Joined on August 25, 2004
Last Post on May 15, 2013
@ February 18, 2005 1:13 PM in Mark Hunt, et al; -DFWhen talking about natural gas as a combustible fuel, it should relate to the ultimate CO2 of the fuel to be combustible which in turn determines the BTU value of the fuel. Natural gas has an ultimate CO2 content of 11-12%, Propane 14-15% and Oil 16-17%. Not being scientific it appears that it would take 11-12 molecules of CH4 for natural gas to be combustible. Propane would be about 5 molecules and oil only 1 molecule. Saying that natural gas doesn't have much carbon in it would be the same as saying it doesn't need much oxygen to burn it because air is 79% Nitrogen.
@ February 18, 2005 11:21 AM in Mark Hunt, et al; -DFGot to give the guy credit for originality. Just when you think every that could be said wrong about CO has been said, someone comes up with a new one. I particularly like the fact natural gas has very little carbon in it. Didn't realize this was Hydrogen fuel. Notice he said he was called on a job because the furnace stopped before it killed anyone. Bet he made sure it wouldn't stop next time!! By the way what do you put a closet in to enclose it?? I remember in 2002 when a boiler manufacturer had an article in a trade magazine that said sniffing the vent cap for an odor was the best way to check for proper fuel-air mixture. In 1999 in a different trade journal we read, CO is easily detected with Gas Leak Detectors, is always has an odor and always make soot and you should eye ball the flame for at least 5 minutes to determine if the flue is restricted. This guy was fired from his last technical writer job for bad information but I guess he didn't get the hint.
@ February 3, 2005 8:15 AM in 285 PPM CO...on a brand new peice of equipment...Trust me the choir never gets tired of hearing another tune. Just talked to another student yesterday from Waco,TX., and a friend of his wanted him to check his new oven. They had only used it once but it made their eyes water and gave them a headache. It rose to over 7000ppm at light-off and settle out at 5000ppm. It was set up by a factory person initially to factory specs. It is now set up according to real operation and produces less than 60ppm. Heating Contractors should realize that they are the only people that enter a home that actually may know how to test and set equipment correctly and that includes gas ovens.
@ February 2, 2005 5:16 PM in Fyrite pro 125Carbon monoxide and Oil have a totally different relationship than CO and Gas. On Oil you can have Zero Smoke and thousands of ppm of CO or have #4-#6 Smoke and no CO. CO on Oil covers more mechanical deficiencies than just fuel/air mixture. Watching the CO readings at Light-off--Run---Shut-down provides a wealth of information on nozzle pattern or selection, drawer assembly alignment, air in the system, cut-off etc. The smoke test is generally the final set-point for efficiency adjustment. Need both for the maximum results.
@ February 1, 2005 8:11 AM in Carbon Monoxide Poisonous?Your explanation would account for the reason excess O2 on atmospheric burners would increase. In class I set burners for 12-14% Oxygen(if they don't already come from the factory that way) and then ask students what will happen to the CO reading if they add fuel. In all cases the CO readings actually drop.
@ January 31, 2005 4:34 PM in flue gas condensationMonitor your flue temperature entering the chimney. If it is above 275 degrees you should have no problem as is. If it is lower than 250 degrees some modifications may need to be made.
@ January 31, 2005 3:36 PM in flue gas condensationFlue gases can condense at any return water temperature if your venting interaction is incorrect and it is firing properly. I have recommended resetting boilers to 105-120 degree water without condensation in outside tile chimneys for years. Water heaters operate with 100% street water temperatures and don't condense unless there is a venting problem or a combustion problem.
@ January 31, 2005 3:29 PM in Carbon Monoxide Poisonous?The key to clean combustion is getting fuel and air to mix and getting it hot enough to burn. Too much air can actually hinder this process as easily as too little.
@ January 31, 2005 12:00 PM in Furnace shutdown from COA company called Quantum makes a furnace and water heater shutdown control. These would shut off your furnace and water heater if your oven made CO, your fireplace or if you had infiltration from your attached garage. Also Newtron Air Filters had a CO device built in to their air filter with a possible cutout. These devices measured high levels above 70ppm and could cause nuisance shutdowns. Controlling equipment better so that it will shut down when it is not venting would seem the more logical approach. Today too many vented appliances are being built that can operate with a plugged vent or installations that are allowed that create the same problem.
@ January 31, 2005 11:48 AM in why should comb analyzers measure CO?Only one measurement guarantees that the mechanical operation of an appliance is correct and safe and that is a CO reading. CO can exist in high levels at any CO2 or O2 level. All other readings are measureable setpoints that can be attained to approach maximizing efficiency, but without the CO reading they should not even be attempted. For many years everyone has been winging it while in reality gambling on the health and safety of their customers. Anyone servicing equipment today without a CO analysis is doing a great disservice to their customer.
@ January 31, 2005 11:21 AM in Bacharach combustion analyzerJohn is this a trick question? As taught in class and based on 27 years of using combustion analyzers, 90% of all combustion efficiency calculations programmed into combustion analyzers are either mechanically unsafe or mechanical impossibilities. The remaining 10% are in error approximately 15-20%.. This information has never been proven otherwise. The efficiencies we try to attain on all equipment should be their maximum mechanical and safety efficiency, and this cannot be calculated by any analyzer on the market today. However it is true evaluation of the accurate data that analyzers can collect.
@ January 31, 2005 11:07 AM in Carbon Monoxide Poisonous?When CO is in the air our blood will absorb it 200 times greater than oxygen, which reduces the amount of oxygen in our blood. The brain and heart need approximately 80% of the oxygen from the blood as it circulates. Any shortage will cause permanent damage to cells and tissue. Whether symptoms are evident or not, the damage is being done, quickly at high levels and slowly at low levels. Low level CO exposure over time leads to the development of Memory Loss(Alzheimers), Parkinsons, or Heart and Respiratory disease. Loss of sight, loss of hearing, loss of hair, multiple chemical sensitivity are just a few things that low level CO exposure has been found to be responsible for causing. What might be strange is that vented appliances poison and kill more people than unvented. The biggest reason for this is unvented are designed not to vent. Vented appliances are required to vent, but are not tested in the field to do so and are designed to continue to operate even if they are not venting. How many times have we read that an appliance with a plugged flue hurt someone? Why aren't appliances built to shut down? When I teach contractors to fix this problem so this unsafe condition cannot occur I get accused of modifying equipment designs. The color of the flame is the biggest misconception anyone can have and has led to many poisonings and deaths. Anyone thinking that a blue flame is a safer flame is a danger to society. As far as the equipment you have been operating, you have just been lucky so far, but then do you really know that you haven't suffered any permanent damage? Also oxygen depletion devices do not detect the level of CO an appliance is producing and guarantee minimum safety. Only testing by Certified CO contractors maximizes safety potential.
@ December 22, 2004 8:56 AM in Stack Temp Too darn high?If these are your numbers 518 degrees flue temperature then you are fine. Your analyzer is set for natural gas so the CO2 calculation is wrong, You would be at almost 13% CO2 with an O2 of 3.4% CO2 is just a calculation not a real measurement. Your CO is slightly on the high side which would still make me question the nozzle and pump pressure. It may run fine all winter but will end up with quite a bit of soot in it. Check your CO spike when the burner lights, 1st 45-60 seconds and when it shuts down last 45-60 seconds. If they are above 100ppm you may soot up before the winter is over.
@ December 21, 2004 12:02 PM in Stack Temp Too darn high?Your numbers would be more helpful if you would give your Oxygen reading(O2). Would be able to get better combustion if you used 140psi pump pressure and a .85 80 degree solid nozzle. This would allow you to operate with less smoke at a lower O2 reading which would reduce your stack temperature. Also, what is your over-fire draft at the burner?
@ December 10, 2004 3:46 PM in Water Heater Pilot Light goes poof!Because we do a CO start-up test we know that the pilot postion is correct. Have seen too many times when the pilot was not repositioned the pilot the pilot outages got worse. Most howmeowner want the problem fixed regardless. Never needed a warranty in 26 years because nothing ever failed in warranty. Hoping they will call and I can take them the rest of the way.
@ December 10, 2004 2:03 PM in Water Heater Pilot Light goes poof!Have not trained anyone in Nebraska, but I do have a wholesale company that has a branch that might provide help if it was their furnace. Otherwise have a contractor call me 800-633-7058. As long as I know a contractor has the correct information, the proper testing protocols and the proper test equipment and knows my phone number, I am confident he can fix the problem.
@ December 10, 2004 12:01 PM in Water Heater Pilot Light goes poof!It was installed in a manner that was never tested or approved by the water heater manufacturer but never seems to bother anyone until it becomes a nuisance. I have helped contractors in the field modify pilots and ignitors on commercial and industrial equipment that millions of BTU's. The complaints were often intermittent explosions. The manufacturers input was it must be the installation because their equipment never malfunctions. Your choice Explosion, Modify or call someone else because we don't want the liability. We are in the wrong business if we don't want liability.
@ December 10, 2004 11:45 AM in Water Heater Pilot Light goes poof!Besides being a nuisance problem this is potentially a health threatening situation that can not be taken lightly. Unless I know the person to whom I am making the recommendations and know they can contact me it is a rsky situation. People ask all the time about liability teaching the things that I do that go against everything the industry would like us to believe. Making sure the people have all the right information, training and tools is the only way. I would ask Glen Stanton, who attended this class earlier this year if this information should be given out randomly or if they need to know the whole story and background first. Plus the recommendations to fix this job disagree with everything posted here so far, with the exception of Mark and he won't give out the solution either for the same reason. But I will discuss the pilot situation. 1. Many ilots on water heaters prior to the new flash guard have had LP orifices-.011. Natural gas orifices are .018 to .025. The pilot flame barely hits the thermocouple, so I recommend making them the size for natural gas. Does not fix this problem by itself, just pevents another problem from being created. 2. Many pilots are rotated 45 degrees with the thermocouple under the flame which causes the flame to lift off the thermoucouple, therefore I recommend rotating the pilot upright in a better position. Still doesn't fix the problem but prevents another one. Keeping the pilot lit only increases the chance of someone getting poisoned when unsafe conditions occur. Therefore neither of these corrections should be attempted until we can prevent the furnace from blowing down the water heater and safeties are added to shut both appliances off if the flue becomes restricted, severe downdrafts occur, uncontrolled depressurization is introduced etc. Mechanical combustion air is mandatory and the final fix is flue modification of both appliances and that is only discussed in class or one on one. I believe someone posted earlier this year if everyone had this knowledge there would be a lot less problems. Because I know this installation has caused serious injury I do not take it lightly but I also want to know it has been repaired and made 100% safe not just eliminate the nuisance.
@ December 9, 2004 3:47 PM in Water Heater Pilot Light goes poof!kal, I wish it was that easy. The fix will go against everything that everyone thinks they know. I have read many of those misconceptions on this post already. Mechanical combustion air is a mandatory requirement but it is only a part of the fix. Having pulled the pilots out of many new water heaters I know they are intentional mis-sided for all the wrong reasons. 75% of them are in improper positions. The conflict is which is more important, inconveniencing the customer while keeping them safe or not incoveniencing them while they are poisoned. The industry standard is the latter. Without knowing all the supportative data that has gone into the solution, most contractors say I ain't going to do that! This is a potentially life threatening situation that requires complete understanding not maybe's or could be's or try this or maybe that. Those that do not know the solution to these types of problems need to take the time to learn.
@ December 9, 2004 12:23 PM in Water Heater Pilot Light goes poof!As I explain in every seminar this is one of the most dangerous installations commonly allowed today and it will continue for a while because the code(Cheap-Obstructive-Disfunctional-Enforcements)allow it. What people don't realize is that all the ones that aren't blowing out pilot are intermittently poisoning the occuppants of the building, but only under certain conditions. I have a letter from a builder in 1997 that had to buy back a new house 2 months after a pregnant woman had CO in her house(over 100ppm) because of this installation even though it only happened once. She also found out it could and would happen again. There are tens of thousands of these all over the country and those with flue liners are even more dangerous because they cause even more blow-back from the furnace down the water heater. There is a fix for the the problem that will prevent high levels of CO from being produced and the pilot from going out and even shut the equipment off if the flue plugs, which they won't do now! Everyone of my students knows the procedures, protocols and proper diagnostics to evaluate, repair and gaurantee safety.
@ December 6, 2004 12:00 PM in CO Detectors something to considerHomeowners should not be able to buy a low level detector direct from anyone but a contractor that knows how to do a proper CO investigation. That is how even the UL listed alarms were said to be false. Contractors need a Low Level Alarm that is exclusively theirs to Market and only the NSI offers that protection. CO Experts first alarm level is 25ppm-NSI 15ppm. No other true low level alarms are on the market.
@ November 29, 2004 11:58 AM in CO levels from oil burnerThe 3 or 4 times I have seen this situation has always been on commercial equipment not residential.