High CO Reading

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Old 03-30-10, 09:06 PM
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High CO Reading

I recently had a home energy audit. The carbon monoxide reading for my 24 year old Vaillant GA92-80 natural gas boiler was 496 ppm. I was told that is way too high. Would the problem be gas valve, burner or clogged heat exchanger related? I thought natural gas burned so "clean". Thanks
 
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Old 03-30-10, 10:23 PM
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first guess is a clogged heat exchanger.
that CO reading will kill you fast enough if the chimney fails.

Not to scare you, but it would not take much exposure at those levels to do damage.

When was the last time your boiler was cleaned.

NG burns clean indeed, but if your boiler is condensing then the heat exchanger soots up fast.

A clean boiler will produce a CO reading of maybe 5 to 10 PPM.
 
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Old 03-31-10, 05:51 PM
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24 years old

Yes, natural gas does burn cleanly but EVERY manufacturer of every piece of fuel burning equipment specifies in the owners manual that equipment be checked by a qualified servicer at least every 2 years. Many specify every year.
Most likely a good cleaning & proper adjustment will get the CO readings in line with where they should be. Just because there isn't usually soot production doesn't mean things are clean.
 
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Old 03-31-10, 07:18 PM
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boiler maintenance

I have had service people perform maintenance on a semi regular basis, although I can't say I have witnessed anyone expose the heat exchanger and clean it. I will try a different heating contractor. It is difficult to find a repair person who is knowledgable in servicing/maintaining boilers. I would guess 85-90 percent of homes in southeastern Wisconsin have forced air systems. Thanks for the replies.
 
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Old 03-31-10, 07:27 PM
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Service People

Yes, it is very difficult to find good service people. There is likely some rust scale in the flueways which needs to be brushed & vacuumed out. It's not difficult or even time consuming but it seems to be more than the average servicer wants to be bothered with.
When you call other service companies, ask if they are familiar with your brand of boiler & if they brush the heat exchanger flueways, remove & clean the burners, and perform an electronic combustion analysis. If the answer to any of those questions is no, keep looking & good luck.
Congrats on attempting to have your equipment properly serviced. You are the exception to the rule.
 
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Old 04-01-10, 09:43 AM
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CO can be affected by something as simple as dust build-up in the burners.
 
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Old 04-01-10, 06:03 PM
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and spider webs inside the burner tubes.
 
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Old 04-01-10, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper View Post
and spider webs inside the burner tubes.
I often wondered if its a specific type of spider, First time i found it kicked my ass trying to figure out what was casing the failure. I never forgot it after that
 
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Old 04-01-10, 08:49 PM
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I've never actually seen the spider, but the webs are there! I have to clean them out of the orifice on my gas grill every year. They must be tiny little critters...

yer never more than 3 feet from a spider! fact!

I think a big part of the problem is that they spin the webs, and then the dust sticks to them making the problem worse.
 
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Old 04-02-10, 05:37 PM
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Problem Solved

Today I had a different heating company check my boiler. The burners were in need of a good cleaning. Heat exchanger was not clogged up. Post cleaning CO was checked with two different analyzers and showed 14ppm. It looks like I have a new heating service company.
 
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Old 04-02-10, 06:36 PM
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Glad to hear that you've seen this thing through successfully!
 
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Old 04-03-10, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper View Post

yer never more than 3 feet from a spider! fact!
Trooper,
Me thinks you've been reading too much Fire E. Dragon. You're starting to sound like him.
 
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Old 04-03-10, 08:34 AM
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At least I can be "tamed" ! <-- that's fire !
 
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