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What type of pro can diagnose exhaust/ventilation?

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ColdNights
ColdNights Member Posts: 21
I'm a novice here. I recently had a hot water heater and boiler installed. We redid the exhaust/ventilation pipes and put a new flue in my chimney (as it is really really old ceramic and was worried about it'd ability to hold in the smoke).

There's a bit of an exhaust smell from the utility room now that drags into the hallway, rooms around, and room above. I have a vent that is ~6 inches off of the ground, and leave a side window (~6 inches from ceiling) cracked. I have tried without the window open too but it seems the same/worse.

The people who installed the flue don't seem the highest quality, so I wanted to get another expert in to assess and see what's off.

What type of professional would be best to diagnose and come up with an action plan?

Comments

  • ColdNights
    ColdNights Member Posts: 21
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    A couple more thoughts...
    - Room size is 7*15.
    - We have a vented door to the hallway.
    - We have CO monitors everywhere and none have hinted at an issue
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,408
    edited January 2021
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    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/

    https://www.combustioninstitute.org/contact-us/
    Tel: 1.412.687.1366 (probably M-F 9-5)
    The Combustion Institute teaches classes and can recommend a contractor who is trained in this subject.

    Your local Fire Department.

    CO alarms do NOT alarm until it is too late! Some Kidde alarms have a "Peak Level" button that you can press to find the actual level of CO in your home. The display will show Zero until you press the button.

    As you stated in your post, something is not right. You are smart to not roll the bones, and get it checked out. As a side benefit, this is an opportunity to find a better contractor to do the annual maintenance on your system.

    EDIT
    If you post pictures of your system here, you will get some opinions.
    I see you have pictures here:
    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/181808/oil-smell-from-air-vent-on-radiators

  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,949
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    A couple more thoughts...
    - Room size is 7*15.
    - We have a vented door to the hallway.
    - We have CO monitors everywhere and none have hinted at an issue

    Your UL listed CO detectors WONT. A UL2034 listed detector will not alarm until 70 PPM is reached continuous for 60 - 180 mins.
    https://www.myhomecomfort.org/carbon-monoxide-levels-risks/

    Search for "Low Level" CO detectors. Defender is the model I like.

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,102
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    Is this in addition to the oil smell from rad air vents upstairs?
    Your steam main air vents are in this room also?
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,829
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    I would get a chimney sweep a licensed certified one
  • ColdNights
    ColdNights Member Posts: 21
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    JUGHNE said:

    Is this in addition to the oil smell from rad air vents upstairs?
    Your steam main air vents are in this room also?

    Yes, this is a different smell. The upstairs was oil smell and has slowly faded from a skimming and blowing down. Still there but not nearly as bad as it was at the beginning.

    This is more of an exhaust type smell. Stuffy.

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,102
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    Can you narrow down which burner is causing it?
    You could shut off the water heater for most of a day and see if it is only coming from the boiler.

    Is your water connected into the horizontal pipe with a Tee rather than a Wye...it looks like it might be.
    Maybe pictures showing the venting piping. Stand back to show most of it from a few angles.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,941
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    JUGHNE said:

    Can you narrow down which burner is causing it?
    You could shut off the water heater for most of a day and see if it is only coming from the boiler.

    Is your water connected into the horizontal pipe with a Tee rather than a Wye...it looks like it might be.
    Maybe pictures showing the venting piping. Stand back to show most of it from a few angles.

    It looks like the vent from the water heater doesn't have enough rise in general.
  • ColdNights
    ColdNights Member Posts: 21
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    Here are the full photos for the ventilation. I used to have two lines going to my chimney, but they were combined into one in a Wye (Y?). It feels more like the boiler is the one causing it as it runs more frequently, but I can test shutting off the hot water heater for a day or so. I've also reached out to a few licensed chimney sweeps.







  • ColdNights
    ColdNights Member Posts: 21
    edited January 2021
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    @pecmsg

    Your UL listed CO detectors WONT. A UL2034 listed detector will not alarm until 70 PPM is reached continuous for 60 - 180 mins.
    https://www.myhomecomfort.org/carbon-monoxide-levels-risks/

    Search for "Low Level" CO detectors. Defender is the model I like.

    Will the regular Defender CA6150 work well or do I need the low level one? The 6150 says it starts picking up at 30 but who knows.
    BigEHead
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,829
    edited January 2021
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    I would move the water heater and re do the flue connections. Your probably getting fumes out of the water heater draft hood when both are running.

    Liner size and height need to be checked
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,384
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    Hi @ColdNights , Just for fun, when the boiler is firing, see if you feel heat escaping from the draft hood on the water heater. Another test is to fire up the water heater when the boiler is not running and see how long it takes for any hot fumes to stop coming out from the draft hood. Normally they don't spill at all or spill only for a few seconds. Then do the same test when the boiler is running and see if anything changes. Let us know!

    Yours, Larry
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,887
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    You might be getting residual heat from the boiler when the vent damper closes. If its standing pilot, make sure the knockout in the damper is removed. There's a switch on the damper motor. While the burner is on and the damper is open, you can switch to manual and leave it open to see if the odors go away. You might lose a few percent in efficiency, but it won't break the bank.
    Has a combustion test been done?
  • ColdNights
    ColdNights Member Posts: 21
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    These are all really helpful thoughts - going to test them out this weekend!