A Cautionary Tale

About six years ago, I replaced the boiler in my brother-in-law’s house. A week or two later, I got a call while at work that something was wrong at his house with the new boiler, and the CO detectors were going off.

I live in a small town in New England. When I arrived, I met the fire department captain at the door — whom I knew. He informed me that my sister-in-law and kids were at the hospital getting checked out for CO poisoning. At this point my heart fell out of my chest.

I got right on the phone and called the burner man that I had do the wiring and fire alarm. He came over, and we went through the system with a fine-tooth comb. We could not reproduce the CO problem. The fire department came back and tested the air throughout the house and found nothing. It drove me nuts.

We started to look at the whole house, not just the new boiler. The room that the alarm went off in was the second floor master bedroom. (My two-month-old nephew was in it at the time.) This room also had a chimney going through it.

So, after trying to duplicate this with no luck, the only thing that made any sense was the chimney had a cracked liner. It was a very windy day, causing wind shear on the chimney, not letting the gasses escape from the chimney. We had a stainless steel pipe installed and never had another problem.

In my family, we used to call my brother-in-law “DADDYNOIA” (daddy-know-it-all). Not anymore. If he did not have CO detectors throughout his house, I may not have a nephew! Needless to say, this stayed with me. Anybody that does not take this seriously may someday be in for a nightmare. It just takes something out of the norm to change the way you look at CO poisoning.

Jeff Martins, Middletown, RI

Teardown Fever

I enjoyed the editorial “Who Killed the Compressor?” [in the Dec. 2 issue]. How can I get a schedule for the Copeland COSS? I would love to send some people there to observe compressor teardowns. Better yet, I would like for them to come to me with some warranty compressors to tear down.

Frank Mutz, Moncrief Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc., Atlanta, GA


Feedback to the editorial and upcoming News series has been very positive. Anyone who desires information on Copeland’s training seminars can visitwww.copeland-corp.com, or call 937-498-3617.

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Publication date: 12/23/2002