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Old 01-26-2008, 07:41 PM   #1
drayman86
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Last week, my buddy and I experienced a pretty severe episode of CO poisoning while brewing in the garage. I became very light-headed, and he nearly lost conciseness.

Yesterday we brought along an OSHA-type CO monitoring device, and were able to determine the source was the hot liquor tank burner. Combination of dirty/corroded burner and burner placed too close to the bottom of the HLT nearly "snuffing" the burner flame were causing incomplete propane combustion and massive amounts of CO.

Lucky that we were familiar with the signs and symptoms of CO exposure, and could measure levels accurately to pinpoint a source. Levels returned to normal following a burner cleaning and burner repositioning.

Keep those burners clean and watch out for incomplete combustion. Pay attention to proper ventilation. We're going to have a full-time monitor in our garage for CO from here on out.


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Old 01-26-2008, 07:51 PM   #2
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Good warning, thanks for posting this - I'm glad you and your friend made it through alive to tell the story!

Be safe, all!
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:07 PM   #3
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Indeed. CO poisoning can be very dangerous, and it can take a long time for its effects to wane.
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:38 PM   #4
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Glad to hear you two are ok. I hope you went to the hospital to get checked out. After an exposure that almost made you lose consciousness it is a good idea to have the blood, etc checked, as those were probably some pretty high levels.

 
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Old 01-26-2008, 09:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drayman86
We're going to have a full-time monitor in our garage for CO from here on out.
Now that sounds like a mandatory piece of equipment for anyone who brews in an enclosed area with a propane burner!
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:27 PM   #6
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props to you for posting this. it can be a real problem when people don't think about CO poisoning when brewing in confined spaces.

I'm very glad you and your buddy were aware of the potential and recognized the early symptoms, since CO poisoning is such a rapid progression to unconsciousness.

And I definitely agree, the $20 CO monitor is worth it for garage/basement brewers. I know BierMuncher brews in his basement, with a vent fan running and a CO monitor nearby.
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
And I definitely agree, the $20 CO monitor is worth it for garage/basement brewers.
Yup, it's a must. If I were doing all-grain and didn't have one, I'd brave the 10-15F and brew it outside. (Unfortunately AG will be for this summer)
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Old 01-27-2008, 05:43 PM   #8
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I stickied this thread. This is an extremely important issue that everyone should be aware of.
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Old 01-27-2008, 06:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
...I know BierMuncher brews in his basement, with a vent fan running and a CO monitor nearby...
Two vent fans. One box fan in the window blowing out...and one box fan at the door blowing in. A nice cross wind keeps the brew shop cooler too.

It must work cuz I saw my neighbor last night and he said he can smell the coooking wort all the way in his kitchen when I'm brewing.

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Old 01-27-2008, 06:19 PM   #10
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Agreed. And CO poisoning can happen in the house, too. Or anywhere there is a heat source that uses combustibles. One thing to note: one of the first signs of CO poisoning is a nasty, nasty headache.
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