BASED IN WHITIANGA & SERVICING THE COROMANDEL PENINSULA
With Johno the Plumber covering all three trades he is the One Stop Coromandel Shop for all your Plumbing, Gasfitting, and Drainage needs.
One Phone Number, One quote, One Invoice and most importantly One person who knows all aspects of your job from start to finish.
Give Johno a call today............0800 NEED JOHNO
UNDERSTANDING GASFITTING AND WHY DIY IS NOT A GOOD IDEA !
Gasfitting is a trade which is far larger and more complex than most people realise. Although many people encounter gasfitting on a domestic scale, or in a commercial situation such as a commercial kitchen, few come across it directly in the industrial area of manufacturing where much gasfitting is done.
A Silent and Invisible Killer
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a flammable hydrocarbon gas.
Because carbon monoxide readily replaces oxygen in the blood, various body organs will rapidly become deprived of oxygen if carbon monoxide is inhaled. The first organ affected is the brain, and the first and most obvious effects are seen here. The exact symptoms will depend on the severity (quantity/concentration of carbon monoxide) and the length of exposure. Carbon monoxide has a half-life in the blood stream of five hours - that is - every five hours the amount of carbon monoxide in the body will halve. So if more than just a small amount of carbon monoxide has been absorbed, it will take some time for the body to deal with it.
Acute means 'sudden and serious'. In medical terms, the rapid absorption of carbon monoxide over a short time causing a sudden onset of symptoms is acute. If the air contains a large concentration of carbon monoxide, the effect will be serious and sudden - it is an issue of quantity.
*NOTE: A person suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning may experience such lethargy (and even contentment) that even if they know they are in serious danger, they are reluctant or unwilling to do anything about it. They may need to be physically carried/dragged from the room.
|Category||Symptoms - a few in each category|
|Somatic/Physical Symptoms||Headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, joint pain, chronic fatigue, dizziness, vertigo, numbness, tingling of extremities.|
|Cognitive / Memory Impairments||Executive functioning deficits, attention-concentration problems, multi-tasking problems, verbal and/or visual deficits, word-finding problems, word order problems, short-term memory problems, loss of intellectual capacity, slowed cognitive processing|
|Affective Disorders (Emotional / Personality effects)||Mood changes, irritability, depression, anxiety, tearfulness, apathy, lack of motivation, loss of interest, anger, temper, social relationship problems, sleep disturbance personality change (eg. psychosis, schizophrenia)|
|Sensory & Motor Disorders (Visual, Auditory, etc.)||Blurry vision, double vision (diplopia), accommodation problems, etc., etc., tinnitus (buzzing in ear), loss of hearing, hypersensitivity to chemicals, etc. (ie. MCS), slowed fine motor speed, coordination, decreased gross motor strength, speaking, eating, swallowing disorders|
|Gross Neurological Disorders||Seizures, aphasia (can't speak), gait (walking) disturbances, balance problems, tremor|
These symptoms can continue for many years, with some, in particular the physiological ones, often getting worse with time. Damage to the organs (eyes, lungs, circulatory system and other internal organs) can occur, or recur in a more serious version, many years after the event.
So while acute symptoms get better with time (provided the dosage is not fatal) chronic symptoms tend to get worse. That is why it is crucial to ensure that carbon monoxide does not discharge into a room, by ensuring in the first instance that combustion is as complete as possible, and secondly that proper flueing is installed.
The role of a flue in a gas appliance is exactly that of a chimney on a wood burning fire - to safely carry the products of combustion out of the building and into the atmosphere where they are diluted and dispersed. Some gas burners, gas hobs, for example, don't need flues (called unflued appliance) - but many do.
If an appliance does have a flue, it is very important for everyone's safety that the flue operates correctly.
Unflued appliances discharge all their products of combustion into the room, so precautions are taken to minimise the effect of this. In the first instance, these appliances use fully aerated burners, which are designed to produce a clean (blue) flame. Such appliances are also generally installed in rooms of a reasonable size (with a large volume of air) in addition to ventilation. Gas hobs in very small spaces like caravans and small boats can be hazardous - especially if there is minimal ventilation (closed windows, doors, hatches).
Production of some carbon monoxide is inevitable under any circumstances, and generally does not cause a problem. However, if carbon monoxide is to spill into a room from a flued appliance, this is of great concern.
Some burners are designed to produce yellow tipped flames - flame effect or decorative fires - for example - these burners must always be flued, and flued correctly!
The flueing system used must be designed and installed for the worst case scenario, and completely remove all products of combustion under all foreseeable circumstances. A flue which removes most combustion products most of the time is not satisfactory.
Spillage, or unplanned discharge of the products of combustion into the living space, is inevitably caused by inadequate or improper flueing. Even if a problem arises with the combustion process, to be safe, a proper flue system must be capable of removing these products under any atmospheric conditions.
Other Signs of Carbon Monoxide Spillage
One of the first indicators of carbon monoxide spillage is often unexplained sickness, even death, of household animals, especially cats or dogs. Their smaller body size and the tendency for animals to sleep in front of a heater, means that any carbon monoxide discharged into the room has a disproportionate effect on family pets. A surprising number of victims of chronic carbon monoxide poisoning have reported sick or dead pets, many of whom have been seen by Vets unable to diagnose specific problems. Cats may have died after only a few months in the house - having displayed an inability to walk in straight lines, and constant illness, drowsiness and lack of appetite.
Animals showing symptoms like these is a strong indicator of the possibility of chronic carbon monoxide poisoning.
Any obvious signs of soot anywhere on an appliance or flue, is another indication of carbon monoxide spillage. If you see any sooting, it is important to stop using the appliance immediately and consult a competent registered gasfitter. Tell them that you suspect carbon monoxide spillage, and tell them why you suspect it. It is important that they particularly look in the vicinity of the down draft diverter.
If soot is found within the living space, this is evidence of both the production of serious quantities of carbon monoxide, and of the spillage of these products into the room.
The installation is intrinsically dangerous!!!
There are a number of possible reasons for incomplete combustion occurring, resulting in excessive carbon monoxide production. This needs to be diagnosed and rectified. There is however only one reason for spillage into the room - that is inadequate or improper flueing. The diagnosis and rectification of flueing problems is often more difficult than identifying and rectifying the cause of excessive carbon monoxide production. This may require the redesign and complete replacement of the flu.