Carbon Monoxide & Heating System Safety Alert!

Recently, Rebmann received an emergency call at 7 pm from a homeowner saying that the fire department was in their home due to their carbon monoxide detectors going off. The local fire department measured an extremely dangerous level of 80ppm of “CO” in their home.

All the windows were opened and the heating system was shut down as a possible source of elevated CO levels. Rebmann responded that evening and performed a draft test, visual inspection of the Gas Boiler and Surrounding gas-fired appliances. The system was left off – pending further inspection by Rebmann the following day.

Rebmann both recommended and installed additional makeup air to the mechanical room. This lessened the possibility of carbon monoxide production by the boiler and support draft in the chimney. Our meters indicated that the boiler had carbon monoxide gas leaking from the top and into the home.

We disassembled the boiler which revealed gaps around the gas flu box ( Can cause high CO levels in and around the boiler). The box was resealed and the boiler was reassembled. Mysteriously, our CO meters still indicated high CO levels outside the boiler room in another part of the home, not near the boiler room.

Great detective work by a Rebmann technician revealed an Acytelene bottle used for making Jewelry had a small leak that was spewing gas. As the forced air system was running it was spreading the gas thru out the house setting off all the Carbon Monoxide detectors.

The most important points of this warning are:

  • Acetylene, propane or any combustible container should always be stored in a well ventilated (vented to the outside) space outside of your home. Combustible gases leaking into a home are extremely dangerous and will set off CO detectors.
  • Have your heating system inspected and tested by a trained professional yearly.
  • Maintain and check carbon monoxide and smoke detectors as per local codes.
  • Make sure your heating equipment room is properly vented with outside air.

Scott Ambrosio
Rebmann Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning

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