: Carbon Monoxide Levels?



Playdrv4me
03-07-05, 05:25 AM
Ook... so I try to avoid any housing with fuel powered devices, but I made a concession for this brand new apartment with an energy efficient Rinnai gas heater. I also asked the landlord to install a CO detector in the apartment. Now when I first moved in I could have sworn it said 0 for the longest time. Now tonight it went all the way up to 40ppm for a little while then back down to 30. From what Im reading this is NOT good, but Im thinking it could also be due to the small size of the apartment. Guess I should call the landlord tomorrow to investigate for leaks?

EDIT: OK, one thing I just noticed while staring at the display for a while, it jumps from 0 to 30 and then 31, 32, 33 etc..., I dont think it has a "1-29", so perhaps im making more of it than I should.

danbuc
03-07-05, 05:39 AM
Maybe it only starts showing a reading, when the levels get high enough to be concerned about? At any rate, I would still talk to the lanlord, and see what's up. Maybe 30-40ppm or whatever, is within the safe limit. Still better to be safe than sorry. Good luck, I hope you get it straightened out.

c5 rv
03-07-05, 07:05 PM
With CO, you should be concerned with ANY reading above zero! Check to be sure if the door to your garage is closing and sealing. On any gas appliances, make sure the flue is open and the exterior chimney / outlet is unobstructed. Newer water heaters have a fan to pull the exhaust and room air into pvc outlet pipe that goes through the wall. Make sure the fan is running when the water heater is on and the outlet, which is often near the ground, is unobstructed. On new construction, there is often an inlet vent for outside air. Make sure that is open, too. If you start getting unexplained headaches, get out of there and go to the hospital. Let your landlord pay for you to stay in a hotel until the CO level is back to zero and stays there.

We rented a house that had a low level CO problem. I thought it was the woodburning stove, but it turned out to be a hole drilled in the baseboard of the family room to pass a phone cord to the garage. The hole was near the garage door and everytime you started a car, the lower pressure in the house, due to the furnace or woodburning stove, pulled the CO into the house. Some expanding foam took care of the problem.

turbojimmy
03-07-05, 07:17 PM
Anything above 0 is not good.

Mine never budge off of 0. The only time mine ever moved was when I was goofing around with the GN idling in the garage. The detector in my family room - which at the opposite end of the house - went off. They're VERY sensitive. I wouldn't rest if they said anything other than '0'

EDIT: Now that I think about it, I put one in the garage when I first installed my ventless heater to see what it would say. Never moved off 0.

Jim

Ralph
03-07-05, 07:19 PM
See if he can put in another detector, this one might be defective?

slk230mb
03-07-05, 07:40 PM
Also, if there is new carpet in the apartment the formaldehyde used in the padding could set the CO detector off. It happened to us after we changed the carpet in the den next to the garage. The CO detector never once went off with starting the car in the garage, 20 minutes with the new carpet and it was going off.

Playdrv4me
03-07-05, 09:34 PM
Ralph hit the nail on the head. She replaced it with TWO other ones, a non display one and another identical display one. I found out tonight shed had the first one for a while. Sure enough I come in tonight and find them both plugged in on either side of the heater, the old one is up to its old tricks, reading about 36, and the new one hasnt budged off of 0.

Rolex
03-07-05, 09:43 PM
50 parts per million (ppm) - Safety level as specified by the Health and Safety Executive

200 PPM - Slight headache within 2-3 hours

400 PPM - Frontal headache within 1-2 hours, becoming widespread in 3 hours

800 PPM - Dizziness, nausea, convulsions within 45 minutes, insensible in 2 hours



It's odorless and colorless, and great at killing you doornail dead. Use you CO detector in good health. :)

Playdrv4me
03-07-05, 10:10 PM
Oh crap...

31 again on the new one... somethin is definitely up in here. Furnace is goin off for tonight if I can stand it.

Heres the thing, today was a relatively warm day and the thing hasnt been on all day. Im beginning to think its not the Furnace but something else... Then again maybe its just im watching that freaky forensic files show.

Vesicant
03-07-05, 10:22 PM
Hmm.

Kev
03-07-05, 10:42 PM
Listen, I don't know how new or updated your home is but here are some things that everyone needs to consider.
If you have fuel burning appliances in your home and you (or someone else) have faithfully and fastidiously sealed everything with caulking or weather strpping you have to make sure that your home gets the proper amount of air changes per hour including fresh air intake (or replacement). If you are not replacing the air you could very easily set off CO2 detectors and create an unhealthy living condition for yourselves and your families.
You need to make sure that fireplaces, wood burning stoves, gas ovens - ranges - heaters are all properly vented. If you have a central heating system, you need to check for a fresh air source into the return air duct. Older houses were not as air tight as they are today and consequently there was little concern for fresh air duct connections as the fresh air came in through leaks in windows and doors.

Kev
03-07-05, 11:04 PM
I used to have a chart of recommended air change values for various ocupied space venues, I'm not sure if I still have it but will gladly look for it if anyone is interested.

Ralph
03-07-05, 11:08 PM
Ralph hit the nail on the head. She replaced it with TWO other ones, a non display one and another identical display one. I found out tonight shed had the first one for a while. Sure enough I come in tonight and find them both plugged in on either side of the heater, the old one is up to its old tricks, reading about 36, and the new one hasnt budged off of 0.

I was hoping that was the problem. Last winter I bought my parents one for their house but it isn't anything fancy like yours with a digital readout.

May I ask what brand it is??

Did your alarm ever go off?

Kev
03-07-05, 11:10 PM
Oh crap...

31 again on the new one... somethin is definitely up in here. Furnace is goin off for tonight if I can stand it.

Heres the thing, today was a relatively warm day and the thing hasnt been on all day. Im beginning to think its not the Furnace but something else... Then again maybe its just im watching that freaky forensic files show.Ralph, read down farther, he still has a problem.

Ralph
03-07-05, 11:13 PM
Ralph, read down farther, he still has a problem.

I know that's why I said "I was hoping THAT was the problem." I guess I didn't word it very good, sorry.

If his detector didn't go off does he really have to worry?

Kev
03-07-05, 11:14 PM
I know that's why I said "I was hoping THAT was the problem." I guess I didn't word it very good, sorry.

If his detector didn't go off does he really have to worry?Oh......OK...........nevermind.........:o

Playdrv4me
03-07-05, 11:31 PM
The structure is old, but the apartment is brand new construction inside. Im sure its pretty airtight, and who knows, maybe it is the carpet. There are no other fuel burning appliances in this entire apartment. HOWEVER, the adjacent unfinished units are being painted and primered etc., maybe something is filtering over.

As far as the alarm going off, no it never has, and its probably not even close, but the whole point of the ones with readouts is to monitor the level continuously. These are also supposedly the most sensitive highest quality ones the lady bought, I read about them and they are supposed to be good.

The Kidde Nighthawk Digital Readout model, and the other one is a non readout Kidde.

Ralph
03-07-05, 11:33 PM
The structure is old, but the apartment is brand new construction inside. Im sure its pretty airtight, and who knows, maybe it is the carpet. There are no other fuel burning appliances in this entire apartment. HOWEVER, the adjacent unfinished units are being painted and primered etc., maybe something is filtering over.

Still waiting on that brand name.......... :yawn:



Where's your avatar Kev?

Kev
03-07-05, 11:35 PM
Wasumatter? You don't like the dancin' banana?

Playdrv4me
03-07-05, 11:36 PM
Ralphie, see the addition to my post.

Ralph
03-07-05, 11:39 PM
Ralphie, see the addition to my post.

Thanks, I'll have to look for one of those if they are good.

Your in an appartment, right?? I know that you Americans like your gas powered ranges, (stoves) but in an appartment the furnace is down in the basement so why would you really need a CMD?

Would a gas range be enough reason to own one? We use electric ranges here and VERY few people have natural gas ranges.

Kev
03-07-05, 11:47 PM
Thanks, I'll have to look for one of those if they are good.

Your in an appartment, right?? I know that you Americans like your gas powered ranges, (stoves) but in an appartment the furnace is down in the basement so why would you really need a CMD?

Would a gas range be enough reason to own one? We use electric ranges here and VERY few people have natural gas ranges.You've been watching too much American TV!

Ralph
03-07-05, 11:50 PM
You've been watching too much American TV!

Well, Canuck tv sure isn't worth watching, other than all those beautiful game show hosts that is. :sneaky:

Playdrv4me
03-07-05, 11:54 PM
Nah, this is an old building that was costly to renovate to central air. Each unit has its own high efficiency electronically controlled gas furnace in the living room. There is no central unit in the basement. Other than that, its all electric

Kev
03-07-05, 11:56 PM
Nah, this is an old building that was costly to renovate to central air. Each unit has its own high efficiency electronically controlled gas furnace in the living room. There is no central unit in the basement. Other than that, its all electricAre we talkin thermostatically controlled wall furnace?

Kev
03-08-05, 12:01 AM
How old is the furnace? If it is more than 10 years old you should ask the gas company to send somone out to inspect it. Out here they do that for customers at no charge, they will check the heat exchanger for signs of cracking or leaking.

Playdrv4me
03-08-05, 12:12 AM
No its not more than a couple of months old at most. It is thermostatically controlled. You set it to like 62 and when the temp reaches 62 it will go off etc. but its not on right now at all. Its completely switched off.

Ralph
03-08-05, 12:13 AM
No its not more than a couple of months old at most. It is thermostatically controlled. You set it to like 62 and when the temp reaches 62 it will go off etc. but its not on right now at all. Its completely switched off.

Ask your neighbours if they are experiencing the same thing.


I would keep the windows open as much as possible for awhile or until you find out more.

Playdrv4me
03-08-05, 05:39 AM
Ok well so much for that. The ladlady left the other apartment open for me in case the readout unit hit 40 tonight, and it did. So I came and put it in the other apartment to check the readings over here but I myself went and stayed in the 40ppm apartment again being an idiot that I am because I continue to insist there is nothing obviously wrong here. Well, round about 419am the OTHER one that has no display does what none of them have done so far, the Alarm went off. So I reset it, called the landlord and skidaddled out of there quick. If I hear it go off again from over here Im going to have to call the fire department. I SWEAR this crap only happens to me... what are the odds...

The only theory I have left at this point, is that either I am giving off rediculous levels of CO, or even these new fangled furnaces must have a pilot light or something in them that is burning gas at all times. Theres nothing else there that could cause this. Well, unless decomposing food can do it, my trash service hasnt been setup yet and I have a bag I need to get rid of asap, lol.

Adumb
03-08-05, 10:58 AM
i think maybe you give off crazy levels of CO. haha

Kev
03-08-05, 11:02 AM
The CO should be going up the flue, even if there is a pilot light (there shouldn't be one in newer furnaces). If it is a new unit in a retrofit situation it may be possilbe that the flue is not properly conected to the unit. Call the gas company and see if they offer safety inspections. Tell them the situation and see what they can do. The other option is to have the landlady call the contractor that installed the units and have him check it out. There should be a year warrantee on the installation and equipment.

Look at it this way, you'll sleep good in that aprtment, course, you may have a hard time waking up....might give you a nasty headache......:canttalk:

Playdrv4me
03-08-05, 11:32 AM
The CO should be going up the flue, even if there is a pilot light (there shouldn't be one in newer furnaces). If it is a new unit in a retrofit situation it may be possilbe that the flue is not properly conected to the unit. Call the gas company and see if they offer safety inspections. Tell them the situation and see what they can do. The other option is to have the landlady call the contractor that installed the units and have him check it out. There should be a year warrantee on the installation and equipment.

Look at it this way, you'll sleep good in that aprtment, course, you may have a hard time waking up....might give you a nasty headache......:canttalk:

Thanks for the info Kev (and yes maybe I have a personal CO problem :p)

Let me ask you a question, in the case of this new furnace, if its OFF, i.e. I LITERALLY press the OFF button and the thing is dead. Is it REALLY off? No pilot lights or anything else running in there? I certainly cant hear anything. This and the fact the level fluctuates between 40 and 0 has me very curious and I think its natural to blame the heater when the heater may have nothing to do with it.

Adumb
03-08-05, 11:40 AM
i think the pilot light is always on. like an old stove the pilot lights are always on. my furnace, you have to light the pilot light before winter and i dont think it goes out till you completely cut the gas to the furnace

slk230mb
03-08-05, 11:53 AM
Some new furnaces have electric starts. The 3 units in our house all have electric valves in the gas line and they open when the furnance it turned on, and they close when it's off. No pilot light required.

Playdrv4me
03-08-05, 11:58 AM
Some new furnaces have electric starts. The 3 units in our house all have electric valves in the gas line and they open when the furnance it turned on, and they close when it's off. No pilot light required.

I think this is exactly how mine works. It is also connected to 120V power so Im assuming this is for more than just powering the display and temp buttons, but probably also for the ignition source. Its a Rinnai Energysaver 1004.

slk230mb
03-08-05, 12:01 PM
I think this is exactly how mine works. It is also connected to 120V power so Im assuming this is for more than just powering the display and temp buttons, but probably also for the ignition source. Its a Rinnai Energysaver 1004.

Yup, it looks to be that way.

http://www.ecpproduct.com/rinnai1.htm#1004

turbojimmy
03-08-05, 12:52 PM
It's also probably a direct-vent which has a fan to push the fumes out (I think Rinnai's EnergySaver line is all direct-vent). Direct vent appliances use a double-walled tube (tube within a tube) that draws in fresh air and also expels the fumes. There are distance limitations as well as limitations on the number of bends you can put in direct vent plumbing. If it can't get enough fresh air, or expel the fumes then it's going to raise the CO levels. A properly functioning direct-vent appliance should have 0 effect on CO levels.

Jim

Rolex
03-08-05, 03:55 PM
The problem could be something as simple as a dirty burner, or a busted heat exchange. You should call (or insist your landlord call) a heating and air service to have the furnace cleaned and inspected.

Kev
03-08-05, 03:59 PM
It is a direct vent, it is most likely installed on an exterior wall with the vent at the rear of the unit. It gets it's combustion air from the vent as you can see from the attached picture. The only danger of CO from this would be either a cracked heat exchanger or a leak in the flue. Both are highly unlikely in this case if the installation was good, given the age.
If you have turned it off, it should be off and there should not be any danger of CO from it.
I have no personal experience with this particular furnace but it looks like a nice one from what I've seen and read.
I would look for other sources for the CO.

Kev
03-08-05, 04:04 PM
Code in California requires all gas furnaces to have electronic ignition, no more pilot lights. I am not sure but would bet that most or all other states are the same. As an old Tinner used to tell me; "They don't build 'em like they used to, and it's a good thing!"

Stoneage_Caddy
03-08-05, 04:06 PM
what floor is your apartment ? ...is ther a apartment above or below you ? could it be to blame ? maybe the vents are clogged with snow ...has anyone else looked at there readouts ?

just a couple ideas

Kev
03-08-05, 04:10 PM
what floor is your apartment ? ...is ther a apartment above or below you ? could it be to blame ? maybe the vents are clogged with snow ...has anyone else looked at there readouts ?

just a couple ideasGood ideas. :thumbsup:

Stoneage_Caddy
03-08-05, 04:18 PM
yah but i cant remeber if carbon monoxide travels up or down ......i think it travels down but im not sure ...

Kev
03-08-05, 04:38 PM
although carbon monoxide is roughly the same weight as air (carbon monoxide's specific gravity is 0.9657, as stated by the EPA; the National Resource Council lists the specific gravity of air as one), it may be contained in warm air coming from combustion appliances such as home heating equipment. If this is the case, carbon monoxide will rise with the warmer air.
Some CO info;
http://www.carbonmonoxidekills.com/
http://www.epa.gov/iaq/co.html
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/466.html

c5 rv
03-08-05, 08:34 PM
CO is not something to f*** with:

38 Fall Ill at Royal Oak Pool

http://www.detnews.com/2005/metro/0503/06/A01-108835.htm

Stoneage_Caddy
03-08-05, 08:47 PM
Some CO info;
http://www.carbonmonoxidekills.com/
http://www.epa.gov/iaq/co.html
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/466.html
this tells me the source of his problem COULD be from a apartment below him ....now does he have a apartment below ?

at any rate this aint something to be screwing around with , put your foot down , if the land lord cannt eastablish a safe place for you to live then you all need to find a way to terminate the agreement and move on ...

I belive the jeffersons said it best " moving on up to a deeeelux apartment in the sky"

Playdrv4me
03-08-05, 08:54 PM
I should make it clear that there is NO ONE else living in the building right now, its just me. Below me is a basement that COULD be the source, but he came in and thoroughly checked the heater today, cranked it up to 68 which is continuously running, and I do have to admit, when I opened my door the detector was sitting at 0 and still is. He said that earlier when he first turned it on, it jumped to 400 something and went off like a wildman, then he reset it and it stayed at 0 the rest of the day. I think theres something tripping the detectors in here plain and simple. One thing of consequence, this all seemed to have started happening the day after the guy came and installed and drilled for the cable. I did notice the way that these heaters are vented there isnt much room for error. Its up against anoutside wall like Kev said, theres a pipe lookin valve doodad straight out the wall. It just blows the exhaust right outside the wall. It doesnt go up the building or anything like that. It is also entirely possible that he fixed something inadvertently or on purpose, and just didnt want to tell me. But they are such nice people, they bend over backwards to accomodate me, I dont think they would lie about something so sensitive.

Ralph
03-08-05, 08:56 PM
I should make it clear that there is NO ONE else living in the building right now, its just me.

Ahhh, maybe that the problem, they all..........died? :hide: :(

Stoneage_Caddy
03-08-05, 08:57 PM
ROFL......They moved on up to that delux apartment in the sky ....BWAHAHAHAHA

Kev
03-08-05, 09:45 PM
C'mon guys, he's doin just fine. It doesn't sound like a life threatening issue yet. Geez, how did all you rocket scientists survive without CO detectors all those years?
Let's not get too crazy here. :rolleyes2 :banghead2

Stoneage_Caddy
03-08-05, 10:00 PM
well i dont need no detectors .....only the strong survive ...right ralphie ?

well i lived in florida , no where near gas ...in alaska my room was heated via a gycol system that was heated off site ....

so i never needed them ..but ive been in nasty situations that after it was all said and done i wish i had the detectors

Ralph
03-08-05, 10:24 PM
Let's not get too crazy here. :rolleyes2 :banghead2

Yes Daddy. :helpless: :yawn:






;)

Ralph
03-08-05, 10:30 PM
well i dont need no detectors .....only the strong survive ...right ralphie ?

well i lived in florida , no where near gas ...in alaska my room was heated via a gycol system that was heated off site ....

so i never needed them ..but ive been in nasty situations that after it was all said and done i wish i had the detectors

I bet in Florida you NEVER need a furnace in your house, etc. You probably only need it 2 days of the year. What's stupid here is that you still have to pay about 40 bucks a month (because you have it) in the summer months even though you don't need to turn it on! I think my parents pay about 70 bucks a month in winter but the house is a good size.

Playdrv4me
03-08-05, 11:33 PM
Yes ive heard of this. Its called a "budget plan", where you pay a more or less even amount all throughout the year to keep from getting huge bills in the winter.

Anyway, Im about to pull these things off the wall. I know MY furnace is fine, so Im getting tired of sitting here being enslaved to watching this display all the time. I may leave the non display one in place and kill the other one. Ill sit there and watch it constantly if I dont get rid of it.

Stoneage_Caddy
03-08-05, 11:49 PM
i dunno if i could do that ...knowing i had a problem i like to keep tabs on the situation ...

I had a voltage lamp come on the cadillac 3 months ago for 2 seconds , i found a bad connection and redid it but i still installed a voltage gauge so i can look down in all my obsessive compulsive disorder glory and make sure its doing ok ...

and then you get to the point of "information overload" and that sucks just as much because then the damn sky is always falling

Ralph
03-08-05, 11:50 PM
Yes ive heard of this. Its called a "budget plan", where you pay a more or less even amount all throughout the year to keep from getting huge bills in the winter.

Anyway, Im about to pull these things off the wall. I know MY furnace is fine, so Im getting tired of sitting here being enslaved to watching this display all the time. I may leave the non display one in place and kill the other one. Ill sit there and watch it constantly if I dont get rid of it.

Not to upset you or anything, but can you call the gas company? They should be concerned over this and do a free inspection? Or the plumbing company that installed the furnaces, but it's still the landlords responsibility to take your concerns seriously and ensure you are safe imo.

I say if that alarm goes off, GET OUT! Your health is more important than hurting the landlords feelings!