When we had been living in our humble home for about two and a half years, I did the math and figured out it was time to replace the water heater. Himself did not agree with me so I let it go – for a while. My feeling was so strong that I talked him into it.
We were able to get a top of the line water heater at a discount through a friend and the older of my two younger brothers, being quite handy in all things pertaining to heating and cooling, offered to install it.
Brother and niece arrived bright and early and, while I hung out with niece, brother took on the task of removing the old water heater, which was attached to the chimney, and installed the new one. Being a perfectionist, he didn’t like the way the flame was burning and so he removed that which he had just installed and what he found may very well have saved our lives. Our chimney was clogged! It was not venting properly! He cleaned it out as best he could and, again, installed the water heater and the flame burned properly. We called in a chimney sweep and had the chimney repaired and a cap put on the top of it.
My friends, we all had the beginning symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, e.g. sleepiness with the inability to sleep, crankiness, etc. Had my brother not been so alert we may have died in our sleep sometime after the installation.
We immediately purchased CO detectors and I would implore each of you to do the same if you haven’t already. Carbon monoxide is a clear, odorless gas. Entire families are wiped out from it. We have had the fire department here when the detector has had a high reading and the utility company came and was able to find the source (a cooking implement on the stove was trapping gas!).
Please do not waste any time. Get out there and invest in something that could very well save your lives.