InterNACHI almost lost a member yesterday

Allen, a similar situation arose a couple of months ago in the condo complex where I live. We had a hail storm last year that resulted in new roofs for all 120 units here. I sent a letter to the HOA advising them on several things to ensure when the roofers replaced the shingles. Since we have natural gas furnaces and water heaters here one of those items I advised to watch out for was the proper handling of the flues/vents. Well, once the roofers were done with my unit I checked my water heater that is in the garage utility closet along with the furnace. That closet is open to the attic at the top. Lo & behold, the flue was disconnected just like I warned them about. I notified the HOA again but they seemed somewhat ambivalent about the potential issue. 120 units x 2 flues = 240 opportunities for this potentially deadly defect. I suspect this is a common problem when roofs are replaced. I made sure my CO detector was fully operational and I also like Jeffrey’s idea of investing in a personal CO detector for when I’m inspecting. Here’s the way the roofer’s left my water heater:

Glad you’re still around. I think a monitor is a great idea.

I carry one at all times, If there is any gas, oil and even wood i check the home. I have found at least 4 to 5 furnaces leaking. this last few months. I had a agent wanting me to check his home this am. I think a monitor is a must no matter where you live. In the south People just do not get any service done on the heating equipment. I am also use to this problem coming from the great white north.

Thanks for the suggestions about the monitor. I think I will get one of the types that attaches to a belt loop.

I had the exact same thing happen last week. An agent had me inspect a brand new home for her Mother. Once in the attic it took a few minutes to figure out what the deal was, because a scrap piece of wood covered the vent partialy. The pipe terminated into the attic and stopped just above the insulation. It was a cold day so the ice hanging off the sheeting suprised me. I quickly figured out where the moisture was coming from and got out of the attic. I also had a small headache for a while. Good thing the agent spent the money on her mother.

Holly Chet…Glad your ok…Makes you think more about getting a monitor aswell…

Reason number 42 why I don’t “crawl” attics, but only go into those I can walk (on my feet) over the trusses.

I want to be able to get get out quickly, and be able to drop through the ceiling if necessary.

I’ve never had to do either yet, but came close once.

Congratulations on getting out safe. That was a close one. And thanks for the reminder to all of us to be careful.

Glad your OK Allen.

Be careful out there everyone.

I had that happen to me in a residential apartment building basement when the dope Contractor sealed the chimney with a solid concrete slab.
Lucky everyone did not die in the building.

I shut off the furnace and got out.

Wow !! I think stories like this really make you think about the hazards of are business, and a personal carbon monoxide detector is the best idea :slight_smile:

I think Nick should carry the “personal monitors” @ Inspector Outlet. Most of the “quality” ones that I have found are fairly expensive. I always have my TIFF with me, but it doesn’t get “whipped-out” (Ref: Blazing Saddles) unless I sense a leak. The personal ones that clip onto the belt are great, and become a part of the uniform (always on, always working).

GLAD you are ok!!!

I feel a price increase coming on - wow the risks we take - thanks for reminding us to always be cautious!

Wow - glad you’re Ok.

Glad you are OK Allen, WOW thats crazy!!!

Dale Duffy and I were at an inspection today. Gas was locked off.
Attic furnace flue was disconnected at furnace. We would have run the
heat as soon as we entered the home. Who knows what would have been the result.

Glad you made it out okay.

Jeff the TIFF8800 is not rated as a Carbon monoxide tester period, I’d recommend a rated personal protection device That can be worn on the belt>

I had a very similar experience to Allens’ 10 years ago and bought a belt clipped alarm straight after



[FONT=Arial]I am glad that you are okay![/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]I am testifying as an Expert Witness in an upcoming trial. I did an inspection “After the fact”. [/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]A man in his late 50’s and his teen aged son both died of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]They were dead a week to 10-days before they were found. [/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]At my inspection, there were 17- lawyers from five different law firms.[/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana][FONT=Arial][size=3]They represented; [/FONT][/size][/FONT]

  1. [FONT=Verdana][FONT=Arial][size=3]The family of the deceased. [/FONT][/size]
    [/FONT] 1. [FONT=Verdana][FONT=Arial][size=3]The property owners.[/FONT][/size]
    [/FONT] 1. [FONT=Verdana][FONT=Arial][size=3]The fuel oil supplier. [/FONT][/size]
    [/FONT] 1. [FONT=Verdana][FONT=Arial][size=3]The Oil Furnace manufacturer.[/FONT][/size]
    [/FONT] 1. [FONT=Verdana][FONT=Arial][size=3]The manufacturer of the replaced Oil Furnace motor. [/FONT][/size]
    [FONT=Arial]Since we are going to trial so I cannot get into the details but…. I will say that you should make sure that all visible ductwork / flues/ exhaust vents are connected and vented properly before you start ANY gas / oil / propane “appliances”. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial]{Check for “gaps” separations at the joints.}

[FONT=Arial]Many of us ask the buyer or their Real Estate agent to make sure that all utilities are on and that the heat {in the winter} or the AC {In the summer} is “On” so that we can inspect it.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]I did an inspection on a “Bank Owned, sold As Is property”. I asked that all of the utilities be turned on. Since the property is being sold “As Is”…. The Real Estate Agent who represents the bank had an absolute fit! [/FONT]

To make a long story short;

  1. The water was gushing down the walls.
  2. The oil furnace was venting directly into the
  3. The basement was filled with smoke! :shock:
  4. [FONT=Verdana][FONT=Arial]My client walked away from this “Jewel”.[/FONT][/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]Once again…. I am glad that you are okay![/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]Keep up the Good Work!:stuck_out_tongue: [/FONT]

Thanks for the reminder to be vigilant about safety, glad you made it out.


Do you replace yours every two years, or does it actually work longer? Shorter?


Jeff, I don’t have the need to use mine these days as since I moved to Florida I never see oil or gas boilers and furnaces like I used to in New England. The one I still have I have owned for 8 years and used it for 4 years without issue.