CHEMICAL SMELL FROM STOVAX - PLS HELP!

captainmouselung

New Member
May 9, 2019
11
staffs
Hi,

have has a Stovax Stockton 5 for a couple of years now and we use it less and less due to the chemical smell that comes off it.

Still not sure if it's the initial paint smell, which was super strong when we had it, but surely that should get better over time, not worse.

I had a mate round recently who fits stoves and he couldn't believe the smell off it. He came and tested it with his own kiln dried wood to be sure it was done right, and it smelled as bad as it does when I burn wood and coal on it.

It's seriously overpowering and stopping me firing it up anymore, as it affects my asthma.

Anyone have any ideas on what this could be?

My thoughts are either:

1) Paint from the stove which has inexplicably never cured. But have had many hot fires over the years and the smell is getting worse rather than better, so doesn't make sense surely?

2) Something inside, some kind of residue maybe?

But surely the idea of these fires is that, unless you open the door, the smells stay locked inside??

If this isn't the case and it could be from inside, there are a few things it could be maybe...

* Have occasionally used paraffin firelighters, which is probably not advised, although the Stovax site says to use firelighters.
* We use a chemical cleaner for the inside glass, which is made for that purpose.
* The wood isn't always kiln dried, but always pretty damn dry.
* Maybe the coal/Smokeless fuel is leaving some kinds of chemical deposits.

And maybe one of these or a combo of these has created some kind of residue inside that's making this smell, but like I said pretty sure the smell is supposed to stay inside???

Either way would love any ideas on how to get to the bottom of it and move forward, as thinking of switching to gas if I can't sort it!!!

Thank you v much!

Mark
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,104
South Puget Sound, WA
Hard to say. Is there any visible smoke coming off the stove or stove pipe? Sometimes a paint job fails due to improper prep or a bad batch. You can sometimes spot this out in a dark room by shining a bright flashlight (torch) across the surfaces.

Are there any young children in the house? Many years back the horrible smell was eventually found to be a toy that had fallen behind the stove and its heatshield.
 
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Ludlow

Minister of Fire
Jun 4, 2018
1,061
PA
Could it be that someone thinks cleaning the stove with furniture polish is a good idea?
 
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Massport

New Member
May 11, 2019
3
Christchurch, New Zealand
I have the exact same problem. 3 seasons of heavy burning now and no improvement. There's another thread on here from a user called Mincus, he went through a huge ordeal but never got to the bottom of it and then disappeared probably from going inaane:
https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/smell-wont-go-away-on-new-stove.159867/

Seems You me and him are perhaps the only people on this earth with this problem.

The salesperson suggested the cause may be VOC's from paint on the wall and roof "off gassing" which seems implausible. the source of the smell definitely seems to be coming off the stove itself when it gets above a certain temperature.
 
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captainmouselung

New Member
May 9, 2019
11
staffs
Hard to say. Is there any visible smoke coming off the stove or stove pipe? Sometimes a paint job fails due to improper prep or a bad batch. You can sometimes spot this out in a dark room by shining a bright flashlight (torch) across the surfaces.

Are there any young children in the house? Many years back the horrible smell was eventually found to be a toy that had fallen behind the stove and its heatshield.
Many thanks, no smoke, but surely if the paint was a bad batch it shouldn't get worse. Will try that test though, but what am I looking for?

No definitely no toys or anything behind it!
 

captainmouselung

New Member
May 9, 2019
11
staffs
Could it be that someone thinks cleaning the stove with furniture polish is a good idea?
Good thought, I think I once put linseed oil on it when I was doing the hearth - no idea why just had loads of excess so rubbed it on the stove, but this would have long since burned off surely, this was ages ago.
 

captainmouselung

New Member
May 9, 2019
11
staffs
I have the exact same problem. 3 seasons of heavy burning now and no improvement. There's another thread on here from a user called Mincus, he went through a huge ordeal but never got to the bottom of it and then disappeared probably from going inaane:
https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/smell-wont-go-away-on-new-stove.159867/

Seems You me and him are perhaps the only people on this earth with this problem.

The salesperson suggested the cause may be VOC's from paint on the wall and roof "off gassing" which seems implausible. the source of the smell definitely seems to be coming off the stove itself when it gets above a certain temperature.
Thank u, yes the same, that smell is definitely either coming from the outer or inner stove for sure, you can smell it so much stronger the closer you get to the top of the stove. It's completely bizarre and getting worse so can only thing it's some kind of build up inside, but that doesn't make much sense either!
 

Ludlow

Minister of Fire
Jun 4, 2018
1,061
PA
Good thought, I think I once put linseed oil on it when I was doing the hearth - no idea why just had loads of excess so rubbed it on the stove, but this would have long since burned off surely, this was ages ago.
No the greatest idea you ever had. Linseed oil has a high boiling point and will not burn off easily.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,104
South Puget Sound, WA
Good thought, I think I once put linseed oil on it when I was doing the hearth - no idea why just had loads of excess so rubbed it on the stove, but this would have long since burned off surely, this was ages ago.
Maybe not if the linseed oil acted as a slow solvent on the underlying paint.
 

Ludlow

Minister of Fire
Jun 4, 2018
1,061
PA
Linseed oil boils at 650 degrees. It will not burn off under normal operating temps. At least not very fast. Good call BG on it acting as a solvent on the paint. I bet this is the culprit. Maybe try to degrease the metal with denatured alcohol and see if it improves. Do a test in an inconspicous place first. Dont operate the stove until completely dry!
 
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Massport

New Member
May 11, 2019
3
Christchurch, New Zealand
Thank u, yes the same, that smell is definitely either coming from the outer or inner stove for sure, you can smell it so much stronger the closer you get to the top of the stove. It's completely bizarre and getting worse so can only thing it's some kind of build up inside, but that doesn't make much sense either!
Do you notice the smell getting worse as the fire gets hotter?
 
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captainmouselung

New Member
May 9, 2019
11
staffs
Linseed oil boils at 650 degrees. It will not burn off under normal operating temps. At least not very fast. Good call BG on it acting as a solvent on the paint. I bet this is the culprit. Maybe try to degrease the metal with denatured alcohol and see if it improves. Do a test in an inconspicous place first. Dont operate the stove until completely dry!
Thank you, will try this, what's denatured alcohol and where could I get that? Many thanks for help!
 

Ludlow

Minister of Fire
Jun 4, 2018
1,061
PA
Its all experimental, but I would just wet wipe it and keep using clean rags or towels. Whats left will dry pretty fast. Better try an inconspicuous spot. Dont know if it might remove the paint altogether. No guarantees here. Just a suggestion you can try.
 
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captainmouselung

New Member
May 9, 2019
11
staffs
Its all experimental, but I would just wet wipe it and keep using clean rags or towels. Whats left will dry pretty fast. Better try an inconspicuous spot. Dont know if it might remove the paint altogether. No guarantees here. Just a suggestion you can try.
Ok thank you
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,163
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
@Jan Pijpelink - What do you think about linseed oil interacting with stove paint?


We could actually test this- paint a little piece of sheet metal with stovebrite, heat it to 600 a half dozen times, rub it down with linseed, heat it to 600 a few more times, see if it stinks.


Even if your paint is somehow ruined, you can just sand down a stove and repaint it. It's work but it doesn't cost much.
 
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