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Thread: Gravity furnace

  1. #1
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    Gravity furnace

    Hi there, I hope this is the right place to ask some general questions?

    I live in Los Angeles in an older building built in 1953. The unit is heated by a gravity furnace. However, I don't use it, I just prefer space heaters when needed. I have turned off the pilot light on the furnace in the basement. I also sealed off the air vent inside my unit with tape and cardboard because cold basement air flows in otherwise. Note that there is only one vent set low in a wall.

    My question is two fold. If some yahoo decides to relight the pilot light, while my vent is sealed, is there a chute inside the wall that would allow the basement air and pilot light fumes to escape? Would that be a standard for there to be such a chimney?

    I read some diagram which shows gravity furnaces needing a return air vent - but my unit only has one vent inside! Is it possibly the return port is covered by the carpet and there is no chimney?

    Attaching some photos - thanks all.
    Attached Images Attached Images      

  2. #2
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    What you have there is a dangerous nightmare that could've never been inspected and approved by any AHJ.
    Asbestos, flue pipe hooked up illegally and a host of other problems.
    Seems like this is a 2 unit or more building. Are you the owner?
    Being in LA, not only do you rarely need heat, that is probably the most wasteful and least efficient way to provide it.
    The units should be permanently disabled (and removed, including asbestos abatement) and you're probably fine with minisplits.
    If I do a job in 30 minutes it's because I spent 30 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.

  3. #3
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    What am I looking at here? I have never seen one like that.

    The stack is out the back (the 5" galvanized to what looks like a draft hood) ?

    And the heated supply air is out the top and into/thru the wall?

    Where does the 'return air' come from / enter the furnace? Enters into those louvers along the bottom of the sides of the furnace? If so; how did it come from the conditioned space? Just through open floor grates?

    PHM
    --------


    Quote Originally Posted by STEVEusaPA View Post
    What you have there is a dangerous nightmare that could've never been inspected and approved by any AHJ.
    Asbestos, flue pipe hooked up illegally and a host of other problems.
    Seems like this is a 2 unit or more building. Are you the owner?
    Being in LA, not only do you rarely need heat, that is probably the most wasteful and least efficient way to provide it.
    The units should be permanently disabled (and removed, including asbestos abatement) and you're probably fine with minisplits.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  4. #4
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    Thread Starter
    .

  5. #5
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks Steve and Poodle. No, I only rent in a top unit of this 6 unit building. Three bottom and three top. The two center units are from these two furnaces; the other four wing units have similar looking things in a closet like space.

    To clarify, there is no return, I just have one vent where the heat comes out.

    Can you elaborate on dangerous? How so? I recall the Gas Company red tagged it, then the owner/landlord had it inspected and removed the tag and said that it was safe to use.

  6. #6
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    Your landlord inspected it and removed the tag? He he was qualified to remove the tag and declare it 'safe', I bet the gas company would disagree.
    Get yourself a low level CO detector. Does the furnace provide heat to only your unit? I'd turn it off and leave it off.
    I'd also block your supply air vent. Any CO made in that with a cracked heat exchanger would make it's way into the living space for sure.
    If I do a job in 30 minutes it's because I spent 30 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.

  7. #7
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    Yes only to my unit. Great tips and I'll check out those low level detectors. What level is acceptable - if any?

    (I have this one in my bedroom. https://www.kidde.com/home-safety/en...kn-copp-b-lpm/ )
    Or is that not sensitive enough? You're probably talking more pro equipment.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gym Girl View Post
    Yes only to my unit. Great tips and I'll check out those low level detectors. What level is acceptable - if any?

    (I have this one in my bedroom. https://www.kidde.com/home-safety/en...kn-copp-b-lpm/ )
    Or is that not sensitive enough? You're probably talking more pro equipment.
    https://www.myhomecomfort.org/wp-con...Risk_Chart.pdf

  9. #9
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    Scary. Thanks pecmsg!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gym Girl View Post
    Scary. Thanks pecmsg!
    Scary is the part about 70 PPM
    OSHA allows 50 PPM for 8 Hours

    UL Approved Detectors won’t alarm until 70 PPM for an hour minimum!
    50 - 69PPM In you home and no alarm!

  11. #11
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    I think she said that the landlord's contractor checked the unit and un-red-tagged the unit.

    I am very curious what the unit was red-tagged For - and who it was that red-tagged it. <g>

    PHM
    -------


    Quote Originally Posted by STEVEusaPA View Post
    Your landlord inspected it and removed the tag? He he was qualified to remove the tag and declare it 'safe', I bet the gas company would disagree.
    Get yourself a low level CO detector. Does the furnace provide heat to only your unit? I'd turn it off and leave it off.
    I'd also block your supply air vent. Any CO made in that with a cracked heat exchanger would make it's way into the living space for sure.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  12. #12
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    I think she said that the landlord's contractor checked the unit and un-red-tagged the unit.

    I am very curious what the unit was red-tagged For - and who it was that red-tagged it. <g>

    PHM
    -------


    Quote Originally Posted by STEVEusaPA View Post
    Your landlord inspected it and removed the tag? He he was qualified to remove the tag and declare it 'safe', I bet the gas company would disagree.
    Get yourself a low level CO detector. Does the furnace provide heat to only your unit? I'd turn it off and leave it off.
    I'd also block your supply air vent. Any CO made in that with a cracked heat exchanger would make it's way into the living space for sure.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

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