Wood Stove CO problem

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Wood Stove CO problem

Postby danman » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:12 pm

OK, we replaced a gas insert fireplace in our basement, with a woodstove. We didn't do the install ourselves, but had the company we bought if from do the install.
Not long after the install, our CO detector UPSTAIRS went off, even though we had one downstairs. Turns out the basement one was old, so we replaced it. The local fire inspector determined that the fireplace was causing the problem, so we called them back to check things out.
Their response was that there has to be a negative pressure in the basement of our house and we need to install a fresh air vent that brings in the outside air to even out the pressure. So we did that and within a day, same problem. Today, the fire inspector and the stove guys were at our house and re-started the fire. The levels didn't change at all, so they have no idea what is causing the problem.
Can any of you help with what we are supposed to do next? I know the fire inspector will do everything he can to support us as it's a small town and he is just one of those good guys. I'm not so sure about the company guy anymore.

Thanks in advance.
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Postby Wilberforce » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:21 pm

Equalizing room pressure won't help much. You might have to pipe in
outside air directly into the furnace, if that is the source. If that does
not work, you might consider switching back to gas. With it's more
complete combustion, gas has much less of a problem with CO.
But even gas furnaces can emit some CO if the heat exchanger is
cracked, for instance.

I'm not too confident in these so-called "low emission" wood stoves.
I believe you may have a badly-designed device. You are correct to
consider that wood stoves can emit much CO (It is the glowing coals
that generate most of it) Unseen particulates and aromatic emissions
are present even if smoke is not visible. Can you smell any odor?

Let us know what you decide to do and good luck.
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Postby danman » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:28 pm

That's the thing. I did pipe in fresh air from the outside through a 6" insulated flexible vent. It goes directly to the open compartment where the wood stove went and even on the intake side of it.
The fire inspector checked every gas device in our house and not one of them was emitting CO.
The fireplace store guy said that the negative pressure happens most often when the fire is down and it is mainly red hot coals, but in our case, the CO detectors go off shortly after we stoke the fire!
We don't smell any odors at all.

The fire has been going since about 1pm this afternoon and it's been stoked 2 times since, no CO......yet!

This is beginning to piss me off as my 2 boys(10 and 12) both have bedrooms down there.
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