Happy Carbon Monoxide Everyone! Sleep well...

Home Inspector with Foundation-2-Rooftop, Inc.

This house in Omaha, NE had a 6 month old furnace and water heater.  The only 2 sources of carbon monoxide in the home.  During my home inspection, my CO detector hit 20 ppm when I was running the furnace.  I recalibrated my detector and went back into the house.  It then registered 29 ppm.  At this point, I shut off the furnace and aired the house out.  I contacted the homeowner who was a professional flipper and informed him of the carbon monoxide.

2 months go by and my client suspects something isn't right and wants me to perform a re-inspect before she closes on the home.  I return with the client and again find elevated carbon monoxide levels.  The flipper hadn't corrected the life-threatening problem.

Long story short, I spent the next hour and 15 minutes trouble shooting this.  We aired the house out multiple times, I re-calibrated my CO detector a number of times, etc.  I finally figured it out when I noticed that the hot water at the basement bathroom sink faucet wouldn't stop spurting.  I took my CO detector and placed the wand near the faucet.  That's when the CO readings climbed! 

Apparently, the 6 month old water heater was damaged inside at the flue pipe.  It wasn't leaking water, but somehow the flue gas was getting into the water inside the tank and coming out the faucets at the hot water.  With the furnace running, the CO was immediately sucked into the cold air return of the furnace and blown throughout the small house...which is why I originally thought the source was the furnace.

Just because everything is brand new, don't assume that it's safe.

Please go to our website: www.omaha-home-inspection.com and read our article on Low Level Carbon Monoxide Detectors.  Tis the season to make your family safe!

Carbon monoxide readings from hot water


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Will Allen
Concept 360 Property Management - Long Beach, CA
Property Management... taking care of your assets


Yikes!  That's an un-nerving story . . .  the new Buyer is lucky that you were on the job and so diligent . . .  Happy New Year!

Jan 01, 2017 10:30 AM #1
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

I am suprised there is no testing of CO flue before it goes out of the factory. These are mostly made in the south.  May be Donald can get the manufacturing back require 100% testing at factory.

Jan 01, 2017 10:33 AM #2
Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Greg, like Sam, surprised they do not check this before they leave the factory, as CO is so dangerous! 

Jan 01, 2017 11:30 AM #3
Phillip Timothy

Great forensic diagnosis. Good thing you're clients had you do a reinspection. For their safety.

Jan 01, 2017 04:27 PM #4
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Greg Wayman

ASHI Certified Inspector - 402-330-1701
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