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Author Topic: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.  (Read 1936 times)

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Offline Crusarius

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A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« on: February 05, 2018, 01:04:55 PM »
So this weekend I was in the shop working on my snowmobile. I had a very stubborn bolt so I broke out the mapp gas torch. Well I kept trying to get it to light and it just wouldn't light. So I grabbed a firestick and tried to light that. Would not light. Got mad. went in house to get another one. Would not light. Started thinking....

Went outside map gas torch lit right up. So I went back in with it lit and heated up the bolt. After it shut off I tried relighting it. Nothing....

Well I think I realized after having the kerosene salamander running in the shop the carbon monoxide level was high enough that the torch and firesticks would not light.

PLEASE! BE CAREFUL. I didn't even think about the possible issues.

I had no idea my shop was that well sealed up. I have open eaves down one side of it. After opening up the front door the map gas lit and worked fine.

Now I think I know why I have been having a hard time catching my breath and been so tired after working in the shop.
I knew what I thought I meant.

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2018, 01:15:28 PM »
Oh boy.  No headache?  I had two bad CO instances in my life.  One, in an ice shanty with one ofthose old dome catalytic Coleman heaters. Tremendous headache.   The other, much closer call when I was in my late teens putting high back bucket seats in my sport satellite in Tammy's grampa's barn, yes, with an old salamander running for heat.  They found me thinking I was dozing in the front seat Id just installed.  I was just real groggy. They Got me out in the cold fresh air and I came out of it, but was very sick the rest of the day, and in and out of a bad fog. Didn't know what happened that day, but came to realize what it was later on.
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2018, 01:30:30 PM »
didn't notice a headache. or I did and just ignored it. Still scary to think about what could have happened. scares me thinking about my wife and son being in the house. how much of that got in the house. Plus what would they do without me? I can't even imagine my son growing up without a father.
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Offline JJ

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2018, 02:40:04 PM »
That's pretty scary Crusarius, not enough air to light the torch.

I also had a close call with a old dome catalytic Coleman heater in a ice shack.  Picked it up from the dump, and used it just that one time.  Made me so sick, I left few tip-ups behind.  Went back next day to see if I could get them back, but somebody run over one with snowmobile and other was too froze, broke trying to get it out.
Took the heater back to the dump, hope nobody else picked it out.

         JJ

Offline Sixacresand

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2018, 01:18:58 PM »
Until about ten years ago, I used what I call a prefab fireplace, with the galvanized triple wall chimney, blowers, etc. Last Fall, when I had a metal roof installed, we pulled it all out.  I was shocked to see the chimney part had holes rusted through the pipes. This was a house fire waiting to happen.  As Sigh Robinson says " a piece of junk"

Offline Crusarius

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2018, 01:39:49 PM »
it really is scary when you see stuff like that and you think how did I not lose everything.

You never seem to think about it till something happens to you or someone you know.

Hopefully this public service announcement helps someone.
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Offline Corley5

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2018, 02:27:35 PM »
I had an issue once with an LP construction heater.  Got really sleepy and realized what was happening.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2018, 04:44:07 PM »
Initially the effect is going to be the heater depleting the oxygen, and building up CO2 in the room. This will make you drowsy / sick. If you don't catch what's happening, the O2 gets so low the heater starts burning rich, and making CO. And that's when you end up dead.  A faulty heater can start making CO right away of course.

The effects of CO poisoning are more long lasting as it binds with your blood and stops it carrying oxygen around your body, so even if you get into fresh air you can still be in danger, and you usually need extra oxygen and hospital treatment.

You body can flush excess CO2 easily with a bit of fresh air.

Either way, lucky escape and a good warning.
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Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2018, 04:44:20 PM »
Possibly time to invest in some carbon monoxide detectors, I have them in an outbuilding that has a ventless LP fireplace and my house. If I'm just starting to lite my woodstove and the heater kicks on it has drawn some smoke back into the house, only one or twice but it has happened....finally the right place to post this.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2018, 04:48:27 PM »
Yea, I talked to the wife about getting some more. But I want ones that have an actual PPM readout on them. I never had the heater before so it was not much of a concern. I knew that when I was welding in the garage I was making alot of badness to inhale but never thought about a simple heater.

I knew what I thought I meant.

Offline moosehunter

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2018, 06:53:45 PM »
I hate salamanders. I get a headache if I just walk in to a room with one running. Glad you are ok.
mh
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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2018, 07:27:28 PM »
One gentleman I worked for liked to make wine, in quantity. There was an old basement icehouse in the back yard that he did it in. Ladder down into the smallish underground room. CO2 is heavier than air and the wine was making plenty of it. Luckily he realized what was going on, started climbing and passed out in the yard. I hate to think what would have happened if he had collapsed back into the pit.

A couple of years ago we were digging out a basement under a house and had the bobcat under there. Even though we had knocked a hole in the wall and made a ramp to drive down in there, same thing the fumes began to settle in there with us. Luckily one of the guys realized we were getting stupid, well and being stupid. It is so easy to do.

Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2018, 07:55:25 PM »
This was a good Post. Makes us think. Thanks.
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Offline Kbeitz

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2018, 08:07:09 PM »
I was at an auction years ago and they has a new salamander heater.
It was up for sale but they was also using it at the time to heat the auction
building. Something happen to it and it started to really stink up the place.
I got that new salamander for $7.00 and it's still working great today.
It sure cleared out the building of almost all the buyers.
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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2018, 08:29:08 PM »

I got that new salamander for $7.00 and it's still working great today.


There was no doubt in my mind you bought it.  :D :D :D
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2018, 07:41:24 AM »
Wondering if those "Mr Heaters" are a danger!   ::)

We have used them in hunting shacks!

Don't recall anyone ever having headaches or grogginess!
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2018, 07:50:24 AM »
Chuck in concentrations that small and for short periods of time I am sure you were exposed but nothing that would get you to any life threatening level. The headaches don't start till stage 3 I think. My FD training on CO was quite a while ago. I don't remember all of it.
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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2018, 08:20:52 AM »
Somebody that passed chemistry might want to correct this. My understanding is that a yellow flame is producing monoxide, CO. Carbon has 4 bonding sites and oxygen fills 2, so CO needs to find another O to be stable. It will pull that other O out of you. A hyperbaric chamber is the best first aid if there is one available.

A blue flame is producing CO2, which does us no good respiration wise but is not "harmful", and it is consuming the O out of the room, so crack a window. I think that is what happened in Crusarius' shop, the salamander had eaten up the oxygen. That ain't good either!

Offline Crusarius

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2018, 08:23:53 AM »
Definitely ate the O in the shop but the other part is it displaces the O in your blood. that is why long term effects you more than short term.
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Offline JimTwoSticks

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2018, 12:32:10 PM »
They sure are Chuck!
A Mr. Heater produced sweet revenge on a couple friends of mine in high school (only because they weren't seriously hurt)  :snowball: . They had a nice insulated (but small) two man ice shack with a Mr. Heater. Temp had to have been well below zero but I can't remember. I froze half to death without a heater in a clam. They spent the next day or so trying to piece things together through their blinding headaches. Nothing like CO poisoning on top of heavy alcohol consumption, er I mean water consumption, we were in high school :)

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2018, 07:59:37 PM »
I used a Mr. Heater Big Buddy a couple years ago in a popup ice-fishing shelter.  I wrote about the outing on the DooTalk forum and there was a lot of interesting conversation about propane heaters and the relative dangers.  This post had a lot of useful information:



The bottom line on use of these heaters in an enclosed space are:
1) Ventilate.  They aren't designed for indoor use so use caution
2) Use one with an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS)
3) The ODS _should_ egage when the O2 gets below around 19%
4) Heaters with ODS burn very cleanly down to about 18% oxygen.  Below that and they start producing carbon monoxide.
5) Always have a CO monitor when using one of these indoors.
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Offline Bill Gaiche

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2018, 10:22:05 PM »
It can happen. I was building my bandsaw mill in the winter inside my shop. No heat nor insulated. Seemed to me at the time there was plenty of holes and air leaks for fresh air while welding with my gas welder. Not so, got real dizzy. Wife took me to emergency room. They put me on full oxygen for about 4 hours and taking blood to check the oxygen level in my blood. They would not release me until they were satisfied. SO, trust me it is a serious thing about carbon monoxide poisoning. Had a co worker welding under a canvas tent on heavy equipment with a diesel welder. They had to take him to the emergency room also.bg

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2018, 11:04:01 PM »
As Ianab says, CO binds with the hemoglobin in the blood stream and prevents it from binding with oxygen.  That particular red blood cell won't release the CO so won't carry oxygen anymore and is essentially taken out of service, forever.  So even if you go outside, if enough CO has gotten into the bloodstream, there won't be a recovery.  Very dangerous.

I'm glad it turned out OK.  A good reminder to all of us. 
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Offline John Mc

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2018, 09:25:43 AM »
Actually, CO does not take hemoglobin out of service forever.

the affinity of hemoglobin to CO is 230 times that of oxygen to CO, so the CO binds preferentially to the hemoglobin. As long as you are continuing to breath CO, the CO will continue to displace more and more oxygen in carried your bloodstream by the hemoglobin. This is why the most important thing is to remove the victim from the CO-contaminated area as quickly as possible

The normal half life of CO in your bloodstream is over 5 hours when breathing normal fresh air, so if you have a dangerous dose, just getting out in fresh air can still leave you in danger. Administering oxygen through a non-rebreather mask shortens the half life to about 80 minutes. This can be a very important difference, so if you suspect significant CO poisoning, get medical help immediately.

Also, if someone is passed out in an enclosed area, be very aware that if CO is an issue, going in after them has the distinct possibility of simply increasing the victim count. Take steps to minimize your own exposure.

Gee - I guess all that confined spaces training from back when I was supervising an area which included a pit containing several large gas-fired annealing furnaces must have stuck with me. (I did have to go back and look up the numbers again)
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Offline brianJ

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2018, 02:42:31 PM »
Thank You John for the typing out the facts.

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2018, 03:48:59 PM »
Very useful information.  I was not aware of the 5 hour half life. Still, thatís a long time if exposure has occurred.

Thanks

 

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2018, 11:01:58 PM »
A construction supervisor died in my area about five years ago, went into a new basement to fill up a heater in the evening and didn't make it out.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: A public service announcement from someone not so smart.
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2018, 11:22:54 PM »
Good info John, I didn't have the actual figures, but I knew that CO poisoning went on for hours after you get into fresh air. If you get out yourself, chances are you eventually recover. But if someone is so far gone they lose consciousness, they NEED medical attention ASAP. They can be breathing fresh air, but still suffering brain damage from the low blood O2.

Simple lack of oxygen (from CO2 / nitrogen / Halon etc) is a bit less dangerous as your body can still absorb oxygen once you get into fresh air. CO messes with your ability to take in O2 to the bloodstream for some time.

And 100% on the "don't walk into the same trap" advice. Several times there have been multiple fatalities because someone sees a man down and goes to help, and they keel over themselves.
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