January 24, 2005

Carbon monoxide poisioning I need some advice and assistance. While in my basement this evening, I discovered a ventilation pipe coming out of my heater was completely disconnected. I called both the landlord and the gas company and they both came and BOTH stated that it was carbon monoxide coming into our basement.

The guy from the gas company noted that the metal piping next to it was heavily corroded, indicating that this situation had probably existed in excess of a year (they changed water heaters about a year and a half ago). I've already checked out what some of the possible effects (other than death, of course) long term CO exposure can lead to and it's pretty scary. The landlord performed a temporary fix and will be replacing it tomorrow. My question is, what should I do? I have two roommates and they don't seem to have had any effect, but I've experienced about half of the more minor effects listed here.

  • I'm quite serious when I say get a lawyer. A good one. Even if you haven't or won't experience serious medical complications, the landlord is responsible and should have his arse sued off him for putting tenants in such danger. I hope you make a lot of money. Fucking disgusting state of affairs. (go to a doctor asap and complain about these symptoms, saying they've been going on a while - don't say anything about the pipe thing - this will establish that you've had medical consultation about the effects)
  • First, if you think you have a problem then you should go see a doctor. Asking for advice on the Internet isn't really what you're after, and the longer you delay the more anxiety you'll have. Second, if you have gas appliances, then you should also have a CO detector. I bought one at the local Meijer for about $14. No need to worry anymore. Finally, self-diagnosis is almost always a fools game. A lot of those points on the webpage are so vague and general they could mean about anything. Some days I have over half those symptoms for no apparent reason. Find a doctor you trust and go see him.
  • Oh, trust me, my doctor knows.... I have also been seeing a therapist for all of the affictive disorders listed...
  • Document everything. Photograph the repairs and if possible nab the old pipe when he replaces it. Get the name of the gas company employee. Get a statement. Go to a doctor. Call a lawyer. Sue. Win. Give me 10 %. Buy a new car. Get your teeth fixed. Move to Santa Cruz and start an organic strawberry farm. Seriously
  • Already took pics, got a signed document that the gas company guy was out here, but he wouldn't write down his estimate of time, however, the corrosion is obvious in the pictures I took.
  • Now I'm kind of regretting putting this up, please don't say anything more, I don't need anything coming back to haunt me in a lawsuit.
  • I'll just sing instead. Gimme the ring, kissed and toll’d Gimme something that I missed (gimme the ring) A hand to hold, wild and what it seems(gimme the ring) Kill the king, when love is the law, And the we’ll turn round... (gimme the ring) Gimme dream child And do you hear me call? (gimme the ring) On the loan and on the level ...still on the floor (gimme the ring) Sing dream child And do you hear at all? (sing) (sing) Hey now, hey now now, sing this corrosion to me Hey now, hey now now, sing this corrosion to me Hey now, hey now now, sing this corrosion to me Hey now, hey now now, sing...
  • That's alright, nobody knows who you are. Just don't go to that bar in Boston, cos everyone knows your name.
  • If you're going the lawsuit route, you probably want to find out if your state has any laws regarding CO detection before a property can be rented or sold. I know some states require radon testing before a property can be sold, and NYC now requires CO detectors in many older apartment buildings. Any local realtor should know the answer.
  • I'm not sure I'd pick "carbon-monoxide-poisoning.com" as my primary source of info. I trust Medlineplus more - and it's comprehensive: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/carbonmonoxidepoisoning.html --Pat
  • Sorry, here's a clickable Medlineplus link
  • Thanks guys - No law I can find regarding CO detectors, however: Safe and Sanitary Housing for Massachusetts Residents Highlights of Chapter II of the State Sanitary Code: Installation and Maintenance of Facilities The owner must adhere to accepted procedures and standards such as the state plumbing and electrical codes when installing plumbing, heating and electric facilities and appliances and must maintain them free from leaks and obstructions. [410.351] AND: from the Mass. Bar Association: Real Estate: Rights and Duties of Landlords and Tenants b. A landlord cannot transfer to the tenant the responsibility for keeping the apartment in compliance with the sanitary code. Any agreement by which a landlord attempts to do this would be unenforceable. Seems pretty clear-cut.
  • You better off checking a CO MSDS Sheet. Don't mess with this stuff. I used to use it in my last job at a Hyfrocracking plant and it can bite you in the ass quickly.
  • Note that Co is also: Flammable gas. May cause flash fire. Flash back hazard.
  • When my wife and I were bought our house last year, the seller proudly informed us that the gas water heater was installed just about eighteen months before by her father. The inspector informed us that her father vented the water heater *into* the attic, but didn't continue the vent pipe up through the roof. He further informed us that the attic was not ventilated. At all. For a year and a half, this woman and her daughter lived under an attic full of CO gas. I can't imagine what damage it might have caused.
  • The first thing you should do is ask for advice on the internet.
  • Thanks for your wise words, js.
  • Breathe deep, the gathering gloom Watch lights fade in every room
  • Bedsitter people look back and lament, another days useless energy spent.