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Converting From Oil Furnaces to Natural Gas In NE USA States Means Adding Gas Safety Devices, Too.

by Barbara 4. December 2014 09:04

Question about safety issues when converting from oil heat to gas heat.

Q: "A natural gas shale line from Marcellus Shale gas in Pennsylvania may extend into the Northeastern states in the next year, if approved (Quote from CBS 12/3/2014) We currently are using oil heat. Replacing the furnace with natural gas will save us a lot of money. How can we avoid the health risks associated with natural gas?"Thanks Tom.

Answer: Continue using carbon monoxide alarms and smoke detectors as you have been doing, remembering to test them monthly and change batteries once a year. I would also suggest you add a Scentry III Gas Shut Off system on your main line into the home as well as Safe-T-Alert Combustible Gas Alarm or a Safety Siren III natural gas alarm near your natural gas appliances such as ranges, fireplaces, etc.

With the Scentry III GFRAB, you can add additional remote sensors, a battery back-up and a connection to a home monitoring system if you have one or plan to get one.

Remember that natural gas is lighter than air and "puddles" at the ceiling above the appliance using it. If near an open stairway, the gas will go to the top of the stairway.

An annual furnace tune up with filter change is needed with gas furnaces as well as with oil. If you want the best disposable furnace filters, use the 4 inch or 1 inch Safe Home filters.

Thanks for your questions.

Sincerely,

Barbara

 

Safe-T-Alert Manufacturer Rebate on Many 12Volt RV Gas Alarms 1-1-15 thru 10-31-2015

by Barbara 27. March 2013 07:13

Question about the rebate on Safe-T-Alert 12 Volt Gas Alarms.

Q:"Which models does the manufacturer's rebate cover? How do I get the rebate? Thanks, Mike."

Answer: The rebates are either $10 or $20 depending upon the model/models purchased by an end user. Limited to one LP Gas Alarm and/or one Carbon Monoxide Alarm OR one Dual LP / CO alarm per end user. In other words, the rebate is a maximum of $20 per customer.

  • RV Dual Carbon Monoxide/LP Gas Alarm models: 35-741, 35-742, 70-742 and 70-742-Kit (The Kit includes a gas valve. This unit shuts off gas if a leak is detected.) Eligible for a $20 rebate.
  • RV Carbon Monoxide Alarm model 60-541, 60-542, 65-541 or 65-542   Eligible for a $10 rebate.
  • RV LP Gas Alarm model 20-441, 30-441, 30-442, 40-441 or 40-442      Eligible for a $10 rebate

Obtain the rebate form from the Safe Home Products website. We do our best to include a rebate form with every unit we ship directly from Iowa City. Occasionally, we are out of stock and the unit ships directly from the manufacturer as a favor to us and to our customers.

To qualify:

1. Complete rebate form.
2. Enclose the following document(s): completed rebate form, a copy of the receipt or invoice, and the original UPC code from the product packaging.
3. Send all of these items to MTI Industries. The rebate and all documents must be received no later than

Rebates:
This mail-in rebate offer is valid only with purchases between March 1, 2013 and September 30, 2013 by an end user. Rebate must be postmarked by October 31, 2013.

Eligible Participants:
To qualify for this rebate, only the actual purchaser of the qualifying product may participate. End user must keep copies of all
materials sent. Materials received become the property of MTI Industries and will not be returned. No reproductions of UPC codes accepted. Please allow
8-10 weeks for receipt of rebate. MTI Industries is not responsible for lost, late, damaged, illegible, misdirected or postage-due mail. Use of multiple
addresses to obtain multiple rebate requests is fraudulent and could result in federal prosecution under the U.S. Mail Fraud statutes. PO Boxes are not
accepted for this promotion.

Restrictions:
Limit one rebate submission per household. Rebate issued in U.S. Dollars. Valid while supplies last for purchases made in the 50 United States and Canada. Promotion is void where prohibited or restricted by law. Not valid with any other rebate offer. Your right to receive the rebate will automatically terminate if you fail to negotiate your rebate check by the expiration date on it.

Disclaimer:
MTI Industries products may not be returned for refund once the rebate form has been submitted. Failure to submit any of the requested documentation will delay or
prevent the rebate issuance. MTI Industries also reserves the right to interpret the rules of this promotion at its sole discretion and all decisions made by
MTI Industries are final. MTI Industries is not responsible for any liabilities, taxes or expenses incurred by end user as a result of this promotion. Offer void where prohibited, taxed or restricted by law.

Thank you for your question.  Go to SafeHomeProducts.com to see blogs to help you match your CCI controls gas or carbon monoxide alarms to replacement ones by Safe-T-Alert. All Safe-T-Alert units are Made in USA.

Sincerely,
Barbara

Safety Alarms Needed to Protect Home Recently Converted to Natural Gas Heat and Water Heater

by Barbara 31. December 2010 02:34

Question: "We recently converted to natural gas heat and gas hot water boiler. We have two floors above this basement installation. What safety alarm units are required for protection? Nate.

Answer: Thanks for your question for the Ask Barbara Contest, Nate. I am going to answer with the assumption that your home was all electric prior to this conversion. If you heated with propane or oil, some of these recommendations may not apply.

Natural gas homes or businesses need two different types of safety alarms.

Combustible Gas Alarms.

Why do I need a combustible gas detector/gas alarm?

The purpose of a combustible gas alarm is to alert you when you have a raw gas leak. Yes, mercaptan is added to natural gas to make it smell like rotten eggs. But if you are not in the area of the gas appliances and/or you do not have an ability to smell, the odor does you no good. This units must be installed near the gas using appliances. So if your gas furnace and gas water heater are side by side, one natural gas alarm is all you need.

  • No matter how good your nose is, you may not be in the right place at the right time to notice a natural gas or propane leak.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms give NO protection against combustible gas leaks. carbon monoxide sensors detect only carbon monoxide, not raw fuel.
  • Turning off a light, setting a security alarm or closing a door spark a gas explosion or fire. Natural gas leaking from a basement furnace can leak upstairs through hollow walls.
  • Gas can leak into homes via sump pits, inbound water lines or a natural gas well under your home.
  • Each gas appliance is a potential source of a gas leak. Each gas appliance needs its own gas detector
  • We sell two different models with gas specific sensors. These are the Safe-T-Alert Model 40-411-120 and the Safety Siren Pro Gas Alarm; The main differences between the units are how they are installed.

    To properly install the Safe-T-Alert you need an electrical outlet near to the gas appliances. Because this unit has a line cord that is approximately 65 long, mounting ths unit properly is usually less a problem that the direct plug-in Safety Siren. Raw gas detection units must be mounted within 6 inches of the ceiling or on the ceiling at least 12 inches from a wall for natural gas leak protection. Natural gas pools above the appliance: think of an upside down pothole filling with water and you get the picture.

    The Safety Siren requires an electrical outlet near the appliance. Many people choose this option because the Safety Alert unit has a safety tab through which an outlet screw goes. This means the unit cannot be removed from a standard, single screw, double outlet without removing the screw.  These units meet the UL1484 standards for combustible gas alarms.

    Note: UL 1484 listed combustible gas detectors are not detectors for minute gas leaks. Sensors and detectors are tested in a combustible gas environment and meet the UL 1484 standards for alerts of dangerous gas levels. Deliberate exposure to natural gas, butane, propane, etc. can destroy the sensor in this unit. Use the test button to test this unit, not exposure to raw gas.

    Carbon Monoxide Alarms:

    One product of natural gas and all fossil fuels like coal, wood, peat, etc. is carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas. If your furnace and water heater are working properly, carbon monoxide is vented outside. If the vents are not working properly due to obstructions or the furnace heat exchanger cracks, then carbon monoxide is discharged into the air. Unlike combustible gasses, carbon monoxide does not pool but is distributed throughout your air. Carbon monoxide exposure symptoms range from flu-like symptoms to brain damage to death from asphyxiation.

    Recommended at a minimum are carbon monoxide alarms in or outside every bedroom, near the gas appliances and at the top of stairways. The easiest to install are the 9 volt battery units. Believe the alarm even if it sounds intermittently. About 5 years ago, I went to visit my parents in Pennsylvania. They have a washer and gas dryer in their kitchen (since 1952). I noticed that the Costar 9 volt CO alarms were all off their mounts (there were three units total). I was told they were "defective" as they were going off intermittently. I took them home with me and sent them to Quantum Group to be tested. Dave from Quantum phoned and said nothing was wrong with them! Meanwhile, my elderly father did NOT install the plug in Safe-T-Alert unit I had sent them because "I didn't know where to put it." The problem was the vent for the gas dryer was partially clogged with lint!  Since then, local code has changed: their 4 inch diameter gas dryer vent had to be replaced with a 5 inch for the newest dryer to be installed this past year.

    Types of Carbon Monoxide Alarms:

    If you are really concerned about a gas leak, we recommend the Scentry III gas valve shut off systems. Choose from a Scentry III GFRAB LP/Natural Gas Detector Valve Controller with remote sensor capability and a battery back-up option feature or a Scentry III SFGVC Automatic Gas Valve Controller, No Gas Valveunit with a single sensor at the gas valve itself. Scentry units are made in the USA. They do require a special diaphragm type gas valve in 1/2, 3/4 or 1 inch size, a 24 volt power supply and 120VAC or 240VAC power.

    Also install and maintain your smoke alarms which I am sure you already have.

    Thank you for your question and your entry in the Ask Barbara Contest.

    Sincerely, Barbara

    Install Safety First Automatic Gas Valve System and Prevent Gas Explosions In Home or Business

    by Barbara 20. September 2010 13:13

    Question about the Scentry III GFRAB Automatic Gas Valve and Gas Detector System and the Scentry III SFGVC Gas Valve Controller, No Gas Valve

    Q:"After the explosion in San Bruno, CA on 9/9/2010, I am concerned about my home exploding. I have a natural gas furnace, a natural gas fireplace, a natural gas water heater and a natural gas range. I don't have a full basement: my crawl space is about 12 inches high. Drainage is excellent. There would be some moisture but not water. Can this automatic gas valve and sensor system system be installed there?I see that the Scentry III has a connection for an auto-dialer and also can be connected to a ventilation system. Thanks. Thomas."

    Answer: This unit allows you to use remote gas detectors to place near your other gas appliances. There is a battery back-up available if you want protection during a power failure. We do have an installation manual available on our website for this unit.The Scentry Installation Manual.

    The GFRAB stands for gas sensor, mounting feet, remote ready, alarm and battery and includes the gas valve shut-off/controller. NOTE: Must be used with a Scentry III gas valve (sold separately).  Each Scentry gas sensor is calibrated in a gaseous atmosphere so it will alarm at 10% of the lower explosive level (LEL) of the combustible gas. This is not a carbon monoxide alarm as it has only a combustible gas alarm sensor.

    Scentry III-GFRAB Gas (Mounting) Feet Remote (Ready) Alarm Battery Specifications:

    • Case: ABS Plastic
    • Physical Size: 7.6 inches by 4.6 inches
    • Weight: 2.25 lbs
    • Color: Gray
    • Power consumption: 1.5va
    • Supports up to 4 calibrated remote sensors (not included)
    • Requires Scentry III-GVD gas valve (purchase separately)
    • Supports Battery Back-Up (Not Included)
    • Gas Valve Controller for combustible gasses such as natural gas or propane gas. Includes a 24 volt transformer.
    • Connections: screw terminals
    • Input Power: 115VAC, 60 Hz
    • Output Control Relays: 2 amps, 24 VAC
    • Alarm Signal Output: 12V DC @500 ma
    • Reset: manual
    • Sensor Type: Tin Dioxide Semiconductor
    • Alarm Points: Propane (LP) <5200 PPM
    • Alarm Points: Natural Gas / Methane <12,200 PPM
    • Manufactured Proudly in the USA for Safety First USA, Inc.
    • Warranty: 1 year from date of purchase.

    The gas valves that interface are a 1/2 inch, a 3/4 inch and a 1 inch valve.

    Scentry III-SFGVC Safety First Gas Valve Controller Specifications:
    • Case: ABS Plastic
    • Physical Size: 4.6 inches by 3.1 inches
    • Weight: .5 lb.
    • Color: Bone
    • Reset: manual
    • Output Control Relays: 4 amp, 24VAC
    • Power: 1.5va
    • Sensor Type: Tin Dioxide Semiconductor
    • Connections: screw terminals
    • Propane alarm point: <5200 PPM
    • Natural Gas/Methane<12,200 PPM
    • Note: Requires a UL Listed Scentry III .5 inch, .75 inch or 1 inch diaphragm type gas valve that is compatible (not included).
    • Note: Requires a 24V transformer (NOT INCLUDED). See installation instructions for specifications i.e. must match the transformer to power requirements of your gas valve.
    • Note: No option for battery back-up to be added later
    • Note: No option for additional sensors to be added later.
    • Made in USA.
    • Manufacturer: Safety First USA

    The gas valves that interface are a 1/2 inch, a 3/4 inch and a 1 inch valve.

    So the main differences between the units are that the Scentry III-GFRAB gas alarm and gas valve controller (shut-off) includes the 24 volt transformer, has mounting feet and can add options of battery back-up, remote gas sensors and remote alarms.  With the battery option, the pilot lights remain litt during intermittent power failures in regions such as the mountain states where electric power is not always continuous. A 12V output allows adding a phone dialer to alert owners of vacation homes, etc. when an unsafe condition has occurred. Remote gas sensors can be added near gas ranges, gas water heaters, gas furnaces, gas heaters, etc. to add protection using only one gas valve controller.

    Please contact us if you have questions about what components to install.

    Remember that you need carbon monoxide sensor alarms on every floor of your home and in every bedroom where you close the door. The CO monitor does not monitor propane or natural gas leaks: it monitors the carbon monoxide levels from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels like wood, coal, gas, charcoal, etc.

    Thanks again for your timely question.

    Sincerely, Barbara

     

    Which Gas Detector Do I Need? I Have Anosmia.

    by Barbara 11. August 2008 09:27

    Q: "I have anosmia, i.e. I have lost my sense of smell. We have natural gas heat, a natural gas water heater and a natural gas cooking stove. I cannot smell a gas leak. Which gas detector do you recommend?"

    Answer: Currently, we sell two brands of combustible gas alarms and an automatic gas shut off system that shuts off gas and sounds a loud alarm when a significant gas leak occurs.

    Two brands are UL1484 listed for use with natural gas and propane gas and also work with gasoline fumes and butane fumes. These are the Safe-T-Alert 40-411AC and the Safety Siren Combustible Gas Alarm and the Safety Siren CO and Combustible Gas Alarm.

    The advantage of the Safe-T-Alert is the long cord for proper positioning of the detector, i.e. high and near the appliance for natural gas and low and near the appliance for propane. We also sell the Safe-T-Alert Combustible Gas Alarm in a 230VAC unit for Europe and Asia. The Safety Siren unit is a direct plug in with a safety tab that the outlet cover center screw (standard 2 or 3 prong outlet) goes through so the unit cannot be easily removed. Most customers who buy the Safety Siren model install an electrical outlet at the proper height for natural gas or propane.

    All our combustible gas alarms sound at less than 25% of the lower explosive or flammable level of the gas.

    The Scentry III GFRAB propane/natural gas detector is only one component of this home safety system. The GFRAB means Gas, Feet on the bottom of the case, Remote, Alarm and Battery. To have a complete system, you need these additional components:

    As noted above, the compatible valves are in .5, .75 and 1 inch sizes. Each valve is an electrically operated gas shut off valve that opens and closes on a demand signal from a thermostat or other controlling device. Can be used with both natural gas and LP gas at pressures up to 0.5 psi. The White Rodgers replacement is a compression spring closing and soft seat construction gas valve.

    The advantage of this system is that the controller unit supports up to 5 calibrated remote sensors.

    Scentry III-GFRAB Specifications:

    • Case: ABS Plastic
    • Physical Size: 7.6 inches by 4.6 inches
    • Weight: 2.25 lbs
    • Color: Gray
    • Power consumption: 1.5va
    • Supports up to 5 calibrated remote sensors (not included)
    • Requires Scentry III-GVD gas valve (purchase separately)
    • Supports Battery Back-Up (Not Included)
    • Supports Gas Valve Controller for Explosive Gas (Not Included)
    • Connections: screw terminals
    • Input Power: 115VAC, 60 Hz
    • Output Control Relays: 2 amps,
    • 24 VAC Alarm Signal
    • Output: 12V DC @500 ma
    • Reset: manual
    • Sensor Type: Tin Dioxide Semiconductor
    • Alarm Points: Propane (LP) <5200 PPM Alarm Points: Natural Gas / Methane <12,200 PPM
    • Manufactured Proudly in the USA for Safety First USA, Inc.
    • Warranty: 1 year from date of purchase.

    Thanks for your question. Just remember propane gas and natural gas are safe sources of energy if you add protective measures including alarms, shut off valves and regular maintenance of the appliances that use gas.

    Sincerely,

    Barbara