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Posted: 9/26/2001 5:04:12 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 5:23:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2001 5:47:32 PM EDT by MickeyMouse]
I make my living in the HVAC trade. ANYONE who uses ANY appliance including heat that BURNS any fuel other than electricity needs a CO detector in their house. No exceptions! The kind with a digital readout is best. Locate where the alarm will wake you in your bedroom, otherwise you may sleep forever! I have no use for Consumer Reports and never read it. Best CO detectors are the most sensitve ones. These, however, are harder to find as they are discouraged by fire departments consumer groups and the like. Too many trouble calls from alarms. Trouvble is, low levels of CO over long period are very bad for your health and the damage can be cumulative. Buy the sensitive one and FIX THE DARN PROBLEM, not blame the detector! New houses are worse because of limited infiltration to dilute the poison. High eff furnaces are serious offenders for several reasons (I hate 'em!!). They are complex, have tendency to clog flue passages, have serious corrosion problems and short heat exchanger life. With a combustion air fan, they tend to force gases out through small defects in vent. Fuel oil is much less risky as it produces less CO but more stinky fumes that often warn you before you get dead.. LP (Propane)seems the worst as it it can produce CO much more easily than natural gas. ALL UNVENTED heaters are dangerous. Some worse than others. Illegal in many areas and should be illegal everywhere IMHO. Cook stoves put out tremendous amounts of CO; that is why they are considered dangerous for emergency heat. Exhaust fans are notorious for "reversing flues" or drawing negative pressure in a house. Also possible when wind blows jut right. By the time service person arrives, problem is gone. One reason you need your own detector. Another serious problem is "short vents". Chimney or gas vent needs to be 2 feet above anything within 10 feet horizonal. Most are not. Will cause gases to be forced back into house if wind blows right. Look at yours!! Have your furnace and other appliances tested yearly for CO % in flue gas. Also inspect flue pipe and overall appliance condition by a professional. If he can not show you test for CO, fire him and get someone that can! Certified Chimney Sweeps are excellent for checking chimneys and vents. Particularly masonry chimneys and those for any solid fuel such as wood or coal. I refer most of my chimeny work to them. Around here most do not have CO instruments, however, so a properly equipped furnace / appliance technician is still required. That CO check determines if the burner is operating properly. If adjusted correctly there is far less CO in vent so risk is much lower if vent becomes defective. Also tends to save fuel. Helps differentiate between professional furnace guys and fly-by-nights too!!
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 5:28:17 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 5:30:44 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 5:56:43 PM EDT
Hey Sweep - just figured out what you do! My daughter lives N of Atlanta - you close? I can go on about unvented heaters, floor furnaces and wall furnaces for hours! You guys that get up on those 3 story houses and work on chimneys are NUTS! You can do my share, let me tell ya! Funny story - Called on fumy furnace in old downtown building. Quickly determined chimney was plugged. Located obstruction and it was a bi**h to get out. Biggest OWL I ever seen. Sucker must have set on edge of chimney, got overcome and fell in head first. Got wedged about 20 feet down at a bend- TIGHT. Clamped a knife to end of a pipe and chopped up the corpse. F***** mess I can tell ya! Most people just would not believe what I find in flues and chimneys!! Everything except big holes up the middle.
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 7:07:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 7:18:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2001 7:21:00 PM EDT by warlord]
Oh man, Anti was so fortunate. In South. Calif. area, in the San Bernardino mtns, a whole family of 5 perished because of carbon monoxide poisoning because of a derective chimney. After I read the story, I went out to Home Depot and bought a CO detector. It has not gone off, but it is there just to be sure. The wife wasn't exactly pleased about the enourmous price, but if it save me and my family just once, it would have been worth it weight in gold. Another question, why did Anti go back into the house to open the windows after he left? I would have just open the front and back doors, that is the job for the fire dept with full respirators.
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