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Fumes in house and excessive damp

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by Charles Edgington, 3 Sep 2020.

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  1. DCBB1899-6195-493C-B7EF-2F6B746D0DA9.jpeg BD851332-877A-4C96-9ADA-1FE364D3D9C0.jpeg B5E7276A-03A7-4649-8185-2C082EBBE497.jpeg 6DB26BC9-78AE-420C-B09D-F57AAFDF0D76.jpeg 4796A474-6E0B-4B1C-A4DB-A5C7E9F21D22.jpeg
    Good evening.
    I hope this is the right place for some advice.
    I’ve been having issues with damp and air quality in the house. So much so when the boiler was running (before it got turned off by Cadent) the bedroom above the boiler smelt really bad and the air was putrid like stale air.
    It caused health issues as the boiler is in the kitchen below the main bedroom.
    so much so I contacted the guy who installed it twice but he postponed yet again so I called the gas service.
    They switched it off.
    I have checked the flue and there seem to be two issues that stand out to me.
    1 - there is no making good of the brickwork outside or the plaster inside. You can feel cold air above the boiler in the kitchen. Also regular brick dust on the tiles inside the kitchen below the boiler. It looks like rain could seep in between the rubber gaiter and the tube into the hole.
    Whilst it is an old house it has a small air cavity in the brickwork for ventilation all round. So water could get into it.
    2 - the flue is about 2.5 m high from the ground outside and the gases impinge on the rendering so much so there is a hole in it now and the waste pipe paint is peeling off.
    Also there is damp in the attic directly in line with the location of the boiler and flue below.

    Should the hole be sealed with mortar or the brickwork where the bricks have had the face chipped off be replaced?
    Should the inside be plastered or filled?
    Also regarding the render and pipe work I looked at the regulations or guidelines and it says that care should be taken about areas of the outside that may be damaged by frequent wetting. The vapour is quite warm though so could it cause damage? Someone suggested it should be vented to the roofline as shown in the images in the building regulations.

    Can anyone advise?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 3 Sep 2020
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  3. Madrab

    Madrab

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    You need to get an experienced GSR engineer in, if the boiler is running ok and the flue checks out then they should take all the appropriate steps to ensure it's left correctly.

    Why did cadent turn it off, there should be an ID/AR notice that explains why.
     
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  4. Thank you Madrab.
    They turned it off as they detected carbon monoxide and other gas (not natural gas).
    Ideal came out under their five year warranty and said there were no issues with it and the Cadent guy didn’t know what he was talking about.
    The Ideal guy spent a few hours testing it. Each time he ran it the bedroom stank of fumes. He said he could find no carbon monoxide.
    He said he couldn’t smell anything and that they don’t measure for other gases.
    My friend could smell it. An acidic smell.
    It is still lingering in the house 36 hours later.
     
  5. The issue I have is I am suffering from terminal cancer with not long to live.
    The installer isn’t helping and the boiler company say there is nothing wrong.
    But the whole house stinks of fumes but only when the boiler is on.
    I got an air purifier and it says that NO2 dangerous but the boiler person says that’s irrelevant.
    I think because I’ve got cancer and I’m going to die soon that no one is really bothered because it’s not worth the effort and I might die before I pay them.
    I’m really not sure what to do what I have found out is if you do have cancer a lot of people dismiss you as incapable and irrelevant.
    Everyone talks about dangerous fumes from boilers but when you complain about it it’s not taken seriously by the people who did the job in the first place and the manufacturer of the appliance.
    Thanks for listening
     
  6. Gasguru

    Gasguru

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    Have you asked the original installer to fill the gaps?...it's a 30min job with a bag of quickset mortar and shouldn't cost much.
    If a customer of mine had these issues I would not hesitate to do so especially where the flue is low down....and it would rule out that particular source.
    From what I can see the Ideal Logic manuals don't specifically say the gaps should be sealed as the rubber collars are deemed sufficient, however the British Standards regs do mention weathertight sealing.


    You don't say whether the boiler is a combi but if so are the fumes happening with just a hot water demand?
    Have you checked for any unused waste traps that may have lost their water seal.
    Is the condensate pipework complete?
    Do you have water cisterns in any cupboards etc...I've found stagnant water before and being used.
    Leaking drains?

    Modern boilers have burners designed to produce very low levels of NOx gases.
    Nearly all report of fumes etc I've attended has been due to something other that a boiler.
    I'm not saying you don't have a problem but if Ideal have been out the boiler is very unlikely to be an issue.
    Even washing powders can produce significant chemical odours.

    Post pictures of the flue outside and boiler overall.

     
  7. Thank you for your reply.
    It is not a combo just a normal condensing boiler.
    I have asked the installer twice to fill it but he hasn’t and by that time the system had been shut off.
    It’s not a weathertight seal as I can feel cold air coming into the house from above the boiler there are gaps all around the seal and the chipped brick outside let’s water drip into the cavity.
    The boiler people said that it doesn’t need to be weathertight because the gas exhaust has a fan
    But I found a gas safe engineer and he said that if the wind blows back then fumes will go back into it and in any case it needs to be sealed from the rain.
    The render near the flue exhaust is all bubbling up and the gas pipe waste pipe and the render are all having the paint eroded.
    The humidity in the house is over 90% in the kitchen and in the bedroom upstairs. My impression is that water is is The boiler people said that it doesn’t need to be weathertight because the gas pushes out quickly.
    But I found a gas safe engineer and he said that if the wind blows back then fumes will go back into it and in any case it needs to be sealed from the rain.
    The render near the flu exhaust is all bubbling up and a gas pipe and waste pipe and the render are all having the paint eroded.
    The humidity in the house is over 90% in the kitchen and in the bedroom upstairs. My impression is that water Getting into the air gap in the house the boiler is heating it all up and spreading it around the house and also the exhaust gases are being blown back into the cavity as it’s not sealed from outside.
    I know modern devices are designed to be very efficient and have low emissions but that doesn’t mean that they won’t go wrong and the boiler guy said he doesn’t measure for anything except carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide is so when I told him my air purifier was telling me that the nitrogen dioxide was extremely high and dangerous but he ignored it. Even the friend of mine that I mention could smell it and he questioned the boiler guy but he said it wasn’t his responsibility to do anything except test for carbon monoxide.
    When I asked him about the installation he said that’s not his responsibility either I’m here just to check the boiler so if someone has installed it wrong you need to ring someone else then he left.

    It’s very difficult to breathe
     
  8. Here are the pictures FA9391A5-1060-4E6D-87C1-5BC7599438A7.jpeg BF0BE792-8882-4E47-A73C-CCD0A3DA28C6.jpeg B63FB34A-2203-412E-BD9E-6BF710B6236A.jpeg
     
  9. The humidity is so high I need a dehumidifier to control it. After the boiler is on it’s stifling.
    Same in bedroom.
    Usually 90% see picture
     
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  11. Gasguru

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    I can't see anything wrong with the boiler position or flue.
    I would trust an Ideal engineer to have checked the combustion gasses, the NOx emissions are insignificant with the type of low flame burners used in boilers today.
    Normally if the carbon monoxide is raised you would get ignition faults as the combustion setup is quite critical.
    Flue Gas Analysers that we use in domestic properties are around £400 to £600 to buy and we have them calibrated every year...there is no reason not to trust the results.

    The requirement to seal around the flue is a grey area...Ideal don't require it but the gas regs do require it to be weathertight.
    You could ask for a Gas-Safe inspection and opinion (if they don't like what they see they will force the installer to remedy) but that would probably take several weeks.
    Ask the installer what he would charge to seal the gap.
    A little extra mositure on the render etc. live with it...the government have forced you to have a condensing boiler.

    As for your air purifier I would make that my No.1 suspect. Where's it from? How much mould/bacteria is inside it?

    Your indoor humidity levels are excessive...what extraction have you got over the cooker/hob and bathroom.
    I can't see any head ventilation over the windows to provide background ventilation.

    In 20 years of visiting properties poor ventilation must come as the single biggest problem.
     
  12. Thanks.
    The inspector is here and has said it’s not weatherproof. The instructions say it has to seal but they chipped the brick and that is unacceptable.
    The guidelines say that care must be taken if the flue is near surfaces that could be damaged by constant wetting.
    The constant wetting has made a hole in the render and taken paint off the waste pipe.
    The air purifier is brand new and only comes on when the boiler is on. At the sane time putrid smells. Headaches nausea.
    My impression is that the constant warm sweaty air is getting into the building through either the unsealed flue and the holes.
     
  13. Gasguru

    Gasguru

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    Your property needs proper ventilation, running a de-humidifier to alleviate the problems is not really the solution...I rarely find they solve it.
    I suspect the dehumidifier comes on when the boiler is running due to the fact that the heated air can contain more moisture.

    Paint the wall with Thompsons water seal but the small amount of moisture condensing on the outside wall from the boiler is insignificant compared to rainfall.

    If the Gas-Safe inspector says it needs weatherproofing then he will force the installer to do so.

    Stuff a bit of loft insulation round the inner flue gap for now just to prove a point.
     
  14. I spoke to a traditional render company and they said use traditional methods. It is roughcast with hydrated lime.
    The dehumidifier and air purifier are different.
    The Dyson air purifier is at Max red danger when the boiler is on and not when not.
    I’ve just been outside and the exhaust travels up the wall and into the hole just above it. The hole in the render that was never there until a year after it was fitted.
    Thanks for your advice.
     
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  15. fixitflav

    fixitflav

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    Sorry to hear about your health problem.
    What's the history? Is it a replacement boiler, if so was there a problem with the previous one? Or is the whole system a new install? Have you recently moved in?
     
  16. ajstoneservices

    ajstoneservices

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    If the products of combustion were entering your home to the extent that you are suggesting you would most likely be dead.
     
  17. It’s a new installation. Well 2 years ago.
    The old was a simple system convection boiler.
    I moved in 20 years ago.
    The gas inspector came today. He said the system should be vented higher and further away as the vapour lingers.
    Section 3.23 Document J
     
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