CO and Smoke Alarm Set off on second fire with Drolet 1800 Insert

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tristan15

New Member
Mar 18, 2022
8
North Carolina
Hello,

I have a Drolet 1800 escape insert into an existing CMU and brick chimney. The installation was done with a chimney sweeping company. I am doing my second fire now (top to bottom, no smoke), the paint smell has been pretty strong which is to be expected.
The fire is currently going strong, unit is hot, door is closed, air control is maybe at 30 to 50% open.

To my surprise, both the CO detector and Smoke detector have been going off. There is absolutely no visible smoke. The fire is still going strong.

Is it possible that the paint off gases would trigger both of these alarms? I am obviously very worried and have opened all windows and doors as soon as this occurred.

Thank you for your help.
 
Last edited:

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
98,081
South Puget Sound, WA
The paint is offgassing as it bakes in. This will get better with each hot fire and should be all done soon.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,483
Long Island NY
Probably. But don't assume this is going to be the case on your fourth burn or so...
 
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tristan15

New Member
Mar 18, 2022
8
North Carolina
The paint is offgassing as it bakes in. This will get better with each hot fire and should be all done soon.
Thank you, that's good to know. I still went ahead and ordered a more accurate CO meter from Klein that will display the PPM.

Safety is my main concern. Do you know if my basic smoke alarm and CO alarm should be replaced now, is there any chance that this paint off gassing would have messed with their sensor and their ability to work properly going forward?

Thanks!
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,483
Long Island NY
The alarms should not need replacing.

The smell can reappear any time a higher temperature of the stove is reached. So following any break in procedure in the manual, and ending with a hot fire, should get rid of the smell.
 

Corey

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
2,775
Midwest
I would generally say 'possible' and likely related to the burning paint. I think others may disagree, but it's been my experience that cheap / general / consumer use 'CO detectors' can detect a range of flammable gases or hydrocarbon vapors - CO is also a flammable gas, so same category. Certainly you can get scientific grade instruments which are exclusively sensitive to CO. But in a home environment, it's typically not worth that expense - and detecting flammable gas/vapors is not necessarily a bad thing.

On the smoke side, if you have an ionization-type smoke detector, these are often the most sensitive and will react to very low levels of particulate matter- and would also be consistent with your 'no visible smoke' statement. Photoelectric smoke detectors often do need a slight amount of visible 'haze' in the air (still may not be visible to the human eye) - but they do tend to be less sensitive
overall.

If you have the option, a good, hot burn on a day when you can open windows would be good to help speed up the 'bake-off' process.
 

tristan15

New Member
Mar 18, 2022
8
North Carolina
I would generally say 'possible' and likely related to the burning paint. I think others may disagree, but it's been my experience that cheap / general / consumer use 'CO detectors' can detect a range of flammable gases or hydrocarbon vapors - CO is also a flammable gas, so same category. Certainly you can get scientific grade instruments which are exclusively sensitive to CO. But in a home environment, it's typically not worth that expense - and detecting flammable gas/vapors is not necessarily a bad thing.

On the smoke side, if you have an ionization-type smoke detector, these are often the most sensitive and will react to very low levels of particulate matter- and would also be consistent with your 'no visible smoke' statement. Photoelectric smoke detectors often do need a slight amount of visible 'haze' in the air (still may not be visible to the human eye) - but they do tend to be less sensitive
overall.

If you have the option, a good, hot burn on a day when you can open windows would be good to help speed up the 'bake-off' process.
Thank you very much for your answer. That is why I am doing today, burning a hot fire and opening my garage and windows to try and get through that curing process. I spoke to Drolet and they mentioned that 24 hours of use is typically what it takes to cure the paint and get rid of the smell.
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,949
Wisconsin Dells, WI
I have one of these plugged in right above nearest heat register. You may want to get something similar so it's detecting 24/7 vs when you choose to.

Amazon product
 

RomanW

Member
Thank you, that's good to know. I still went ahead and ordered a more accurate CO meter from Klein that will display the PPM.

Safety is my main concern. Do you know if my basic smoke alarm and CO alarm should be replaced now, is there any chance that this paint off gassing would have messed with their sensor and their ability to work properly going forward?

Thanks!
My 1800 freestanding is doing the same thing. There are no leaks in the chimney, but the off gas smell is pretty gnarly. It stopped going off after the smell dissipated.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
4,077
SE North Carolina
I never read any CO on my meter during burn in. CO is quite a differ molecule than smoke but the detector may have som cross sensitivity to other VOCs. I did notice one night I sniffed my stove out (closed down too soon) and could smell it in the house. No detectors were going off but I did see CO and VOCs were all 5-8x higher than base line in my air quality meter. If the CO went off at the same time as the smoke and this was during the hottest part of the burn and you could visually see vigorous flames i doubt it was CO in the room. One would expect high CO once draft is week at the end of a burn cycle indicating possible draft reversal.