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Propane heater safety questions

SafetyThird
SafetyThird Member Posts: 2
Unit: Empire Comfort Living propane heater RH-65 http://www.empirezoneheat.com/assets//EHS/manuals/ArchiveManuals/VentedRoomHeater/RH(50,65)-1.pdf

The draft diverter is surrounded by a stainless steel sheet metal box, except it is open on the bottom so there is a 4" gap on either side of the draft diverter. My father says this is "part of the design" and that it is "normal" to smell exhaust gases particularly "for a minute or two until a draft builds up" for the exhaust gases to build up pressure to be vented.

Is he right or wrong?

On page 4 of the manual it says that in buildings with tight storm windows there must be a vent for combustion air. My father's house has tight storm windows but he says there is no need to open the skylight vent that is directly above the propane heater.

Is he right or wrong?

The automatic blower fan switch broke, and without it there is no dispersion of heat via convection and the heater does not radiate heat - it remains cool to the touch. My father says there is no need to replace the switch and that the heater is working correctly when it doesn't radiate or convect heat.

Is he right or wrong?

I'm asking because I don't agree with his opinion, and we got into a confrontation when I ventilated the house because he was hallucinating again ("Did you hear that galloping?" he said while he pointed at the ceiling, and then he searched for the source of the noise first on the ceiling and then on the floor in a confused frantic manner).

He insists that the manual is a delusion and that my belief in the safety precautions and instructions for installation, maintaining, and operating the heater are also delusions.

He is so sure I'm delusional he had me admitted to the state psychiatric hospital but they said I don't have any psychological or psychiatric issues so now he's claiming my "delusions" were caused by psychosis from my Adderall prescription (I have severe narcolepsy).

Other "delusions" I had were swollen red fingers and toes with bright cherry red cuticles and severe trouble breathing upon exertion and the belief that this was carbon monoxide poisoning.

Comments

  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    The unit by design should have a spill switch located on the draft hood. The theory being that if the unit spill's in to the room it will shut off if it see's enough temperature. Its not that the chimney needs to build pressure it needs to get warm enough to draft. I would recommend an inspection of the system to verify there are no issue's with the chimney...
    At the time the unit is inspected ask the tech if there is enough combustion air for the unit or if there is a need for more...
    This unit does not need the blower in order to function...it will naturally draft heat from the unit into the room.
    SAFETY FIRST.....get a Carbon monoxide detector (or 3) and have them installed now...Replace them as per instruction....
  • Firecontrol933
    Firecontrol933 Member Posts: 73
    edited April 2016
    This is the exact kind of thing that sent my grandfather to the ER and then to the nursing home until he passed. Get a good digital display CO detector in that home now!
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,837
    I would call the fire department. They have detectors that can sense CO down to miniscule PPM. This is nothing to mess around with, and I agree, it sounds exactly like CO poisoning.

    Those wall heaters are noted for getting cracked heat exchangers, especially when their fan stops working. It stresses the heat exchanger and causes it to crack.

    Act NOW. Don't let THE most preventable method of poisoning to take another life. Seriously.

    ME
    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.
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    Mark the RH is a room heater not wall mounted. Empire designs them to be run without the blower and it will not stress the heat exchanger...I do agree with having the unit inspected and tested for co output...
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,837
    lchmb said:

    Mark the RH is a room heater not wall mounted. Empire designs them to be run without the blower and it will not stress the heat exchanger...I do agree with having the unit inspected and tested for co output...

    My bad, but still doesn't negate the need for immediate, if not sooner ACTION. Tried the link provided, but it's a dead 404 link.

    Thanks.

    ME

    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.
  • SafetyThird
    SafetyThird Member Posts: 2
    Thank you all.

    My father has one CO detector on the second floor but he doesn't maintain it or test it. It has a seven year life span per the label but I'm not sure how old it is, at one point he said 3 years and at another he said 30.

    The other thing, or one other thing, I forgot to mention is I kept smelling "gas" directly above the heater every time the gas turned on and the night my father was hallucinating I could smell it immediately in the middle of the room when we re-entered the house after a day and night away. I suspect there is a crack or other fault in the heater although I'm not qualified to say so.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,444
    Hey, Third, please stop typing and listen to what the best in the business are telling you to do. Love your Dad? Listen and just do it.
    Retired and loving it.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,231
    Keep splitting hairs and you will be burying your dad - DO SOMETHING BEFORE THAT HAPPENS.

    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
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,444
    Thanks, Bob. You said it better than I did.
    Retired and loving it.
    Nostat2Handlers