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Does your Woodgun smell?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Woodsrover, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. Woodsrover

    Woodsrover Member

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    I'm sure I have a small leak or two in either the flue pipe of the seal on the ash pan but I can't seem to track it down and stop it. It's bad enough that I leave two windows cracked in the basement to let some fresh air in. Anyone else have this problem? The boiler is working great but the smell is driving me nuts.

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  2. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    Have you sealed all the pipes into your flue and into the cyclone with a high temp caulk? This resolved most of my initial smoke smell problem. Be sure the gasket material around you ash pan is intact too. The material is fairly thin and the glue may not hold it into the proper position for a good seal.

    I would also check all the door seals, perhaps your door needs adjustment. Periodicaly I turn off all the lights in the boiler room and make sure I don't see any light coming from around the doors while I'm in a well established burn.
  3. Woodsrover

    Woodsrover Member

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    I have a feeling it's the ash pan seal. It's a pretty poor design if you ask me. I bought a roll of the gasket material they use but it doesn't stick very well and tends to slide out of the way when I'm reinstalling the ash pan. I'm going to try again tonight and glue it on with some high-temp silicone. If that doesn't work I'm going to make a one-piece gasket for it out of a single sheet. I think all the other doors are ok but I'm a little suspicious of the back door. I'll give that another look tonight.
  4. 711mhw

    711mhw Feeling the Heat

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    A leak can be real stinky. My biggest sealing issue is the 1st pipe put of the cyclone. The other pipe joints I use silicone tape, like for splicing wires, or I've seen it sold as fix all emergency tape. Like Bob said watch it in the dark with a flashlight at a side angle any place you suspect leaking.
  5. Woodsrover

    Woodsrover Member

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    I re-sealed the ash pan and tightened all three doors tonight. We'll see what it smells like in a little bit. The two lower doors seemed quite loose so I kicked in both hinges and took a shim out of each striker.

    Edit: Its been burning for 12-hours now and the smell is almost non-existant. Not sure if it was the doors or the ash pan or a combination of the two, but whatever it was the problem is all but gone. Just enough smell to know there's something down there burning wood but not offensive or overpowering as before.
  6. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    Good to hear, that's they way it's supposed to be. I went 1 step further and installed the AHS smoke hood. What a difference it is to load the box w/o that stupid smoke flap in the way!

    Man, it was cold last night....got down to 24. Preview of things to come :) Hafta get back to loading up the wood shed 4 sure.
  7. Woodsrover

    Woodsrover Member

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    I've had the smoke hood from the start and threw that silly flap in the garbage.
    I had 26 this morning. Burned maybe 1/3 of a fire box of wood from 8:00pm to 6:00am, heat set to 72.
  8. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    This isn't exactly Wood Gun related, but it is a smell thread - so I'll add this in. Hopefully it's not too much of a OT derailing.

    I mentioned in my install thread, but will repeat here. If anyone is putting in storage tanks, and they decide to spruce them up a bit say with a fresh coat of rust paint - keep in mind they will off gas like crazy when they are heated up. I'm not sure how much longer this will last with mine, but I hope it's about done. I've been progressively heating my storage hotter since I started, and each stage of temp increase brings a new wave of paint stink. I got up over 190 last night, so I'm about at the end of the temp range - basement windows have been open for a month & Venmar has been running non stop, so it's not that bad in the main house. But it kind of hits you (me) heading into the basement. Just something that never occurred to me when I was going about my business with the paint roller back in June.
  9. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    I have mine in the garage so smoke or the smell of smoke isn't really an issue. Although I did buy the smoke hood and just recently installed it.

    Have any of you guys experienced this? Is it a wood gun issue or a general gasification releated issue?

    I get a nasty almost chemical type smell outside. It is coming from the flue pipe. It is only when I don't have complete gasification happening. It's when I can see a lot or even a little smoke coming from the chimney. It doesn't happen when I am at complete gasification and the only thing I see is the heat shimmers around the cap.

    It is really stinky. Smells like a garbage incinerator. Sometimes if I over load the box with to much wood and don't have enough coals on the bottom I get brown almost black smoke billowing out. Then u really look like a recycling factory.
  10. 711mhw

    711mhw Feeling the Heat

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    I think that this is one of the arguments for a storage type operation. Beside the stink on start up, I wonder what is the real cost (efficiency) lost in the (re) start up before getting to gassing temps? I remember some therads on this before. If I remember correctly the the general agreememt was that this was splitting hairs in terms of wood use. I'm curious also if this odor is created with all gassers just before "gassing", or is it a WG thing?
  11. Woodsrover

    Woodsrover Member

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    I've got the smell in the basement down to a very acceptable level but yes, mine does have a pretty strong odor when its burning that you can smell outside. Funny, I was just talking to the wife last night saying that as much as I love running the boiler and how well it heats the house, I miss coming home to the smell of a wood fire burning in the house.
  12. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    I have had both of these smells at one time or another. But, with a close eye on the seals of the ash pan and the pipe joints, the inside smell has become non-existent. The outside smell happens sometimes because we can not babysit these gassers all the time. Most of the time with smaller splits we can maintain gassification, but sometimes you are going to have that blow through in the coal bed and you will get some of the smell outside. But we are putting out less smoke than a wood stove and much less than a boiler that is not a gasser.

    Now. To just figure out a way that I can make as much money and stay at home. Then I can babysit the boiler and keep gassification all the time. :confused:

    Good to have you back InfinityMike.
  13. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    I liken it more to a coal sulpher smell. I used to get it alot on the Wood Gun but it never bothered me enough to do anything about it. I get it occasionally with the EKO and since I am now retired, I have had the time to witness the conditions when it was occuring.
    It happens when the fire is really humping. Really hot and gassing like hell. I think I have narrowed it down to unburned wood gas. There is more gas in the secondary chamber and nozzle area than there is secondary air to support a total burn (running rich). With the Wood Gun there is no way to adjust secondary air. With the EKO I could adjust the secondary air but I haven't done it. I just add larger chunks or more moist chunks of wood to the fire.
    Sometimes it smells like someone is smoking meat.
  14. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    What did you use to re-seal the ash pan?

    ac
  15. Woodsrover

    Woodsrover Member

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    I bought a roll of the same stuff WG uses from McMaster Carr. Probably should have gotten WG to send me some for free 'cause it wasn't cheap. It has crappy glue on it so I added some good rubber glue from work and its been fine. I have a whole roll so if you need some let me know and I'll send you a bit.
  16. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    I appreciate the offer. At the moment I don't need it, so I won't take advantage of your kindness. For future reference, what exactly is the material from Mcmaster?

    I inspected the ash pan gasket...and I found a surprise! WATER. I spoke to Darren at AHS, he told me condensation was common when starting from a cold boiler. I checked all 4 of the gasket pieces and found about 2" of the top had become unstuck and was leaking a bit. I put a few dabs of high temp silicone under it to tack it down.

    Let's see how this pans out.

    ac
  17. Woodsrover

    Woodsrover Member

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    They call it "extreme temperature silicon foam" part number 8645K31

    Not uncommon to have a bit of water in the pan, especially if you're not burning really hot or if your wood is a bit wet.
  18. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    I used to get this acrid smell outside with my old smoke dragon boiler. I had thick black-brown smoke from very dry wood, some people thought I was burning garbage. All the while I was maintaining 375-400F stack temps. Never had any creosote buildup in the boiler or chimney though, I atribute this to the massive heatloss up the flue. It would look like fog downwind of the chimney, and smell nothing like woodsmoke.

    TS
  19. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    I better write that in a book somewhere.

    ac
  20. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    I actually have a folder on my computer with all kinds of wood related info.
    From cut and pasted quotes, to website links, to forum discussions and everything in between.
  21. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    I occasionally I've gotten that brown grey smoke from the wood gun. Usually when I reloaded it with to much wood and it wasn't really hot enough.
    Sometimes it has filled the neighbor hood!!!.

    Have you ever gotten that with the Attack?
  22. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    I have a printed WG manual that I have all sorts of notations in. After this season, when I have the hang of this thing and I get over the stick shock of the initial install, I will be ordering "spares" to make myself obsolete-resistant. I want to have any "special" components on hand should they become more difficult to come by over the next 2 decades.

    ac
  23. I would bet the condensation on cold starts is the result of not having return water protection. It won't rust your woodgun if it's stainless steel, but an unfortunate side effect.
  24. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    I would bet that isn't 100% true. On a cold start, my circulators are off. I use an aquastat to only allow them to run once the boiler temp exceeds 160F.

    I found the source of my smell: water in the ash pan under the cyclone. My flue gasses must be condensing when the boiler is off. Now to figure out why and how to prevent. I had the windows in the basement open to battle the smell, I think that might have supplied cold air and caused the condensation.

    ac
  25. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I really should try to drop in on the friend here with the Wood Gun. Last time I ran into him he was telling me about his fix for condensation but I wasn't understanding it - had to do with an open flue or something like that.

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