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Stove smell on light up...does yours smell?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Swedishchef, Feb 25, 2010.

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  1. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Hey guys

    For those of you who don't know, my stove smells when I light it up. It's not paint (already heated it all winter, stove top temps to 900 degrees and I know what curing paint smells like), it's not paint curing on the pipes (heated the pipes to 850 degrees), it's not smoke, it's not CO (which is odorless) or CO2 (odorless). It's coming directly from the metal.

    It's for the first 1-2 hours. A smell comes from the stove top. Kinda sweet/chemically smell (new word). Is this normal? The entire house will have that smell if I open my door to my main floor. My basement (where the stove is located) will smell strong, I will open the windows and once the stove has been going for 1-2 hours, the smell is less strong. It is coming from the stove top. It's not pain.

    It's an Osburn 2300, double wall stove pipe going to an outside Class A chimney.

    Am I losing my mind? COuld it be the smell of the metal warming up? I don't know anybody else who has this smell coming from their stove on light up.

    The retailer came (at my cost) to look at it and tried the "it's normal" and ended up saying "it's paint" then "we'll deal with this, you'll hear from me within 5-7 days" Guess what: it's been 2 weeks and no news.

    Calling the company did not help. The company won't take a look at it, I gotta ship it at my cost to their labs. I aint paying $250 shipping fees ONE WAY for a $2000 stove for them to say "it's normal". The guy on the phone seemed to not be listening to me. I said "SO if you were me, what would you do" to which he replied " GOod question, I don't know what I would do!" I asked if they would take it back, they said "it's not a performance issue, the stove heats well, etc" F--- I was mad. He said "nobody here has ever heard of that..we had one bad bunch of metal once but the stove would smell the entire time" I said "what if it's a bad batch" he did not say anything. I said "if I buy a car and it works fine but smells terrible, the dealer would d o something about it" to which he replied "they'd take it for a good cleaning". Bad bad service.

    Here's my question: does your stove smell when you light it?

    Andrew

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    No, our stove does not smell. Someone else was having a problem with this just a short time ago and perhaps will chime in here. I have to admit it sound extremely odd. How could you isolate it? How can it be cured? I don't have the answers but hope you do get some.
  3. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    I have only done a few cold starts.. but no, our stove does not smell.

    You are sure there is NOTHING out gassing in the house, or being sprayed some where that is being drawn to the stove? Perfume, furniture wax, window cleaner, hair spray, etc..?

    It's one of those things where, frustrating to you as it may be, no one else seems to have such an event happening. The scientific method says that if the event is not repeatable outside of your experience.. it's an endemic condition to your direct enviornment. A "bad batch" would denote others from that batch having the same problem..

    Have you tried contacting someone from on here (the forum) who lives near you, who might be able to be there to confirm or deny your experience? and why are you doing all these cold starts in Jan and Feb in Canada? ;-)
  4. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    I agree, I certainly hope I can find the problem. If my retailer doesn't replace it, I am selling it. Simple. And I am getting something different, different brand. Before purchasing a new stove I will certainly ask 1 BILLION questions on this forum. :)

    Dakota: there's nothing. Not a thing. I am thinking there could be a human remains in my stove hidden. Other than that, there's nothing. If I stick my nose right to the stove top on light up, as the temperature of the stove top rises I can smell it more and more. There is NOBODY close to me. LOL, I live 700 miles East of Montreal. ALLLL alone. Hell, there isn't even a hearth store nearby!!!!

    As for cold starts it's simple. My stove is in my basement. My basement is wide open and I am not using it right now (since I am in the midst of finishing it). Electricity where I live is CHEAP. It's First 30 kWh per day 5.45¢/kWh - Remaining energy consumption 7.46¢/kWh. SO, in order to use my stove properly, since I don't have my partitions up in my basement yet, I gotta heat 1275 square feet, then the heat rises. It's been quite mild lately, it has not gone below 25F in over a month. My electricity bill (hot water included) is only 100 bucks for a month. If I had my partitions in my basement and it was completed, I would use the stove. But I am quite certain that heating 1200-1500 feet of unused space with my wood stove will cost me more than heating me living room and dining room/kitchen with electricity :) ALLLLL that to say, that's why I have cold starts :)

    I can smell it, my installer smelled it, I aint losing my mind (then again, does someone with mental health issues know they have mental health issues?) In-laws (outlaws), friends and other smell it. It lasts 1-2 hours. WHYYYYYYYYYY MEEEEEEEEEE

    Andrew
  5. NWfuel

    NWfuel Minister of Fire

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    Maybe try wiping your paper towel across the suface before starting the next fire and send it to ? Fossil, maybe something settles on there from ceiling or moisture.
    Thomas
  6. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I bet it's a bad paint job. Bad batch of paint or not applied properly? Can you scrape it off with your finger nail?
  7. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Hey guys

    Thanks for the input.

    I have tried wiping..and wiping..and...wiping to no avail. It makes no difference.

    I can't take the paint off with my nail either. Damn it all.

    I think I am beyond the point of no return. At this point I am so frustrated with the unit that I don't even want a replacement one. I want rid of it all together.

    I called the installer this evening. He works from home. 2 weeks ago he said I would hear from him (which I never did) so I called tonight. He said he has not spoken to his distributor yet. He said to wait until the spring and we will figure something out. So guess what: no wood fire until the spring. LOL. Grrr. I am tired of this. Very tired of this.

    Do your stoves smell?

    Andrew
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    OK Pierre, time to fess up. Was it you that lost the Limburger in the paint vat?
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    No. My old steel stove didn't smell and the one I installed in 2006 does not smell. I think it was Forum member JFK that was having exactly the same problem last year and he never did find an answer.
  10. PJF1313

    PJF1313 Member

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    Me, and the mood I'm in RIGHT NOW, I'd yank the f'er, and throw it in his picture window, with a couple of logs.. and a book of matches.

    Give me a couple 'o days, I may calm down, but my motto is :
    "Incompetence should be painful, stupidity should be shot"

    PJ
  11. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    I think it's a bunch of F----- crap. If I had my way, I would take the stove to a friend. This friend does research in sheer/stress of metals and cement. He has a gigantic press capable of crushing Chuck Norris. My stove would go in and I wouldn't look back. The fact that the installer is "trying to contact" his distributor and the company itself not giving a hoot is really pissing me off. I would expect that paying $2000 (which I now realize is more than I should have paid) for something gives you good customer service. BUUUUUUUZZZZZZZZZ. Wrong answer.

    So now my stove sits downstairs, my wife is turned off by wood stoves (no pun intended) and I have 7.5 cords of wood waiting to be burned. Phoooey. It's been a long day.

    LOL @ PJ. I especially enjoyed the comment from a customer rep (who seemed to be surfing the web or something of the sort). "I don't know what I would do if I were you, that's a good question". And "you can send it to us for our laboratories to test, at your cost, then we send it back to you, at your cost" Christ, that would be like $500!!!



    Andrew
  12. Lucy

    Lucy New Member

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    I have been reading about your problem from the very start of your posts. I hesitated to comment because this is very far fetched, but since you haven't come up with anything else I thought I would put my experience with a similiar situation. About 7 years ago we bought a cottage in September, the cottage came with an old smoke dragon (which served us very well right up to this past October when we bought a new Jotul). When we first fired up the old stove around October of that year we had a strange, sweetish, unpleasant but not completly awful smell that would appear and then disapear and then come back when the stove was relit, not all the time just most of the time. I will cut to the chase - what it turned out to be was that when the stove was lit it was of course drawing air from all areas of the cottage including behind the wall of the bathroom where the bathroom vent stack was located. On further investigation the vent stack had a fine crack in it and the air was being sucked out of the vent and I guess the holding tank. Interesting it didn't have any odor in the air directly around the problem. Duct tape fixed the problem for the next several years until my husband got around to replacing the pipe properly (out of site out of mind). I can't remember how we came up with the solution but I know it had us stumped for quite a while. Good luck
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I can see that happening Lucy. On really cold still nights I can walk out back and see a column of steam coming from one of the toilet vent pipes on the roof and figure it has to be being coming out of the septic system.
  14. ControlFreak

    ControlFreak Feeling the Heat

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    I have a Napoleon 1401 and after 12 years, it will produce a metallic scent after it has sat for a couple days, but that scent only lasts a few minutes and it's not very strong. After it's up to temp there is no odor whatsoever, unless you open the door and let a little smoke into the air. But you said that your odor is not smoke. When I light it for the first time in the fall, it produces a much stronger smell (probably from dust), but that lasts for only a few minutes as it heats up.

    It seems natural that the odor would seem to come from the top since heat rises to the top.

    I also have an Avalon Arbor in the basment which I run only when I want to warm it up down there. This stove will always leave a light smoke scent in the air whenever it's running. It's not strong, kind of like a bit of incense, though it's more of a wood smokey scent. And the smell seems to come from the top of the stove.

    You've had the top of this stove up to 900 degrees?? Sheesh! That's REALLY hot, and I think it's hotter than you should be. Are you able to keep the top of the stove down below 600? Does it still stink at this temp? I would think that even a "bad batch" of steel would eventually burn clean of any residue that's in it, or on it.

    If you can find a machinist, or a welder, maybe have him come over and smell it. Maybe he could identify it and whether it may dissipate.
  15. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the tip lucy. That's crappy (bad joke). Here's my situation: my stove is about 18 feet from the west end of my basement, my "stink" pipe is 35 feet away at the other end of the basement. I open 4 windows in my basement. It is certainly a possibility but I don't think it could be that. I stick my nose directly (yes, almost lost the nose hair) on my stove top and that's where the smell comes from. It's sweet, kinda smells like chemicals. When outside, I can sometimes smell my pipe due to the fact that I place 45 degree bend on it for the winter (normally we have lots of snow). If it was from the pipe, would the smell not be pulled from under my stove, into my primary air intake and then into the stove for combustion and not directly onto the stove top? I will certainly double check everything. I appreciate that your first posting was due to my bad luck/ troubles. Not to mention I knew some people in Gimli (same profession as me)

    I expect a stove that is sitting to smell if I have not lit for a few days (dust, etc). Kinda like baseboards. But to the point that I need to open my windows for 1 hr and the smell goes throughout the house??

    The poor service I have received is making me wanna ditch the stove all together. If a new stove somehow (God unwilling) still smells, then I quit. I sell my wood and use my stove as a table top. :D

    Anybody wanna go for a vacation? Free food and lodging if you inspect my F----- stove while you're here.

    Nothing like a $2000 wood stove, $1000 worth of wood, $1700 chimney installation sitting in my basement calling my name. This is worse than torture. Thank GOODNESS it's not cold.

    Andrew
  16. Corriewf

    Corriewf New Member

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    I doubt it's the stove tbh. How is your wood? Green? How seasoned is that wood? What type of wood? You ran it 850?! When? Did you run it 850 to cure the paint or that is a temp you got it up to? How often do you clean with chemicals in the room?
  17. NWfuel

    NWfuel Minister of Fire

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    How about a cat or rat that urinates on it when it is just warm as it cools and your sleeping?
  18. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    Nope. My guess, you've got a dead somethingorother, bird or critter, lodged in your chimney, probably right at the bend.

    Remote possibility-- if your stove has an ashpan, have you looked into it yet? Some folks here have reported they've found things in it when it's arrived from the factory.

    Good luck. This sound totally maddening.
  19. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    COrriewf: my wood is seasoned. 2 years old. I use beech, white birch, some maple, black spruce. I have gotten the temps of the stove top to 800 regularly. That's the temp it cruises at while burning properly. It wasn't a 1 time 1 temp deal. I do not clean with chemicals in the room at all; I am currently finishing the basement. The room my stove is in doesn't have gyprock or a ceiling or a floor yet!

    NW Fuels: if that's the case about a rat or a car, they have it out for me. I don't have either of those (that I know of).

    gyrfalcon: When my installer came two weeks ago to look at the problem, we disconnected the stove, swept the chimney, disconnected the stove pipes, blew them out, etc.

    I looked in my ash pan, nothing there.

    It is indeed maddening. Grrr.

    Thanks guy

    ANdrew
  20. Corriewf

    Corriewf New Member

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    Good lord man, thats a very high temp to be running it at! That's overfiring the stove! It's ok if you get it there once in a while maybe then back it down, but most people try and keep their stove from hitting 700. You may have burned that paint or changed it chemically over the last few months running your stove so high. Is it turning greyish at all? Most of those paints are rated for 1200 degrees but 800 on a reg basis is not gonna maintain the health of it. I bet you heated the hell out of your home though. :lol: :bug:

    You might need a new paint job. That is a easy enough solution me thinks and cheap at that.

    Out of curiosity, how have you been getting 800 degree temps? Running the draft wide open for a while?
  21. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    You mentioned that you're renovating. My guess is there is dust and other airborne contaminants settling on the stove. When the basement is unheated, the draw on the flue will pull the cold air through the cold stove attracting contaminants to condense on it. Mind you, this would happen whether you're renovating or not.

    The draft on the flue will draw air from upstairs down into the basement constantly. How much dust is there? Supposedly, your average house dust is 80% human and/or pet dander and dust mite feces but there could be additional dust from unpainted concrete, sawdust, drywall mud, etc. Have you ever seen the disgusting buildup of dust mite feces that forms under carpets? There could be large amounts of dust raining down onto the stove from the floor above if the subfloor is planking and the basement ceiling is not sealed. If there is any damp or mold in the basement, the draw on the flue could pull mold spores into the air as well.

    Get yourself one of those electrostatic room air cleaners, run it for a while and see what builds up on the collector plates.
  22. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I still think it's the paint. Have you thought about sanding and repainting it? Maybe just try the top first?
  23. reaperman

    reaperman Member

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    The thing I've noticed over the years is everytime I've exchanged the black stove pipe with new pipe, the smell of the new black pipe is the worst possible smell imaginable. As soon as it gets hot for the first time, it starts to smoke and the odor follows. That burnt, oily, hot metel smell lingers for quite a while. And when I finally think the smell is gone, even weeks later, if the stove got too hot, bingo, the smell comes right back again. Even now, I'm breaking in a new stove. And after a good solid week of burning, the odor from the stove and black pipe is mostly gone. But, when the stove starts getting hot, I can hear the metel from the stove/pipe, "ticking". Once I hear the ticking noise, sure enough, just like in the past, that smell comes back, although not as strong as it once was, but it does linger.
  24. Troutchaser

    Troutchaser New Member

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    Maybe try burning some different wood? Did you buy yours from the same place? Maybe their dog pissed on it for a year or something??
    Lastly, maybe 200 members on this site will pitch in $10 each and you can throw that stove on your dealers lawn and then go buy another. :cheese:
  25. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Corriewf: my stove get to about 850 or so for 1 hr then goes down to 600 or so. It's only on initial fire up. My paint is still pretty and black. No discoloring at all. I do not run the draft open at all. This is how I light: I use about 10-12 pieces of kindling with new paper and a few bigger pieces on top. I then opeb my damper and my bypass. Light the paper and let it go for about 10 minutes or so. Close the bypass then the door and turn down the damper. I rarely leave my bypass open passed 1/4! It's a hot stove. I am not re-painting it.

    I have run air filters. Nothing. I have blown out every piece of stove pipe, the vents on them (since they are double walled), everything. Cleaned chimney, did a rain dance, bought a lottery ticket and searched for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Nothing.

    The reasons I don't want to sand/paint is because then the company will never take it back.

    LOL. Troutchaser..it would be nice if everyone contributed $10 but considering I could be a serial killer that nobody knows and with tough times, I don't wanna see that happen. Nor do I like taking from others..the only thing I like to take is advice..which I am trying :)

    HOWEVER, on a good note, the Customer Service rep I spoke with yesterday called me at work and said he didn't like how things ended yesterday. He agreed to take the stove back to test it, I gotta ship it there, they will ship it back. He got a quote for shipping, it's $65. So I gave him the green light and agreed to it. They will hopefully pick it up in the next week or two.

    I checked my lottery ticket, no winnings, nothing. Damn it.

    Andrew
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