Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide

PostBy: BlackDog On: Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:19 pm

Got a rude awakening this morning at about 5am from my carbon monoxide detectors. I think I got a little rushed last night when reloading and closed the damper to soon, just enough left of the fire to toss out lots of that nasty gas. I have detectors on every floor of the house and they are all wired together, without them we may not have woke up this morning. I'm sure this topic has been covered before but it is important to remind everyone to be careful and be safe.
BlackDog
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mk II

Re: Carbon Monoxide

PostBy: franco b On: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:12 pm

If draft is adequate there is no danger from carbon monoxide. A barometric damper would probably have been safer than the manual damper in this case. Keeping stack temperature high enough to maintain draft is essential and will differ in each installation, so get to know how your particular stove and chimney behaves in low draft situations such as a warm rainy night when it might be good to run the stove a little hotter.

Carbon monoxide is a burnable gas generated when portions of the coal bed lack sufficient oxygen or heat to burn the coal to carbon dioxide. A well insulated fire pot along with uniform clearing of ash will contribute to less production of CO.

I could perhaps see the utility of a snap switch on the stack that would sound an alarm when stack temperature falls too low.
franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: Carbon Monoxide

PostBy: Lightning On: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:36 pm

I too have had some CO leak into the house on warm days with a low fire, from my furnace that is located in my basement. Never an alarm, but I could smell it and had a 35-50 PPM CO on the detector displays. For the last couple days I've been having my coal chute door open (coal bin is in the basement next to the furnace) which has helped maintain a good draft, good meaning .02 to .03. Without it open my draft would slowly dwindle down to nothing until it reversed on these types of days.

I suspect that with the coal chute door open, its equalizing the atmospheric pressure in the basement relative to the outside pressure so movement of air up the chimney is unrestricted by the natural negative pressure that seems to occure in the basement when its sealed tight from the outside.
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

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Re: Carbon Monoxide

PostBy: BlackDog On: Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:34 pm

franco b wrote:If draft is adequate there is no danger from carbon monoxide. A barometric damper would probably have been safer than the manual damper in this case. Keeping stack temperature high enough to maintain draft is essential and will differ in each installation, so get to know how your particular stove and chimney behaves in low draft situations such as a warm rainy night when it might be good to run the stove a little hotter.

Carbon monoxide is a burnable gas generated when portions of the coal bed lack sufficient oxygen or heat to burn the coal to carbon dioxide. A well insulated fire pot along with uniform clearing of ash will contribute to less production of CO.

I could perhaps see the utility of a snap switch on the stack that would sound an alarm when stack temperature falls too low.


I have been burning coal for many years and this particular stove/chimney for eight years, I know them very well. There is plenty of draft and no manual or baro damper in the pipe, straight run from stove to crock. House is 100 years old so there is no danger of it being too sealed, also have a drier vent installed above the stove to allow air to enter if needed. I made a simple, stupid error by setting the damper incorrectly and didn't account for the change in weather overnight. The moral of the story for all of us who burn coal is there is always a need to take precautions to be safe. No matter how comfortable you are, there is always that chance.
BlackDog
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mk II

Re: Carbon Monoxide

PostBy: BlackDog On: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:25 am

Found the problem that caused my CO buildup, somehow the cleanout door at the base of the chimney came open and ruined my draft.
BlackDog
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mk II

Re: Carbon Monoxide

PostBy: buck24 On: Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:11 am

Blackdog..... glad to see you found what was causing your problem. I would make sure she latches tight so it don't happen again.
buck24
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: New Buck Corp. / MODEL 24 COAL
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Nut / Anthracite

Re: Carbon Monoxide

PostBy: Beeman On: Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:54 am

All you ever wanted to know (and should know) about carbon monoxide--- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_monoxide. Dangerous stuff!
Beeman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Carbon Monoxide

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:50 am

BlackDog wrote:Found the problem that caused my CO buildup, somehow the cleanout door at the base of the chimney came open and ruined my draft.


Lean a cement block or something similar against it.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Rice/buck
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Carbon Monoxide

PostBy: NorthernIndiana On: Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:47 pm

Last spring my carbon monoxide detectors went off. I had a minimum amount of coal in the stove, so I just shook it all into the ash pan, held my breath and carried it outside. I seriously don't recommend doing this as I got a good whiff of the coals on my trip up the stairs and was about overcome. So that ended last burning season. I refired the stove 2 days ago. And all was well. Today I noticed my carbon monoxide detectors were registering values over 35 ppm. I tossed open all the windows and headed downstairs to the stove. My manometer showed good draft (at least with the windows open) and the co detectors returned to 0. I closed up the windows, left the baro open and still couldn't reproduce the carbon dioxide emission. I put a long hair (owned by my wife) in front of the baro and it was sucked in. So even with the baro wide open there's still enough draft there to suck a hair in. So what's going on here, any ideas? This is my third season with coal, so I'm still learning. Temps here in the 20's but no breeze. Thanks in advance!
NorthernIndiana
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine #4 Basement with Hopper
Stove/Furnace Make: DS Machine
Stove/Furnace Model: Basement #4 with Hopper

Re: Carbon Monoxide

PostBy: Lightning On: Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:58 pm

NorthernIndiana wrote:Last spring my carbon monoxide detectors went off. I had a minimum amount of coal in the stove, so I just shook it all into the ash pan, held my breath and carried it outside. I seriously don't recommend doing this as I got a good whiff of the coals on my trip up the stairs and was about overcome. So that ended last burning season. I refired the stove 2 days ago. And all was well. Today I noticed my carbon monoxide detectors were registering values over 35 ppm. I tossed open all the windows and headed downstairs to the stove. My manometer showed good draft (at least with the windows open) and the co detectors returned to 0. I closed up the windows, left the baro open and still couldn't reproduce the carbon dioxide emission. I put a long hair (owned by my wife) in front of the baro and it was sucked in. So even with the baro wide open there's still enough draft there to suck a hair in. So what's going on here, any ideas? This is my third season with coal, so I'm still learning. Temps here in the 20's but no breeze. Thanks in advance!


Whoa, thats a tough one.. When you found the carbon monoxide detectors showing a reading, what did the manometer say? Is your mano always showing a good reading or does it get close to zero often? Your burning anthracite I assume? Don't tell anybody but I kinda like catching a wiff of coal smoke :lol:

I wonder if your pipe is getting clogged..
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: Carbon Monoxide

PostBy: NorthernIndiana On: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:14 pm

I opened my windows before I looked at the manometer, so I'm not sure what it was reading when the CO collected. When it's calm my draft runs around .03-.04 wc range. .06 is recommended by my stove manufacturer. My draft does fluctuate, I wouldn't be surprised if it dips to .01 on occasion but I've never seen a negative draft when the stove is running.

As far as coal smell goes. I got enough as a younger fellow. A buddy of mine and I got into melting metals. We found a bunch of soft coal along a bike trail in southern Illinois. We used to use that in conjuction with a fan induced furnace we had built. We'd stand over the top of our furnace and melt metal. We'd be soot covered by the time we were done. Good for the lungs, i'm sure!
NorthernIndiana
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine #4 Basement with Hopper
Stove/Furnace Make: DS Machine
Stove/Furnace Model: Basement #4 with Hopper

Re: Carbon Monoxide

PostBy: NorthernIndiana On: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:14 pm

I opened my windows before I looked at the manometer, so I'm not sure what it was reading when the CO collected. When it's calm my draft runs around .03-.04 wc range. .06 is recommended by my stove manufacturer. My draft does fluctuate, I wouldn't be surprised if it dips to .01 on occasion but I've never seen a negative draft when the stove is running.

As far as coal smell goes. I got enough as a younger fellow. A buddy of mine and I got into melting metals. We found a bunch of soft coal along a bike trail in southern Illinois. We used to use that in conjuction with a fan induced furnace we had built. We'd stand over the top of our furnace and melt metal. We'd be soot covered by the time we were done. Good for the lungs, i'm sure!
NorthernIndiana
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine #4 Basement with Hopper
Stove/Furnace Make: DS Machine
Stove/Furnace Model: Basement #4 with Hopper

Re: Carbon Monoxide

PostBy: NorthernIndiana On: Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:45 pm

I may have found my problem. My house is very air tight. When the water heater (uses a power vent) kicks on my manometer drops about .02 inches of water column. Granted I usually have enough draft to overcome this, but perhaps under the right conditions I'm acutally sucking flue gas through the baro and into the room. Looks like a possiblity any way. Now I have to find a way to get fresh air to the stove. Anyone have experience doing this? Can I just run a pvc pipe though my bandboard to the out side? Any chance if the wind is in the wrong direction that it will have a negative effect and suck air out of the basement rather than adding fresh air to the basement? I'd like input. Thanks.
NorthernIndiana
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine #4 Basement with Hopper
Stove/Furnace Make: DS Machine
Stove/Furnace Model: Basement #4 with Hopper

Re: Carbon Monoxide

PostBy: franco b On: Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:25 pm

With or without a power vent I like to see an opening to the outside equal to the smoke pipe diameter near or in the same room as the heater. A tight house makes it more necessary as make up air has to come from somewhere.
franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: Carbon Monoxide

PostBy: 2001Sierra On: Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:31 pm

From what I understand you can actually plumb cold air into a box in the basement. The pipe come from the "band board" or rim joist and drops to the foor where you can add a box where the cold air will not escape unless there is draw. Do a search for combustion air, there are many links that discuss makeup air as well as solutions. I leave a basement window open about 1 inch until I can come up with a permanent solution :oops:
2001Sierra
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90 Chimney vent
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Buderus Oil Boiler 3115-34
Stove/Furnace Model: Keystoker 90 Chimney Vent

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