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Old 04-09-2008, 05:46 PM   #31
Feb 2008
Posts: 34
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Originally Posted by boothbrew
I brew in my basement and have a co monitor right by my brew area
Same here. I keep a CO detector, fire extinguisher, and a cordless phone nearby. Take a look at my
around 3:58 to see the fan panel I made that fits in my basement walkout door frame.

Even in a garage with the door open, I'd suggest opening a window and using a fan to move fresh air in.

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Old 04-16-2008, 05:29 PM   #32
Loweface's Avatar
Sep 2007
Limerick, Ireland
Posts: 1,037
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Originally Posted by z987k
Co != Co2 ............
CO is Carbon Monoxide formed mainly by the incomplete combustion of fuels. In the above example from dirty burner and a stiffled flame...

CO2 is Carbon Dioxide formed from the complete combustion of all fossil fuels be it propane or natural gas or even biofuels. It too is dangerous. Technically it is toxic but we can exhale it so it's danger is that it displaces the oxygen from the air (normal O2 count in air is only about 21% by volume) we breath. If the O2 concentration falls we see similar effects to CO poisoning... See

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Old 05-06-2008, 04:50 AM   #33
Mar 2007
Posts: 16

We rent our home in Colorado,, it is an older place. We have an older stove in here and the property management company put a Carbon monoxide detector in our small living room(near the kitchen). Last year SWMBO made me dinner for my birthday and the detector went crazy. We called the fire depatment and sure enough the levels where high in the house. The stove wasnt set properly for high altitude( we live at 8800 ft above sea level) ...after that I will always have one in the house.

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Old 05-06-2008, 05:38 AM   #34
Nov 2007
New Albion, State of Jefferson USA
Posts: 271
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I work as a fireman and I know first hand the effects of CO. I have been subjected to CO throughout my 25 year career and I have become sensitized to the cumulative exposures. In short, the more that I have been exposed, the more sensitive I have become. Now after 25 years, simply walking into a room with CO will cause me to become almost immediately dizzy. Many people are subjecting themselves to levels of CO that will sensitize their bodies and will become, like me, ultra-sensitive.

Also at work, I perform fire inspections in a large commercial and industrial area that frequently uses propane and other heating gasses for supplemental heating. Out of curiosity, I bring our fire department CO monitor (very sophisticated six-gas monitor) to sample the atmosphere. Propane heaters, burners, un-vented furnaces and other gas devices all produce large amounts of CO. In the last year due to our monitoring, we have evacuated seven buildings during routine fire inspections due to dangerous levels of CO.

People seem to just not understand that these propane burners produce dangerous levels of CO.
When I get together with other home brewers and brew inside, I almost immediately feel the effects of CO. While I don't have access to my CO monitor, from experience I can tell that as soon as I get light-headed, the CO level is already at dangerous levels.

My advice is NEVER use a propane burner inside without large amounts of ventilation. A fan or window opening simply won't be adequate. The size of burners home brewers are using would require a commercial stove vent hood arrangement to keep up with the CO produced. If brewing in a garage, leave the door completely open. Brewing in a basement in my opinion is suicide. CO is heavier than air and will fill the basement with invisible poison gas. Children and pets can easily be overcome with CO that accumulates in low areas. A child playing on the floor, or a person sitting in a chair will unknowingly expose themselves to potentially deadly levels of CO.

This stuff is real. I and many of my coworkers have been hospitalized due to CO and most dead fire victims succumb first to CO. If you need to brew indoors, leave the garage door up and put on a coat if it is cold. Keeping yourself warm in a bath of CO is a losers game.

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Old 08-04-2008, 09:55 PM   #35
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Dec 2007
Little Rock, AR
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Originally Posted by pldoolittle View Post
IIRC, the sensors in CO detectors depleted by use. Can you confirm or deny?

If so, a CO unit might last a lifetime in a house, but need to be replaced much sooner in a higher-CO environment like a brewery.
As I understand it, the electronic CO detectors deplete fairly slowly (7year replacement), but the little sticky color change disks go much faster (6 months)
The color change ones (often sold to pilots to monitor for exhaust getting into the cabins of small planes) are very inexpensive, but you have to look at them to know if somethings wrong. Not a problem in a small plane where you can stick it on the glare shield.

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Old 08-09-2008, 05:38 PM   #36
Jul 2008
Posts: 8

Great post!! I am going to add one to my euipment also!! I usually have 3 doors open when i brew!! I am adding a couple windows so i will put some fans in those also next time!!
Thanks for the post & all the info everybody!!

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Old 08-24-2008, 12:03 PM   #37
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Apr 2008
Central IL
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"It can be given off by home appliances or even a car in an attached garage."

....which leads to one of my favorite cautions, which is the aforementioned garage. Attached garages are a "convenient menace," as far as I'm concerned, and I wouldn't buy a house with one. We tore down our old detached garage last year, and built a new one on a different foundation....50 feet from the house. People who are meticulous about what their kids eat & drink think nothing of having them sleep above an attached garage. Apart from the CO under discussion, where's the most dangerous stuff in the household generally stored? Think: gasoline, kerosene, thinners, solvents, pesticides, herbicides, propane cylinders, etc. Right the first time!
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Old 10-26-2008, 03:03 AM   #38
Oct 2008
Posts: 14
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The Effects of Carbon Monoxide

* 35 ppm (0.0035%) Headache and dizziness within six to eight hours of constant exposure
* 100 ppm (0.01%) Slight headache in two to three hours
* 200 ppm (0.02%) Slight headache within two to three hours
* 400 ppm (0.04%) Frontal headache within one to two hours
* 800 ppm (0.08%) Dizziness, nausea, and convulsions within 45 minutes. Insensible within two hours.
* 1,600 ppm (0.16%) Headache, dizziness, and nausea within 20 minutes. Death in less than two hours.
* 3,200 ppm (0.32%) Headache, dizziness and nausea in five to ten minutes. Death within 30 minutes.
* 6,400 ppm (0.64%) Headache and dizziness in one to two minutes. Death in less than 20 minutes.
* 12,800 ppm (1.28%) Unconsciousness after 2-3 breaths[citation needed]. Death in less than three minutes.
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:06 AM   #39
Jul 2008
Portland, OR
Posts: 550
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I wanted to thank whoever decided to make this thread a sticky.

When testing my AG equipment the other day, I realized I could smell something (I know CO is odorless, but if I can smell combustion, I'm probably breathing CO too). I saw this thread, and realized I needed to put the burner next to the open door with a fan blowing out. A detector and a fire extinguisher are on my list for the next run to the hardware store.

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Old 12-06-2008, 08:56 PM   #40
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Sep 2006
Southern VT
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Originally Posted by JoePolvino View Post
Same here. I keep a CO detector, fire extinguisher, and a cordless phone nearby. Take a look at my brewing video around 3:58 to see the fan panel I made that fits in my basement walkout door frame.

Even in a garage with the door open, I'd suggest opening a window and using a fan to move fresh air in.
Joe - Nice video ... I bet your brew is just as nice (smile)

I am thinking abt brewing in basement, but want to be sure I have proper ventilation ... I think I can open 2 bulkhead doors and put a box fan blowing out the window near where the boilpot will be .. I think I will use electric for the HLT ..

Maybe just go all electric .. the CO poisoning issue is a lot bigger than I first thought ..
Bill Clark
Windham, VT

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