This story just keeps getting crazier and crazier.
It was Thursday night when the CO alarm first went off. We were having a storm – a pretty bad storm. We didn’t think anything about it being weather related. Vince thought the alarms had gone bad so Friday he went out and bought three more.
Friday night we took showers and the alarm did not go off.
Saturday night we had really serious storms with swirling winds and the alarm went off again.
Our Safety Attempts:
Vince decided to set up a big floor fan and open the window in the closet. In theory, that would draw the CO outside through the window. Before we would take a shower, he would turn on the fan. The CO alarm went off Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (tonight) when we took showers.
We didn’t have a plumber here but everyone we talked to recommended Ed McMillian so we called him over the weekend, he said he’d try to get here Tuesday. Because no one seems to do what they say they will do any more, I wasn’t really expecting him to come but about 1:00 p.m., he called for directions and showed up.
He checked the draft and it was fine. He had us run the showers and the alarm didn’t go off. He messed with everything and we never could get the alarm to go off.
We did not have the fan on or the window open. The plumber wanted to see what happens under normal conditions.
Vince went to take his shower tonight and turned on the fan and opened the window. The alarm went off. I sent the plumber a message on FB and he suggested that Vince check the draft while the alarm is going off. Vince decide to check it before I took my shower to be sure it was still drafting. It wasn’t. The flame on the lighter kept going off. He realized the fan was pulling the vapors DOWN the vent pipe, right past the CO detector. He turned off the fan and closed the window. I took my shower. No alarm!
So, now we believe that it was the storm that caused a drafting issue on Thursday and Saturday nights. The rest of the time, it was the fan that was causing the issue. Or attempt at helping was causing the harm.
The plumber suggested giving it a few days to see if we’ve truly solved the problem before he changes the water heater. He said he was afraid, since we couldn’t figure it out, if he changed the water heater, we’d have the same problem with the new water heater.
Tonight we’re sleeping back in the master bedroom. That extra bed is awful. We have FOUR carbon monoxide detectors in there and we’ll sleep with at least one window open.
I’m feeling like Vince and the plumber were pretty smart to figure it out. Vince said he feels pretty crazy not realizing the fan would pull those vapors down.