Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Is there a patron Saint

SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,508
edited March 2018 in Carbon Monoxide Awareness
For heating system mechanics? I feel like I was guided when I found a cracked heat exchanger.


  • the_donut
    the_donut Member Posts: 374
    Pictures or you are a tease.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,544
    I found a Patron Saint of Boilermakers, a few Patron Saints of Craftsmen, or maybe one of the Patron Saints of Homemakers, who also have an interest.
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,508
    Eligius it is.
  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 1,005
    Well, if you get it wrong it may be St. Florian. Patron saint of fire fighters.
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,508
    edited March 2018
    It's in the family home. I live 600 miles away so I don't spend much time up there. Members of my family spent a night and called me out of concern that furnace is unsafe. It is a 100 year old octopus with an oil burner from the early 90's. I flew up and did a combustion analysis.

    AS FOUND: O2 19%, CO more than 5000ppm-disconnected probe from analyzer to avoid damage. excess air 370%.

    AS LEFT: O2 16.2%, CO 16ppm, excess air 363%.

    Mind you, I am not an HVAC person. I work on my company's high pressure steam system that runs 24/7. I check flue gasses three times a year. My burners can put out 25200 MBH . But excess air is usually 20%+/-. I only did an analysis on this out of necessity. I do not work on residentila equipment. Not my job.

    Clearly, because of its age, it wasn't going to be air tight. but the excess air was crazy. Removed the smoke stack to vacuum soot, discovered stack was aged out and needed replacement. after removing stack, found source of excess air inside furnace.

    She is finally DEAD! And I am thankful.

  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,544
    Good catch!

    I'm not sure I'd fly 600 miles to look at a furnace, even for family. My hat is off to you, sir!

  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,309
    You may have saved some lives. CO detectors are cheap insurance and I always recommend them especially on any furnace older than 15 yrs.
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,508
    edited March 2018
    CO detectors never alarmed. Yet the house smelled like a truck stop from the 1970's. Eyes burned.

    Before burner tune , I measured 12 ppm CO out of an air register inside the house after burner ignition; then CO dropped to zero ppm during firing. After burner tune 0-2 ppm after ignition then zero ppm during firing. I let my analyzer record all night and thought we were home free.

    It was confusing at first because soot blew onto my analyzer while measuring from the air register and O2 + excess air were uncontrollable. Yet CO seemed under control.

    The broken flue exiting the heat exchanger answered all my questions.

    I'm just grateful that I didnt blow off removing the stack and missed it. If that stack shifted and opened the crack wider and someone in my family were poisoned or killed, it would have been unbearable because it was me who returned it to service.

    Hence, someone was looking out for me. This isn't my line of work.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,840
    Isn't the patron Saint of Steam Dan Holohan? I know he's pulled off numerous miracles in his life :wink:

    If not, he should be in my humble opinion.

    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.
    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,137
    Mark, I think you're on to something! I've witnessed first hand a number of Dan's miracles, and been involved in a few. Seems he doesn't even need a wand!

    Yours, Larry
    Mark EathertonErin Holohan Haskell
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,427
    Ah, shucks, guys. Thanks!
    Retired and loving it.
    Mark Eatherton