Monday, March 19, 2018

Deadly Carbon Monoxide Condition avoided because an alarm was not ignored.

One of the IT guys I used recently called and asked me about doing monitoring on a Very  exclusive High End large home  used as a weekend hunting lodge out in the middle of no where in Armstrong County Pa.

It had installed a very high end Elk Security and Automation System which needed some tender care and programming with the automation and person who installed it and company are no longer in Business. Panel was a mess and needed cleaned up.

He had it all figured out except the Macurco CO Detector kept going off.
I went out and changed the detector to a new System Sensor CO1224T  since the Macurco piece was past its  10 year expiration date .

I did not sense any issues in basement some times you can, asked if she was getting headaches flu symptoms she said no. So I installed the System Sensor unit  Since Macurco unit was past its expiration maybe it was reason it was falsing seen it before and later that evening it went off. Owner was not going to be there overnight which was good and told her I would be out in morning to test
I bought a CO hand held monitor  made by UEI $200.00  from local heating supply house as I have had issues like this in past and since they did not want a lot of people around this place and it was
propane calling and having fire dept all over place was not an option. So I went out that morning and as soon as I walked in home after calibrating the unit started getting readings it topped out at 20PPM .

Not a good situation . The person who installed the combo hot water heat and domestic hot water for sink and  heating part of  system which was hot water under floor piping  takes for ever to respond so my IT guy knew some one local and they responded with in the hour.

Sure enough his meter was reading even higher than mine by time he got there.

before the boiler was even opened found a couple issues Rubber Fern-co couplers used on the plastic exhaust line manufacturer does not recommend using them can come loose and deteriorate should be a solid glued coupler .Then outside a grill was in front of pipes blocking air flow and to make matters worse a homemade plate drilled full of holes  was used as a screen to keep birds out a screen is made by manufacturer specifically for unit but was not used .

Then the condensate tray which collect's the water produced when heat is condensed  because furnace is 95% efficient was full and not draining fully another potential of CO along with couplers one of which was leaking.  There was also potential that heating  exchange core which has coils for domestic hot water  and hot water for heating pipe  was cracked and leaking was going to be a expensive day for customer but I saved their lives Thats all that counted. This furnace was put in around 2004 and since its well water that feeds it it required special treatment system which if it was not working properly could have lead to this early failure . and since it was put in before the 2004
Uniform state wide ICC Construction Code went into effect there was little inspections done.
Shame this owner paid for and did not receive what he paid for.

Needless to say some lesson learned never ignore a CO detector it could be the end for you.