Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

    Not to long back we had a customer call in with some concerns about how the boiler was firing. He said it was going on for sometime but didn't think much of it. He became concerned after his wife was taking a nap on the living room floor and he had a very difficult time waking her. Could something be wrong?

    After checking the operation of the boiler all seemed normal. T-stat calls, wirsbo strip lights up call for heat, zone valves open, end switch checks, boiler fires...all normal. I let the boiler run a while as I started checking the exhaust and intake vents; they all looked good. Then came the headache and a woosy feeling.

    I immediately went outside to get some fresh air and the CO detector. Sure enough when taking the instrument back in the mechanical room it shot right up to 456ppm. Walking through the house it was reading between 45 and 125ppm depending on how close I was to the mechanical room. The source was actually a crack in the cast heat exchanger. These people were very lucky to still be alive with that type of exposure. Needless to say that boiler was put out of service immediately changed out the next day.

    When doing inspections and annual service checks, should a CO test be done everytime? One smart thing Colorado finally did was to require CO detectors in a home just like a smoke alarm for all new construction and resales. Are other areas doing the same thing?
    Last edited by Kevin Jones; 06-29-2010, 04:09 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

    Just to clarify; was the HO concerned because his wife was napping on the floor or because he had a hard time waking her from her daily carpet nap? Time to buy a couch for the gal.

    On a serious note, CO detectors are definitely a good idea but is there a way to test them to verify operability such as hold it near a car exhaust?
    If you did such a test, would this in any way hinder proper functionality down the road? I'm not paranoid, but how do I know mine works? There is probably quality control when they are manufactured but that doesn't do me any good if the one I purchased happens to be the 1 out of 10,000 that was defective and made it to the store shelf.

    For some reason this thread made me think of a apartment I rented years ago. The landlord would change the smoke detector batteries every 6 months. Problem was, he would use the cheapest bargain bin batteries he could buy (hey, thanks for being concerned buddy!). As soon as he would leave, I would replace his batteries with new Energizers. He always had a confused look when he returned 6 months later but never said a word.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

      If your landlord doesn't buy the most expensive batteries I would not interpret that as a lack of concern. Putting in new batteries every 6 months appears pretty conscientious. Did you determine that the batteries he installed we insufficient for the 6 month duration or did you just assume that?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

        I would recommend having more than just one CO detector. As for the smoke detector batteries most manufactures recommend a good Alkaline cell battery such as Duracell or Energizer. Some use a 5 year Lithium cell battery. It's wise to check the instructions and maybe the manufacture's web site too.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

          My apartment has a a/c wired smoke detector, a fire detector in the utility room and a battery operated CO detector. They come in every 6 months and check the smoke and CO detector with a spray bottle, and put new batteries in the CO detector.
          Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
          Ron's Facebook
          A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
          Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
          Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

            Originally posted by athuswal View Post
            If your landlord doesn't buy the most expensive batteries I would not interpret that as a lack of concern. Putting in new batteries every 6 months appears pretty conscientious. Did you determine that the batteries he installed we insufficient for the 6 month duration or did you just assume that?
            I failed to mention that one of the cheap batteries was showing signs of corrosion right out of the package- that is enough for me. Check the generic batteries the next time you are at a discount store: you should be able to find some already corroding in the package. As far as the landlord showing concern by changing batteries every 6 months- wrong. He was obligated to by his insurance. Furthermore, a name brand 9V battery is generally comprised of 6 AAAA batteries in series. One of the reasons behind this is in fact to promote shelf life and minimize corrosion. Open a generic 9V battery and you will find the reason as to why it is cheap. If your fire safety is not worth an additional $1.50 per battery every 6 months, then by all means purchase generic.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

              Originally posted by Paul5409 View Post
              On a serious note, CO detectors are definitely a good idea but is there a way to test them to verify operability such as hold it near a car exhaust? If you did such a test, would this in any way hinder proper functionality down the road? I'm not paranoid, but how do I know mine works? There is probably quality control when they are manufactured but that doesn't do me any good if the one I purchased happens to be the 1 out of 10,000 that was defective and made it to the store shelf.
              .
              Great question...What can be even more scary is the level some sense? upto 400ppm before going off.

              Having more than one is a great ideajust for that reason.

              One should absolutely be near the mechanical area. A second perhaps in the next major room.

              As for testing there is a test button. Does it still work? That would in reality cost more than a new unit to find out by professional testing. Its not perfect. The second unit is cheap insurance.

              If testing was a standard part of an annual service, then the awareness of a failed detector may be found early. What if you had the equipment and ran a promotion charging a $whatever inspection fee? Would that make the machine pay for itself and fill some lax days? Especially if that turned a few bigger jobs by observation while there or readings of failures.
              Last edited by Kevin Jones; 06-30-2010, 07:59 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

                Illinois state law requires C.O. detectors. A person could live in a house without a fuel burning appliance and still be required to have C.O. detectors. Big government at its finest.

                One question. Wasnt the crack in the boiler HX leaking water?

                Andy

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

                  Originally posted by Loud Pedal View Post
                  Illinois state law requires C.O. detectors. A person could live in a house without a fuel burning appliance and still be required to have C.O. detectors. Big government at its finest.

                  One question. Wasnt the crack in the boiler HX leaking water?

                  Andy
                  No on the water leak. The leak was on a Weil Mclain Gold Series. The way the HX works on that unit allows for an external crack leaking exhaust while the fluid side is intact. The crack was on the exterior rear left of the unit.

                  I still have the exchanger at the office if you want a pic.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

                    Originally posted by Kevin Jones View Post
                    Great question...What can be even more scary is the level some sense? upto 400ppm before going off.

                    Having more than one is a great ideajust for that reason.

                    One should absolutely be near the mechanical area. A second perhaps in the next major room.

                    As for testing there is a test button. Does it still work? That would in reality cost more than a new unit to find out by professional testing. Its not perfect. The second unit is cheap insurance.

                    If testing was a standard part of an annual service, then the awareness of a failed detector may be found early. What if you had the equipment and ran a promotion charging a $whatever inspection fee? Would that make the machine pay for itself and fill some lax days? Especially if that turned a few bigger jobs by observation while there or readings of failures.
                    Having a second CO detector is a good idea but I'm still curious if there is a way that I could test them myself. The test button does work but that only verifies that there is a good battery installed and that the circuit is operational- it does not inject CO into the sensor. Any ideas?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

                      There are spray cans available, I have seen these used at the office

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

                        We used to make sure there was at least one CO detector on each level of the home at a minimum (back when I was doing home safety surveys at the fire department)

                        We transported an entire family to the hospital once due to a hack homeowner installed LPG water heater.

                        When the HO is present, I always ask if they have CO detectors when i'm there servicing the heating system.

                        I've ordered a small personal gas monitor (gasbadge some people call them), I've been into a few too many places with malfunctioning combustion appliances.

                        I intend to have it on me at all times when on service calls.

                        Gotta preserve the remaining brain cells!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

                          Originally posted by radar_40 View Post
                          We used to make sure there was at least one CO detector on each level of the home at a minimum (back when I was doing home safety surveys at the fire department)

                          We transported an entire family to the hospital once due to a hack homeowner installed LPG water heater.

                          When the HO is present, I always ask if they have CO detectors when i'm there servicing the heating system.

                          I've ordered a small personal gas monitor (gasbadge some people call them), I've been into a few too many places with malfunctioning combustion appliances.

                          I intend to have it on me at all times when on service calls.

                          Gotta preserve the remaining brain cells!
                          Not that I have any cells left...where can a tech buy that type of monitor? That is a great idea!

                          CO is odorless, colorless, and if you are not aware of its side effects to signify the presence then it can be missed.

                          Some of the signs I know of deal with the customer. Asking about headaches, being tired all the time, and general health issues. CO will build up in the blood stream and cause long term damage.

                          In the short sight I have seen condensation on the inside of windows, sooting, carbon build-up on the exchanger and vent, and odor (the sweet odor is aldehydes, another poisonous gas that goes in hand whith poor combustion).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

                            I don't remember the brand I ordered.

                            there's 2 types of small monitors/alarms

                            one type has a rechargeable/replaceable battery and must be calibrated

                            the other is sealed, and has a life of typically 2 years, no calibration, cannot be shut off

                            i'll attach some links

                            I ordered mine from my local fire and safety store

                            http://www.professionalequipment.com...ide-detectors/

                            http://www.professionalequipment.com...ide-detectors/

                            http://www.professionalequipment.com...ide-detectors/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

                              Can you post a link for purchase of this spray?

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X