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Asthma Attacks from New Steam Boiler, please help...
I am the 40 yr old daughter in our Connecticut house. 70 yr old mom in house has bad asthma.
weather cold snap 6 weeks ago killed the old rock-steady steam boiler.
it had a failed low water shut off and the thing overheated and all pipes may have overheated too for 3 hrs middle of the night.
4 weeks ago, a new peerless (sp?) boiler upgrade was put in by "very good" professional installers. everything brought up to code since last one went in 30 yrs ago.
radiator steam immediately smelled like caustic chemicals, driving mom to hotel and next stop hospital.
all of our urgent calls to installer led to new knowledge that SQUICK was added to new system.
Google says that Sodium Sulfite (squick) is known to give WOMEN ASTHMA!
Installers have done 6 full water changes of boiler, cold and hot water coming out, and all radiator vents have been replaced.
The chemcial smell of "new furnace parts" should have burned off wihtin days, not months, right?
The smell we smell is NOT eggs, not sealant, not cutting oil, i checked all of those out.
We ONLY smell the smell when boiler turns on and then smell happens also a few min later when boiler turns off and radiators cool down. As soon as the steam vents are not pressurized, bam. nasty chemical smell puffs out again.
A water change "solution" only lasts 4 days before we smell it again.
All of the water changes later, i smell it maybe 90% less, but with mom, any hint drives her to hotel and steroids to get her lungs back. Just the last time, we smelled "metal pipe smell" for the first time since the whole ordeal began.
I had fire dept out to check for volatiles and CO, they found nothing. CO monitors in house find nothing. I even put a CO monitor on worst radiator to look for any weird back drafting. I'm desperate! I am here because in your archives a similar/identical story was discussed in 2012 here. No resolution was mentioned though.
what else could be offgassing with/thru/along with the steam?
i have been present for every wash out and the brown water that comes out has NO bad smell to it! it just smells like rusty pipes and we've been living with that for 30 years, no problem.
All dust was LONG ago removed from all radiators. It's not that. If you put your fingers on steam vents and smell the water that accumulates on your fingers, it's the nasty smell.
What I am I missing here ??!???
How many water changes (which i hear are a stress to the system) must we have done?
With our old foolproof boiler, i had to drain brown water weekly. Should i continue to remove that as SKIM or blow down, for the next 20 years?
This week, we have been turning Tstat way down to 50 and sleeping with space heaters. We have left boiler switched ON to heat the house water.
As long as boiler is switched ON, mom can smell the smell. I ran experiemnts switching boiler OFF and not telling mom, and those nights, she says smell is gone! So what all could it be producing in backdrafted air or pushing air thru radiators? or what all? How would just heating water be causing noxious fumes and of what kind?
6 weeks ago, I literally did not know what a boiler was. what all i have written here, ive just learned about from this 24/7 emergency. we are living with open windows, air purification, room RH vaporizers, clean smellless space heaters, and my mom is still complainging of air that is so "caustic it feels like i'm breathing sand." i get the same experience, but less than her.
What should i do/check for/hire someone in for NEXT?
I explained this all to Air testing experts in the county and they said they'd "have no idea what to test for but sulfer gases" Back to square 1. No one seems able to help us and i have reached out to 6+ different professionals...
Thank you for any help in our emergency.
Also, I am happy to hire ANYONE in CT who can help solve this...
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