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Help - Boiler at 3800 ppm CO

chilidipchilidip Member Posts: 6
edited September 2 in THE MAIN WALL
Help needed.

I recently purchased a house in December of 2019.  Different issues keep coming up.  Looking for expert advice on what to do.

During the home inspection the inspector noted it needed an expansion tank and a pressure relief valve.  So I contacted (2) companies to quote me on the parts that needed changed.  First company came back with $ to replace the parts.  I thought $ was too expensive.  I called a 2nd company to come out and give me a quote.  Well I asked the 2nd company to just do a boiler service first then quote.

The 2nd company started the service and got 3800 ppm CO with the boiler.  He said by law he had to stop because it was 3800 ppm.  He recommended replacing the boiler, instead of taking it apart to clean it.  

Boiler is a Hydrotherm - 24V - Model HC-85.  Serial number is OW2860, which when I called Hydrotherm it is pre-1967.

The seller did not disclose the age of the boiler, nor did the home inspector catch this.  

My questions are:

1. 3800 ppm CO is high, I think deadly is over 200 to 300 ppm.  Can this be fixed for it to last (1) more winter?
2. Does home warranty cover this for a replacement ? 

Thank you,

Comments

  • rick in Alaskarick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,106
    Do not use this boiler until you get it fixed!!! Very dangerous.
    3800 is incredibly high. 50 is more reasonable for the majority of the boilers, but zero is what we try to get.
    Hard to say if the boiler is worth fixing, but I would want to see at least two other opinions/quotes.
    Rick
  • chilidipchilidip Member Posts: 6
    Sounds good thank you.  Does home warranty cover this ?
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 13,211
    chilidip said:

    Sounds good thank you.  Does home warranty cover this ?

    Maybe. Maybe not. It may also be a concealed defect. Contact your insurance agency -- and, maybe, a good lawyer.

    And in the meantime, turn it off with the emergency switch and it's breaker, if it's on a separate circuit (which it should be, by the way).
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • Alan (California Radiant) ForbesAlan (California Radiant) Forbes Member Posts: 2,455
    edited September 2
    Those Hydrotherm boilers are workhorses and I would spend the money to take it apart to clean the heat exchanger (HX), but that's just me. It's not hard to do, but it should be done by a person that has done it before because you have to remove the top cover, insulation, flue collector, all the burners and then wash down the HX.

    From the fact that it has sooted up, it sounds as though you have radiant heat (not radiators) without proper boiler protection.

    Home warranty may cover it, but I wouldn't trust anyone they send out. It's just my experience. Find someone reliable and willing and then get it okayed by the warranty company.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.

    Click here to learn more about this contractor.
  • HomerJSmithHomerJSmith Member Posts: 953
    I would have someone else with a recently calibrated CO meter redo the test. You should always ask when his meter was calibrated.

    You have to do a warm up of the boiler before taking a test.

    Something that happened to me. I took a CO test on a condensing boiler and it was coming 2800ppm +. Gasp, I had to move my meter to the outside air and clear it. Well, the customer noted that I had the meter set to NG and he was on Propane. Way to go Homer.

    Make sure the meter is set to your fuel type, just saying.
  • chilidipchilidip Member Posts: 6
    Yes it is frustrating.  Just multiple items not disclosed.  Example, all the electrical was replaced and upgraded, they forgot to do that In the attic.  

    Thank you for the comments.  
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,741
    "forgot"
  • pecmsgpecmsg Member Posts: 1,480
    chilidip said:

    Sounds good thank you.  Does home warranty cover this ?

    Home Warranty's are a S C A M

    Solid_Fuel_Manluketheplumber
  • chilidipchilidip Member Posts: 6
    I am starting to believe that they are.  4 junction boxes In the attic were discovered by me after I was doing a project.  Uncovered.  You had new 12/2 wire, old cloth wrapped wire, and older 12/2.  Started sparking. 
  • pecmsgpecmsg Member Posts: 1,480
    Home Warranty
    or
    Home Inspector

    ? ? ?
  • chilidipchilidip Member Posts: 6
    Maybe both.  The home inspector can’t lift insulation during the inspection.  
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,227
    edited September 2
    @chilidip

    I would certainly have it serviced by someone competent. Sadly, many will recommend a replacement when all it may need is a good cleaning as @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes suggested.

    Where are you located? Did you check "find a contractor on this site"
  • chilidipchilidip Member Posts: 6
    Western PA.  I did not I will do that. 
  • ZmanZman Member Posts: 5,948
    You absolutely need to get someone competent to look at the whole system. Be sure to have them inspect the flue as well.

    I am not sure I see the wisdom of spending much money repairing the boiler. Yes, it is a quality product but it is over 53 years old. You could end up spending a bunch of money trying to fix it only to end up replacing it.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    CanuckerSTEVEusaPAHVACNUT
  • SlamDunkSlamDunk Member Posts: 860
    edited September 2
    I'll bet you can get more seasons out of it if you can find the right person to work on it. I would try to postpone replacement if I didnt have the funds available
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,227
    agree with @SlamDunk Its a lot easier when you can plan, budget and find the right contractor.

    I think we have some PA contractors on this site. If they are too far away they may have someone they recommend
  • retiredguyretiredguy Member Posts: 270
    If you are in western Pa. and probably around Pittsburgh, Pa I can recommend 2 companies to call. In the south hills, Denillo Heating and cooling and in the north hills Bolster - Dehart. Both have been in business many years and should b able to provide the service you need.
  • gennadygennady Member Posts: 801
    After proper maintenance and set up this boiler will perform great.
    Gennady Tsakh



    Absolute Mechanical Co. Inc.

    www.AbsoluteMechanicalCoInc.com
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,365

    ...
    Something that happened to me. I took a CO test on a condensing boiler and it was coming 2800ppm +. Gasp, I had to move my meter to the outside air and clear it. Well, the customer noted that I had the meter set to NG and he was on Propane. Way to go Homer.

    Make sure the meter is set to your fuel type, just saying.

    I'm gonna have to call question this, to put it nicely. A properly working meter reading 2800ppm because the wrong fuel? Nox filter?
    I tried it with my Insight. The CO didn't change.

    steve
    SuperTechmattmia2Zman
  • SuperTechSuperTech Member Posts: 1,390
    I'm pretty sure most combustion analyzers will read the same CO concentration regardless of which fuel is selected. 
    delta TSTEVEusaPAZman
  • ZmanZman Member Posts: 5,948
    Almost all analyzers measure Temp, 02 and CO and calculate the rest. Some calculations will be effected by incorrect fuel input. "Air Free CO" may be one of them, the actual CO reading is not.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    STEVEusaPA
  • HomerJSmithHomerJSmith Member Posts: 953
    edited September 6
    STEVEusaPA, It's a fact, Jack. But, I can't remember if it was my old meter or my UEI replacement meter. Oh, well, when things don't go the way we planned, what we get is experience.

    After I set the fuel type, I was able to set the hi and low fire. Why, you ask??? Only Lamont Cranston knows.
  • captaincocaptainco Member Posts: 454
    Steveusa is correct. The only things the fuel setting affects is the analyzers approximate calculations, No CO meter I have check in the past 35 years has ever been off more than 30%, which means even 70% of 3800 ppm is deadly.

    Bolster- Dehart would be an excellent choice. If it is fixable they would be the ones to know.
    STEVEusaPA
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