Pt 2--brand new smelly furnace

Hi all,
Thank you for you comments on my past post--When the contractor left Tues am, he said that the smell was "new burn", and that they had not sealed the flue in the bedroom before running on Monday night. They accomplished that on Tues (apparently). Tuesday evening, the furnace smelled like a diesel truck when blowing throught the vents, and when I got home last night, the horrible smell was back, coming through the vents
Unfortunately, I'm not well-versed in describing smells, but this was acrid, and burned eyes, throat and caused a headache. Turned it off, went down to the basement, where I discovered the furnace was leaking oil underneath, and was also collecting in the bottom areas inside the furnace.
The company was back out this a.m. They applied more cement to the flue (as still it was not completely sealed in the bedroom), tested for CO (none), replaced copper pipe from the filter to the furnace (source of leaking oil), and put kitty litter down on the spill and shoved it up under the furnace (I would have liked them to have pulled it out then cleaned underneath, but they didnt), and sprayed a deoderizer.
The serviceman said that the leaking oil had gotten into the return and thus was cycling throughout the house. Said it should burn off in 1-2 hrs, but may take a while for smell to go away in the house.
Can I just shop-vac up the kitty litter? I imagine that would be harsh on the shop-vac. Any ideas how I can get the remainder of it out from under the furnace, or spread more? (looks like there is about an inch of clearance).
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Cement on flue in bedroom! Kitty litter under a furnace for an oil leak! Leaking oil in return without cleaning it! A leaking oil pipe! I would sure stop- pay and go get a permit pulled and beg for the inspector to come out today. You probably have other "hacked in" issues besides the danger you smell. And you have not gotten your own Co unit yet im sure.
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: Cement on flue in bedroom! Kitty litter under a furnace for an oil leak! : Leaking oil in return without cleaning it! A leaking oil pipe! I would : sure stop- pay and go get a permit pulled and beg for the inspector to : come out today. You probably have other "hacked in" issues besides the : danger you smell. And you have not gotten your own Co unit yet im sure. : I think I'd have to agree with that - the OP certainly got shined, I'm afraid. Then once everything's up to snuff and inspected/passed, I think I'd have to talk to the BBB minimum about this work.
Sweeping kitty litter under anything is stupid, and leaving it there is a sure sign of a lazy slob who doesn't know what he's doing, IMO. As long as the oil soaked litter is there, the smell will remain there, and will enter the air supply easily. It's also hard on bare concrete. Until I got it settled, I'd probably also put a stop-pay on the check he was paid with and if it turns out as I suspect it will, never pay him any more than I legally was forced to. Than, I'd likely seriously consider taking him to small claims court for any costs in excess of the installation job he quoted on, plus any extra work he created in the process. Like properly fixing the flue inthe bedroom, cleaning up the kitty litter, etc etc etc.. You might be surprised at the length of the list. I also don't think the smell of oil inside the return will go away very fast - his cleaner will only disguise it for awhile.
Also, from what I know, I'm not in that business, running lines so fuel could get inside a return is definitely wrong! Can you imagine dropping a lit match or lighter down a return register? Scary.
I've probably misinterpreted a couple of points, but any way you look at it, this was a schlock job - others should be protected against him.
Oh, a shop vac might get the litter out if you can get into the area, but have a couple or three filters handy for replacement if there's much of it.
HTH,
Pop
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In (slight) defense of the slob:
When we have had oil spills, we will usually leave the kitty little down for a few days to help soak up the oil. The stuff we use has powder mixed in it to absorb and neutralize the odors. BUT! You come back in a couple of days and clean it up.
I agree that just shoving it under the furnace more than likely won't do the job. Pain in the butt, but the furnace should be moved and a proper cleaning done.
Another thing: If it got into the ductwork (or the blower compartment!!) it's not just going to go away. They need to get in there and wipe everything down with a cleaner/deodorizer or else it will stink forever.
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wrote

Bullshit laziness. Put the absorbent clay down, mix it and churn it to absorb the oil, then remove it. Do not leave it to "soak up" the oil. That is pure laziness.

Agree here. They should have properly cleaned it all up the first time. Removing the furnace to clean underneath is a must.
The OP got fucked on this one.
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I removed an old oil tank and finished my basement years ago but there is an area up high I guess we reused some of the oiled dirt from under the tank, well 3 years later even though the dirt is cover in plastic it still stinks. Id imagine the EPA would call what you have a Hazzard. Oil in the return, sure take it apart remove and clean, likely a days job. Oil under the unit, remove the unit and clean with soap. Yes stop payment now but get an inspector out too, now. You hired the "Hack boys", for sure.
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Sounds like you got bent over like a shotgun and took it hard up the ass.
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New burn, as you call it...lasts only minutes..not hours. and the new smell you talk about, in the duct system..thats oil burning.....not good. Oil as in fuel oil.

INSIDE?
In a nutshell, in simplist terms... Thats BS.

More BS.

VAc it up...aint gonna hurt a thing.. Second thing to do is, call the owner of the company, and bitch..I mean bitch. Ask for a tech that knows what in hell hes doing, and if he cant come through, hold back on payment..you havent payed them yet have you?
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This must be one of those life lessons...
I really do thank you for considering my situation and replying with your thoughtful opinions. I think my general line of thinking is...1) poor workmanship 2) mistakes happen but you clean them up really good and apologize 3) payment will be made when this is resolved and 4) I do need an unbiased inspector to come out.
I did stop payment on the check today, notified the contractor/owner of this, and called the county. The county will schedule an inspection at no charge...I'm just waiting for that call. I have every intention of completing the payment as soon as this is resolved.
jenn
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You know, I wanna say that you the OP is just stupid and wont listen to what is told in here BUT, I'll refrain for now. Did you get the cheapest bidder to do this? Ok, dont answer, I really dont care. It sounds great that you are willing to pay if he does the job right, .....thats cool too. Toss the piece or pieces of duct that got oil soaked and properly clean the rest of the things that got oil on them. NOW, do yourself a favor. Most likely the inspector you get from the county isnt going to know diddley about an oil furnace. YOU NEED your furnace setup properly. Call the company and ask them if they can supply you with a tech that can come out and do combustion efficiency testing with some digital equipment. He will need to take oil pressure, stack temp, ambient temp, draft over fire, CO2/ O2 and smoke test. Then he needs to know what to do with that info. If they cant, then you are screwed. Call a company that can and do it before you use your system. Bubba
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: This must be one of those life lessons... ===> Yeah, too bad they're such exasperating lessons, isn't it? I just paid $228 to have two furnaces and a water heater "preventive" maintenance done. It's supposed to be done yearly, but I only do it every two years; some people go a lot longer, I know. One furnace had quit though, and it was cheaper than a service call plus the maintenance, so ... <g>. Turned out there was a huge, cooked bug on the ignitor; his charred remains were messing up the spark. I'll bet that was one surprised bug when that ignitor turned on! It would have been less, but i forgot to tell him to not change the filters; I do that myself and get them cheaper. : : I really do thank you for considering my situation and replying with : your thoughtful opinions. I think my general line of thinking is...1) : poor workmanship 2) mistakes happen but you clean them up really good : and apologize 3) payment will be made when this is resolved and 4) I do : need an unbiased inspector to come out. ===> I've actually known one or two that did #2 above; a rare find these days. These guys have to realize that the most important product they have to sell is Quality, and really lose out.
Glad it's being handled; let us know what the inspector said and how it works out?
Pop
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