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Old 05-31-2015, 07:26 AM
 
797 posts, read 1,364,701 times
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I rent a home and always thought it was odd that the dryer vent leads to a pipe that is right outside my living room window. There is another pipe that sticks out next to it, which is also (I believe) an exhaust pipe for the natural gas we have. In the winter our landlord told us to make sure we keep those pipes clear of snow so that we don't die of carbon monoxide poisoning. My question is whether or not this is safe? If I am sitting in the living room I can hear one of the pipes running and the exhaust fumes blow out from the pipe directly below my window and I'm worried it's blowing into the room. Our carbon monoxide detectors have never gone off from this. Should I be concerned?


The house was born in the 1980s, and our landlord bought this as a foreclosure. He bought it, flipped it, and rented it out to us in less than 3 weeks from the time he purchased it. My concern is that he never had a home inspection since the house was listed as is and we've found other ways in which he cut corners in fixing the place up...

Do I have a genuine concern or is it irrelevant since the pipes are outside? My main concern is my kids in the living room with the windows open and the exhaust fumes blowing into the living room (seeing as the pipes are directly below the window)

ETA: I wanted to get some additional information before bringing this to my landlord's attention. For example if this really isn't a concern, then I don't want to bother him. But if this is something that screams unsafe, I want to gather info to present to him explaining why the pipes shouldn't be directly under the window.... So any info you can provide would be great. Thanks!
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Old 05-31-2015, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
14,618 posts, read 55,053,541 times
Reputation: 17698
This would be the easiest way to explain it-
Attached Thumbnails
Dryer vent/pipe and gas pipe exhaust right outside my window. Is this safe?-image.jpg  
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Old 05-31-2015, 07:40 AM
 
797 posts, read 1,364,701 times
Reputation: 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by K'ledgeBldr View Post
This would be the easiest way to explain it-
I can't read that on my phone.. Too small. Could you please post a link to where you found that? Thanks so much
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Old 05-31-2015, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
14,618 posts, read 55,053,541 times
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I don't recall where I got the diagram- just an image saved to my computer. I use it as a good "lay-person" explanation of this very question.

You can try this-

Chapter 8 - Chimneys and Vents

This is the actual code requirements as written.
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:52 AM
 
41,823 posts, read 44,856,109 times
Reputation: 17745
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newenglander0000 View Post
I rent a home and always thought it was odd that the dryer vent leads to a pipe that is right outside my living room window. There is another pipe that sticks out next to it, which is also (I believe) an exhaust pipe for the natural gas we have. In the winter our landlord told us to make sure we keep those pipes clear of snow so that we don't die of carbon monoxide poisoning. My question is whether or not this is safe? If I am sitting in the living room I can hear one of the pipes running and the exhaust fumes blow out from the pipe directly below my window and I'm worried it's blowing into the room. Our carbon monoxide detectors have never gone off from this. Should I be concerned?
Natural gas when operating correctly produces very little CO hence the reason you can have gas stove or ventless gas heater. Even if it's not up to code the risk is minimal or almost non existent. I'm not saying it's not something to look into but the sky is not falling either.

Get a CO detector with a readout, that will give the current level in PPM and the maximum PPM it reaches. I'd also check near your dryer inside becsue it could potentially be pulling vented gases back into the house. It should be 0.
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Old 05-31-2015, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,992,718 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Get a CO detector with a readout
OP, in my area, Ace Hardware and Super Walmart carry them, about $40. I have one on each floor for safety because I have a gas furnace. They are good to have!
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Old 05-31-2015, 09:45 AM
 
41,823 posts, read 44,856,109 times
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With the readout you can understand what is going on. CO detectors don't go off when they detect any amount of CO. They have thresholds, if it exceeds X PPM for 1 week it will go off. If it exceeds X ppm for 24 hours it will go off. If it exceeds X ppm for immediate lethal amounts it will go off. They do this becsue you could for example have CO being produced from gas stove which is only issue if you were running for a week straight. These thresholds to the my CO detector went off and the fire department tells me there is no CO in the house. What they really need is two alarms, one for there is an issue here to look into and another for get the hell out of the house.

If it never goes over these thresholds it won't go off but that doesn't mean no CO is present. While extremely low levels of CO are not an immediate threat there are some studies that suggest prolonged exposure (months, years) can be harmful to your health.
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Old 05-31-2015, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Norhtern New England
2 posts, read 7,542 times
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Maybe this will help.

HVAC Articles - Venting Today Part One
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Old 05-31-2015, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,721 posts, read 15,260,431 times
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How about making this real simple, call your natural gas supplier and ask for an inspection. It will cost you nothing. Beware though, if they find it against code, they will most likely shut the gas off until it's fixed. Be prepared.
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Old 05-31-2015, 06:27 PM
 
621 posts, read 859,579 times
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Post a picture of the situation.

The usual minimum clearances I see from either the UMC or mfg material...condensing furnace 12'' away from windows and 12' above soil, furnace 36'' away from dryer termination, dryer termination 3' away from windows and property line. If snow does block the furnace termination, the safeties would pick it up and lock out the heater operation so you'd be safe but cold.

I'm not sure why the window would be open while the furnace is on, I could see the dryer though.
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