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?
Was there a blech on the stove? Used to cover the flame on a gas stove, sometimes it does not have enough space to allow for decent combustion and the CO accumulates.
We received so many great answers to last month's stumper! A big thank you to all the folks who sent us your great ideas and guesses - some very creative answers too! Doug Horgan of BOWA Remodeling in McLean, Virginia is this month's winner, followed just minutes later by Nathan Winkler, Silas Hoeppner and Ray Levinson who also guessed correctly.
Doug guesses, "There is an appliance set to run in 'Sabbath mode' where it turns itself on and stays on through the timeframe in which one is not allowed to control devices. If it's making CO it would have to be the oven." Doug was spot on.
Greg Plet of Northeast Energy Conservation, Inc. in Fairfield, NJ who sent us last month's stumper, reveals that after he looked at the stove a little closer he realized one of the burners was on very low, at simmer level. "So I asked the customer if she knew about the stove being on and she said, 'Oh yes, we have to cook that way (from Thursday to the end of the week for religion reasons),'" said Greg.
"Our customer mentioned that it had been on simmer for about 8 hours and that they cook that way every week." The home's central air unit was on and circulating CO throughout the house. "We asked our customer if they had any headaches, and they said their son had complained of headaches lately. We told them it could be related."
I don't see Doug Horgan, Nathan Winkler, Silas Hoeppner or Ray Levinson listed as someone who posted an answer in the discussion thread. On my computer screen it looks like Bryan Burris is the only person posting that answer. How can this be?
Hi Dmitri! We spread the word about the challenge across many different channels, including through an e-newsletter, this forum and social media, and track correct answers across all of these channels. This time around, we received the quickest correct answers through the e-newsletter. Keep an eye out for next month's "stumper," which will be posted here today!