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CO poisoning in Yarmouth Maine

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Not enough details yet to know if the installation was up to spec or not, but http://www.pressherald.com/2015/02/06/now-leads-to-surge-in-carbon-monoxide-incidents/

Comments

  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    Yarmouth, Maine. Average snowfall in January: 19". + 12"as manufacturers minimum + snowfall+ 31" above grade at outlet.

    Photo of exhaust shown in Newspaper Article looks a little low. No, A LOT low.

    Its in the I/O manual. Needs a CO detector.
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
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    That is one thing I noticed when I was getting quotes on a new boiler: *almost* every quote included a CO alarm to be installed in the basement near the boiler and water heater. I opted for one that has a little PPM readout on it (mainly just for curiousity's sake).

    We've had 5 deaths in the area from CO so far this winter. 3 in homes and 2 in trailer/ice fishing shacks.

    A friend in Boston has been posting pics of FaceBook of all the snow, with several of his friends and neighbors as well. I posted to advise them to keep checking their heating system vents and intakes every single day. He reported back that the exhaust from his furnace had melted a 2 foot 'tunnel' through the snow that drifted against his house...he shoveled it all away. I bet there are so many close call type situations out there right now...
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,894
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    icesailor said:


    Photo of exhaust shown in Newspaper Article looks a little low. No, A LOT low.

    Its in the I/O manual. Needs a CO detector.

    Once again- you can't fix stupid!

    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    icesailor
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
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    I live just south of Boston. The blizzard we had a month or so back dumped 29" of snow, I had a six ft drift on the south side of my house. We had a similar storm back in 2015 that left an 8 ft drift in the same area.

    The storm we had last weekend left 26" and that resulted in five ft drifts. Best to plan for the unexpected because minimum distances are sometimes way off.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
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    Not that anything could be completely "idiot-proof", but, how about a CO detector attached to the mod/con itself? Add a 3rd wire that the mod/con has to get a signal from the detector. That way, the geniuses couldn't jump it out.
    Gordy
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
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    That would be what the fire alarm world calls a supervised detector circuit. Most can be jumpered out using a resistor or two, but you have to know the right value(s) or it will throw a trouble.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    Massachusetts requires Combi Smoke CO detectors that are hard wired with battery back up on each floor, in hallways in front of bedrooms and Smokes in every bedroom in new construction. When a building is sold, it must be brought into compliance before the sale can go through. If ANYONE replaces a gas appliance, there MUST be a hard wired Smoke/CO detectors installed at the appliance (unless in a tight crawl space where the first floor one will qualify) and on each and every floor.

    Massachusetts had far too many avoidable CO deaths. You can use a battery CO detector until the hard wired ones are installed. The person who takes out the gas permit is responsible to make sure the installation is done.

    It might be called "Meghan's Law, named in honor of a child that dies in a house from CO poisoning.

    If installers don't get in line on this exhaust height requirement, the Tort Lawyers won't be too far behind. I've seen illegal exhausts that were less than 12" above grade that were passed (when no one knew better) and Landscapers raised the grade, and put the grade 12"+ ABOVE the exhaust and built a pressure treated areaway around it. No one needs to get a permit to do that. RTFM, you're not supposed to exhaust on a side that has a history of drifting snow. And if the exhaust is 30" above grade, the warm exhaust has a chance to melt the snow, or the air flow will keep the snow from drifting in front of the exhaust.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
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    Around here the prevailing winds mostly come from the SSW. Smart installers point their exhausts in some other direction if at all possible.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    SWEI said:

    Around here the prevailing winds mostly come from the SSW. Smart installers point their exhausts in some other direction if at all possible.

    In the winter when you get a really bad cold spell? The prevailing warm winds are from the SW. The cold winds from the NW are when the Artic High pushes down from Canada and forces the warm weather South. Winter storms like Nor'easters start from the SE, move into the East and NE. Then, as the low passes by to the North, the wind fills in from the NW and gets cold. The snow drifts first on the North side when the wind is from the South. Once the wind shifts to the North or NW, it blows the snow to the SE side and drifts. Its the drifting that is the problem. If you get 16" if snow with no wind, you have 16" of snow in the ground everywhere. Once it starts to blow, you can have bare ground in front of a 6' drift.

    Where I used to live, it was always a local joke when NOAA or the weather prognosticators said that we had 20" of snow. How did they measure it? Averages of drifts?

  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
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    Really cold winter storms come from the north here as well, but they don't blow anywhere near as hard as our prevailing SSW winds do. Those have a tendency to break things, and can really wreak havoc on burner flames. Snow is not a really big issue here.
  • jonny88
    jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139
    edited February 2015
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    Honestly guys I try to use chimney as a chase using centrotherm also prevents that annoying plume coming from side of house.fortunatly ni ine was hurt
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited February 2015
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    SWEI said:

    Really cold winter storms come from the north here as well, but they don't blow anywhere near as hard as our prevailing SSW winds do. Those have a tendency to break things, and can really wreak havoc on burner flames. Snow is not a really big issue here.

    Where are you located?

    You get high SW winds in the Winter? Maybe farther South. The SW winds are the high, hooking up with the cold/lows. Making nice Thunderstorms and Tornados.

    Either way, all those new systems, designed to the level of a gnats eyelash, with no room for extra NUTS, will be put to the test tomorrow in New England. All those with OCD about their burners cycling, should rest easy tomorrow. They should be running pretty steady.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    edited February 2015
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    icesailor said:

    Where are you located?

    Silver City, NM. 32 degrees latitude but 6,000 ft. elevation. Very atypical climate for North America -- more like some of the mountains in Mexico.
    You get high SW winds in the Winter?
    Late winter into spring, mostly. Actual winter storms can come from just about any direction around here. We're pretty much the last stop on the train for the Pacific Maritime Influence. A few miles east of us you get storms from the Gulf (if they actually make it that far.)
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited February 2015
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    Its that 6,000' altitude that makes it interesting.

    Good thing you get all that snow to add to the Rio Grande watershed. Looks like those farmers have about sucked the water around you dry.

    All good though, All those brown folks from the South don't have to swim so far.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
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    I went to Las Cruces last year and was amazed at how little water was flowing through the "Grande" river.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    Look to the West at the Colorado River. The US has diverted so much fresh water from the Colorado, that it barely makes it over the US/Mexican Border and ends long before the Gulf of Mexico.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
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    RobG said:

    I went to Las Cruces last year and was amazed at how little water was flowing through the "Grande" river.

    The growth of Santa Fe and Albuquerque combined with NM agricultural users have depleted things to the point where Texas and NM are in court over this.

    We're fortunate to be part of the Mimbres/San Francisco watershed, which doesn't end up in either AZ or TX.
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
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    I read (with great interest) about the aquifer depletion and fracking pollution and all that stuff.

    I live at the Western tip of Lake Superior, literally 5 blocks from the shoreline. Our water treatment plant is down the street from me.

    Everyone here takes that lake for granted. Our water costs are high, as we pay to replace/repair a 120 year old distribution system, but there are of course never any concerns about running out or the quality of the water.

    I remember a few years back there were ideas being floated about building a water pipeline to the SW...surprised that hasn't been brought up again recently given the conditions out west.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
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    I'm just outside of Boston and out water bills went through the roof about 20 years ago to pay for the cleanup of the harbor and upgrading the delivery system fro the Quabbin Reservoir.

    A lot of folks are paying over a thousand dollars a year for water but we do have excellent water so I don't begrudge the cost.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • captainco
    captainco Member Posts: 796
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    Someone needs to notify the fire department that 35ppm of CO will not activate an alarm until after 30 days!!

    Don't they have signs in Massachusetts that they hang above the furnace vents that let the snow know not to block them?
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    Yes, they do. 6' directly above the vent outlet. Yellow or white. If the vent termination is above 6' from grade, it isn't required.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,742
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    captainco said:


    Don't they have signs in Massachusetts that they hang above the furnace vents that let the snow know not to block them?

    That's next on the list. They are currently moving all the deer crossing signs because too many people are hitting deer in those locations.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    KC_Jones said:

    captainco said:


    Don't they have signs in Massachusetts that they hang above the furnace vents that let the snow know not to block them?

    That's next on the list. They are currently moving all the deer crossing signs because too many people are hitting deer in those locations.
    Sorry, Different Code. The venting is controlled by the Department of Public Safety. The installer provides the sign.

    The Deer Crossing is controlled by Department of Natural Resources. The State provides the sign.



    SWEI
  • captainco
    captainco Member Posts: 796
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    What is everyone doing about packaged units covered with snow?
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    Good question.

    I think my feet might be itching from anxiety if I had to be shoveling on a roof to get to a RTU. With worries that the roof might collapse with me on it.

    Not a problem down here in the Shady State (of Florida)
  • Jeff W_2
    Jeff W_2 Member Posts: 57
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    FYI icesailor- Massachusetts just changed the code. Hard-wired CO detectors are no longer required. A battery or plug-in CO alarm satisfies the new requirement. A step backwards maybe?