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high carbon monoxide level

ddennyddenny Member Posts: 75
I do work for an apartment complex, each apartment has a very old fedders standing pilot furnaces. they were installed in 1971 to 1972. the owner is very stubborn about getting new units and he can still get parts for these dinosaurs.

       each apartment has a carbon monoxide detector. one apartment has a high reading and the alarm is sounding. the manager switched alarms with another apartment to make sure it wasn't giving a false reading and I checked it with my tester and is still reads high.

       I know some 90+ furnaces have to be adjusted properly but I never saw a problem with a standing pilot system. I looked at the flame and it looks ok. the flame doesn't bounce around like it does with a cracked heat exchanger. It has no chimney. It's direct venting  through a pipe outside and that's clear. nothing else in the apartment is gas. there is an electric oven and the gas water heater is in the basement which supplies 16 units.

       any suggestions?


  • JStarJStar Member Posts: 2,668

    What are your combustion anlysis results?
    - Joe Starosielec
    [email protected]
  • RJRJ Member Posts: 484

    describe in more detail the flue,  size/height  or include photos
  • Bob HarperBob Harper Member Posts: 732
    get out!

    If a UL listed carbon monoxide alarm is alerting, get everyone out at once and call 911 ! Those things are set to alert only once you already have CO poisoning. They are a last ditch effort to keep you alive. They do NOT protect against CO poisoning . If it is not actually CO but a 'false positive' the first responders can tell with professional equipment.

    You will need someone certified in carbon monoxide and combustion analysis to diagnose the problem. You can Not tell from flame appearance. What do you consider 'high' CO reading?

    What kind of water heater is supplying 16 units?

    You may also have a chimney/ venting issue.
  • John MillsJohn Mills Member Posts: 766

    That monster is more likely to kill than today's units. Those have air shutters to properly adjust primary air. Shut them you pour out the CO. No flue safety. Blocked flue or downdrafts, fumes pour into the house. 40 year old furnaces likely split open. Any rollout, nothing stops the fire til wires burn to the gas valve.

    Today's 90s with induced combustion and no air shutters to play with burn cleanly. Properly installed they don't rely on apartment air for combustion. If there is an issue with the flue, a safety shuts down the furnace. If the flames roll out at all, another safety shuts them down.

    There's lives at stake. Reread Bob's excellent post.
  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Member Posts: 3,904
    Listen to Bob he is right on

    this is an accident already happening !!!!
This discussion has been closed.


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