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12yr old Whitfield Quest Insert STRONG smoke smell, no smoke...help!

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by pelletmom, Feb 3, 2010.

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  1. pelletmom

    pelletmom Member

    Joined:
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    SE Mass
    Have been reading for nearly two hours and can't seem to find my particular problem.

    We have a 12yr old Whitfield Quest insert - has been running constantly for 12 winters. Husband has replaced parts, cleans stove, taken good care of it etc. Today we notice that the air coming out of it smells like smoke - a VERY strong smell of smoke. But we SEE no smoke. No smoke from the T-clean out or back of the stove. In fact, you can't smell the smoke if you are looking behind the stove (not in the path of the air being blown out). He replaced the gasket tonight, because we read that sometimes that is the cause - no better.

    It's so bad that we've shut the stove off. The entire house smells - although the CO2 detector hasn't gone off (thankfully). This is a stove that never smelled - maybe slightly on start-up and shut-down. But this is a very strong odor.

    He's going to clean it well - but we're wondering if maybe there is a hole or some sort of compromise in the burn chamber - the tubes? Is 12yrs it for this stove? Anyone else with an old Whitfield have any words of wisdom? Sure would like to run it- it's 15 degrees here, and we've got 1.5 tons of pellets in the garage.

    Should be be taking off the firebrick and cleaning behind that? Is it compromised in some way if the firebrick is sort of burned away? (firebrick is orig to the stove)

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum pelletmom.

    Sorry I can't help you with your problem I sure someone will come along who can.

    It is however possible for the heat exchanger to develop cracks or holes and then you get smoke out the vents. It is also possible for gaskets that seal various pieces of the stove to fail and allow smoke to enter places it shouldn't. I don't even know where all of the gaskets are on that stove.
  3. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Pelletmom, unless he sees this thread and posts to it later, the "resident expert" on Whitfield stoves is forum member "mr whitfield".

    If he doesn't post here after a little while, try sending him a PM and ask.

    Forum member "hearthtools" is another good source of info....he does service & repair on pellet stoves too, so he may have some ideas.
  4. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    I know you said you checked the exhaust but we were recently having a similar issue with a Whitfield Advantage, we finally discovered the leak, it was coming out of the combustion blower, as in, right out of the blower. The seal around the blower was compromised and the connection between the exhaust and the combustion blower was loose. Try opening up the side when it's running and see if you can feel an air leak.
  5. pelletmom

    pelletmom Member

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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    SE Mass
    Thanks - he's actually checked that as we've had that problem before...he doesn't see any dust or feel any air leak. We turned the stove up, the odor was so strong. Thanks for weighing in.
  6. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves Minister of Fire

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    if all the gaskets are sealing properly, and the stove is clean, check for cracks in firebox or heat exchanger

    i just looked thru the factory svc manual for that model and there is no mention of your specific symptom
  7. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
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    Oakhurst, California, USA, Earth
    MOST of the time if you smell smoke from it pellet stove it is coming from a leak in the vent system After the combustion blower

    The quest insert has a funky exhaust adapter that puts the vent at a better location to attach a liner.
    Im thinking the gasket on the disconnect is bad.
    I normally use the centers out of the Round combustion gasket to make a new one.

    Also does your insert have a liner all the way to the top of the chimney or just a half ass reline just past the damper.
    if so you could be getting smoke back into the house that way. also if the cap is plugged up.
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