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I'm not dead - MegaZone's Safety Valve
The Ramblings of a Damaged Mind
zonereyrie
zonereyrie
I'm not dead
Normally that'd be more of a joke. But not today.

I'm not dead only because I have a carbon monoxide detector in my house.

Last night the auto-fill on my boiler failed. The boiler cooked itself dry, continued to fire, and cracked. This allowed combustion products to enter the steam pipes (I have a steam heating systems), and then to vent into the house via the radiator vents. Just as I was planning to crash this morning the carbon monoxide detector went off.

So now I don't have heat, and I need a new boiler - on the upside, I'm not dead.

It also explains the headache I developed just before the alarm. The alarm went off when levels reached 15ppm, and it was climbing until I killed the boiler and vented the house.

Tags: , ,
Current Location: 42.308929N 71.795328W
I am: alive
Current Media: heartbeats

54 STDOUT || STDIN
Comments
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z_gryphon From: z_gryphon Date: November 13th, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
doh!

Good thing it didn't happen while you were in California. You might've come home to no house.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 13th, 2007 08:50 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Quite probably, yeah.
(Deleted comment)
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 13th, 2007 09:05 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Thanks, I might have to take you up on that if it turns cold.
meranthi From: meranthi Date: November 13th, 2007 08:56 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Wow! I'm glad you had one, too!!!
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 13th, 2007 09:06 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Thanks.
krellis From: krellis Date: November 13th, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Wow, that sucks. If that's not a commercial for "make sure you have a functioning CO detector", I don't know what is! Glad you're okay, good luck with the always fun process of getting the boiler replaced.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 13th, 2007 09:05 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Yeah, the first estimate I have is from my heating company - $9k. Ouch.

I'm getting a couple of estimates tomorrow morning.
sweh From: sweh Date: November 13th, 2007 09:07 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Wow, did you have anyone do maintenance on the boiler before hand? So many things must have failed there...

Your boiler gets through that much water that a failure overnight caused it to dry out? Wow. My steam heat system maybe drops an inch per week (if that); the refill happens when I perform the weekly gunge flush.

And the boiler doesn't have a low water cutoff? Part of the yearly testing performed is to make sure that if the water level gets too low then the furnace cuts off and then restarts once the water levels are high enough again.

So... lots of water loss, auto-fill failure _and_ no low water cutoff...

Fortunately the CO detector worked!!!
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 13th, 2007 09:18 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
It is a VERY old boiler - used to be oil, converted to gas at some point. I have a maintenance agreement but that's just basic servicing. Yeah, the auto-fill failed, and the low-water cut off is, apparently, bad.

I was out of town Thursday until last night, so it probably failed while I was away - close to the end of the trip since the house wasn't cold an the heat was still on when I got home, just turned way down. But I turned it up when I got home, and that was probably the last straw - it cooked off the last of the water.

My system doesn't have any regular flush.
mackys From: mackys Date: November 13th, 2007 09:08 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Jesus that was close. Glad you're OK.

Notes to self: buy a CO detector.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 13th, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Yes, do.
solipsistnation From: solipsistnation Date: November 13th, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Holy crap. That's pretty scary.

Well, this would be an ideal time to move to California.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 13th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
No kidding... and, no kidding.
kadnkadnk From: kadnkadnk Date: November 13th, 2007 09:22 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
I'm glad to hear you're not dead!

If you want to expedite the service, you can borrow the baby. Any household with an infant under age 1 or an adult over age 70 gets heat within 24 hrs, mandated by the state. I'm only mostly kidding, but it worked for us when Joe was 10 months old and our furnace went out. It was repaired within 12 hrs (during a howling snowstorm).

-k
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 13th, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Unfortunately, even if I had a baby I don't know that they could get the old boiler ripped out and a new one installed in a day - if I accept their quote they'll provide me with electric space heaters to tide me over.
From: jav Date: November 13th, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
holy shit!
glad you're safe!
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 13th, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Thanks, me too. :-)
qarylla From: qarylla Date: November 13th, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Congrats to life!

When I was in HS my family was kicked out of a place because an inspector realized it was leaking CO into the building (I think we were told the furnace). Building condemned just like that.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 13th, 2007 09:29 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Yeah, CO is not your friend.
nou From: nou Date: November 13th, 2007 09:41 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Wow, scary. Glad to hear you're not dead.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 13th, 2007 09:47 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Yeah, it wasn't scary at the time, more annoying, but in retrospect it hit me that it was a close call.
also_huey From: also_huey Date: November 13th, 2007 09:41 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Congratulations, and best wishes for your continued not-dead-ness!
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 13th, 2007 09:48 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
I will endeavor to remain not-dead. (As opposed to un-dead.)
autumnesquirrel From: autumnesquirrel Date: November 13th, 2007 09:44 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Not dead is good. I'm glad to hear that you're not dead.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 13th, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Thanks.
lizzielizzie From: lizzielizzie Date: November 13th, 2007 09:58 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
holy crap! that's not funny. glad you are not dead.

and yes, boilers are f-expensive. it's why i never replaced the 35 year old one in my house. (Besides, I -liked- having my garage at 50-60 degrees, thank you very much)
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 13th, 2007 10:03 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Yeah, it isn't really that funny.
kayselkiemoon From: kayselkiemoon Date: November 13th, 2007 10:07 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
oh good gracious! I'm sorry that happened, and since it did, so relieved you got through it alright! eek!
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: November 13th, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Thanks.
54 STDOUT || STDIN
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