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.

why should comb analyzers measure CO?

Chuckles_3
Chuckles_3 Member Posts: 110
Amateur question here. They make expensive combustion anayzers that measure CO, and cheaper devices ("efficiency analyzers") that only measure CO2, O2, etc. Why does one need the CO reading to tune up the boiler? It occurs to me that if I maximize the CO2 reading, that will also mimimize the CO reading (more complete combustion = less incomplete combustion). No?

Is it that the CO reading is more sensitive because it is close to zero, while the CO2 reading is so high that it is hard to detect small changes in it?

Comments

  • Maximizing CO2

    does not always indicate low or no CO. You can have high CO2 and low O2 (excess air) and be making carbon monoxide. The CO reading is an absolute neccessity on every combustion test. Without it you do not know. By the way with that high CO2 you will have a good flame (blue if Gas) and you will not be able to tell visibly that you have a problem.

    High efficency is also not an indication of no CO. You must test to know!!!

    Classes are next Friday at 36 Market Street, Warren Rhode Island "Procedures for Testing Design Gas Equipment".
  • Maximizing CO2

    does not always indicate low or no CO. You can have high CO2 and low O2 (excess air) and be making carbon monoxide. The CO reading is an absolute neccessity on every combustion test. Without it you do not know. By the way with that high CO2 you will have a good flame (blue if Gas) and you will not be able to tell visibly that you have a problem.

    High efficency is also not an indication of no CO. You must test to know!!!

    Classes are next Friday at 36 Market Street, Warren Rhode Island "Procedures for Testing Design Gas Equipment".
  • Sorry for the

    double post I had mouse problems.
  • Rudy
    Rudy Member Posts: 482
    Whew!!

    This is only going to hit some of the points you bring up and add a bit to what Tim posted.

    First off, watching the CO reading on light off will give you a much better idea how smooth ignition is. The same goes for shut down.

    In a perfect world, an acceptable CO2 reading would mean no CO, unfortunately.....

    Having a record of light off CO, running CO and shut down CO helps develop a burner performance history which can be compared to future test results which may help identify a problem during a regular tune and clean as opposed to a 2am ‘no heat’. This info may also be helpful in troubleshooting a burner problem

    There are also a lot of 'tricks' you can use the CO reading for. Watching for a change in the reading when the clothes dryer is turned on may be indicative of insufficient make up air.

    By the same token, watching for changes in any of the readings when a door/window is opened may suggest insufficient combustion air.

    Having the 'continuous digital readout’ also helps speed up the tuning process – as opposed to pumping 18 times, inverting the bottle twice (and hoping the liquid is still good).

    To a lot of homeowners/business owners, using electronics also looks more professional and increases the value of your services, plus a lot of folks are increasingly concerned about the CO issues and testing may provide some piece of mind. More importantly, testing for CO will find more work!!

    And, by the way, if you are just talking about a basic analyzer w/o printing capabilities, pressure measurement and a few other bells and whistles, the electronics aren't that much more expensive than the shaker bottles...
  • jbplumber
    jbplumber Member Posts: 89
    Timmie

    Not being anywhere Rhode Island can the Manual be purchased? J.Lockard
  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 1,029
    It ain't just for breakfast anymore

    A good analyzer can also be used for CO sampling in the home and not just analyzing stack gases. I use my FRP125 when investigating soot claims, odor complaints, gas smells, etc. Being a pump makes it more apt to cover the area better than an ambient monitor such as a Snifit50, which our techs use for spot checks in the house. As Mr. Leatherman pointed out, it also sells them you're a pro. Who else would be using something like that that has a filter in the hose, digital readout, and can print off a copy for posterity? I only wish it had rechargeable batteries. The magnetic boot is really nice, too.
    I can take air temp readings in a warm air duct, draft readings to set a baro. damper, and compare SSE's with the service Hx to see if somebody is fudging their numbers to make it look good.
    *************
    Side note; I came in from the snow storm last weekend to find the tech from the oil co. working on my old boiler. This is an old coal burner with a non-flame retention burner. My filter clogged right in the middle of a blizzard. Gotta clean my tanks. Anyway, he fired it up, turned on his FRP125 right inside the case and took a reading, then printed it all in less than 2 minutes! I asked if he ever calibrates it in fresh air or waits for the appliance to warm up before taking a reading. Yeah, right...Remember, this boiler had been cold for 14 hrs. He claimed 77% SSE. I usually get about 73% once it reaches cruising altitude. Can't wait to change that iron monster out. 1.2 GPH yet the calculations call for about 0.85 with a 3-4 section boiler. Haven't decided on the replacement yet. Hoping to postpone that until this summer, along with the new roof, 1 kid going into college and her sister getting married.
  • Rudy
    Rudy Member Posts: 482
    Please, Bob.....

    You can call me Rudy, you can call me flamehead, you can call me the 'guru of the flue' (or any number of other names), but don't call me Mr. Leatherman ;)!!!
  • Jim I do

    not sell that one it is something I typically want to give out in seminars with instructions on its application. If you e-mail me I am sure I can work something out with you as I know your abilities and have met you personally.
  • Jim Davis_3
    Jim Davis_3 Member Posts: 578
    CO2-$$-O2$$-Temp$$- -CO-Priceless

    Only one measurement guarantees that the mechanical operation of an appliance is correct and safe and that is a CO reading. CO can exist in high levels at any CO2 or O2 level. All other readings are measureable setpoints that can be attained to approach maximizing efficiency, but without the CO reading they should not even be attempted. For many years everyone has been winging it while in reality gambling on the health and safety of their customers. Anyone servicing equipment today without a CO analysis is doing a great disservice to their customer.
This discussion has been closed.