Smell won't go away on new stove

tpenny67

New Member
Dec 17, 2016
82
New England
So, you're thinking that the draft is weak, so smoke is coming out of the top of the stove? It seems that most of the smell comes out of the sides of the top section of the step-top stove.
I'm not sure about the smoke in the house theory. Assuming you have anything resembling a good draft, any leaks should result in air being pulled into the stove. I have run an old, non-airtight stove that would light up the cabin at night with light leaking out of the cracks and gaps and even with a short single wall chimney it didn't let smoke in once past the initial kindling stage.

When I have seen smoke come into the house due to a draft problem, it's been very obvious and out the air intake. If you can feel/hear air being pulled into the intake, it's also getting sucked in anywhere else. And if the wind is interrupting the draft, you should see a dramatic change in how the fire is burning at the same time.

If the smell is coming out of the convection chamber, then we're back to the dust theory. This stove was a floor model, no? I'm wondering if it has a couple years worth of accumulation in a hard to reach location. Is there anyway you can take a peak inside with mirrors and a bright light? I'm thinking the "mirror on a stick" sold in auto parts stores might be useful here.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,189
Indiana
I'm not sure about the smoke in the house theory. Assuming you have anything resembling a good draft, any leaks should result in air being pulled into the stove. I have run an old, non-airtight stove that would light up the cabin at night with light leaking out of the cracks and gaps and even with a short single wall chimney it didn't let smoke in once past the initial kindling stage.

When I have seen smoke come into the house due to a draft problem, it's been very obvious and out the air intake. If you can feel/hear air being pulled into the intake, it's also getting sucked in anywhere else. And if the wind is interrupting the draft, you should see a dramatic change in how the fire is burning at the same time.

If the smell is coming out of the convection chamber, then we're back to the dust theory. This stove was a floor model, no? I'm wondering if it has a couple years worth of accumulation in a hard to reach location. Is there anyway you can take a peak inside with mirrors and a bright light? I'm thinking the "mirror on a stick" sold in auto parts stores might be useful here.
I'm not referring to straight wood smoke. This "sweet" smell or BBQ smell is exhaust that has passed through the combustion system. Typically anyway...
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,189
Indiana
How are the windows In your house? When I first bought my house the windows weren't sealing up well and smoke would get drawn in the windows in the outlying rooms.
 
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webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,189
Indiana
How are the windows In your house? When I first bought my house the windows weren't sealing up well and smoke would get drawn in the windows in the outlying rooms.
I forgot you said that you can smell it at the stove. Nonetheless, there's a few threads a season with folks saying they have a sweet or BBQ smell coming from the stove. It's typically a cat or downdraft stove though.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
885
Iowa
Just another thought. My cap exhausts above a corner install (S.E. corner of house) that means the smoke actually is released below the roof ridge line. Also means my original masonry chimney going up through the ridge line sometimes sucks stove smoke, creo smell back into the house. If the wind is correct smoke,creo. smell can even re-enter the house via the back door being opened. Naturally this occurred Xmas morning as my daughters family came indoors.... Very odd deal. Odd deal that likely is un-related to your case. You may give your setup a look and consider if exhaust could possibly be re-entering/sucked back into the house. I bought another 2 foot section of class A to play with elevating the exhaust height. So far it is still sitting next to the couch un-installed. Duh :rolleyes:
 

mincus

New Member
Oct 28, 2016
48
Missouri
So, I took off the back cover to look into the chamber at the top of the stove. There are two air vents that you can feel air coming out of (while it's burning) on the front of the stove at the "step." I think this is normal and it's supposed to pull air up and out in this way. Anyways, that location seems to be where I get the strongest smell.
IMG_20170212_151931.jpg
I was hoping I would take it off and see some melted toy some kid stuck in there while it was on the floor of the store for two years. Unfortunately, it wasn't that easy. I have a few questions though.

1. Biggest question: Is there supposed to be a weld where the pipe (I'm sorry, don't know the correct terms for these parts) comes through the thick steel? There are welds everywhere else, but it seems odd that there wouldn't be one there.
IMG_20170212_150823.jpg
Here's a view from the inside top. As you can see, no weld on top or bottom.
IMG_20170212_152752.jpg

2. The welds that are not painted have a pretty rusted color to them. Is this normal for non-painted areas?
IMG_20170212_150546.jpg

3. On the top, there are hundreds of little beads. It looks to me like leftovers from the welding. I'm assuming there's no issue here, but figured I'd ask. You may need to click on thumbnail to see it bigger.
IMG_20170212_151033.jpg

Unfortunately, we're still waiting for them to have availability to check it out.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,013
South Puget Sound, WA
Was this stove repaired at some point? It seems a little odd that nothing is painted back there. I would not expect to see the raw welds and smoke marks, but I haven't taken the back off of a Quad and maybe that's how they ship them now.
 

mincus

New Member
Oct 28, 2016
48
Missouri
Was this stove repaired at some point? It seems a little odd that nothing is painted back there. I would not expect to see the raw welds and smoke marks, but I haven't taken the back off of a Quad and maybe that's how they ship them now.
Not as far as I know. It was a floor model that they told me was on the floor for a couple of years, but never used.

Do you have any idea if there should be a weld around that pipe coming out of the top of the firebox? That's the only thing that stands out to me as a bit odd.
 

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,536
Indiana
Somebody is lying...that stove has been repaired. I studied metallurgy for a few years and welded professionally for a number more in a manufacturing environment. That welding job was done after the fact. They did not completely clean the original fillet weld out to my eye and rolled the new weld...the dots are welding splatter..that in its self is not a issue but once again it points to being welded after the fact as everything is usually media blasted for final prep prior to painting..I don't like the smell of this...pun intended.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,189
Indiana
Somebody is lying...that stove has been repaired. I studied metallurgy for a few years and welded professionally for a number more in a manufacturing environment. That welding job was done after the fact. They did not completely clean the original fillet weld out to my eye and rolled the new weld...the dots are welding splatter..that in its self is not a issue but once again it points to being welded after the fact as everything is usually media blasted for final prep prior to painting..I don't like the smell of this...pun intended.
I agree. I'm no welder, but I have my hands on new stoves everyday. I've never seen welder smoke marks on a stove, some splatter on occasion, but typically in areas there's no way you could snap a pic..
 

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,536
Indiana
I agree. I'm no welder, but I have my hands on new stoves everyday. I've never seen welder smoke marks on a stove, some splatter on occasion, but typically in areas there's no way you could snap a pic..
It is possible that this was done before it left the factory after failing inspection...BUT it is awfully sloppy work and should never have left before being cleaned up. As you noted a small amount of welding splatter can be present as it is sometimes impossible to clean it all up...there was no attempt here..I don't like it...
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,189
Indiana
It is possible that this was done before it left the factory after failing inspection...BUT it is awfully sloppy work and should never have left before being cleaned up. As you noted a small amount of welding splatter can be present as it is sometimes impossible to clean it all up...there was no attempt here..I don't like it...
I've seen used stoves be returned to the factory for repair that came back in better condition than that.
 
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mincus

New Member
Oct 28, 2016
48
Missouri
Well, now I really don't know where to go with this, LOL. I will point out that those welds you see are normally hidden behind the back cover and on the top inside of the stove. Would an area like that normally be painted? It's an area that most owner's would never see.

I guess I'm still more concerned with the original issue. Could smoke be leaking where the stove pipe is coming through that top part?

When they take a look at it on Monday, should I bring up the fact that it appears to be repaired? Or that I don't think it should be rusted there? Will those areas rust through before the life of this stove should otherwise be up? Why would a stove like this have been repaired?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,013
South Puget Sound, WA
I have seen how Travis builds and finishes stoves. All surfaces are painted after welding and cleanup. This looks unfinished or a practice stove. I would expect the flue collar pipe to be welded in too.
 

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,536
Indiana
Well, now I really don't know where to go with this, LOL. I will point out that those welds you see are normally hidden behind the back cover and on the top inside of the stove. Would an area like that normally be painted? It's an area that most owner's would never see.

I guess I'm still more concerned with the original issue. Could smoke be leaking where the stove pipe is coming through that top part?

When they take a look at it on Monday, should I bring up the fact that it appears to be repaired? Or that I don't think it should be rusted there? Will those areas rust through before the life of this stove should otherwise be up? Why would a stove like this have been repaired?
I absolutely would bring it up..I think its a bad weld with porosity(void fraction) in it which in turn is allowing a small amount of smoke to escape upon exspansion.I have seen many items rewelded after failing inspection standards. It is very common practice to save the product.
You should not be smelling anything this far in with this stove. If it were me they would be replacing it.You should not be expected to put up with this.
 

tpenny67

New Member
Dec 17, 2016
82
New England
I have seen how Travis builds and finishes stoves. All surfaces are painted after welding and cleanup. This looks unfinished or a practice stove. I would expect the flue collar pipe to be welded in too.
Makes me wonder if there was a reason this stove was a floor model. Could this have been a reject that was never intended to be burned? Just wild speculation on my part.

Speaking of Travis, my Lopi does have one or two pieces of welding wire still sticking out of a couple welds in the firebox. They're not anyplace you can see them normally, but if you're running a bare hand around the stove you'll get poked, which is how I found out in the first place.
 

mincus

New Member
Oct 28, 2016
48
Missouri
I absolutely would bring it up..I think its a bad weld with porosity(void fraction) in it which in turn is allowing a small amount of smoke to escape upon exspansion.I have seen many items rewelded after failing inspection standards. It is very common practice to save the product.
You should not be smelling anything this far in with this stove. If it were me they would be replacing it.You should not be expected to put up with this.
That definitely could be. I wonder if that would have anything to do with (what I think is) excessive creaking and cracking from the stove whenever it's burning (there's a video in an earlier post).

Makes me wonder if there was a reason this stove was a floor model. Could this have been a reject that was never intended to be burned? Just wild speculation on my part.
Could be. I'm just hoping they don't try to convince me that this is all perfectly normal. That was their first reaction to the smell issue. I don't think I'll ever burn the stove again in this condition. The smell is that bad and worrisome.
 

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,536
Indiana
That definitely could be. I wonder if that would have anything to do with (what I think is) excessive creaking and cracking from the stove whenever it's burning (there's a video in an earlier post).



Could be. I'm just hoping they don't try to convince me that this is all perfectly normal. That was their first reaction to the smell issue. I don't think I'll ever burn the stove again in this condition. The smell is that bad and worrisome.
I wouldn't accept anything less than them replacing the stove or refunding my money. The stove is not right regardless of cause. I am funny like that when I don't get what I paid for. Stand your ground on this one.
 

mincus

New Member
Oct 28, 2016
48
Missouri
I wouldn't accept anything less than them replacing the stove or refunding my money. The stove is not right regardless of cause. I am funny like that when I don't get what I paid for. Stand your ground on this one.
Totally agree with you. I just know they're going to want to "fix" it first. Unfortunately I don't know if the rusting and lack of weld around the pipe is normal. I'm assuming they're going to try to convince me it is. And that they're the experts. I also am not quite sure what the smell is. Although I'm increasingly convinced that it's smoke from the firebox. If that's the case, that should be all the evidence I need to get it fully replaced. Of course, they'll probably try to convince me it's due to a bad draft of something. I don't know, maybe I'm being too pessimistic. But, the first time I contacted them about the smell, they tried to convince me it's normal. I told them if their store smelled as strongly as my stove does, they would never sell a single stove.

Unfortunately I can't find any pictures online of that location on other quadrafire stoves to compare.
 

Corey

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
2,423
Midwest
...1. Biggest question: Is there supposed to be a weld where the pipe (I'm sorry, don't know the correct terms for these parts) comes through the thick steel? There are welds everywhere else, but it seems odd that there wouldn't be one there.
View attachment 194600
Here's a view from the inside top. As you can see, no weld on top or bottom.
View attachment 194602

2. The welds that are not painted have a pretty rusted color to them. Is this normal for non-painted areas?
View attachment 194599

3. On the top, there are hundreds of little beads. It looks to me like leftovers from the welding. I'm assuming there's no issue here, but figured I'd ask. You may need to click on thumbnail to see it bigger.
View attachment 194601
If that is the actual pipe carrying flue gas/smoke out of the stove, then YES, it should ABSOLUTELY be welded to the top of the firebox.
So, I took off the back cover to look into the chamber at the top of the stove. There are two air vents that you can feel air coming out of (while it's burning) on the front of the stove at the "step." I think this is normal and it's supposed to pull air up and out in this way. Anyways, that location seems to be where I get the strongest smell.
View attachment 194598
I was hoping I would take it off and see some melted toy some kid stuck in there while it was on the floor of the store for two years. Unfortunately, it wasn't that easy. I have a few questions though.

1. Biggest question: Is there supposed to be a weld where the pipe (I'm sorry, don't know the correct terms for these parts) comes through the thick steel? There are welds everywhere else, but it seems odd that there wouldn't be one there.
View attachment 194600
Here's a view from the inside top. As you can see, no weld on top or bottom.
View attachment 194602

2. The welds that are not painted have a pretty rusted color to them. Is this normal for non-painted areas?
View attachment 194599

3. On the top, there are hundreds of little beads. It looks to me like leftovers from the welding. I'm assuming there's no issue here, but figured I'd ask. You may need to click on thumbnail to see it bigger.
View attachment 194601

Unfortunately, we're still waiting for them to have availability to check it out.
I can not imagine ANY reason there would NOT be a weld at the pipe joint you mention. That is the actual flue pipe connected to the firebox at the top the stove, correct? ...not some shield or cover or the flue pipe-to-outer-shell joint?

When I converted my stove from a 'slammer' with a rectangle outlet to a full-lined stove with a 6" flue outlet, I welded that pipe on both the inside and outside of the firebox. The only thing I could possibly think of would be if it happened to be a tight press fit, so the factory could save $1.50 on welding it or if it had some unseen gasket somewhere.

Regarding the welds you found, that yellow-white powder is typically a sign of stick welding or flux core wire welding. The 'hundreds of little weld beads' is also somewhat indicative of stick welding - you get a lot of weld spatter. Though it also suggests the weld parameters were off - likely the weld was too hot causing the spatter instead of the metal laying down in a nice pool.

Either way, it seems a bit fishy to me. Any modern production line is geared for speed and efficiency. Stick welding, flux core and a bunch of weld spatter would not typically be in line with speed/efficiency. I suspect at a minimum they would be doing MIG welds and if I had to do it, I would do spray-arc MIG to boost the welding / metal deposition rates even more - that would leave a very clean weld, no spatter and no 'dust'.
 

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,536
Indiana
If that is the actual pipe carrying flue gas/smoke out of the stove, then YES, it should ABSOLUTELY be welded to the top of the firebox.


I can not imagine ANY reason there would NOT be a weld at the pipe joint you mention. That is the actual flue pipe connected to the firebox at the top the stove, correct? ...not some shield or cover or the flue pipe-to-outer-shell joint?

When I converted my stove from a 'slammer' with a rectangle outlet to a full-lined stove with a 6" flue outlet, I welded that pipe on both the inside and outside of the firebox. The only thing I could possibly think of would be if it happened to be a tight press fit, so the factory could save $1.50 on welding it or if it had some unseen gasket somewhere.

Regarding the welds you found, that yellow-white powder is typically a sign of stick welding or flux core wire welding. The 'hundreds of little weld beads' is also somewhat indicative of stick welding - you get a lot of weld spatter. Though it also suggests the weld parameters were off - likely the weld was too hot causing the spatter instead of the metal laying down in a nice pool.

Either way, it seems a bit fishy to me. Any modern production line is geared for speed and efficiency. Stick welding, flux core and a bunch of weld spatter would not typically be in line with speed/efficiency. I suspect at a minimum they would be doing MIG welds and if I had to do it, I would do spray-arc MIG to boost the welding / metal deposition rates even more - that would leave a very clean weld, no spatter and no 'dust'.
It appeared to me that it is flux-core...a technique reserved for outdoor windy/conditions...this doesn't add up to me.
 

Wilbursan

Member
Jan 29, 2014
114
Upper Alabama
I've got a Quad 3100 Millennium. I just stuck a flashlight in the back to see what I could see and my welds don't look much better than yours. There is some slight rusting so they weren't painted after the weld. I don't see a bunch of little beads but then I can only see the back. I can't quite see where the back plate meets the top to inspect the weld. It looks like there's actually a small cover spot welded over that join so even if I take the back cover off I probably still couldn't see it.

As for the pinging, mine pings quite a lot and just as loud. It will stop for a while when the temperature is stable, say an hour or so after loading, then starts pinging again as it slowly cools. On rare occassions I'll hear a loud ping. But other than the first 2-3 fires when the paint cures or the first annual light-up when the dust burns off I've never smelled a thing.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,163
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
It appeared to me that it is flux-core...a technique reserved for outdoor windy/conditions...this doesn't add up to me.
Why do you say that?

I can see that it's stick welded, but what are you looking at that says 'flux core' to you?

(I am learning welding basics, sorry for the slightly off topic question. :). )