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Battery CO?

Is it possible for a car battery charger to over time produce/ release CO while it is slow charging ?

I had a customer call w/ a CO alarm going off in a homes garage....as they were entering the garage from outside. The boiler is in a closet off the garage. No CO there....trying to track down the source.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,147

    Keep looking.  Unless... the CO alarm is sensitive to Hydrogen, which it might be -- I wouldn't know.  Hydrogen is given off by a lead acid battery during the charging process.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,305
    The boiler...

    is a Greenstar combi. Sealed combustion. Im thinking that is was left over from when the car started up earlier in the morning.
  • Jim Davis_3
    Jim Davis_3 Member Posts: 578
    Hydrogen sulfide and CO

    Batteries when charging  put out hydrogen sulfide and that will cause all CO alarms to get readings and make some go off.  Not a false alarm as far as harmful chemicals but in this case it is not CO.  Sewer gas contains similar properties including nitrous oxides that can also cause alarms.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265


    Thanks for the info.
  • Jim Davis_3
    Jim Davis_3 Member Posts: 578
    CO & Methylene Clorides

    Forgot to mention chemicals used in heavy duty cleaning compounds such as Methylene Cloride also set off CO detectors.  This chemical actually converts to carbon monoxide in the body and can cause CO poisoning.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    Even more interesting.

    Like the cleaning girls washing the floor and adding ammonia to the soap water with bleach.

    A sickening combination.
  • Charles Johnson
    Charles Johnson Member Posts: 24
    Test it anyway

    Not sure if you got the source figured out yet, but make sure you test the boiler anyway.  I have had 3 Greenstars recently that were set up wrong from the factory and also had flue gas leaks inside.  The black composite pipe inside that connects the heat exchanger to the flue collar comes loose and leaks very easily.

    One of them made my personal monitor go off in less than a minute after firing up the boiler.  I hadn't gotten my analyzer in the stack yet, was still finishing the install when the helper fired it up.
  • Canucker
    Canucker Member Posts: 721
    good info

    I work with methylene chloride on a regular basis at my place of business, and the vapours are heavier than air so they will accumulate in low areas with a potential for flashback.

    I honestly hadn't given any thought to it being contained in cleaning compounds. I will have to look at the MSDS for the cleaning solvents when I'm back at work.

    As far as breaking down in the body, we had an incident many years ago involving 2 gentlemen while they were loading an acetonitrile damp product. The air exchange for the room they were in was off, so while they were in there, their respirator cartridges were becoming saturated very quickly. 5 min life of fresh cartridges(unheard of!), 45 min exposure. Problems didn't arise until roughly 8 hrs later while they were at home. It was found that after ingesting the vapours, as it breaks down in the body, it turns to cyanide. The 2 gentlemen spent 2 days in the hospital in an oxygen tent, and were very lucky to survive, given how much chemical they had been exposed to.
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
  • Bunk11
    Bunk11 Member Posts: 3
    flue leak ?

    Hi Charles,

    I was interested in the type of problem you described with the Greenstars where the flue pipes came apart easily and released CO into the houses. I have a newly installed Alpine ALP080bw-2t02 gas boiler that seems to emit some vapors also. I was wondering if you are familiar with this unit and if this could be caused a loosely connected flue. The tricky part is that whatever is being emitted is below the level to trigger my alarms, but it is there nonetheless. Please see my full thread at the link below.



  • Charles Johnson
    Charles Johnson Member Posts: 24
    Not sure Andrew

    I have never worked on an Alpine so can't help you out on that one.
  • gerralstufler
    gerralstufler Member Posts: 5

    In my opinion, the awareness regarding battery overuse should be done. There are many cases,  where a battery when overcharged tends to burst or explode. Many a times, the chemicals present in the water are spilled outside the battery.