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What type of professional for objective 3rd party report?

gregmann Member Posts: 1
We have a new boiler, and we're not sure the people who put it in did it right. When it fires up, after about 5 minutes, it gets weird/uncomfortable to be in the basement with it. Throat gets a little scratchy. Just feels unpleasant. We put a CO monitor down there so we're good there.

The people who installed it don't believe us that there's a problem. They come over and say it's fine. This is so maddening. I talked to my lawyer and he said I need to get an "engineer's report". He said it needs to be somebody objective who can come in and say what's going on, maybe test the air or look at the boiler, and give a neutral opinion.

How do I find someone like that? What kind of a person is qualified to evaluate a situation, the smells, the way the air feels and write all that up in a report... and hopefully figure out what's going on?


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,723
    CO monitors take a while to alarm. Don't count on them for an early indication.

    Did the installers do a combustion test and print out the results? If not, they cannot know that it's "fine".

    Where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    Ditto what Frank said. Is there any sign of exhaust in the basement like dark ceilings, cobwebs, soot? If in doubt, call your local fire department to come and test the air in the house. They are equipped to do so. You may also have a make up air problem. Good luck and stay safe
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,226
    Combustion analysis is the minimum that should have been done already. If your installer doesn't have the single piece of equipment perform that test, and know how to use it, then he might not have been the best choice for your job. After that's done, a comprehensive evaluation of the boiler area and all field conditions should be documented and, like Bill said, a determination should be made as to whether or not there's adequate combustion air in the room. It needs to be established that the exhaust of the new boiler is compatible with what the existing chimney can accommodate as well. There's a lot to look at when something like this happens. If the installer is walking away, then you are right to pick this up and address it however you are able. Don't let it go.
    On the other hand, are other people experiencing what you are in the boiler area, or just you?
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,846
    Sometimes the insulation around the boilers outgas and give an odor

    By all means have it checked for combustion and venting

    CO Experts have a very accurate low level CO monitor they get the best reviews
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,912
    You do not necessarily need an engineer, but you do need a disinterested expert to check all aspects of the install -- from sizing right on through installation to final burner adjustments.

    Where are you located? Some of the people here on the Wall are very qualified to do that sort of work (like all four of the men who have commented above!) but travel can be a problem.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • A good steam man could do an evaluation of the installation for you, including a combustion test, and flue/chimney inspection.
    If we know your location, there may be someone in your area we can recommend.--NBC
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
    I'd be willing to bet that it's what Hot Rod said, very common. But that smell should go away within hours after the initial start-up. Before going the lawyer route, my suggestion would be to ask the installing contractor to perform a combustion analysis and provide the printed results. A measurement of lower levels of CO in the mechanical room would be good to know as well. Do you have pics of the installation you could share?
    Steve Minnich
    Ironmanrick in Alaska