ernie's fine, now

    but I will let you know how talks with the landlord go.

    The landlord rents to a lot of older folk who will not or cannot take care of their heating systems. Sound familiar? He kinda likes the income, but not the cost of up-keep or responsibility.

    Ernie describes "mud-like stuff" on evap coils, and water heater/furnace flues that vent into the attics etc'.

    You guys have never seen things like those before, have you ?

    I WILL keep you updated, Mark.

    Regards, Brian.
  • Good news regarding code changes...

    I've heard that in the back of one of the gazillion code books there is a reference to combustion analysis equipment. This is usually a pre cursor to it becoming a requirement in the next version of the code. While that IS wonderful, it doesn't cover all of the bazillion existing installations, and THAT'S where people die. Not that they don't die in new scewed up situations similar to what almost happend in Vt, but the majority of cases probably comes from existing equipment, and automobiles, or the infernal combustion engine in general.

    We need to adopt the methods of our German counterparts. REQUIRED annual efficiency and safety inspections. If it's not working right, they have the authority to shut it off on the spot, without prejudice. It's their gas, they can cut you off any time they deem necessary. But in most cases, if no immdeiate condition could cause the products of combustion to get into living space, you have a little while (3 weeks?) to get it corrected. If upon re-inspection in 4 weeks, the condition still exists (CO production) they disconnect the boiler and haul it away....at your expense. They DON"T mess around. And though I'm certain their country has its share of CO poisoning, I'm sure their number of incidents per 1000 people is extremely low compared to US. It's not an option. It has to be done anywhere there is a gas fired heat source. Wet or dry. If it burns, it should be checked annualy. It takes a good spider about an hour to turn an appliance into a weapon of mass destruction...

    If you don't test. you don't know, and you could kill someone. It's that serious.

    None of this "show me the bodies" crap. We've got PLENTY of bodies... We need TESTING,and ADJUSTING if needed. Or REPLACED, depending upon its overall thermal efficiency.

    Probably one of the biggest and best things the gas fired appliance organizations could do would be to come to a concensus about the requirement of commissioning testing AND annual testing of gas fired appliances. If it's in the instruction manuals of ALL gas fired appliances, then it automatically becomes mandatory. EVERYONE should be testing NOW.

    Whew, sorry for the rant.

    The soap box is now free...

    Jim!

    ME

  • A question about CO accumulation...

    Tim, Jim, Mark et al (Rudy, if he ever shows up again:-),
    does CO accumualte in living spaces at a higher concentration level than it was discharged from the appliance at, or does the CO stream leaving the appliance have to be discharging at a rate higher than is discovered in the room?

    I know it accumulates in your blood. Just wondering about spaces. I guess I have seen my meter lock up at 3,000 PPM, that'll cause death at what, 10 minutes exposre? Not positive about that number, and wouldn't be offended if somebody with the right answer spoke up. Insta dirt nap anyone??

    ME
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    Who gets \"HANGED\" when someone is injured or killed

    from a bad installation??????????? The contractor! AND THAT is who needs to be testing all of his installations. This is the 21st Century, you know! Word up Timmie. Mad dog

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
    More than just co testing we need flue inspections.

    I have had several incidence's were chimneys had not been inspected in years. Including one which a Weil Mclain GV boiler that requires a smooth stainless steal liner had been run in the proper material "UP TOO" the chimney. I was there on a warranty boiler swap out, got the new GV boiler on site poked my inspection mirror up the door and found a 3" "corrugated aluminum liner" Got the sweeps out and found the liner totally disinter grated in the center. The home owner stated she had a leak from the chimney into her daughters bedroom. No one Masons re pointing or roofers re flashing could fix the leak but she never thought to have a sweep out.

    Yes the original boiler was pumping out co both from the vent and compromised sealed combustion housing. Not only was the liner the wrong type but a "fan in the can" intake was eight inches from the propane pressure regulator vent. (yes fan in can tied in with a GV is alittle strange) And the condensate was being drained right into the slab.

    Many of the heating service calls I go on the Chimney had been neglected. We need the sweeps also to be out doing annual cleanings and if they feel comfortable checks for co.

    Mitch,
  • Rudy
    Rudy Member Posts: 482
    I'm here

    And ready to jump in - just that pretty much everything has already been said!!

    "If ya don't test, ya don't know"

    (and just a reminder, if anyone has combustion or co concerns on a job, feel free to give me a call 412-576-1350 - it's part of what I do for the company and the favorite part of my job!!)
  • Jim Davis_3
    Jim Davis_3 Member Posts: 578
    CO Accumulation

    This is a common misconseption that CO can build up higher than the equipment is producing or that it accumulates in the body. Carbon monoxide can only build up as high as the equipment is producing. The amount it is producing at the burner is actually greater than the reading that we see in the flue. Flue samples are diluted and not "Air Free". This means that if you read 200ppm of CO in the flue gas at 10% Oxygen, the burner is actually producing 400ppm(undiluted). This would be the theoretical level the space could get if it ran out of 100% of the Oxygen in the space. In this case you would die of suffocation first. You cannot add or subtract CO you can only dilute it. If 2 appliances are dumping 30ppm of CO into the same room, what is the highest reading you will ever get. 30ppm! One of them has to start making 31ppm before the room can get higher. The next problem is that carbon monoxide will dilute in room air 100 to 1000 times what the appliances is actually making. When we see high reading in a room, the appliance has run for hours and hours(have seen this on unvented heaters where the room level was the same as the heater was producing) or the appliance is making substantially more(100 to 1000 times) than we are measuring. Checking for ambient CO is never a guarantee equipment is operating safe other than just that moment. Testing an appliance for 5 to 10 minutes in the flue gas may not be adequate to determine how unsafe an appliance might be unless we are familiar with certain protocols and operating parameters. Testing in ductwork and registers is usually a waste of time. As far as persons, CO damage is cumulative not CO levels. If you breath 30ppm of CO for 1 hour or 24 hours the most you can have in your blood is 30ppm. On the other hand exposure to CO for 24 hours can cause 24 times more damage. The big thing here is that if an appliance is spilling CO into a building odds are the amount of CO that the appliance is making will continue to increase because along with CO being discharged into the space, CO2 is also being discharged and this will cause a depletion of combustion air. The exception would be a two pipe system that gets all of its air from outside and will keep the same amount of combustion air being supplied to the burner. Unfortunately these pipes can clog up to 80%-90% and the equipment will still run. But now Massacusetts has a code to prevent this. They want a sign hung 8 feet above grade above the vent that tell Mother Nature, animals and insects that there is a vent below and they should not block it??? The amount of CO that will kill you and the time it takes depends on the individual and the levels. Babies and heart patients have been known to die at levels below 30ppm(SIDS & Congestive Heart Failure etc.)
  • Thank you Jim...

    That answers that question for me. Now for another.

    Which reading should we be paying more attention to , air free CO or dilluted CO. I noticed on my CA yesterday that the air free number was always lower than the dilluted number, and why?

    Thank you in advance for all you've done and all you continue to do.

    ME
  • Rudy
    Rudy Member Posts: 482
    Depends

    If you are measuring ambient CO levels use the "diluted" reading, as soon as you start sampling flue gases, use the CO air free reading.

    You might also want to double check which reading is always higher, should be the 'air free' reading because that reading subtracts the 'excess air' from the sample, would be as if you were burning at a zero O2 so that comparisons can be accurately made at different levels of dilution (or O2).
This discussion has been closed.