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Awareness: A little tidbit #3

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Got a call last December claiming the CO detector had been alarming, so they unplugged it and took it outside to silence it, then forgot about it for several weeks! Then the weird gassy odor reminded them to call. Come to find out; the man of the house wanted a much larger deck, so he extended the horizontal single-wall exhaust (on an older C.I. draft-induced boiler) about 20 feet longer. The extra pipe (and wrong terminus) put the already maxed-out developed length over the top. Someone placed the wires on the pressure switch onto the Normally Open terminals. The draft was diminished enough to cause high levels of CO in the exhaust. The heat exchanger became plugged with soot. The numerous adjustable elbows in the exhaust had many rusted out and leaking unsealed joints. CO reading in the adjoining basement living area (a daycare) was 180ppm. Boiler room was 400 with the boiler firing, over 2400 ppm in the exhaust!

 Threw away all the old exhaust, cleaned up the heat exchanger, burners, draft inducer, replaced the pressure switch. Replaced the single-wall galvy with stainless one diameter larger, eliminated several elbows, and replaced the exterior portion with two sizes larger and put it inside an insulated sleeve. Added combustion air from outside. Ba-Da-Bing; the CO in the exhaust dropped to 12ppm.

Moral: Don't ignore an alarming CO detector!  And be wary of older ones. 
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