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Have I seriously poisoned myself?


RickS

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5 minutes ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

I'm fully with you about the dangers of CO but I'm intrigued as to what the long term health effects are (you say the exposure was years ago). I also had more exposure than I would wish many years ago when taking part in a training 'practical'. The storyline was that someone (me) was supposed to be trying to gas themselves in their car inside a closed garage. Following a signal (a knock on the garage door) I was to start the car engine and await the response of the trainees. Unfortunately the trainees took an age to 'get' the storyline and despite holding my breath for as long as possible I ended up inhaling the car exhaust for longer that one would wish. I was as dizzy as hell for quite a while afterwards but don't seem to have suffered any long term effects, what long term effects did you have?

 

Carbon monoxide poisoning - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

 

The longer you inhale the gas, the worse your symptoms will be. You may lose balance, vision and memory and, eventually, you may lose consciousness.

This can happen within 2 hours if there's a lot of carbon monoxide in the air.

Long-term exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can also lead to neurological symptoms, such as:

  • difficulty thinking or concentrating
  • frequent emotional changes – for example, becoming easily irritated, depressed, or making impulsive or irrational decisions

Breathing in high levels of carbon monoxide gas can cause more severe symptoms.

These may include:

  • impaired mental state and personality changes (intoxication)
  • the feeling that you or the environment around you is spinning (vertigo)
  • loss of physical co-ordination caused by underlying damage to the brain and nervous system (ataxia)
  • breathlessness and a heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute (tachycardia)
  • chest pain caused by angina or a heart attack
  • an uncontrollable burst of electrical activity in the brain that causes muscle spasms (seizures)
  • loss of consciousness – in cases where there are very high levels of carbon monoxide, death may occur within minutes
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12 minutes ago, PD1964 said:

I thought it was to try and keep the heat and combustion in the fire box area more and not to send it directly up the flue???

 Some fires don’t have Air Washing vents but have baffle/throat plates???

I guess ^^
 

I replaced my baffle plate last winter.

It was buckled and had an hole in the centre, from burning much too hot I expect. 
A new plate and a much much better stove, giving off much more heat.

 

Also I think it helps draw the fire better. 

 

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31 minutes ago, MtB said:

In my experience stoves work perfectly well without the baffle and I took it out of my Squirrel with no adverse effects.

 

My total guess is it's function is to assist the 'air washing' of the door glass to help keep it transparent and clear of soot/staining, but I don't know. 

I think the plate increases efficiency. Not sure by how much. Obviously they wouldn’t have bothered to put it there if it didn’t make any difference.

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8 minutes ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

I'm fully with you about the dangers of CO but I'm intrigued as to what the long term health effects are (you say the exposure was years ago). I also had more exposure than I would wish many years ago when taking part in a training 'practical'. The storyline was that someone (me) was supposed to be trying to gas themselves in their car inside a closed garage. Following a signal (a knock on the garage door) I was to start the car engine and await the response of the trainees. Unfortunately the trainees took an age to 'get' the storyline and despite holding my breath for as long as possible I ended up inhaling the car exhaust for longer that one would wish. I was as dizzy as hell for quite a while afterwards but don't seem to have suffered any long term effects, what long term effects did you have?

 

Blimey employers would get prosecuted for that sort of recklessness nowadays!!

 

When we do our gas training we also get warned that death is not the only consequence of CO poisoning. People get seriously injured by it but still survive apparently, but no details are ever forthcoming. They just want to put the fear of God into us gas bods to make us take it seriously. 

 

Don't suppose that helps much really. 

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1 minute ago, MtB said:

 

Blimey employers would get prosecuted for that sort of recklessness nowadays!!

 

When we do our gas training we also get warned that death is not the only consequence of CO poisoning. People get seriously injured by it but still survive apparently, but no details are ever forthcoming. They just want to put the fear of God into us gas bods to make us take it seriously. 

 

Don't suppose that helps much really. 

I suppose you could get irreversible brain damage same as with anything else that cuts off oxygenated blood supply to the brain. 

Edited by nicknorman
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Just now, nicknorman said:

I think the plate increases efficiency. Not sure by how much. Obviously they wouldn’t have bothered to put it there if it didn’t make any difference.

 

Well yes, but how can it increase efficiency, other than by affecting the velocity of the products of combustion (POCs) up the flue? I guess it could disrupt laminar flow perhaps. 

 

Given the air vent at the base can slow passage of gas through the appliance to near zero, I can't see how the baffle can affect fuel efficiency by that method but I agree, they don't fit them for fun which is why I was speculating its function might be to do with air-washing the glass.  

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4 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

Blimey employers would get prosecuted for that sort of recklessness nowadays!!

 

When we do our gas training we also get warned that death is not the only consequence of CO poisoning. People get seriously injured by it but still survive apparently, but no details are ever forthcoming. They just want to put the fear of God into us gas bods to make us take it seriously. 

 

Don't suppose that helps much really. 

This was back in the 1980's before the day's of 'Health and Safety gone mad' so perhaps it's not quite as 'mad' as people seem to suggest:(. Other exposures I've had was to anhydrous Ammonia gas (resulting in not having much of a sense of smell these days, but it sure as hell wakes you up!!) and driving about 30 miles back to the depot in overalls that had been drenched in Formaldehyde when a drum split (possibly carcinogenic, certainly makes your eyes water). The 'advice' was "Oh, just keep the windows open"

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9 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

Well yes, but how can it increase efficiency, other than by affecting the velocity of the products of combustion (POCs) up the flue? I guess it could disrupt laminar flow perhaps. 

 

Given the air vent at the base can slow passage of gas through the appliance to near zero, I can't see how the baffle can affect fuel efficiency by that method but I agree, they don't fit them for fun which is why I was speculating its function might be to do with air-washing the glass.  

I think it is just to do with extracting more heat from the flue gases - pass ‘em over (well, under of course) the plate to transfer more heat from the gasses to the stove 

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1 minute ago, nicknorman said:

I think it is just to do with extracting more heat from the flue gases - pass ‘em over (well, under of course) the plate to transfer more heat from the gasses to the stove 

 

So how would that work then, given the same POCs are flowing over both sides of it?

 

The more I thought about it, the less use I decided it was so I removed mine and looked for an effect. I found none. I'd have been happier to have found a effect as then I'd probably have been able to work out why it is there. Try running yours with the baffle out perhaps. I bet you find no material difference either! 

 

I note Goliath says his new baffle makes the stove hotter but this has not been my experience. I reckon having shelled out real money on one, he just badly needed it to make a difference! The placebo effect....

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3 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

So how would that work then, given the same POCs are flowing over both sides of it?

 

The more I thought about it, the less use I decided it was so I removed mine and looked for an effect. I found none. I'd have been happier to have found a effect as then I'd probably have been able to work out why it is there. Try running yours with the baffle out perhaps. I bet you find no material difference either! 

 

I note Goliath says his new baffle makes the stove hotter but this has not been my experience. I reckon having shelled out real money on one, he just badly needed it to make a difference! The placebo effect....

There’s quite a lot of stuff on the internet about it. In summary it seems to help complete the combustion, reducing the amount of unburnt gasses leaving the stove. It creates a hot area that allows this secondary combustion. So I think to detect the difference you would have to strictly monitor heat output vs fuel put on the stove, something that isn’t really feasible other than in a laboratory. If you have to put 10% more fuel on to get the same amount of heat, I doubt you’d notice it what with the wide variations in outside temperature etc.

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44 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

Well you actually need 100% of the combustion gas to go up the flue and none to go anywhere else so the presence or otherwise of a baffle will make no difference to this. 

 

With a properly air-tight stove the combustion gas flow through the burning fuel is controlled by the air vent at the bottom and if you fully close it, the stove will go out from oxygen starvation whether or not the baffle is in place or missing. 

 

This method of controlling combustion air flow into the stove and up through the flue obviously increases or decreases the heat of combustion by starving it of oxygen to a greater or lesser degree, which is why all stoves produce CO is spades when alight. If I put my flue gas analyser over the chimney of my stove outside, it goes right off the scale immediately and shuts down, so much CO is present in the flue gas. 

I think the baffle plate is designed to direct unburnt gasses back over the firebed to allow thos gasses to be burned, obviously it's not a closed cycle because the gasses eventually head up the flu, it also is supposed to help with the air wash thing.

 

I think this is more important on wood burners, it is certainly described as a design feature to increase efficiency 

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31 minutes ago, tree monkey said:

I think the baffle plate is designed to direct unburnt gasses back over the firebed to allow thos gasses to be burned, obviously it's not a closed cycle because the gasses eventually head up the flu, it also is supposed to help with the air wash thing.

 

I think this is more important on wood burners, it is certainly described as a design feature to increase efficiency 

I thought all fire places have something similar. 
Open fires having a throat, which I’ve always assumed was to create a better draw on the fire and therefore make it more efficient. 

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19 hours ago, Ianws said:

I think that was already mentioned earlier in the thread but worth mentioning again and again. It's not something campers or boaters would think of if they weren't aware of the dangers. Even people at home with a bucket for ashes beside the stove while they sit there oblivious of the danger. 

 

We have an ash bucket at home. I never fill it or empty it unless it's cold. It lives in the cellar. Hot ashes stay in the stove until they're not.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Goliath said:

I thought all fire places have something similar. 
Open fires having a throat, which I’ve always assumed was to create a better draw on the fire and therefore make it more efficient. 

I think I know what you mean, I've seen a few open fires with a sort of baffle plate but you wouldn't want to direct the gasses out to the front of an open fire in case they fill the room.

 

In a stove the fire is sort of closed system and the baffle plate can send the gasses forward and down the glass to be reburnt on the fire bed, I think it helps the gasses to mix with oxygen as well which improves the burn, I am sort of guessing a bit here but I think it's roughly what happens.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, tree monkey said:

I think I know what you mean, I've seen a few open fires with a sort of baffle plate but you wouldn't want to direct the gasses out to the front of an open fire in case they fill the room.

 

In a stove the fire is sort of closed system and the baffle plate can send the gasses forward and down the glass to be reburnt on the fire bed, I think it helps the gasses to mix with oxygen as well which improves the burn, I am sort of guessing a bit here but I think it's roughly what happens.

 

 

Ok, that makes a lotta sense.

 

Just to add: I have a slide/lever at the top above the glass that will draw in the air for clearing the glass.

 And behind that is a bar of angled steel which I believe directs the air flow down across the glass.

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14 hours ago, Goliath said:

I thought all fire places have something similar. 
Open fires having a throat, which I’ve always assumed was to create a better draw on the fire and therefore make it more efficient. 

Burning better/hotter is not the same as more efficient. It may just be burning more fuel as a result of a stronger draw.

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On 09/01/2022 at 19:25, Machpoint005 said:

 

We have an ash bucket at home. I never fill it or empty it unless it's cold. It lives in the cellar. Hot ashes stay in the stove until they're not.

 

 

...and in a boat where the stove is going 24/7 through the winter? 

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On 08/01/2022 at 23:17, ditchcrawler said:

People have died in tents like that

Yes, people like me who don't realise the danger. Obviously I do now!

It's a wonder that there hasn't been a spate of this since Covid and the big uptake of new campers who previously package holidayed somewhere warmer. No excuse for me I've been camping since I was 6, was in the scouts and had camped for over 500 nights (yes really!) before I almost poisoned myself and my family. Thing is... we never BBQ'd in all that time. Open fires yes, cooked on the embers too, but never had any way of picking it up and bringing it indoors so such things never got thought about. 

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On 10/01/2022 at 09:50, Mike Todd said:

Burning better/hotter is not the same as more efficient. It may just be burning more fuel as a result of a stronger draw.

 All I know, in my experience with the stove I have, a baffle plate keeps a warmer stove and requires less fuel. 🤷‍♀️ 
 

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