Sportsman globe
Blow out price
Was $19
Now $8
Deanofid
I've wondered about CO (not CO2, which is not actually poisonous) and our Coleman
lanterns and lamps.  I've never been worried about it from a lamp, nor a lantern for
that matter.  Some lanterns do smell, but you don't know what you are smelling, except
that it is usually not pleasant.

Coleman made a few million lamps in their day, and they were made specifically to be
used inside homes.  Lanterns were made as a utility light, and might be used for most
anything, but lamps are definitely made for the indoors.  No mantle protection, pretty
shades, etc. 
Considering that, I've always thought Coleman must have made them well enough to
burn cleanly.  After all, they didn't want to kill off their customer base.  That's bad
business.

Anyway, I recently got a Carbon Monoxide alarm, which also has a display built into
it.  It is not a proper meter, like a scientific instrument would be, but it does give a
good idea of what has been happening in your home in regards to CO.

Here is what I tried;
My workshop is a room in my house.  I keep the door to it closed this time of year
to make heating the house less costly, and only open the door and turn on the heater
while I'm in there working.

This alarm I got will not show any CO until the minimum in the room is 11 parts per million,
and it will only show that by checking the highest recorded level button.
That is not a harmful level, though really, your house should generally have none, or
under 2-3 PPM.
So, I lit my CQ lamp and put it in the shop room, closed the door, and put a towel down
at the bottom of the door to keep anything from coming out.
After an hour, the alarm display did not register any CO.  Remember, it won't register if
the amount is below 11 PPM, so all I know is it was below that amount.

Now, this alarm doesn't even go off until the CO level has been over 70 PPM for at least
one hour.  It will start displaying the amount when it reaches 30 PPM, but doesn't sound
off until 70 PPM.

Next experiment was to light another lamp in that room, a 152, plus a 220J and a 220K.
So now I had four two mantle lights running in a 75 sq ft. room, for an hour and a half.
This is what the alarm display showed:

2.jpg 

Eight mantles going for an hour and a half in a small closed off room.  That 75 sq ft room
is smaller than some folks bathrooms.  The display shows barely over half the amount of
CO needed to make the alarm show it, and it took 90 minutes to get there.
Oh man!  That room was warm inside, too.

So, I'm thinking next time I run the old CQ during a power outage, or just to warm up
the room a bit, I won't think of it much.  I'll still keep the CO alarm in the room, though.

For perspective, these are the numbers that came with the CO alarm explaining what is
not good, and what is really bad;
(It's a Kidde CO alarm.)
Below 50 PPM considered a low level.  The alarm doesn't even show it until it's been
above 30 PPM for over an hour.
50-100 PPM is cause for concern, and you need to find out what is causing it after
airing out the room.
Above 100 PPM is getting bad, and you need to get out.  On this alarm, if the level goes
above 70 PPM for over an hour, the alarm will sound continuously.

All in all, good on Coleman.  I'm not going to die.  From carbon monoxide.
Dean -Midnight Kerosene Ritualist--http://www.deansmachine.com  ICCC #1220.   275 commiseration #0018.
"In Him was life, and His life was the Light of men."  John 1:4
Quote
dpatten
This post should be stickied...
Dennis the Peasant

ICCC Member #1337 (Thanks Dean!)
Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate #0086

"One of the sanest, surest, and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others."
-R.A. Heinlein-
Quote
ctp51
Thanks for posting Dean,good to know my lamps are not going to kill me.
Tommy P.M. ICCC #1250 With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God.   
FDR Dec.8th 1941
Quote
magikbus
One thing that should be considered is the chemical reaction that occurs when carbon monoxide is produced.  It is normally only produced in an environment that is low on oxygen.  The reason for this is that CO is an unstable molecule.  After it is "born" it immediately begins hunting around for a stray, unused (meaning uncombined) free Oxygen molecule (O2) to combine with.  Sort of like some guys on a Friday night at the bar.  If there are lots of free Oxygen molecules floating around, most CO molecules immediately combine and become CO2.  This is normal and good.

However when this situation happens for a longer period of time, and there are less free Oxygen molecules around, the combining doesn't happen.  The rate at which this occurs is not a linear rate, it becomes a runaway situation that rapidly deteriorates.

The chemical reaction inside our bodies is even more insidious.  The CO molecules bind to the Hemoglobin (oxygen containing) cells in our blood stream and travel around our bodies quite happily refusing to give off the oxygen they contain until they get back to the lungs where they soak up more CO.  This is also a runaway situation that rapidly deteriorates causing you to asphyxiate internally without even knowing it is happening.  It takes a long time, (hours/days) for you to recover from even mild CO poisoning.

Bottom line is, keep a window open and keep lots of free Oxygen molecules circulating in the room to keep the CO molecules happily combining.
Stan
I always take the road less traveled, now where the h3ll am I?
Vancouver Island Branch ccf #0
Quote
Deanofid
ctp51 wrote:
Thanks for posting Dean,good to know my lamps are not going to kill me.

Well, the four I checked aren't going to kill you, Tommy.  I don't know about YOUR lanterns. [rofl]

I'm making a wild guess here;  I think the CO that did register on this alarm was from
partially burned fuel.  The room had a very obvious odor of stink-gas after 1.5 hours of
solid running time with the door closed.  The CQ lamp doesn't smell, but the two 220s do
a bit, and after that time it accumulates.  If my house smelled like that all the time, I
wouldn't be able to tolerate it, even if the C. Monoxide were not a problem.

I want to be clear that you can't smell CO.  You can not sense it in any way.  Like I said,
I'm guessing about the unburnt fuel being where it came from.
Dean -Midnight Kerosene Ritualist--http://www.deansmachine.com  ICCC #1220.   275 commiseration #0018.
"In Him was life, and His life was the Light of men."  John 1:4
Quote
adelcoro
Dean
this is a great thread

Don't forget that table lamps were used in the days when lead and asbestos were considered safe !! [frown]
Make sure you have a very good ventilation


General rule in today's modern and revised standards-
any gas burning appliance should have a chimney for the fumes and carbon monoxide
Pretty hard to do with a lamp or lantern Burning indoors!


Carbon monoxide could be very tricky
don't trust it

Don't forget in the old days cabins and old houses were not well insulated
And life expectancy was not well over 50!!!
(for numerous reasons)


Never use gas appliances working all night in a closed environment

Numerous hunters have not woken up from leaving gas appliance open all night while there's sleeping

Happened again last year here up in Northern Quebec
3 Moose hunters were found dead in their cabin
Carbon monoxide poisoning gas lanterns and heater were left open all night while they were sleeping


Lanterns and heaters left burning all night with windows closed or not enough
ventilation ?
be very careful

Read your manuals safety first use only Outdoors
ICCC 957
Quote
Deanofid
Good comments, Stan!  And, good reminders, Agostino!
Dean -Midnight Kerosene Ritualist--http://www.deansmachine.com  ICCC #1220.   275 commiseration #0018.
"In Him was life, and His life was the Light of men."  John 1:4
Quote
Nevada_Ed
This is a really good topic. There is a conventional house CO detector at my house too, and I check it once in a while, (we burn a Perfection kerosene Heater a good part of the winter for heat). For nearly thirty years I was a mechanical contractor in Fairbanks, Alaska, we did a lot of winter service work to keep the employees busy. The highest percentage of heating was done by hydronic heating, boilers and baseboard or air over hot water coils, umm also radiant heat in the floors. Maybe 20+ % was forced air. Wish I had my high end CO, CO2 and Oxygen meter still. Most of the fuel up there is still fuel oil. There is something interesting about fuel oil and kerosene, CO is odorless, but when kerosene burns so poorly to produce significant amounts of CO it will also be giving off an acrid odor, a bite in the back of your throat, in the nostrils, and may be felt in the eyes, it is not the CO, it is the accompanying bad combustion products that come with the poor burn.

Sorry to take so long getting to the point, Coal, camp fuel, propane and natural gas do not have this kerosene attribute, they can appear to be burning well, have no obvious odor and be producing considerable amounts of CO. Heating equipment should be serviced annually, the worst potential comes from propane or natural gas forced air heaters, cracks in the heat exchanger, leaking fumes, persons and whole families have expired from this particular system failure. Any residential forced air furnace made in the last 40 years has a service life of about 15 years, yep, that is all the expected service life by industry standards. The old, old ones lasted much longer, but the newer models have light heat exchangers and don't last all that long. There are a lot of furnace manufactures, but four or five companies make most all of the heat exchangers for them in the US.

So I urge all to have their heat systems checked annually, have a hard look at those 15+ year old forced air furnaces too. Every house should have a good quality CO detector, one that has a history button to check what the level was over the last day/s. The sensor in a CO dectector is good for about five years and then the unit should be replaced.

Hope I did not sound too preachy, but we saw a lot of stuff in those thirty years of doing service work in the winters.

Ed

There are 10 kinds of people in this world, those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Nevada Ed

Quote
adelcoro
"I urge all to have their heat systems checked annually, have a hard look at those 15+ year old forced air furnaces too. Every house should have a good quality CO detector, one that has a history button to check what the level was over the last day/s. The detector in a CO meter is good for about five years and then the unit should be replaced." Ed Well said. !!!!
ICCC 957
Quote
Deanofid
No talk about good habits and good sense is "preachy", Ed. 

Something I found while researching the subject of CO was an eye opener, to me.  I find it
hard to imagine in this day and age, to tell the truth.  Carbon monoxide is still either THE or
one of the top killers in accidental, non-injury home incidents.  It's the number one "Go to
bed, wake up dead" killer.  Over house fires, ingested poisons, electrocutions, etc.

The alarm I show in the picture is only about $30 and has a service life of a decade.  Three
bucks a year.  It "alarms" if there is a problem, obviously, but it also keeps a record of the
highest level during any consumer set interval.  It doesn't tell the time of an incident, but
if you push that one button once a day, it will tell you if you have had a high level.  Then
reset it for the next day.
This one also has a diagnostic, and when the sensor is kaput, it flashes a message and sounds off.
Dean -Midnight Kerosene Ritualist--http://www.deansmachine.com  ICCC #1220.   275 commiseration #0018.
"In Him was life, and His life was the Light of men."  John 1:4
Quote
tshells1
Very informative Dean (and to all who chimed in)! I have wondered about this subject and to know I can run my lantern or lamp for an hour or 2 (probably never more than that) indoors is good news. Thank you. [smile]
FloridaTom
There is a very fine line between hobby and obsession.
ICCC# 1196
Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate Member #0039    Ebay handle - tshells1

WTB/WTT - Need a 222 GREEN Vent - have a black one for trade or will purchase outright, Also looking for a 249 fount.
Quote
desmobob
Great post, Dean.  I was just thinking about this subject a day or two ago.  I wonder if burning a kerosene lantern produces more or less CO?   One thing is absolutely for sure: I'm buying a CO alarm similar to yours the next time I go shopping.

Take it easy,
Bob
Bob
In the southeast corner of the Adirondack Park
Quote
magikbus
When I was a lot younger, I was a St. John's ambulance instructor and as such did volunteer time with the ambulance personnel.  I attended a call at a gas station one cold winter's night in the early '70s when two young men from Vancouver who were driving to Prince George stopped at Quesnel (10 hours from Vancouver) to fill up with gas late one night.  The driver stepped out of the car and collapsed, the passenger was non-responsive.  Turned out they had all the symptoms of CO poisoning, red flushed complexion, blue lips etc. etc. etc.....The driver eventually responded but was "never the same", the passenger was declared deceased on the scene.  All because of a defective exhaust system in their car.

Neither of them knew what was happening to them, even when it was too late.  Both probably thought they were just tired, and had a headache from the oncoming headlights.

CO poisoning is nothing to fool around with, even if you don't permanently succumb to it, you might wish you had.
Stan
I always take the road less traveled, now where the h3ll am I?
Vancouver Island Branch ccf #0
Quote
JimHogg
Great thread

The key is clean equipment, clean fuel, good ventilation.  One only has to look in the sporting goods section for "kero" emergency heaters that are designed and advertised to operate indoors.  No chimney required.  They burn oxygen.  What is used, must be replaced.

Those using electric baseboard/furnace heating are not free from CO either.  Dust bunnies or spills on the fins/heating element allow for incomplete burning, which in turn will produce the CO.
Jim Hogg EBAY MEMBER: Pawnitoff
Quote
MK
One note about forced air furnace heat exchangers. Myself, I think the newer stainless type actually last
longer than the old ones, which were prone to rust out and often developed cracks.
I've seen very few of the modern stainless heat exchangers flake out so far. So far one.. total.. And it
was a crack if I remember right.  The old type, I'd see bad ones left and right.

The older type rust a lot, or at least here in Houston where the A/C is running a lot more than the heat.
They rust out from the condensation that develops when cooling.
That would be less of a problem if one had no cooling coil, or didn't run the A/C much.

Anyway, as one who has installed and serviced these for many years, I think the new type heat exchangers
are better than the old. So much so that I change out a lot less furnaces now, than back in the older days.
They don't rust out any more, and they don't crack very often either.

These days most furnace calls are due to flaky control boards, pressure switches and such.. Pretty much
the only time I see a bad heat exchanger these days is if I stumble across an older type furnace.
Like I say,  I only recently ran across my first new stainless type that had a crack in the last year or two,
and it was a good bit older than 15 years.
But saying all that, it's still not a bad idea to have a furnace checked, even with the new ones.
Sometimes the induced flue fan housing nuts work loose, and other issues. And they will check all
the safety devices, such as the pressure switch, which will cut off the burners if the flue gets clogged up.

I often run a lantern in this room to take the chill off. That way I can keep the furnace set real low.
I've never noticed any problem so far. You can't smell if CO is present, but I can detect the bad effects
from it if I breath it long enough.. Gives me a light headache mainly. I could feel it if I ran the natural gas
wall heater in the bathroom that is attached to this room long enough.
It's flame is not as clean as the typical good running lantern.  If one see's a yellow flame, no bueno as far
as CO.

According to theory, a Coleman stove with a yellow flame will be belching a lot more CO than one with
a clean blue flame. Same for a lantern if one was running that bad.

Quote
sweeper
Great Postings 

I just want to add to adelcoro's post

"Don't forget that table lamps were used in the days when lead and asbestos were considered safe !! [frown] 
Make sure you have a very good ventilation "

And houses weren't as air tight as they are now.

"Make sure you have a very good ventilation" 
Kevin

Never met a 502 I didn't lite, -Like
Quote
idaho
I've been reading up on CO over the last couple of weeks.  The main topic that got me thinking about it was the 513 on gas thread.  Obviously, you have to have ventilation to run any heater since the oxygen is depleted. 

I guess one of my questions for Dean: was the test room void of any heating vents from the house?  I was wondering if the lamps were able to draw oxygen from the heating vents or from underneath the door of the room.  If void of any venting, I would image, after a while, the oxygen would be depleted and then the lamps would go out and the room could possibly have a higher reading of CO.  It would be interesting to figure out the oxygen levels in the room as well. 

I had a situation a few years ago, where my utility room was detecting a CO leak at 300ppm.  We didn't know where but the CO alarm next to it kept alarming.  After closer inspection, I found an exhaust leak coming off the water heater exhaust which is natural gas burning.  We were able to fix it very easily and detected no more leaks.  The utility room has no venting and when the door is shut there is no space under the door since it gets sealed by the carpet in the hallway.  I guess my point is, if the CO has somewhere to go, like other parts of the house, the CO detector won't work very well, like when we were trying to find the leak.  The detector levels would not go up consistently with the door open.  I'm sure it just went right out the door.   It wasn't until the door was closed, did it detect anything.  Following the instructions, they say to put the CO detector/alarm high up on the wall since CO is slightly lighter than air, like around 3%.  (I'm hoping some of the above will help and not hinder.)

Back to the catalytic heater, I guess those produce more CO2 than CO, so they are a lot safer than something that just produces an open flame, like a lamp or lantern or stove, since the catalysts separates the molecules and does not produce a flame and does not go through a full combustion process.  They still burn up the oxygen, so venting oxygen is required still. 

In my searching, I found a document by the consumer products safety commission on CO Emissions from a Portable Propane Catalytic Heater, which goes into some detail that may be helpful here.

The document is attached and also available at this link: https://www.cpsc.gov//PageFiles/112559/co03.pdf

Hope this helps,
sam


pdf co03.pdf     


I'm a stovie.
MilSpecOps Syndicate #1944

Quote
Deanofid
idaho wrote:
I guess one of my questions for Dean: was the test room void of any
heating vents from the house?

Hi Sam;
My home does not have central heating, so there are no vents in that room.  There is no
way for any air exchange other than opening the door, so it seemed like a good test room.
No windows to leak fresh air into the room, either.

Quote:
I was wondering if the lamps were able to draw oxygen...   ...from underneath the
door of the room.

I rolled up a wet towel to put at the bottom of the door for the test period.
I think it was quite well sealed.  More than any normal interior room in a house. 
In everyday life, that room, and the other rooms in the house can exchange some
small quantity of air under the door, since interior doors have no threshold.  The
wet towel should have made it a pretty static room.

Kidde says not to put it up high if it is a place that might not have normal air currents.
They don't mean to put it where there are a lot of currents, but to avoid higher
ceilings, vaults and peaks.
First Alert has similar instructions, and they say that CO and air are close enough in
weight that there is no "lighter than" or "heavier than" consideration for the sensor
itself.  They note that CO is evenly distributed in air.
Both of them recommend mounting at eye level, or simply "easy to monitor".  I just
have mine on a shelf, and had put it on the work bench for the test.
Dean -Midnight Kerosene Ritualist--http://www.deansmachine.com  ICCC #1220.   275 commiseration #0018.
"In Him was life, and His life was the Light of men."  John 1:4
Quote
Gasman64

In my mere 5 years with the local volunteer Fire Co., we got a bunch of calls every winter for CO.  As you might expect, Fire Depts. have very accurate devices for detecting CO, and I wish I could try one in an enclosed room.
     I think most of the consumer quality CO detectors are pretty good at warning you of unsafe conditions, and the most important thing to remember is to HAVE A WORKING CO DETECTOR IN YOUR HOME.
     Also remember that no matter how efficient something is burning any kind of fuel, ANY combustion produces CO, so unless you are entirely on electric for light and heat, please have a CO detector.
Even if you aren't burning any kind of fuel, ALWAYS HAVE A SMOKE DETECTOR!

Steve    ICCC #1012
CCF DD-214 Club
Quote
DarthShrek
Great thread! CO from lanterns never concerned me. I belive we used a catlitic heater in our pop up growing up with no side effects . People just have to have peanuts for monkeys at 5:00 PM on withers foul dlckcmmsma Los,x,xmcmlłlllllll mommy I am home! No side effects!
Jordan The AshFlash Ambassador
ICCC #1281
The Coleman Blue's #049
Coleman 275 No Appreciation Syndicate # 001
MilSpecOps 002

AKA Jor-Jon-Sun, Jordo Fett and Darth Shrek
Quote
Scouterjan
great topic, no way I can burn anything in our house, even a propane lantern, wife can detect an odor a mile away, but when she is away, I have burned a couple of lamps downstairs where we have the CO Detector. Some lamps set it off fairly quickly, some never set it off, but its just a 25 buck detector, but I know it works
Jan
"ebgone bahwagh agi" Harvest Gatherer

Mitakiuye Oyasin " All My Relations"
Quote
LakeGeorge
Most people are petrified of using lanterns, lamps and such indoors. I think Dean's experiment is good proof that they are pretty safe. Just use good judgement.
Gary Coleman, I am.
I.C.C.C. #1035
11th Annual East Coast Coleman Convention, June 5-9, 2019. Gettysburg, PA
Quote
Kmot
I have lived in my current house for 17 years. I have an indoor mounted central HVAC. Although I change the air filter twice a year, I had never thought about having the HVAC safety inspected. Never crossed my mind.

Just recently, before this thread, I had been thinking about carbon monoxide and I did order a detector. It was in transit when this thread was started by Dean.

After reading the posts from the HVAC and EMS guys, the very next morning I called an HVAC company and had them come out a do a safety inspection of my unit.

My system is in good shape. There are a couple of minor issues that need to be fixed, due to the original installer taking some short cuts. But it is safe to use and I will have those issues fixed after the holidays and will continue to have my HVAC inspected yearly from now on.

Thanks so much for the heads up guys! I would hate to have my family and pets "wake up dead" !!
~Tom~

Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate Member #0017

ICCC #1274
Quote
perterra
Good thread, lots of info. I have run lanterns in my camper a few times and the CO detector has never registered any CO. But I would think all lanterns the same and all conditions the same. Pays to be careful.
Quote
perterra
idaho wrote:
I've been reading up on CO over the last couple of weeks.  The main topic that got me thinking about it was the 513 on gas thread.  Obviously, you have to have ventilation to run any heater since the oxygen is depleted. 

I guess one of my questions for Dean: was the test room void of any heating vents from the house?  I was wondering if the lamps were able to draw oxygen from the heating vents or from underneath the door of the room.  If void of any venting, I would image, after a while, the oxygen would be depleted and then the lamps would go out and the room could possibly have a higher reading of CO.  It would be interesting to figure out the oxygen levels in the room as well. 

I had a situation a few years ago, where my utility room was detecting a CO leak at 300ppm.  We didn't know where but the CO alarm next to it kept alarming.  After closer inspection, I found an exhaust leak coming off the water heater exhaust which is natural gas burning.  We were able to fix it very easily and detected no more leaks.  The utility room has no venting and when the door is shut there is no space under the door since it gets sealed by the carpet in the hallway.  I guess my point is, if the CO has somewhere to go, like other parts of the house, the CO detector won't work very well, like when we were trying to find the leak.  The detector levels would not go up consistently with the door open.  I'm sure it just went right out the door.   It wasn't until the door was closed, did it detect anything.  Following the instructions, they say to put the CO detector/alarm high up on the wall since CO is slightly lighter than air, like around 3%.  (I'm hoping some of the above will help and not hinder.)

Back to the catalytic heater, I guess those produce more CO2 than CO, so they are a lot safer than something that just produces an open flame, like a lamp or lantern or stove, since the catalysts separates the molecules and does not produce a flame and does not go through a full combustion process.  They still burn up the oxygen, so venting oxygen is required still. 

In my searching, I found a document by the consumer products safety commission on CO Emissions from a Portable Propane Catalytic Heater, which goes into some detail that may be helpful here.

The document is attached and also available at this link: https://www.cpsc.gov//PageFiles/112559/co03.pdf

Hope this helps,
sam


pdf co03.pdf     




I'm not sure I would trust a catalytic heater of any kind in an enclosed area that was habitated. Liquid fuel for catalytic I dislike just because the smell alone. I know many here think coleman fuel is right up there with spring water in purity. I dont buy it, Lot of nasty stuff in it. But I dont think limited exposure is going to do much harm and a little common sense will go a long way towards mitigating any problems.
Quote
JimDouglasJr
Catalytic heaters are perfectly safe.  We used it in out trailer with a couple windows cracked open an inch for ventilation.
Fuel products are not for use by people without common sense, not so common these days.
Kyle. Kaptain Kamplite - America's Finest Lantern Fettler.
Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate and 243 Blues Member #0031 &  J.C. Higgins aficionado.
“If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path.” Buddhist quote.  Brand-X Super Hoarder.
Quote
Kmot
I don't know how dangerous this was, but when I worked graveyard I would like to take a nap on my lunch break (3:30AM) and I had a small truck mounted camper. In the cold azz winter time, I would go out to the parking lot and get in the camper and fire up all three propane burners on high and take a nap. I left the roof vent open about 2"

I never had a problem getting up after my short nap to go back to work, but maybe I was just lucky...
~Tom~

Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate Member #0017

ICCC #1274
Quote
deepcrete6
[sSig_goodjob] I approve this thread! another great discussion , lucky for me this old shack I live in was built about the same time as my lamps ,so its not so airtight .I feel pretty safe using my lamps!
thanks, Jerry
*I saw weird stuff in that place last night-weird,strange,sick,twisted,eerie,godless stuff....and I want in -Homer J. Simpson
Quote
perterra
JimDouglasJr wrote:
Catalytic heaters are perfectly safe.  We used it in out trailer with a couple windows cracked open an inch for ventilation.
Fuel products are not for use by people without common sense, not so common these days.



If you can stand the smell
Quote
oldairmech
Hello All
I would agree whole heart'ed that everyone should have both a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector for the safety of every living thing in your HOME.

This is a great post and common sense should always prevail, the fact is burning fossil fuel always produces carbon monoxide to some degree so take what precautions as you deem fit.

I had a carbon monoxide detector made by Kidde and it was at eye level for years & had a fresh battery and it had always show'ed a "zero" until one day. The alarm went off while I was walking the dog and my wife & son were home and called me on the cell so we get home quick but the alarm they thought that had gone off was the smoke alarm. It just didn't make sense as the heater was off with just the pilot light lit the only other item that was gas is the hot water heater, oh and BTW the wife was in the shower when I left. I live very close to the fire marshal so I go and talk to him and he radio's the fire house and for them to bring out the real carbon monoxide detector. While we were waiting back at my house I showed the fire marshal my detector and it's history was showing the highest at 88 but much lower than that now if you take it outside and hit reset then it would clear but if you took it back inside before long it was showing some carbon monoxide. The real machine shows up and the fireman crosses the front door threshold and bam it is reading carbon monoxide. Long story short the hot water heater was bad and if it weren't for that store bought carbon monoxide detector who knows what could have happened to me and my family.

By the way the manufactures of these home use carbon monoxide detectors build them so they only last 7 years or less and no it is not to just to sell more units but to guaranty they continue to work properly, mine went to beeping to alert me it was time and guess what I bought another one right away. Do the math at 45.00$ divided by seven years and it costs 6.42$ a year to protect you and your family, mighty cheap insurance if you ask me.

   
Lem ICCC 1039
Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate Member #572
MilSpecOps #0020
Sears Slut #1 Canadian Blues #20
Coleman Blues # 82
Quote
Gasman64
Lem, great but sobering story.  I am so glad you got things checked out when the water heater gave you problems, so good that everyone was alright.  Similar stories sometimes have sad endings.
Steve    ICCC #1012
CCF DD-214 Club
Quote
MustXcape
It's pretty much been stated already but these are my thoughts on the matter.

When GPA lamps where produced a hundred years ago they were intended for use in homes that where uninsulated and quite drafty at the time, and the cost to heat a home was cheap. Fifty years ago homes were mostly insulated but still somewhat drafty and the cost to heat a home was somewhat cheap. Now homes are fully insulated and heating costs are not cheap. Modern homes are so tight that you should not only be concerned with CO poisoning, but oxygen depletion as well, depending on your particular room situation. Some of today's heating appliances burn so clean, they are sold as ventless, but you must provide a continuous oxygen supply to the burn, so proper ventilation is a must. Fortunately, many modern ventless devices and some heating units have a oxygen depletion senor, and will shut down automatically when tripped. Unfortunately oxygen depletion sensor monitors aren't cheap, or common, except in industry. (I think the portable units are pretty neat).

As far as CO detectors go you should be well versed in it's operation and test it regularly. I don't mean just push the test button, as that just checks the alarm circuit like smoke detectors do. I've had several for a decade or more, and always go for the digital display models. I experiment with various devices to see how it reads, to test the sensor, and even a candle will do.

Most manufacturers now use a fuel-cell electrochemical sensor, a good, accurate, and reliable sensor. Most advertisers advertise a warranty in line with the expected life of the unit, typically five to seven years. I noticed Dean showed a premium long life model rated at 10 years, due to the 10 year battery installed. The power supply can be expected to last ten years, and has worked that long in smoke detectors I have used. What has me wondering is if the manufacturer uses the same sensor across their model line. It seems odd if this model is expected to last ten years whereas others last only seven if it uses the same sensor. Unfortunately I have not been able to determine that the last time I looked at them. It used to be easier to determine such when you could buy replacement sensors for such devices. It might be worth following up on if you are interested in one. Always buy the latest technology if you are in the market. I have used them in every level of my home and in the garage, but vary the type in the house (lithium battery, 9 volt alkaline battery, and plug in models).

In any case, you want to avoid CO poisoning at all costs. It can have long lasting consequences depending on the severity, even if you don't have to spend time in a hyperbaric chamber. Recent studies showed a strong correlation between CO poisoning and subsequent heart damage, although the study I looked at was for significant exposure to CO.
I can stop collecting anytime. I just don't want to.... Soooo.... How much do you want for that?
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fatherof31970
Very good topic Dean and I am glad that you took the time to do some research.  I do burn the lanterns and the lamps in the house from time to time especially when the power goes out.  I have even used the heaters in the house and very often in the tent durning hunting season.  I do always give a little ventilation just to be safe.  But one thing to remember here is that modern homes, trailers, modulars, etc have very high tolerances for the most part and are sealed so well that if someone farts they set a world record for hang time.  No natural ventilation.  Older homes and such just have small air leaks.  You have ventilation whether you want it or not.  It makes a huge difference.  The key is just to be careful and make sure you have some air flow.  Just a little is all that it takes.
"Sit tall in the saddle, Hold your head up high Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky And live like you ain't afraid to die And don't be scared, just enjoy your ride" From "The Ride" by the late Chris Ledoux. Ed, Moscow, Idaho 
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Rocinron
I have a 3 inch screened and filtered vent connecting my basement directly to the outside for the sole purpose of keeping fresh air access to the house. I have gas appliances, and the threat of oxygen depletion is real.

I also ventilate my basement when I am burning anything by opening a small window. Can't be too careful.

I set the smoke alarm off sometimes , but not the CO alarm.
Ron
Well, ain't this place a geographical oddity-two weeks from everywhere!
Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate Member #0085
If it makes fire, and light, and heat....
ICCC # 1336
BernzOmatic Appreciation Club #067

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curlyjoe_99
excellent thread. 

things I got out of it were to; get a CO detector, test YOUR house, shed, garage, etc. , do not assume that if it works for you it will work for someone else just the same way and vice-a-versa, and have your heat sources checked every few years.

thanks to all contributors
Robert (AKA Curly)-- Heart-of-Texas! "Keep 'Em Working"  
MILSPEC_OPS & 275 Appreciation Syndicate Member #9999

In Search of (ISO): evidence of a 220/228 series lantern dated 2/63    

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magikbus
Continuing on the line of "modern" airtight houses, in the mid '70s they started building houses with the "2000" designation (heavily insulated and virtually airtight so it was difficult to close an outside door) up in the North (Dawson Creek BC).  A friend of mine bought one and was thrilled by his heat bills of only $50 a month.  Then his kids started getting sick, and his wife and him finally.  The doctors didn't know what was the problem as his heating was entirely electric and there was no fireplace or anything like that in the house.  They finally brought in an expert who took copious quantities of air samples back to a lab and discovered there were significant quantities of really nasty chemical signatures in the air.  It was "off gassing" from carpets, plywood, plastics, fabrics on furniture coated with flame retardant etc etc.  He had to spend many thousands of dollars on a fancy air/heat recovery unit which of course, completely negated his savings on heat.

We evolved breathing fresh clean air, and our bodies don't take kindly to "alien environments" laced with manufactured chemicals.  I've never lived in a house younger than several decades old and have always had lots of fresh air around me.  I like it that way.
Stan
I always take the road less traveled, now where the h3ll am I?
Vancouver Island Branch ccf #0
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Nevada_Ed
Stan, yep on those near air tight "Five Star Energy" homes, we installed so many of the HRV units I can not remember how many, (Heat Recovery HVAC). These units make a heat exchange while slowing changing inside air for outside air. Often we would be back at those homes or businesses and find they had been shut off because there was a certain loss of heat involved in using them. By the time I quit doing business I had come to think it was better to have a "Four Star" rated home, in part just because of what you related above.

This has been such a good thread for everyone to have a read. I want to mention that every rating agency, consumer protection group, insurance group, industry standards group that addresses heating equipment recommends annual service of heating equipment. Dust, dirt, aging cause the equipment to need a yearly service, and when the equipment is older it needs to be checked for the first signs of heat exchanger failure.

Ed

There are 10 kinds of people in this world, those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Nevada Ed

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AzWolf
Ed (and everyone else!!), thanks for reminding me...

We have electric baseboard heaters, although we haven't used them much. So far, all our heating has been from our Perfection 735, and an Aladdin TR-3000 that my father no longer had a need for.

I need to pull out the vacuum cleaner and a screwdriver, and go around the house pulling covers, and cleaning fins!
Lee
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Majicwrench
Stan,
  I am with you on the "drafty" house, I have refused to get new windows simply because I LIKE a little bit of fresh air!!!! I have a wool sweater on right now, and am toasty and breathing nice, drafty air.

  Dean, great test. Do you have a Perfection heater?? Could you do something similiar with it?? They concern me more than a lamp or two does.

 Off to the hardware store to buy a CO moniter, thanks guys!
Keith
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Deanofid
MustXcape wrote:
I noticed Dean showed a premium long life model rated at 10 years, due to the 10 year battery installed.
The power supply can be expected to last ten years...

The batteries are not long life.  They are regular alkaline AA batteries and are expected to
be replaced any time the alarm tells you to do so. 
The sensor is guaranteed 10 years.  It has an internal clock, and after 10 years it will
make the alarm sound telling you to replace the alarm.  It will also make the alarm sound
if the sensor diagnostic "thinks" the sensor has malfunctioned before the 10 year limit.
If that happens, the warranty says Kidde will replace the alarm as long as it hasn't been
opened.  There's no way to get it open, really.  It's sealed except for the battery compartment.

Dean -Midnight Kerosene Ritualist--http://www.deansmachine.com  ICCC #1220.   275 commiseration #0018.
"In Him was life, and His life was the Light of men."  John 1:4
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streiser
I work for a commercial heating a/c refrigeration supply house here in Las Vegas as stated above if it's in your home,apt, condo what ever as these guys say as well as the manufacture get your stuff serviced. Because wether it's stainless, iron, sheet steel matinence will not only save money in the long run but save you and your familys life. I hear about this all to often this time of year.This is something that can be avoided.
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MustXcape
Dean, I was referring to the Kidde Model C3010D, which looks similar (but not the same as) yours - oopsl
From your info though, it's apparent that they use various sensors with different life expectancies in the various models.

With everything blister packed nowadays, it's not as easy to tell. Plus they seal the units now. Much less try to get clarification through technical support, as they all seem to be trained only to help those who refuse to read the manual. It wasn't always that way.
I can stop collecting anytime. I just don't want to.... Soooo.... How much do you want for that?
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Deanofid
This one is labeled KN-COPP-B-LPM.  Good grief.  As bad as Coleman's new lantern numbering.
That's the one I have here.  There is another one that looks very similar but has no display.
I wouldn't be surprised if there were a dozen different models that look like this one, and it
would be easy to get them mixed up.  The model for the similar one that has no display is
the same as the one I have with the exception of a single letter.

What would be wrong with calling something model #1, then model #2, etc?  The number
"1" is just as distinctive as the model description KN-COPP-B-LPM! 
Dean -Midnight Kerosene Ritualist--http://www.deansmachine.com  ICCC #1220.   275 commiseration #0018.
"In Him was life, and His life was the Light of men."  John 1:4
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Scouterjan
this is 1 of the best topics for quite a long time, thanks Dean for starting it. I sit at my laptop in my room, I can feel a draft from my 35 year old leaky window, so it costs a few extra bucks a month for heating, but its at least fresh air, not some recycled air with who knows whats in it
Jan
"ebgone bahwagh agi" Harvest Gatherer

Mitakiuye Oyasin " All My Relations"
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idaho
I'm wondering why this topic hasn't already been put in the "How-To and Safety Pages".   [waitingNEW]

Dean's done a great job on this very important topic.  It's got my vote, if there is any voting to be done.


sam


I'm a stovie.
MilSpecOps Syndicate #1944

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Deanofid
It's fine with me, Sam.  It might be good to let it stew for a few more days, though.
When they get put in the Tech Archives, the topics get locked, which stops further
conversation and member additions to the thread.

Dean -Midnight Kerosene Ritualist--http://www.deansmachine.com  ICCC #1220.   275 commiseration #0018.
"In Him was life, and His life was the Light of men."  John 1:4
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wade
I work in a underground coal mine, we carry a gas meter that detect several types of gases. The co portion of it does not alarm until 50 ppm. In the belt lines we have hyper sensitive meters. At about 10-15 ppm we start getting calls from the people that monitor them to go check out what is going on. Usually it's a belt rubbing or a scoop with a bad scrubber has driven by in the adjacent entry.

I lived out of a camper for about 2 years for work that I was doing at the time. For heat I used a big buddy propane cat heater. It has a built in oxygen sensor. I used it in -25 weather and never had a problem one. I had a co monitor and it never registered about 4 ppm unless I was cooking something on the stove.
Wade
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Jim_l
Isn't it true that kero produces less CO than CF and the like ?
I've seen people on here say so.

Dean, could you run the same experiment using just kero models of lamps and lanterns and post the results ?
Matthew 5:16: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Jim-- Coleman Blues Member #014
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perterra
Jim_l wrote:
Isn't it true that kero produces less CO than CF and the like ?
I've seen people on here say so.

Dean, could you run the same experiment using just kero models of lamps and lanterns and post the results ?


That would be erroneous, I think maybe Ed and Majicbus addressed it above, I know someone did. Once you get O2 depleted, you get a massive spike of CO.

As far as I know every hydrocarbon type fuel can produce it.
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Kevin108
Nevada_Ed wrote:
So I urge all to have their heat systems checked annually, have a hard look at those 15+ year old forced air furnaces too. Every house should have a good quality CO detector, one that has a history button to check what the level was over the last day/s. The sensor in a CO dectector is good for about five years and then the unit should be replaced.

Hope I did not sound too preachy, but we saw a lot of stuff in those thirty years of doing service work in the winters.

Ed


Ours has worked great for the last 4 winters.  I believe it to have been installed in 1995 or 1996 but I didn't own the home then so I don't know the service history.  What sort of things should be checked annually?  I'm not an HVAC tech but I spend most days dirty with tools in my hands.

Where should a CO detector be mounted in an average home?
Kevin
Portsmouth, VA
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