A tale of CO and lessons learned

Re: A tale of CO and lessons learned

PostBy: KLook On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:56 pm

Glad your ok CK, and a heads up to me because I had seized on your comment about running a lower draft and would have made that change had I been living with my Vf3000. :shock: I actually have 2 4 inch vents into my boiler rm. so I might have been good. Just to throw it in there, how about lowering your draft by lowering your stack temps with a mpd and then turning on all the appliances huh? I worked in a big fancy house in N. Ga today that smelled like wood smoke. I went over to the fireplace in the den with mounted heads representing 10's of thousands of dollars and I could feel the cold draft coming INTO the house. Did I mention I hate fireplaces?

Kevin
KLook
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman (Back In Maine)
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000

Re: A tale of CO and lessons learned

PostBy: Lightning On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:06 pm

coalkirk wrote: Things were getting a little smokey in the kitchen Tuesday evening so the exhaust fan got turned on to pull the smoke out. Also the clothes dryer was running. So you can see where this is leading. The combination of the negative pressure from the dryer and kitchen exhaust overcame the draft just enough to pull CO into the basement through the boilers hopper. So the second lesson I've learned is not to try and get too cute with my fire and draft during extreme weather. I'm going to run it like I know it should be run and if that doesn't quite cut it, I'm going to have to drag out that oil boiler vent pipe and do the nasty again.


Have you been able to duplicate the scenario to make sure this was the cause??
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: A tale of CO and lessons learned

PostBy: coalkirk On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:48 pm

I've thought about it but apparently we are out of salmon so I'll have to do some shopping first. ;)
Seriously though, no I haven't done anything to confirm my theory yet. I'm very confident that this was the problem. I don't want to duplicate the scenario but I want to measure the effect various "negative air movers" in the house have on my boilers drafting. Should be simple but I'd like to have my wife turn on the various devices while I watch the manometer. Sounds like some fun for the weekend.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal


Re: A tale of CO and lessons learned

PostBy: Rob R. On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:52 pm

That is what I would do. Close every window & door, turn on every fan, and monitor the draft. Admit air to the basement as necessary to get the proper reading.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: A tale of CO and lessons learned

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:55 pm

You need a fresh air vent with a MPD in it! Lol!
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

Re: A tale of CO and lessons learned

PostBy: coalkirk On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:03 pm

Carbon12 wrote:You need a fresh air vent with a MPD in it! Lol!

:lol: :lol: You made me spit beer out.....almost. :lol: :lol:
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: A tale of CO and lessons learned

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:09 pm

Just trying to help :D
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

Re: A tale of CO and lessons learned

PostBy: Cap On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:10 pm

Terry, I know you fairly well and I know you know your stuff. But, why wasn't the .02" wc your first clue and couldn't you have increased the draft as soon as the first night? Unless I am completly lost....
Cap
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF 250, domestic hot water loop, heat accumulator

Re: A tale of CO and lessons learned

PostBy: Lightning On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:35 pm

coalkirk wrote:I've thought about it but apparently we are out of salmon so I'll have to do some shopping first. ;)
Seriously though, no I haven't done anything to confirm my theory yet. I'm very confident that this was the problem. I don't want to duplicate the scenario but I want to measure the effect various "negative air movers" in the house have on my boilers drafting. Should be simple but I'd like to have my wife turn on the various devices while I watch the manometer. Sounds like some fun for the weekend.

Yes, try to make all variables the same.. Including the salmon, I mean if you really liked it that much :lol: and outside temps would be important too. Outside chimney? Its possible the chimney was cold after the cold blast we had and then the rise in outdoor temps would have had more of an impact. I see this happen with mine after a cold blast and then a slight warm up.. :)
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: A tale of CO and lessons learned

PostBy: Lightning On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:37 pm

Carbon12 wrote:You need a fresh air vent with a MPD in it! Lol!

No no, with a baro on it silly!! :lol:
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: A tale of CO and lessons learned

PostBy: 2001Sierra On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:40 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your experience, remember experience comes from bad judgement, all kidding aside this knowledge you have shared with us is priceless.
I have been told you can build a simple outside air system as follows. You take 2 or 3 inch pipe to the outside, plumb it down to the floor level into a 5 sided box, top being open. The cold air will come into the box but because it is heavier it will not rise out of the box unless there is negative pressure. With this you are dictating where the makeup air comes from :idea:
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

Re: A tale of CO and lessons learned

PostBy: windyhill4.2 On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:46 pm

2001Sierra wrote:Thank you so much for sharing your experience, remember experience comes from bad judgement, all kidding aside this knowledge you have shared with us is priceless.
I have been told you can build a simple outside air system as follows. You take 2 or 3 inch pipe to the outside, plumb it down to the floor level into a 5 sided box, top being open. The cold air will come into the box but because it is heavier it will not rise out of the box unless there is negative pressure. With this you are dictating where the makeup air comes from :idea:

He already has a 4 " pipe which wasn't sufficient,go with 8 " ?? How high does this box need to be to prevent cold air from coming in all the time ? Might be a worthy project for a cat exit/entrance .
windyhill4.2
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404 with variable blower
Other Heating: Oaktree OWB 600K

Re: A tale of CO and lessons learned

PostBy: coalkirk On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:57 pm

Cap wrote:Terry, I know you fairly well and I know you know your stuff. But, why wasn't the .02" wc your first clue and couldn't you have increased the draft as soon as the first night? Unless I am completly lost....


:oops: Remember I attributed my problems to greed and stupidity. I purposely had adjusted my draft to .02. I run my combustion fan 24/7. Keeps the chimney warm and holds a pretty steady draft. I've been running it this way for a good part of this cold season.
When the stuff hit the fan here Tuesday evening and I determined there was a real CO event, I went into immediate shut down and ventilation mode. No real diagnostics or observations made. I guess I went tactical instead of scientific. In doing so I lost maybe some valuable information. I've never had the CO detectors in my home go off other than the first day I fired the boiler and had no restrictor plate on the combustion fan. That overpressurized the combustion chamber and caused flue gaes to be expelled out of the hopper too.
I just pushed the limits alittle to far. Fortunately I have backup for my backup when it comes to CO protection. I appreciate all the well wishes that I'm still on the green side ( or white side now) of the earth but we were never in any danger due to the CO protection we have installed. No substitute for having current model detectors with good interconnected power source and fresh batteries. An early warning throughout the house is essential.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: A tale of CO and lessons learned

PostBy: coalkirk On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:01 pm

Lightning wrote:
coalkirk wrote:I've thought about it but apparently we are out of salmon so I'll have to do some shopping first. ;)
Seriously though, no I haven't done anything to confirm my theory yet. I'm very confident that this was the problem. I don't want to duplicate the scenario but I want to measure the effect various "negative air movers" in the house have on my boilers drafting. Should be simple but I'd like to have my wife turn on the various devices while I watch the manometer. Sounds like some fun for the weekend.

Yes, try to make all variables the same.. Including the salmon, I mean if you really liked it that much :lol: and outside temps would be important too. Outside chimney? Its possible the chimney was cold after the cold blast we had and then the rise in outdoor temps would have had more of an impact. I see this happen with mine after a cold blast and then a slight warm up.. :)


There was no warm up at the time this occured. We've had single digit temps many nights and the day this occured it never got above the teens. If it had it would have been a worse effect though for sure.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: A tale of CO and lessons learned

PostBy: Former WoodHog On: Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:04 pm

Good narrative CoalKirk...better results! Grateful you're here to share.

I read the post and link a couple weeks back about the poor guy up in central PA who fired up the coal furnace when he ran outta #2 and didn't wake up the next morning. His CO poisoning was apparently the result of buildup of ash in the stovepipe. I realize the situation's different , but your experience and post remind us all to 'stay in the game'...in more ways than one.

I went out and grabbed another detector after reading his sad story. Yours has a better ending, but it gives those of us who are newer to coal burning great insight as to the potential dangers.

Your comment: " Everytime I heard that boiler fire, a little piece of me died...

ZACTLY!

That reminded me of how I used to feel when I tried to keep the house at temp burning wood and would hear the OB fire up!....Haven't had that feeling since early December!

'Hog
Former WoodHog
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Koker Lite
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Vermont Castings Vigilant- Wood