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Carbon Monoxide Issues - HELP!



  • DPB
    DPB Member Posts: 13
    Update (Frustrating)

    So here we stand a week later. Our original installer says that they can't figure out what is wrong with the installation, and suggests we begin troubleshooting on our own (cover up the barometric and see if that helps?). There are only two other companies in our area certified by Buderus, with the blue flame certification. We contacted both of them to see if they could come give us a second opinion and/or assist with the fix, and one said "no" because they focus on gas boilers and have a huge backlog, and the other said "no" because we're not a current fuel-purchasing customer. This leaves us back to square one. I'm thinking that perhaps we do what Jack suggested and have Buderus come out directly to look at the installation, along with our installer, and all review/discuss and come up with the fix? It seems like that is the only option we have left here since no one else (who is at least certified) seems willing to come take a look. It seems odd that we have such a huge problem but no one seems willing to help us out. You can all remember this post when you hear about a family of four dying in MA. (Kidding). We are trying to keep things vented for now in the basement and haven't been running our dryer now that we at least know that contributes to the problem, although it seems that on particularly windy days that that also seems to cause a problem.

    Rick - our dryer is electric, not gas. Trust me if we had gas we would have put in a gas boiler! Where would that hole be placed? In the diffuser thing on the end of the exhaust line? Would that cause a problem on a windy day (with respect to backdrafts)?
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546

    Needs to get a rep with your installer out there ASAP! Your installer should be taking care of this not you. Let alone have you trouble shoot, and try different things. I can't believe what I'm reading. buderus are you fellas reading this!
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    Not only Buderus, but also the local fire marshal!

    It's ironic that the fire inspector is primarily to blame here, for recommending non approved intake, and exhaust venting.-NBC
  • Eric_32
    Eric_32 Member Posts: 267

    Where in MA are you located?
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    edited December 2013
    "nothing wrong"

    Again, the intake is higher than the exhaust. You are back drafting. Your installer needs to get schooled. Charlie Smith from Buderus is likely Ma rep but your installer, as a blue flame certified tech, needs to reach out to him. They work thru the blue flame dealers. And again, the baro should not be installed with the Aerocowl exhaust term you have. It's all in the manual.
  • DPB
    DPB Member Posts: 13
    We are

    In Western MA. Any more detail than that I'd rather not put in here, but if you message me and you know of someone from Buderus or a company who can help us then I'd be happy to give you a call.
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    If you were

    here on Cape, it would have failed. I would see to it if it was in my customer base
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,548
    Issues Fixed ?

    Was this Issue ever resolved???

    Did Buderus get involved?....And... What was the Fix??

    It would be Nice to have some feed back so that everybody can learn from this one..
  • TimeBandit
    TimeBandit Member Posts: 24
    ...anxiously awaiting the final chapter....

  • DPB
    DPB Member Posts: 13
    The final chapter

    Hey everyone - my apologies for not updating you sooner, but it did honestly take that long to get a final answer. 

    FIRST of all, I want to thank all of you for your feedback and insistence that I don't let this one go.  After calling the company for what seemed like the 1,000th time, they finally got a guy out here who seemed to know what he was doing. He brought some sort of CO measuring do-hickey, measured what was going on, and said "oh man, something's wrong here".  He then proceeded to do all sorts of things to the inside of the boiler, call some other guy out to help him, and then said it was all fixed.  When I asked what was fixed, he said that he made some modifications and to talk to his boss.

    Following his visit, we have not seen the CO detector measure anything.  It seems like it is fixed finally.

    After that, I insisted that Buderus come out to tell me what was wrong and why it happened.  Three months (literally) of pushing and we finally got the Buderus rep out and the owner of the company.  The Buderus rep looked at it and said it was all set, and I kept asking "but what happened in the first place" - I asked this several times, and finally said "well how will I prevent this from happening again!?" and they said "regular service - this happens when the seals go bad" and I said "well we just had the regular service before this happend"...and then the truth came out. 

    Turns out that the seal had been improperly installed during the service, which then lead to all the issues. When the tech came out he knew something was wrong, so he just took everything apart inside the boiler and then put it all back together one by one.  This was the first honest answer I seemed to have gotten from them.  I understand that they maybe were worried I'd sue them or something, but honestly I am an engineer by profession and I understand that everyone makes mistakes, and I really just wanted to get it fixed and not have CO in my house!!  If they had have just told me that back when they fixed it they would have also saved themselves another visit.

    Anyway, the problem seems to be fixed now.  In the end, it wasn't the failed exhaust line....it just was a series of unfortunate events that happened after that, that we were unable to link together since there was the focus on the exhaust.  When the original tech had come out to fix the exhaust, he decided to just do the service too since we would have been due for that too.  But since that happened at the same time, noone even made that connection. 

    Now...it does make me worry about the fact that back when the exhaust had failed, we had a very low level of CO (less than 20 ppm) in our house for a long time, until it was finally high enough to be detected by our monitors.  BUT I guess we have to move on...and it is comforting to know that it is now no longer spewing into our basement in the hundreds!!!

    Anyway, thanks again for all of your help, and your insisting that I stay on them to fix!!
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850

    You should consider switching oil companies to the one that told you "we cannot service your equipment as you do not purchase our oil" I personally would not allow the present company to mow my lawn. Check the pricing and service charges for the other Buderus certified company. If they can do a better job than your current folk it would be worth a few dollars more a month. After all, what is the price of you and your family's lives? Any company who would leave a problem like that unresolved is not someone I would do business with.


  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 529
    Use UL-rated CO alarms...

    ...only to meet code requirements.  Don't rely on them.

    You wrote:

    "...when the exhaust had failed, we had a very low level of CO (less than 20 ppm) in our house for a long time, until it was finally high enough to be detected by our monitors."

    That's because UL and the first-responder community want it that way.  As Jean-David Beyer suggested on November 29, you should have a real, low-level CO detector.  A good one is made by CO Experts and available directly to you from this source:


    The current model comes with a built-in lithium battery and can simply sit on its stand -- no wall mounting necessary.  Order one now.  I've had them in our home since first reading here about the deficiencies of UL-rated units around a dozen years ago.