This month's mysterious stumper comes from Gregory Plet, BPI certified pro from Northeast Energy Conservation, Inc in Fairfield, New Jersey.

Greg writes that one Friday he was doing a routine service check on an Orthodox Jewish customer's house in West Orange, New Jersey. As he walked into the house his Testo CO detector went off and was reading between 10 to 14 ppm (Ambient CO Level), in all rooms of the house. All the appliances appeared to be off. Greg ran a test on the domestic water heater, boiler and everything passed the test but the High CO Level. He thought maybe his CO alarm was defective, so he called in reinforcements - his co-worker Michael Labinski. But when Michael arrived his equipment got the same result! The two walked the house room by room, inside and outside, but couldn't find the source of the CO. When they asked the customer if they cooked before the visit, if they warmed up a car in the garage or any such activity, the answer was NO.

Do you know what was causing the high CO level?

Views: 948

Replies to This Discussion

Sabbath candles?  Of course, those would be clearly visible.

The religious aspect probably plays a big part in this mystery. The orthodox Jewish customer was more than likely observing Shabbat. Candles were probably lit since there was no chance of electric lighting from being used. That would be my next step into solving this mystery.  John mitchell

Yeah, the story plainly mentions it was Friday and that they were Orthodox Jews.  I can't figure out, though, how a thorough search of the house would fail to turn up the burning candles.

Also, the Sabbath rules against using electricity might have led to something being turned OFF whose absence then causes the CO.  I haven't come up with any idea what that might be, though.

Orr, something for keeping food warm during the Sabbath?  It wouldn't necessarily be "cooking" anything.

They make ovens with a "Sabbath mode" function to keep food warm without having to do anything on the Sabbath. Sometimes they don't look like they're on. This is my guess.

After looking at Hot water heater and furnace.  I look where the gas line goes - fire place - heating - dryer - BBQ.  Then I look at what was heating up I was at a small room that had little sausage links precooked - got the CO up to 37 PPM.  Then l look outside - what smells?   I have found a 1966 Mustang cherry red super charged on start up 40,000 PPM  CO.   It was a 1/2 block away.  Keep looking  

Great thread - when will you post the solution?

There may not be a solution?

The detectors could have been giving false positive readings due to cleaning chemicals as it is customary to clean the house in preparation for the evening.  Stick your Bacharach Monaoxor III in a bottle of Pine Sol and you will see what I mean.

Since the obvious suspects for the CO were ruled out, certainly a head scratch moment.  If cooking ahead for the Shabbat was also ruled out, that has me thinking the Orthodox aspect may have led them to make an assumption and ignore one possibility.

Very tight home and smoking inside with smokeless ashtrays, while they remove the smell, the CO remains.  It's just odd that Ambient levels are consistent throughout the home.

Since Shabbat begins just before sunset, it also didn't seem likely anything to do with their observance of it besides pre-cooking meals would come into play.  How often does anyone do a "Routine Service Check" on Friday evening?

Being a novice at CO, I looked up permissible and ambient levels that appear to be 10 PPM and about 2 PPM over 8 hours respectively. CO alarms cannot display values under 30 PPM due to false alarms. ASHRAE says indoor should not be above 9 PPM.

I assume that "ambient" is the value of outdoor air around the house which would form the minimum that it could possibly be indoors since human activity and appliances could only make this larger. Then, what was the ambient outdoor reading?

RSS

Discussion Forum

BPI has a jobs section on their website!

Started by Diane Chojnowski. Last reply by Building Performance Institute Jan 11. 1 Reply

Faces of EE campaign on Twitter - see fellow BPIers profiled!

Started by Building Performance Institute Sep 12, 2017. 0 Replies

Let's Play Stump the Chump!

Started by Kirsten Richnavsky. Last reply by 13l00vab7zpxt Aug 17, 2015. 16 Replies

Latest Activity

Brett Little posted a discussion

How to become a Certified GreenHome Professional - Free Webinar!

The Certified GreenHome Professional (CGHP) training is a way to learn about the basics of…See More
15 hours ago
Corbett Lunsford's video was featured

Testing Air Quality with Your Nose: Control Your HOMEChem

Charlie Weschler sits down with Grace and Corbett and gives fascinating examples of the complexity of indoor air chemistry. He is an air quality legend, a professor on three continents, and a super nice guy.
Friday
Profile Iconwallace van, Tony kroos and Sunmar Construction, Inc joined Home Energy Pros Forum
Friday
John White replied to Jerry Needham's discussion Blower door test for small apartment building
"Well, I think it completely depends on the purpose and requirement of the test. Testing one unit in…"
Friday
John Nicholas replied to Jerry Needham's discussion Blower door test for small apartment building
"I can use my Duct Blaster on any house that I expect to be less than 1300 CFM through the…"
Friday
Sean Lintow Sr replied to Jerry Needham's discussion Blower door test for small apartment building
"FYI, he is in Illinois where code is 5 (well up until March as noted when it drops to 4)  Heh…"
Friday
John Nicholas replied to Jerry Needham's discussion Blower door test for small apartment building
"Here are two pictures of the duct blaster fan as a blower door.  1 in a door and 1 in a…"
Thursday
John Nicholas replied to Jerry Needham's discussion Blower door test for small apartment building
"What standard are you testing to? Energy Star requires 5 ACH @ 50.   Code is 3.0 etc…"
Thursday
John Nicholas replied to Jerry Needham's discussion Blower door test for small apartment building
"What standard are you testing to? Energy Star requires 5 ACH @ 50.   Code is 3.0 etc…"
Thursday
Franco Oyuela replied to Allison A. Bailes III's discussion ENERGY STAR Version 3
"The ENERGY STARnew homes program has been around since the mid-1990s and is currently undergoing…"
Thursday
Blake Reid commented on Blake Reid's blog post Managing Mold & Humidity (in Hawaii)
"Thank you very much! They're actually the same, though - the one with the dehu cover photo has…"
Thursday
John Proctor commented on Blake Reid's blog post Managing Mold & Humidity (in Hawaii)
"Nice post -- much better than the one that only showed the dehumidifier."
Thursday
Brett Little updated an event
Thumbnail

Full Circle Urban Forestry: Introducing Urban Wood Opportunities - Free CE Webinar at Webinar Online

December 5, 2018 from 12pm to 1:15pm
Many common urban tree removal practices in the United States view felled urban trees as costly…See More
Thursday
Brett Little replied to Brett Little's discussion Virtual CEU Tour of the Pembroke Passive Solar Zero Energy Ready Home
"You know utilities are pretty complex, especially in IL, however it looks like just about 6.8 cents…"
Thursday
yassin chahdi replied to Gary Wright's discussion Radiant Barrier Southeast
"It’s hard to choose on of these as most of the time the reviews and buying guides found on…"
Thursday
Bruce Fillmore replied to Mark Furst's discussion Bath fan weirdness
"In my opinion venting into any soffit is a bad idea, it usually requires a sharp bend to get into…"
Thursday
Tray Biasiolli replied to Mark Furst's discussion Bath fan weirdness
"I'd agree with Sean - we get wind effects regularly when measuring ventilation fan intake at…"
Thursday
Charles Buell replied to Mark Furst's discussion Bath fan weirdness
"You would have to test the vent at the inside at a location the same diameter as the outside…"
Thursday
Blake Reid's blog post was featured

Managing Mold & Humidity (in Hawaii)

A blower door measures how tight a house isAir sealing done as part of the install, and after…See More
Thursday
John White replied to Cameron Home Insulation's discussion Why is Air Sealing Important?
"Most attics have insulation which helps reduce heat loss. But it won't stop the air flow.…"
Wednesday

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2018   Created by Home Performance Coalition (HPC)   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service