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ooooh oooooh that smell

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by longboarder2, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. longboarder2

    longboarder2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    83
    Loc:
    southern NJ
    so most of the folks in my neighborhood (and i in the past) have conventional wood stoves and all day and night i see white and bluish white smoke rising out of their chimneys and that awesome "campfire" wood smell permeates the area.

    everytime i add wood to my harman sf-160 boiler, i get a nasty black smoke and smell like burning tar--almost smells like burning fuel oil. the black smoke and scent lasts for less than five minutes and is followed by some very light smoke or just heat waves coming out of the flu and the smell dissipates.

    it doesnt matter what species of wood, how much airt intake i have, or how thick of a bed of embers i have---same nasty smoke and nasty smell. it does it when i burn my 2.5 year old wood or my 1 yr. old wood.

    i had the chimney swept about six weeks ago and got a coffee can of fine dark gray soot, no creosote and the inside of my firebox has very little buildup and most of it is a very light gray ash.

    why does my boiler produce that nasty black smoke and smell when i add wood versus what i see coming out of my neighbors' stacks?

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  2. topoftheriver

    topoftheriver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
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    238
    Loc:
    Northeast
    Seems like a mystery.
  3. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
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    1,006
    What is your stack temperature , during this period of smell and black smoke ?
  4. longboarder2

    longboarder2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    83
    Loc:
    southern NJ
    as my fire cooks down and needs fuel, the stack temp will go down to around 200---most of the time when i walk into the garage and see this, i know its time to add wood. i usually add two or three splits, within seconds of adding the wood, i get the odor and smoke in the unit. as the fire gets rolling again, the stack temp will usually head up just over 300--peaking around 350.--with a real rager like during my morning startup, the stack will be closer to 400, but thats with the firebox half-full and really cooking. so, as the stack temp rises, the odor and smoke dissipates.
  5. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,234
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    No experience here with your boiler - but I'm guessing you're smelling burning creosote that had built up in there somewhere (could be out of sight in the flue neck, or who knows where), and ignited with the frsh air blast from the open door.

    I could be wrong too...
  6. longboarder2

    longboarder2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    83
    Loc:
    southern NJ
    i thought that too, just because the inside of a boiler is a constant battle of hot and cold, so i figured some amount of creosote is just a reality of the internal environment. but, this is instant---as soon as you add fuel, it stinks in there.
  7. evamaxx

    evamaxx New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    Messages:
    70
    Loc:
    glen burnie md
    i cant help with the smell but how u guys measure stack temp ? is it the same is flue temp? most time i can put my hand on the flue pipe a long time (ie its not that hot) and i have a little smoke thanks mark
  8. longboarder2

    longboarder2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    southern NJ
    i have a magnetic thermometer on the smoke pipe coming off the back of the unit, about 18" above the collar.
  9. evamaxx

    evamaxx New Member

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    Loc:
    glen burnie md
    were to buy thanks mark
  10. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    I got that very same smell and thick black petrolium like smoke with my old new yorker too. My chimney never had any buildup at all, 18' of SS class A. I ran my stack temps 350+ all of the time, stack temp being the sole factor in air damper settings, and I babysat it (one burn/day have storage). Always got that black stink, it'd last around ten minutes, and the stack temps would be in the 400 range then. I'd even had people think I was burning garbage before :mad:. Never did figure out what it was, as Maple said I too figured it was some creosote being burned in the only elbow in the whole system. I even went as far as to drill some small inspection holes in the single wall to see inside as it was doing this....... no game.

    All that is gone now, as it was just another sign to me that some of the wood I was burning was being wasted as volitile gasses up the flue that could be otherwise be heating my house.

    TS
  11. longboarder2

    longboarder2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    southern NJ
    yeah, everytime i see that chit flying out of the stack, i know that a gasser is the way to do it, but it just doesn't make financial sense in the climate where i lve.

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