This is way OT, but you guys are smart so I'm asking here:
A friend of mine is renting a house. Last weekend she texted me that the CO
detector on the first floor had gone off. If I recall correctly I think she
said there was a reading of 70 PPM but after she reset it, it read 0 and
hasn't gone off since. She called the landlord anyway, who called the fire
department, who came and said that they couldn't detect anything with their
equipment. No one smelled any odors of any kind. (I know that CO is odorless,
but read on...)
She called me a few hours ago (4 days since the CO incident) and told me
that she had just used the fire extinguisher (that I had bought for her, BTW)
to put out a fire that started behind the kitchen stove (propane). She said
that she called 911 and that the fire department was on the way, but that
she was alright and as far as she could tell the fire was out.
As of now, I don't know any details other than what I heard third hand from
another friend: It was an electrical fire behind the stove. I hope to get
more details tomorrow, directly from my friend.
So, here is my question:
Could the cause of this fire somehow be the cause of the CO detectors
going off once 4 days ago, but not since? Could something have come
really close to combustion, just enough to cause CO but then cool
off (?). Since CO is the product of incomplete combustion, one would
think that she or the FD personnel would have smelled something last
weekend if something had gotten that close to catching fire.
It just doesn't sound like it could be a coincidence, does it?
I just received a picture of the cause.
If you zoom in you can see where the cord for the stove is damaged. My guess
is that it was pinched/cut by the stove casing and finally let the smoke
(and flames) out.
Still curious if that could have caused the CO detectors to go off 4 days ago.
Possible scenario: Four days ago, if she had been using the stove for an e
xtended time, with lack of ventilation, then a temporary build up of CO cou
ld have occurred, setting off the detector. Once the detector went off, a
n opened door, or such, could have ventilated the room. Hence, there may
be no connection to the electrical issue, 4 days later.
Older model stove? Might want to check all the connections, flex hose, etc
., for possible gas leaks, though.
If electric start/ignition of the burners, check to make sure the burner pa
rts/pieces fit on their seatings, in proper alignment. Misaligned burner
parts could allow for improper/insufficient burning of the propane.
Otherwise, I have no knowledge of a possible cause or connection of the two
issues. Nothing like unresolved issues, as these, to keep you on edge, a
s to one's household safety.
Maybe suggest to the landlord he/she might want to consider replacing the s
tove. Propane provider might have a service tech to fully inspect the sto
ve, for a reasonable (landlord's) fee.
While like Sonny said I have no knowledge of the actual cause but this,
but explanation sounded reasonable. This would be more applicable if
the kitchen were closed off, for a period before the CO alarm went off.
It is possible the cord smoldered giving off fumes containing CO for
some time before the fire became visible. When the stove was off the
fumes stopped. After server time of getting hot, smoldering, when the
degradation hit the point where air got into the mixture, you got the flame.
I agree with all of his recommendations.
2018: The year we learn to play the great game of Euchre
Misaligned burner parts could allow for improper/insufficient burning
of the propane.
Makes sense that there is poor combustion, but not the smoke you get
overheating a pan that sets off the smoke detector. I cook with propane
and while I can easily set off the smoke detector, the CO never registers.
If it was my building, having a CO issue followed by an electrical fire,
I'd replace it.
Hmm - sounds like our house. The only way we can afford all the
repairs/updates/add on is if I win the lottery.
And if I win the lottery, I think it would be better if we just
got a new house, "fix" that one up, and move.
Next month's Panel: Graft - Boon or blessing?
On Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at 8:28:00 AM UTC-4, Sonny wrote:
extended time, with lack of ventilation, then a temporary build up of CO c
ould have occurred, setting off the detector. Once the detector went off,
an opened door, or such, could have ventilated the room. Hence, there ma
y be no connection to the electrical issue, 4 days later.
We first heard of the CO detector going off when the renter texted my daugh
at 4AM. It went off over night, so no recent cooking was involved. In
addition, there is no way to close off the kitchen, it is one big kitchen/
dining room area which is open to the stairs that go to the second floor.
In fact, I don't actually know which detector went off. I'll have to check
(The "friend/renter" I mentioned in the OP is actually my daughter's
girlfriend/roommate. The 2 of them rented the house about a month ago. My
daughter was not there for either incident because she had come home the
night prior to the CO detector going off. She left for vacation with an old
schoolmate and is gone for the week. Her girlfriend was not thrilled about
being left alone in the house so soon after moving in and then all this
happened, starting on the very first night. Sucks to be her!)
tc., for possible gas leaks, though.
Fairly new, center griddle burner etc.
parts/pieces fit on their seatings, in proper alignment. Misaligned burne
r parts could allow for improper/insufficient burning of the propane.
As mentioned earlier, the stove was not in use at the time of the detector
going off. The renter was asleep.
wo issues. Nothing like unresolved issues, as these, to keep you on edge,
as to one's household safety.
You got that right! Especially since my daughter will be going back there
in 3 days. The house is in a very rural area of VT, no neighbors for about
a 1/2 mile.
stove. Propane provider might have a service tech to fully inspect the s
tove, for a reasonable (landlord's) fee.
Stove is being replaced.
Refrigerator (some damage to the back ) is being replaced. (That might be a
shame because it's a really nice/big refrigerator. Probably more than they
typically need, but nice when they do need it, like party/holiday times. Th
may end up with a smaller fridge since it's just 2 young ladies renting the
house. Landlord is a nice guy, so we'll see.
Router is being replaced.*
CO detectors will be hard wired, which is apparently the law where they
are renting (VT). (I'm guessing the landlord got caught on that one when th
e FD showed up the first time.)
*About the router...
The latest text I got indicated that they believe the root cause of the fir
was a "power surge". I don't know who made that determination, but I call B
Based only on the picture of the damaged cord, I suspect that the cord was
cut/worn through by being pinched between the stove and wall. Case cuts cor
conductors short out, current surges, takes out router**, fire starts. Yes,
there may have been a power surge, but it would have been caused by the
short. I can't see how a power surge could damage the stove cord and start
the fire where it did.
**I'm waiting to hear back as to whether or not the router was on the same
circuit as the stove. However, the renter is a 20-something college student
and I'm not sure if she'll know.
I realize you are not in a position to check on this but Have someone
double check the systems to verify the fire department's conclusions.
We had the fire department out, and their conclusion as the the source
of the problem was a filter that had got sucked into the motor area
causing the motor to over heat. The AC tech found the problem was a
capacitor that went out and caused 30 amps to the motor which normally
requires 2.5. The smoke occurred when the motor burned out.
2018: The year we learn to play the great game of Euchre
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