By - beaquis
This is probably illegal. Generally, these have to be vented a certain number of meters from windows and doors. We had a tankless water heater that were were going to install, but we didn't have enough space to clear the 20ft from our neighbor's door. The safety distance might be different per state, but I would ask.
Hello, thank you all. The support I have received through this post has been incredible. Yesterday I was quite worried and I was reading information thanks to your recommendations. Today I feel a little more calm.
Regarding regulations and legality (I live in Spain), the RITA regulations (applies in Europe) indicate that there must be a distance of 1 meter from the smoke outlet to the side window. In this case, it meets it or almost meets it (it is about 80-90 cm, I think, I cannot measure it). The smoke outlet must also be located a minimum of 2.20 meters from the ground vertically, and it also complies with it (there are about 2.5 meters).
As for the boiler, it is a condensation boiler with a double tube outlet. It is a new, modern facility, so it should emit lower amounts of toxic particles. As some people commented, it seems that the boiler would not be emitting carbon monoxide (or very little), but carbon dioxide CO2 and nitrogen oxide NOx, and the water vapor that can be seen in the image. Toxicity level is probably within the limits, although I do not feel very comfortable leaving my window open because I spend a lot of time in my room (most of the day), since it is my workplace.
There is going to be an inspection to approve or not the installation and I am afraid there is not much else I can do, if everything is within the law, beyond being a nuisance. It seems to be that, due to the structure of these houses, this type of new installation is impossible through the roof or through the interior patio, so it seems that all the neighbors are going to have to do the installation in this way (included me). Anyway, I am going to try to ask my neighbors to take the tube a few more centimeters outside, although I am afraid they are not very collaborative.
Thanks your for all the comments that really helped me.
Nitrogen oxides are still not good for you, and are really not good for kids (they can cause them to develop things like asthma).
I would suggest buying an air purifier if you can afford one. Make sure you get one that specifically says it can filter out NO2 (not all purifiers can filter gases).
I put a 90 degree on mine to point away from a window.
you should at least get a CO meter (not just an alarm, the kind with a little LCD and a ppm readout). it'll either buy you peace of mind, or at least be something you can use to justify why you had to fill this vent in with gravel and epoxy
I don't know about chemistry, but I have read that carbon monoxide is expelled. I can't open the window because according to the direction of the air, most of the time it comes into my room...
This is probably an illegal installation, depending on your jurisdiction.
Landlords probably moved them in being aware of this but continued to rent the unit out to see how much they can get away with. I'm glad OP has branched out instead of just bringing this only landlords attention and hoping for the best. Being a renter makes you want yo become homeless sometimes.
I agree. The proper agency will probably be your local code enforcement.
Carbon monoxide is the least of your problem here because it's just an acutely poisonous substance. It kills when it accumulates in a room and that won't happen here. It's not a car in a garage kind of situation.
What is a lot more insiduous is the carcinogenic effect of various fumes and smoke particles you're inhaling. Over the years, you're one step closer to cancer.
Yes. From a chemical standpoint, they will produce CO2 and CO, both of which are dangerous to your overall health. Even, fatal if it replaces too much oxygen.
Keep your window shut as much as possible, and contact fire dept., housing manager, and whomever else needs to get involved.
I'm going to throw in a little biochem fun fact here. Your blood typically carries O2 (oxygen) and CO2 (carbon dioxide) back and forth to the lungs using a protein called hemoglobin. CO is a problem because is binds hemoglobin too strongly and gets stuck. Essentially making that hemoglobin useless.
Its basically artificial anemia.
Edit: As others have pointed out, the *primary* transport for CO2 is not hemoglobin but as a the bicarbonate buffer system in the blood.
Isn't CO2 carried by the plasma?
I oversimplified things quite a bit, and you're right that CO2 is carried by the plasma. A small portion (\~1/20) is carried directly as dissolved CO2 in the plasma. Another small portion is carried by (\~1/10) by hemoglobin. The rest is carried as ~~its conjugate base, HCO2~~ bicarbonate HCO3(-). The body also uses this system to 'measure' how much CO2 is accumulating by monitoring the pH!
The bicarbonate ion is HCO3(-), not HCO2.
CO2 is not carried in haemoglobin as its primary transportation - though some does complex. Haem molecules have a very low affinity for CO2 in most situations, though as much as 25% of the body's CO2 can, at some points, be found in haem complexes. In general, at least 70% of CO2 is found in the form of plasma bicarbonate ions, which allows them to both be transported to the lungs _and_ buffer the blood simultaneously, with the remaining amount split between haem complexes and plasma dissolution (all three will change percentages constantly, as all three are reversible chemical reactions or physical processes that will change based on current pressure, partial pressure, and temperature). At no point, however, is bicarbonate buffering less than the strict majority of transport.
Wait, if thats the case, then what's the way that CO poisoning can kill you? Are we only just efficient enough at moving CO2/O2 that the smallish change is enough to kill us or am I missing something?
Haemoglobin's affinity for CO2 has absolutely nothing to do with its affinity for CO. They are different molecules which perform different chemical reactions.
Haemoglobin's job is to carry oxygen by forming a haem-oxygen complex, and so haemoglobin has a high affinity for oxygen when it wants to pick up oxygen (i.e. in the lungs), and a low affinity when it wants to release it (i.e. when it gets to your cells).
Haemoglobin has a generally low affinity for CO2. It does not especially want to bind to CO2, because that would lower its capacity to carry oxygen (since each haem molecule can only carry four oxygen molecules, one per subunit).
CO is a different molecule, with wholly different chemistry. Haem has an extremely high affinity for CO, because its free unpaired electron binds extremely tightly to the iron core of a haem subunit. However, unlike oxygen, its affinity is largely unchanged by any conditions that would be found under physiological conditions: it's _always_ got a high affinity, and crucially it has a higher affinity than oxygen does. So it will never decouple from haem and will essentially permanently deplete its ability to carry oxygen.
We are remarkably good at coping with low oxygen levels (relatively speaking), but CO is an extremely energetically favourable molecule for haem to bind to and so oxygen is simply not carried in the presence of excess CO.
Do not mistakenly apply CO2 rules to a separate molecule. They are radically different in how they form reactions.
A modern gas boiler that's well maintained will basically produce zero CO.
What you are seeing is a small amount of water and (what you can't see) CO2.
As others have noted it depends where you are but almost certainly anywhere will have restrictions that prevent this from being ok.
Its safe as long as you don't open your window but obviously that's not fair !
Call your fire department and building inspector. Permits are required and the exhaust pipe has to meet code height and clearance requirements.
Yeah that’s messed up that could literally kill you if you left your window open. You need to report that asap
I have told my neighbor that I am concerned about smoke getting into my room and his own 10-year-old son's room, which is the room on the other side. He has answered me that this does not concern him and they have continued with the installation.
The neighbor's wife told me that at work no one tells her how to do things and that therefore we cannot tell the installer how to install the boiler and the ventilation system.
I just realized that I have some really adorable neighbors.
"Your potentially poising me AND your own son"
"I don’t care"
"No one i know has the balls to tell me i’m wrong, so that means i’m never wrong tehe"
Honestly, fuck em. Report this to the fire brigade or the police if you have to. They’re putting you, and their son in danger, and this is almost certainly illegal.
You should definitely throw the book at these stupid, negligent assholes. Get documentation (emails/text messages/recordings) of you asking them to fix it, and them saying "it's okay because I'm an asshole". If you have a Ring camera, ask them while you're on your porch. You should get the vent hazard fixed, but you should also take whatever steps you can to make them not be your neighbors anymore.
If you genuinely think their reckless negligence is endangering the welfare of their child, there is an additional department you can contact with your concerns. I'm not saying I would do that if I were their neighbor, but if I were their child's school teacher, "venting CO into my bedroom" would absolutely meet my threshold as a mandatory reporter.
This is inexcusable.
Wow what absolute cunts, it sounds like you’d need to get someone with authority to help you handle this because they probably won’t GAF unless someone makes them
You can also call your local gas company. If you smell gas they will get out there quick and make the situation “safe”, this could be done by locking your neighbors gas meter or issuing a violation tag. You will also have the advantage of having a professional evaluate the flue installation and advise you and your neighbor if Fuel Gas Code has been violated.I did this type of work for many years.
Oh, you have a couple of absolute morons in denial of their abject stupidity. They're the type of people who get others killed. You need to go over their stupidity and get the proper authorities.
The worst part about this is they wont learn their lesson and will resent OP for inconveniencing them 🙄
Report the fuckers. They can suck a sodium pole.
This is not their correct response, they are not telling him how to do his job.
They should have his qualifications in some form of quotation
You can ask for the engineers qualifications and how current they are. Maybe if you talk to him directly if he’s doing his job properly he’ll be happy to oblige and explain to you the safety side and hopefully the fact he has met the correct and current regulations.
If he is not bonafide you can then take it further.
All you can do first is politely approach and ask.
If you know who he is also you can check him on regulatory affiliation online perhaps?
Yeah, call the cops
"No one tells her how to do things"
"Hello, code compliance?"
The fuck is wrong with your neighbours?! That’s probably illegal and also very bad for your health, I suggest you to do something asap. Idk about the laws in your country, but if possible sue the shit out of them
Seems like you have to bring this all the way with your research. If no else is bothered by.
Call child protective services
That’s very dangerous OP, maybe you should call the fire department as a non emergency to report. The exhaust is carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, both harmful.
Edit: minimal chance of carbon monoxide, dangerous situation nonetheless
Also, it's a good idea to get a CO detector. Carbon monoxide is odorless and very toxic. Many families have died from CO poisoning due to malfunctioning furnaces.
Isn't monoxide from incomplete combustion? A new boiler shouldn't make that but regardless the dioxide is bad enough and OP should definitely report immediately.
Almost all combustion processes will produce some amount of CO unless the fuel is very low burning (like alcohol). Any kind of boiler would probably make a detectable amt.
Yeah, but with a lot of variables, it is undoubtedly produced to some degree or another--and let's not talk about other possible combustion products. Exhaust is not meant to be pumped back into a living space for many reasons. This is most likely a code violation in most developed countries. If your neighbor is kind, and you have a good relationship with them, I would approach them and ask them kindly to fix it. Otherwise, I would definitely report it code enforcement--cities love handing out fines for these kinds of things.
If they installed the exhaust wrong who knows what else they did wrong.
Yeah, like running the AC while the boiler is running.
Plugging all the appliances into the same extension cord, regardless of amp rating.
I mean that's stupid but your breakers will trip and that's it.
On the other hand if it's summer and it's really hot outside/on the roof the updraft in the boiler exhaust can be very weak, resulting in an "exhaust back pressure". Combine that with lowered pressure in the rooms created by for example a mobile AC that vents to the outside the exhaust of the boiler can go into the room instead of out the boiler exhaust.
Similar problem can occur if it's very cold outside, the exhaust is cold and a cold air pocket on top of the exhaust acts as a plug.
No matter how new your boiler is: get a CO alarm. It's like 20 bucks.
Not if the rating is lower than the breakers. That exists. Also if it is a long extension chord and it is coiled up and a lot of power goes through it can heat up to the point of melting/charring the plastic isolation and shorting out (which will the trip the breaker)
Its a bit off topic, but I've woken up to the stench of burning plastic from a downstairs neighbour before, lots of fridges (store) all connected with a way too long extension cable hidden in the ceiling. Also summer.
Your comments on problems with boilers are very interesting and good to know. I also had neighbours whose CO alarm went off, firetruck came and everything, they evacuated the house. Reason as far is I could gather was the heating system exhaust was a long pipe that had to travel under a floor first before going up and outside. Then water corroded the pipe and exhaust got under the floor. Something like that. I don't think those pipes are supposed to go horizontal right?
Keep safe everybody! Get fire alarms and CO detectors. Check your extension chords are rated the same as the breaker.
Yes, you are correct. I just mention it because it’s a possibility
> A new boiler shouldn't make that
Shouldn't (in big amounts, they all produce small amounts), but they still do if "they" fail (or most likely the ventilation fails). Everyone who has one that could leak CO into the room should have a CO alarm.
A perfect combustion doesn't exist
True, but the CO is a significantly larger risk. The CO2 will displace O2, but the CO binds to the active site of hemoglobin more readily than either O2 or CO2, so it can build over time (e.g. - while sleeping) and one will continue to suffocate even after being brought into fresh air.
True, but even my modern, properly installed boiler has exterior vents with big warning signs they need to be free of obstructions, x feet off the ground, etc, due to CO risk
Do you trust that it will always burn completely or that it is installed correctly so it can draw enough air for a stoichemetric reaction?
as has been said, there will still most likely be CO in the exhaust. it's additionally not a good idea to trust people who were too dumb or negligent to correctly install an exhaust to maintain the unit properly
It’s fuckin deadly
Monoxide is heavier than atmospheric air. That's why garages must have a step leading into the house by code. So the monoxide sinks and doesn't cause poisoning. There's literally zero threat of monoxide poisoning ten feet in the air outside. It's not physically possible. Other fumes are definitely a potential problem.
Carbon monoxide is, in fact, very slightly lighter than air.
It does not sink.
It does cause poisoning.
Gasoline vapors are heavier than air. That’s why there’s a step up going into the house.
Simple way to disprove this: analyse the relevant molecular masses.
* Diatomic Oxygen: 32 g/mol
* Carbon Dioxide: 44 g/mol
* Diatomic Nitrogen: 28 g/mol
* Carbon Monoxide: 28 g/mol
On average, you can approximate the molar mass of "air" (20.9% diatomic oxygen, 79.1% diatomic nitrogen) as (32\*0.209) + (28\*0.791) = 28.836 g/mol
Air at STP has a mean molar mass of **28.8 g/mol**, compared to carbon monoxide's **~28.0 g/mol**.
So CO is very slightly **LIGHTER than air.**
You are thinking of carbon dioxide.
That does not look/sound legal. Like not AT ALL.
The fumes contain carbon monoxide, which is an odorless but very nasty, toxic gas. You will not feel any symptoms before having inhaled dangerous amounts
Do yourself a favor and call the fire brigade, they can shut this installation down. ANd they have measuring equipment to see if harmful things are emitted.
This is a code violation. You generally have to have an exhaust 3 ft away from a window. If it’s impossible they have to route the pipe above the window. Call your local jurisdiction code enforcement. This is dangerous, and it can potentially do harm to your health. Source: I install boiler and and on demand hot water heaters. I work with solar hot water and radiant floor systems.
Please contact somebody
There's almost certainly carbon monoxide in the discharge. At best (and this is a pretty lousy best) the condensation is going to be a nuisance. If you have a condo board/HOA, you could bring it up with them. Otherwise look at how you might file a complaint with City Hall.
In the mean time, I'd recommend keeping the window shut.
I'm glad someone is taking about this. Thank you for your post. I have noticed few of the newer building in South Edmonton has their vents so close to the building and very close to the residents windows. On the colder days - the steam that comes out of the vents are very thick and looks like smoke fires. Its a mind fuck when you are driving by it.
I wish you the best and stay safe out there and don't get fooled by landlord. Those dildos only care for the rent being paid on time and don't care about your well being. I went through hell with Boardwalk and I broke my lease moved out because the property was making breathing very difficult and they expected to stay still be living in there or put another deposit for another unit. I swear. How did we get here with landlords and how is the government alright with all this scams. Sorry. Just needed to vent for a second.
Gas technician here. If the unit is burning good it should be minimal CO. But that’s not guaranteed ever. If they adhered to the proper clearances as per local codes and manufacture for vent termination not much you can do. It’s more of a nuisance than a safety hazard at this point. The moisture and acidity will destroy anything it condenses on.
Assuming this is a domestic boiler For the UK you can look up the clearances required in AD Part J (it part of building regs, they are free) It needs about 300mm from a window.
It’s not really smoke it’s steam, it does contain acids and will discolour metals that it condenses onto.
Should you be concerned, yes you absolutely should. Some of these other responses seem to suggest that your life is in immediate danger and that is not the case.
I mean get a C0 detector they are not expensive , if your building uses gas or oil its a good idea to have one anyway. This will at least give you some peace of mind. If its going off then your neighbours MUST take immediate action.
Carbon monoxide is the least of their problem. Smoke and carcinogenic fumes are worse.
Thats water vapour not smoke. Combustion of gas doesn't make smoke.
Also if there was significant C0 entering this guys apartment he would be quietly dead long before developing cancer.
You'd think so, but it does. It's gas burners are never completely efficient. There'll always be some of that crap present and it's poorly visible. Yes, here you see clouds of condensed water but that's not the whole story.
Not arguing that its just Carbon monoxide thers all sorts of nasty in flue gas. There are a lot of regulations on the positioning of boiler flues and this certainly looks a bit dodgy.
Did you seriously call it C0 with a Zero?
CO C0 lol looks like it. Not paying a lot of atention tbf watching a movie.
They need to anyway.
More than likely, yes.
There are so few rules limiting how to run those exhausts, but the very first one is keep it away from windows and doors.
Yes! Either talk to them or call the city
totally illegal. Explode your neighbors.
That’s steam, not smoke. It does include exhaust gases too, but they aren’t visible. Gas burns very cleanly in appliances like this.
I’d be concerned about carbon monoxide. Usually you can call someone to check the carbon monoxide levels in your house for free. Google gas leak detectors.
If your lips turn cherry red call for help right away and leave the house.
YES, you should be worried. Very worried. This is a gross violation and you should report it.
3' away from windows
Report that shit right away for your own safety!
Yes. Close that window. Open some other window to ventilate your room.
Has the flue been fitted incorrectly or not ?
You need to ascertain this first before anything.
If it has there’s nothing you can do apart from point out it’s a nuisance, then maybe get your neighbours to get a plume management kit fitted.
What you are seeing is not smoke, but water vapour from plumage, most modern condensing boilers produce this.
Providing the boiler is working correctly and burning correctly plumage is normally a good sign. Most of this is water vapour (85-90%) is just hot air the other 10% is hot carbon dioxide. Obviously there is some Carbon monoxide, but the amounts would be measured in parts (molecules) per million. For reference your can pick up 7-10 ppm on the sidewalk next to a busy road. In the boiler flue this can be up from 18-30 (efficient burn) to 200 if not efficient.
Considering it’s a new appliance this is likely on the lower scale.
It can smell a little, it’s not ideal if it’s blowing back into your windows but is fairly harmless unless it’s allowed to build up. As this is being ejected out into the atmosphere it is immediately being diluted with fresh air, so any vapour that’s getting up to your windows is even weaker than the figures I have mentioned above.
However if this is still a concern you need to take it up with your neighbour or alternatively get an independent check done from a trusted engineer.
that shit is deadly! lower level venting needs to be piped up the side of s structure to the roof via ductwork..that shit could very well kill you mane. call fire, call city. fuck that.
Mate it’s time to give the local fire department a call this is insane illegal and dangerous.
A boiler must be tuned to minimize the CO. The flue gas should be vented to the roof
There are local rules on how these are vented like 8’ from a window left or right up or down in my area , they are going to tell you there’s nothing you can do if he is in compliance with code. Call the township not the fire/police,ask for codes that pertain to gas boiler ventilation
I. Would call the fire department non 911 and have them check it out.
Call the gas company also
what country / says do you live in?
Call the firefighters or the police. You may simply die because of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Gas boiler .. as all combustions, we have by products of carbon oxides, of which monoxide is very dangerous as it can displace oxygen in the blood stream and suffocate you without you even knowing it until its too late. It also is odourless. This is not only very fucking dangerous but Im 100% sure there must be some kind of legislation against it. Id ask your neighbor to turn it off immediately and move it or face legal action.
Call code enforcement, if the pulled a permit then it's legal and installed correctly as the city/county /state would have come and inspected it. Otherwise either it's not a permit required installation of which you are kind of screwed, or an illegal installation for which code enforcement will make them remove or reinstall it. In addition the amount of CO from 10' is minimal especially considering that you are most likely not going to have the window open when they are running a boiler. It's no different than being stuck in traffic. You should have a CO dector anyway because your own applicance are far more likely to kill you unless you have only electric. What you see in the picture there isn't smoke but steam from condensation.
May I advise you to contact a local civil engineer: he may be more up to date about your area's laws and regulations.
If you can pay him, of course.
Please give us an update on this this. It looks illegal AF.