Hazardous level of co2 - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 11 Old Oct 11th, 2005, 4:01 pm Thread Starter
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Question Hazardous level of co2

our cooling and heating contractor just completed the fall maintenance on our 2 heating units (14 year old two story house - units are in the attic - bedrooms are upstairs). we were told that both units are leaking co2.
the detected c02 amounts were 13ppm & 16ppm. he extinguished the pilot lights stating that the units were unsafe to run.
we were quoted $3,700 to replace both heat exchangers. i told him i would need to get a second opinion before spending that kind of money. i paid him for the annual inspection.
doing a little researce on the web, i find that levels below 1,000ppm are acceptable.
am i missing something?
if you were in my shoes, what would you do next?
serious responses only.... please.
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post #2 of 11 Old Oct 11th, 2005, 4:07 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalehere
... the detected c02 amounts were 13ppm & 16ppm. he extinguished the pilot lights stating that the units were unsafe to run.
we were quoted $3,700 to replace both heat exchangers. ...
First and formost; WHERE where these measured? In your attic? In the smoke stack, ? ...

And even more so after turning off the pilots did the levels in the rooms change at all? 13ppm sounds very close to 'surrounding levels' already.

Bottomline: I'd try to find out what the real and measured impact on my living area is.
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post #3 of 11 Old Oct 11th, 2005, 4:30 pm
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Sounds like someone got a new jar of Vaseline !!!!!!

For healthy adults, CO becomes toxic when it reaches a level higher than 50 ppm (parts per million) with continuous exposure over an eight hour period.. When the level of CO becomes higher than that, a person will suffer from symptoms of exposure. Mild exposure over a few hours (a CO level between 70 ppm and 100 ppm) include flu-like symptoms such as headaches, sore eyes and a runny nose. Medium exposure (a CO level between 150 ppm to 300 ppm) will produce dizziness, drowsiness and vomiting. Extreme exposure (a CO level of 400 ppm and higher) will result in unconsciousness, brain damage and death.

Time to call the local media and report RIP-OFF

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post #4 of 11 Old Oct 11th, 2005, 4:49 pm
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First of all your heating unit does not give off CO2 (carbon dioxide), it can produce CO (carbon monoxide) if not burning efficiently or the flue or firebox leaks.

You can do a number of things yourself to check it out.
- Go to Home Depot and get a CO detector. They are on the shelf with the smoke detectors.

- Make an appointment to have your blood drawn first thing in the morning. Go there directly from your home. This will show if you are accumulating CO from small amounts in the air.

- Get a second opinion from the biggest HVAC contractor in the area. The bigger the better, they canít afford to screw you.

Just donít do nothing. CO does kill.

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post #5 of 11 Old Oct 11th, 2005, 9:44 pm
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CO kills, Co2 we drink

yup.. the Carbon MONOxide is da killer. Do not mess with it.

Get the sensors...but they only warn when it's dangerous... may not give you a specific level.

Get your blood level checked.. all good ideas.

I don't know what size units you have for your AC but I would have someone else evaluate for you because that sounds steep. I had my whole system replaced, compressor, condenser, evaporator, air handler, etc, for $2100 just a couple years ago.

I also know someone who's in the business near Dallas.. he might offer some insight. PM me your details and I'll send to him.

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post #6 of 11 Old Oct 11th, 2005, 9:52 pm
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Cool

Sounds like you need a second opinion for sure. I replaced my total unit a couple of years ago and I had three bids the highest was 10K the lowest was 2K. the third said it would take at least one month to complete the job and remove several walls.

I chose the cheapest price and they were done in two days. I also purchased a CO senser along with smoke detectors. SD's were after going to shipboard firefighting school. What an education that was.

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post #7 of 11 Old Oct 12th, 2005, 11:01 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpspen
Sounds like someone got a new jar of Vaseline !!!!!!

For healthy adults, CO becomes toxic when it reaches a level higher than 50 ppm (parts per million) with continuous exposure over an eight hour period.. When the level of CO becomes higher than that, a person will suffer from symptoms of exposure. Mild exposure over a few hours (a CO level between 70 ppm and 100 ppm) include flu-like symptoms such as headaches, sore eyes and a runny nose. Medium exposure (a CO level between 150 ppm to 300 ppm) will produce dizziness, drowsiness and vomiting. Extreme exposure (a CO level of 400 ppm and higher) will result in unconsciousness, brain damage and death.

Time to call the local media and report RIP-OFF

Spence
The following is an excerpt from the Carbon Dioxide "Material Safety Data Sheet";

SECTION V - Health Hazard Data
Effects of overexposure:.................Inhalation nervous system control of respiration is dependent on the CO2 level of breathed in air. By reducing the oxygen level in air, CO2 can cause suffocation.

Symptoms include:..........................Headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, muscular weakness, drowsiness and ringing in the ears. High concentrations produce a faint acid taste and can cause paralysis of the breathing control centers of the nervous system: 2% by volume in the atmosphere will cause a 50% increase in the breathing rate; 3%, a 100% rate increase; >4% produces labored breathing and is dangerous for even a few minutes of exposure; >12% causes rapid unconsciousness; a few hours exposure at 25% results in death.


16ppm is .0016% by volumn. IMHO this is hardly a level that would be considered hazardous.
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post #8 of 11 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 5:29 am
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This is a time for you to get hands on with your contractor. A good one has some very sophisticated hand-held sniffers that can measure specifically where the leak (if any) is coming from and can tell you what has happened to the unit and why. The only voodoo is whether the sniffer has been calibrated properly...recently. Ask how and when they've calibrated it. They should be able to tell you what reasonable levels are for a living area and for the unit itself. No voodoo.

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post #9 of 11 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 9:30 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjessen
This is a time for you to get hands on with your contractor. A good one has some very sophisticated hand-held sniffers that can measure specifically where the leak (if any) is coming from and can tell you what has happened to the unit and why. The only voodoo is whether the sniffer has been calibrated properly...recently. Ask how and when they've calibrated it. They should be able to tell you what reasonable levels are for a living area and for the unit itself. No voodoo.
The heating contractor used a handheld CO2 "sniffer" and he claimed to have found CO2 detected in both heat exchangers. 16ppm in one and 13ppm in the other.
I am not necessarily questioning the validity of his findings, I am questioning his claim that this is a dangerous level of CO2 and the heat exchangers need to be replaced at the tune of $1,800 a pop.
I am getting a second contractor to check the levels. Will have a better sense of the problem after that.
In the meantime, I will continue to research for the hazardous levels of CO2 in a closed environment.
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post #10 of 11 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 9:34 am
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If your contractor actually said and tested for CO2, he is full of BS. The byproduct of concern from combustion is CO. There's a big difference.

Vince Weidig
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post #11 of 11 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 9:42 am Thread Starter
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My Bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayliner2052
If your contractor actually said and tested for CO2, he is full of BS. The byproduct of concern from combustion is CO. There's a big difference.


took another look at the heating contrator's invoice. he is reporting levels of CO not CO2. Sorry to have taken up valuable time & space on this board. Can I chalk it up to old age?
I think I will be giving my family new heat exchangers for Christmas.
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