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CO exhaust gas compositon

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by moey, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    I have several CO detectors in my house along with smoke alarms this question is not about the necessity for those. Its a small price to pay for safety.

    Does a pellet stove burn so clean after its going though that you are not going to smell smoke if there was a exhaust leak (CO) into the house?

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  2. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    As per the EPA,

    Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. Because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, CO can kill you before you are aware it is in your home. At lower levels of exposure, CO causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu. These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue. The effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from person to person depending on age, overall health and the concentration and length of exposure.

    You will smell smoke.

    Eric
  3. CT Pellet

    CT Pellet Minister of Fire

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    Pellet stoves will burn m,uch cleaner than a wood stove due to the low moisture of the fuel being burned. Pellets will typically be between 3 and 7 percent moisture where cordwood can be anywhere from 18 to 35 percent moisture. This does not mean that pellets burn SO CLEANLY that there is no smoke smell or CO. If you have an exhaust leak, you will mosyt likely smell the smoke. Although it is not uncommon to smell smoke upon the initial start-uop of the stove as the burn pot is lighting.(but this should go away immediately after the stove is cooking)
    Anytime you are burning an organic fuel there will be an emmission of CO. Quite simply, it is a by-product of combustion, along with carbon dioxide and water. I am unsure of whether the levels of CO are great enough to warrant a CO detector nor do I care. I have 6 hardwired CO detectors throughout the house and 5 storebought CO detectors. (one by each stove and 1 in each bedroom) Are they necessary?....They are for me. I have the world's two most beautiful little girls in my house along with and my wife and I. Even if it is just a "feel good" purchase, it is worth it to us. Everyone should have CO detectors.
    IHATEPROPANE likes this.
  4. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Here is a link that IIRC matches up with some other information I've read: http://www.carbon-monoxide-survivor.com/carbon-monoxide-levels-in-the-air.html

    It isn't so much the level in the exhaust when it is measured it is what happens over time as it bonds so tightly with your blood that it can't transport oxygen. Please note there are exposure times listed as well as concentration.

    I went looking for the EPA report that listed some test results but it appears that Google is still in its shopping mode for search results, actual informational material frequently gets buried way down in the SERPs when that is the case.

    In short it is always in the exhaust, normally the level is very low if you have a proper burn going, your chances of totally preventing it from entering house from the stove system requires that you locate all sources of smoke leakage which you can both see and smell. The human nose is very very good at detecting smoke in extremely low concentrations.

    Where there is smoke there is CO. Where there is a fire there is CO. You can't smell it so you use the smoke as your guide.

    That is why a smoke smell from a pellet stove system is a no no.

    There should always be enough air flow in the system to dump all of it outside except when you open the door.

    CO concentrations can also change rather quickly inside a building because of a large number of factors.

    One of which is sucking the air out of the building and having it be replaced by outside air through the cracks in your build shell.

    Since CO can come from a large number of sources including sucking into your house from a running car parked outside, you should have operational CO detectors in the house, even if you do not have a single stove of any kind.
  5. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    Peace of mind is worth a few bucks on a few CO, and smoke detectors. Having been a fireman-EMT for 15 years the early warning saves lives. Most fire and CO related deaths are where there is NO working detectors. In early 80's greenhouses were taking the exaust from the pellet burners and directing it into the greenhouse at night for the CO2 and switching back during the day. Heat boost plus the plants love extra CO2. Stay safe and warm this Holiday Season
  6. TLHinCanada

    TLHinCanada Feeling the Heat

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    If you're smelling smoke when you light up your stove you may want to search the site for fixes. A few of the vent manufacturers have vent that leak, silicone and aluminum tape work the best.
  7. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    My question was purely speculative as to whether you could have CO without smoke, like natural gas appliance.
  8. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Yes it is always being produced even after the smoke is gone, this is true of any fire.
  9. jhanan

    jhanan New Member

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    Its amazing how little of this gas can be fatal
    12,800 PPM- 1 to 3 minutes- Death
    That is about 1% of volume.
  10. GeHmTS

    GeHmTS Member

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    I store this gas in my basement in a pressure tank which is released and fully opened when I'm on vacation filling my entire house with CO. All my CO detectors have the batteries removed while I'm away. I make no apologizes for this, yet I have never ran into any problems when I returned except for a few dead mice.
  11. jhanan

    jhanan New Member

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    What? Your kidding, right?!
  12. GeHmTS

    GeHmTS Member

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    I am serious, I think it's an effective way to remove vermin. It clears out all the mice that have found a home inside our house and it does a great job with the bats in the attics that use to roost in my attic. I don't like bats. My attic is clear of them and I have no more mice since I take regular vacations. I open up the windows for a good day or two, reinstall the batteries and my house is habitable again.
  13. IHATEPROPANE

    IHATEPROPANE Minister of Fire

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    This may be the dumbest thing I have ever heard.
  14. GeHmTS

    GeHmTS Member

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    I call it thinking out the box and don't see why it would be considered dumb. It's not like it propane and flammable.:ZZZ
  15. IHATEPROPANE

    IHATEPROPANE Minister of Fire

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    For instance, what happens if someone breaks in while you are gone? Dead. Then a neighbor sees this break in and calls the cops, they go in to investigate....more dead. Get the picture. No one, including yourself has full control of an extremely dangerous situation you purposefully created. It is not thinking outside the box, it is dangerous and quite frankly a stupid idea.
  16. GeHmTS

    GeHmTS Member

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    Well I don't feel bad for the person who is breaking in my house. They would be dead if I am there anyway. Hopefully, they are skilled enough to avoid detection. Besides, I have an alarm system connected to my mobile if there is a problem and can give the cops a heads up on the situation before they enter.
  17. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    Have you thought about just putting a couple containers of d-con down? or sealing your house a bit? I guess to each is own I hope no one gets hurt somehow accidentally like when you have a water leak and your neighbor tries to be helpful. I hope you keep the tanks outside when you are not gassing things.
  18. IHATEPROPANE

    IHATEPROPANE Minister of Fire

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    You would feel bad facing manslaughter charges.
    And there are a multitude of things that could prevent you from contacting the police in time.
  19. IHATEPROPANE

    IHATEPROPANE Minister of Fire

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    There is a difference between shooting an intruder and booby trapping your house when its empty.......
  20. GeHmTS

    GeHmTS Member

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    I'm lucky that I haven't had to face any charges on this. The pressure tank is located outside. I guess next time I'll put a big sign out in front of my house that reads, "BEWARE of CO POISONOUS GAS" similar to a dog sign. Then if someone enters, it's on them. My intent is simply to get rid of vermin.
  21. jhanan

    jhanan New Member

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    It is probably illegal - and the sign will tip off the cops. But seriously, this is very dangerous - what if you have a water leak or a small fire and your neighbor comes to investigate like mine would come over - I live in the country, on well etc., our neighbors check up on each other. Putting CO in your house is just wrong. But the most likely thing is that your system will fail one time, bite your ass, and then you are dead.
  22. GeHmTS

    GeHmTS Member

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    If the town that I live in tells me it's illegal, then I'll stop doing it. My neighbors are aware and I haven't head from any authorities.

    Gone are the days when people used to solve problems their own way. Nowadays there are all of these laws that tell people how they should live. It's cost to much to have an exterminator come out and do this for me.

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