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Authoritative Code

I would like to know from a legal point of view, what standards or codes should be followed when it comes to CO in homes? Is it a plumbers job, or Hvacr? or something else?

I am familiar with the BPI standard........


  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 977
    The codes are what is on the books at your state level followed by any local ordinances. The installer of any combustion appliance is charged by society with his due diligence to comply with all applicable codes and standards as well as following the manufacturers listed instructions. No one contractor is held responsible for ambient CO levels in a building. If someone suspects ambient CO and subsequent testing confirms its presence then it becomes a game of 'tag, who's "it" to determine responsibility. You can contact a contractor who is certified by an agency, such as BPI or NCI to survey a structure and try to pin point the offending appliance or source. Part of this is knowing the levels accepted by codes versus standards and what constitutes an action level. Some States have laws requiring inspection of UL listed CO alarms to get a Certificate of Occupancy. Note that any alarm tested and listed to UL 2034 does NOT protect against CO poisoning. These are designed to alert just before death. The alert level algorithms are based upon the victim reaching a carboxyhemoglobin level of 10%, which is the medical definition of CO poisoning. Thus, if one of these very unreliable alarms finally does alert, that means you have CO poisoning and need to evacuate immediately. HTH
    Jean-David Beyer
  • NJ, Designer
    NJ, Designer Member Posts: 53

    I am BPI certified, I am just not confident that my training was adequate, so I'm looking for a different source of standards or codes to use in the real world.....
    Mark Eatherton
  • captainco
    captainco Member Posts: 755
    Just for the record, if you follow Code and someone is injured because of you, Code does not protect you.

    If you work on someones furnace or A/C, and the water heater next to it is dangerous, you can be held liable.

    Look up the Wanton Act (negligence) and be concerned. I agree what you learned from BPI is minimal and might leave you unprotected. There members were afraid if they were too thorough it would prevent them from getting work.
    Mark EathertonChrisJ
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356

    I am BPI certified, I am just not confident that my training was adequate

    You're not that far from Tim McElwain. I'd jump at that opportunity if I were that close.
  • NJ, Designer
    NJ, Designer Member Posts: 53
    edited October 2015
  • NJ, Designer
    NJ, Designer Member Posts: 53

  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,840
    Tim McElwains email address is

    [email protected]

    Having also been through NCI' and BPI's training, I can also say that BPI is woefully inadequate. They teach you just enough to be dangerous, but don't go into enough detail to make you comfortable doing your job. They show you how to identify conditions that MAY cause CO spillage, but that is only the beginning. What is causing the CO in the first place, and how do you correct it...

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • captainco
    captainco Member Posts: 755
    I am going to be in Warwick, RI Dec 1,2,3. Timmie, we need to get together, its been a while.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,588
    Yes Jim it has been a while, unfortunately I am involved in a court case which requires me to be in court Dec. 1, 2 and 3 and perhaps 4.

    Give me a call and perhaps I can shake free one evening. My number is 401-437-0557