Smell won't go away on new stove

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,189
Indiana
Will you take a chance on another quad? You could ask for a credit with your dealer and choose another brand.
 
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Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,536
Indiana
Will you take a chance on another quad? You could ask for a credit with your dealer and choose another brand.
Thats exactly what I would want to do..
 

mincus

New Member
Oct 28, 2016
48
Missouri
Will you take a chance on another quad? You could ask for a credit with your dealer and choose another brand.
That was the plan. In looking into this issue quite a bit I haven't come across anyone else with this issue, and I certainly don't see some overwhelming aversion to quads on the forums. Crazy thing is I didn't pay all that much for the stove itself. They had it discounted to half retail price since it was a floor model. So, if I get a credit, I'd end up getting about $1000 towards a new stove. A replacement quad would probably cost $2000 or so new. So, I'm hoping to do a one for one swap. Other than the smell, I really like the stove (although it seems a bit loud to me as it expands/contracts, but other than that I haven't had any issues with it.

Unless someone has a strong reason I should not go for another quad? I know they're not top of the line, but they seem pretty good. They're at least a third of the models on the showroom floor that I bought from.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,189
Indiana
That was the plan. In looking into this issue quite a bit I haven't come across anyone else with this issue, and I certainly don't see some overwhelming aversion to quads on the forums. Crazy thing is I didn't pay all that much for the stove itself. They had it discounted to half retail price since it was a floor model. So, if I get a credit, I'd end up getting about $1000 towards a new stove. A replacement quad would probably cost $2000 or so new. So, I'm hoping to do a one for one swap. Other than the smell, I really like the stove (although it seems a bit loud to me as it expands/contracts, but other than that I haven't had any issues with it.

Unless someone has a strong reason I should not go for another quad? I know they're not top of the line, but they seem pretty good. They're at least a third of the models on the showroom floor that I bought from.
In this instance I would get another quad then.
 

mincus

New Member
Oct 28, 2016
48
Missouri
Company owner came out. He started the fire and waited a while. Towards the beginning of the smell (it starts gradually as the fire gets hotter), he didn't seemed convinced that there was an issue. He told me that was a normal smell and just indicated a fire was burning. He said it was normal to walk into a house and smell that smell, and that's what told you the fire was going. He said his store sometimes smells like that when the fire is burning. I felt like he was trying to set me up to think the smell was totally normal and there wasn't an issue (despite the fact that one of his employees completely agreed it wasn't right).

However, as time went on the smell continued to increase. Even being in there for a couple hours, with the smell gradually increasing, we could still clearly smell it (which is what it's been doing every time we burn it). In other words, you never get "used" to the smell. Often when things smell, you get used to the smell, but in this case, that just doesn't happen. Until I pushed the issue, he didn't really seem super convinced that it should be replaced. I was not happy. But, I continued to tell him this smell wasn't normal and when he realized I wasn't just going to give in, he kind of changed his tune. He described it as a new stove smell, something similar to curing paint, but not quite the same. He gave me several examples of when he's encountered this smell (stove conventions, when they get a new stove in the shop, etc). But every example he gave was in situations with a new stove. When I raised that point, he finally started to agree that it shouldn't be still doing this at this point. Also around this time we noticed that it smelled more away from the stove than right next to it. The entire rest of the house smelled worse than the room with the stove. Not quite sure why, but I thought that was interesting.

Anyways, he burned it really hot for the last couple hours (around 800-900 on the stove top) and asked me to burn it one more time in the next couple of days. If the smell is still there, it sounds like they'll replace it. He also agreed to burn the new stove at his shop all day in order to cure it before putting it in my house.

So, all in all, not an easy fight, but it seems like we're making progress!
 
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RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
896
Whitmore lake
And the saga continues..... you are a patient man.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,022
South Puget Sound, WA
Good to hear that the owner came out and witnessed the problem. It might just be a stove with a bad paint job. Keep us posted.
 

mincus

New Member
Oct 28, 2016
48
Missouri
Just so I make sure I have my info correct: should a properly functioning stove have ANY smell?

The owner indicated multiple times that an everpresent smell is completely normal. He said it's normal to walk into a house and know there's a stove burning just by the smell alone. This didn't seem right to me. One of his other guys said when the stove gets hot, you can sometimes get a "hot stove" smell.

Soooo, I guess my big question is, is there any truth to that at all? I know you might occasionally get a puff of smoke as you open the door, but other than that, should there be any smell whatsoever???
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,022
South Puget Sound, WA
No, a proper functioning stove running under normal condition should not have any smell. There may be a little smoke smell in a stove shop if they are opening stove doors too quickly when burning or have fired up a new stove, but with several different stoves installed in this old house I can not smell stove when I walk in from outdoors.
 

WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
Soooo, I guess my big question is, is there any truth to that at all? I know you might occasionally get a puff of smoke as you open the door, but other than that, should there be any smell whatsoever???
New stoves have a paint cure smell for the first few burns. If the 8th burn is hotter than the seven burns before it, you might smell a little additional paint curing. Other than that, you might smell a slight odor from whatever room dust found its way to hot surfaces. This will occur indefinitely. I imagine it's possible for a defective paint job to continue to smell long past the normal curing process but I've never experienced that.
 

mincus

New Member
Oct 28, 2016
48
Missouri
I burned it one more time tonight, as they requested, and the smell persists. So, I think we're finally headed to new stove territory!
 
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Corey

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
2,423
Midwest
Company owner came out. He started the fire and waited a while. ...

When I raised that point, he finally started to agree that it shouldn't be still doing this at this point. Also around this time we noticed that it smelled more away from the stove than right next to it. The entire rest of the house smelled worse than the room with the stove. Not quite sure why, but I thought that was interesting.

...

So, all in all, not an easy fight, but it seems like we're making progress!

Been following and periodically replying to this thread over the months. Nice to see you're making progress and I really hope the new stove fixes the problem for you! IMHO, normal operation a stove should not really smell at all. You might get a whiff of wood smoke from opening the door, the 'first time of the year' smell, or a bit of a hot smell if you really crank the temp up - but normal operation, it should not smell any more than a gas furnace, which should also have no smell. I've had a few guests come into the front rooms of my house and spend time, then they walk into the family room and are surprised to see a fire going. Maybe they just aren't attentive, but if the 'ol box made much smell, I'd think they would know it.

Your point I have clipped above is interesting - first time I recall reading/you mentioning that the smell is more away from the stove and more in other rooms. I went back and skimmed the whole thread - noticed your original pics. Is there any possibility smoke may be entering the attic space, then get drawn back into the living space, making a smoke smell stronger in other rooms of the house?
 

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,022
South Puget Sound, WA
Is there any possibility smoke may be entering the attic space, then get drawn back into the living space, making a smoke smell stronger in other rooms of the house?
Interesting observation. Depending on the prevailing wind direction it might be contributing. Closing off that vent as a test is one way to tell.
 

mincus

New Member
Oct 28, 2016
48
Missouri
Been following and periodically replying to this thread over the months. Nice to see you're making progress and I really hope the new stove fixes the problem for you! IMHO, normal operation a stove should not really smell at all. You might get a whiff of wood smoke from opening the door, the 'first time of the year' smell, or a bit of a hot smell if you really crank the temp up - but normal operation, it should not smell any more than a gas furnace, which should also have no smell. I've had a few guests come into the front rooms of my house and spend time, then they walk into the family room and are surprised to see a fire going. Maybe they just aren't attentive, but if the 'ol box made much smell, I'd think they would know it.

Your point I have clipped above is interesting - first time I recall reading/you mentioning that the smell is more away from the stove and more in other rooms. I went back and skimmed the whole thread - noticed your original pics. Is there any possibility smoke may be entering the attic space, then get drawn back into the living space, making a smoke smell stronger in other rooms of the house?
Good thought, but no, that isn't the issue. I like the drawing though :) I know it's not the issue since you can smell the smell coming right off of the stove as it is burning. It smells pretty strongly right above the stove. It does seem to "settle" in the cooler areas of the house. The stove dealer said it's the same smell he got when curing a new stove at their shop. And he noticed that when he walked in the front door (not near the stove), that's where it smelled the strongest.
 

mincus

New Member
Oct 28, 2016
48
Missouri
Ok, so I went in to pick out a new stove today. The store owner had a very different tune with me. He was apologetic and very much "we'll do anything to make it right." Up to this point, I was often made to feel as though it's normal and I should just accept it. He even offered to give me a more expensive stove without charging anything additional, and apparently that will come out of his pocket. It made me feel like something was up and I wasn't getting the whole story. As though quadrafire knew there was an issue and they really didn't want me to make a bigger deal out of it, so they'll do anything to make me happy? I don't know, it was weird.

Anyways, it seems I have a few different choices. They don't make the 3100 step top anymore, so following are my choices and I'd like some input if anyone has words of wisdom:
1. Quadrafire Explorer II. A slightly bigger stove (mostly wider). I'm not 100% sure this will fit as well into the area (still need to do some measuring). But, out of the options, I think this one is our favorite. We like the traditional look in a stove. One of the reasons I liked the 3100 was that the "emissions" were only 1.1g/hr. This one is 2.2g/hr. Does this really mean anything? Is that a reasonable enough difference to make a decision about it? I'm leaning towards it's not as important as I once thought, but not sure. I would assume there is a decent amount of variability based on many different factors, in other words just because this one is twice as much, doesn't necessarily mean much...thoughts?

2. Quadrafire Discovery II. Basically the same stove as the 3100, but it has a wood storage area underneath. We don't like the look of this one as much, but it's not quite a "girthy" as the explorer II. Plus, I had built our current pad up about 7 inches, and I feel like this one might look a bit weird since the actual stove is up even higher.

3. 3100 model (not step top). Basically the same as our old one, but with a pedastal (we don't like as much) and no step top.

4. Harman TL2.6. This one is likely a no go because the clearances are far too large.

So, we can figure out the logistics of which we like the best in terms of looks. But, does anyone have any experience with any of these they would like to impart?

Thanks all!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,022
South Puget Sound, WA
Sorry you can no longer get the steptop 3100. I like that version. The key differences between the 3100 and the Explorer will be the firebox configuration and the cast iron jacketing on the Explorer. The 3100 has a more square firebox which lends itself better to N/S or E/W loading. The Explorer II firebox is wider but also a bit shallower. The cast iron jacket on the Explorer will soften the heat output from the sides and top a bit better. The cast iron jacket will also act as a heat sink to help reduce room temp swing.

Are Quad and Harman the only stoves this dealer sells?
 

mincus

New Member
Oct 28, 2016
48
Missouri
Sorry you can no longer get the steptop 3100. I like that version. The key differences between the 3100 and the Explorer will be the firebox configuration and the cast iron jacketing on the Explorer. The 3100 has a more square firebox which lends itself better to N/S or E/W loading. The Explorer II firebox is wider but also a bit shallower. The cast iron jacket on the Explorer will soften the heat output from the sides and top a bit better. The cast iron jacket will also act as a heat sink to help reduce room temp swing.

Are Quad and Harman the only stoves this dealer sells?
I think we're leaning towards the explorer II, as long as it will fit well in our space. Unfortunately I had built out setup for the 3100 model thinking it would be 20-30 years before we would ever consider replacing. I did build with some extra space because the distance to combustibles numbers just seemed too low to me (and that I'm neurotic like that :) The explorer is slightly wider, but the distances are also a little bit less. I guess I just don't like it being closer to the wall than it has to be.

The dealer does sell other stoves, but these three were the "choices" I had. The dealer did say that he was getting a credit from quad, so I guess there's no reason I couldn't do another stove if I wanted. I hadn't really looked at the other options too closely, but from what I quickly saw, I think all the others are either inserts or smaller stoves than what we're looking for.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,163
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Good to hear that the owner came out and witnessed the problem. It might just be a stove with a bad paint job. Keep us posted.
He said it was a display.

Any chance it was a non-burning display and the stove shop cleaned, painted, or polished it with something that doesn't usually go on stoves?

I like this theory except that I can't think of what they could have put on that didn't burn off after a winter of stove temperatures. Maybe a silicon-based polish of some kind? Or maybe the smell comes from a part of the stove that never gets very hot, so it doesn't ever cook off?

Hm. Got nothin'. :)
 

mincus

New Member
Oct 28, 2016
48
Missouri
He said it was a display.

Any chance it was a non-burning display and the stove shop cleaned, painted, or polished it with something that doesn't usually go on stoves?

I like this theory except that I can't think of what they could have put on that didn't burn off after a winter of stove temperatures. Maybe a silicon-based polish of some kind? Or maybe the smell comes from a part of the stove that never gets very hot, so it doesn't ever cook off?

Hm. Got nothin'. :)
Yeah, me neither. I've been trying to figure it out all winter!
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,163
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Interesting observation. Depending on the prevailing wind direction it might be contributing. Closing off that vent as a test is one way to tell.
Ohh! You know what smells funny and unpleasant and not at all like woodsmoke?

Cat fumes!

How about this: flue gasses are being recirculated at concentrations that you can barely smell, but not enough to set off CO detectors?

I suggest you go up on the roof and sniff the flue pipe when the cat is active, and see if it might be the same odor you have in the house. (I also suggest you check your CO alarms.)
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,022
South Puget Sound, WA
The Quad 3100 is a non-cat stove.
 

tpenny67

New Member
Dec 17, 2016
82
New England
He said it was a display.

Any chance it was a non-burning display and the stove shop cleaned, painted, or polished it with something that doesn't usually go on stoves?

I like this theory except that I can't think of what they could have put on that didn't burn off after a winter of stove temperatures. Maybe a silicon-based polish of some kind? Or maybe the smell comes from a part of the stove that never gets very hot, so it doesn't ever cook off?

Hm. Got nothin'. :)
I got a Quadra 4300 about the same time as Mincus got his new stove. When they installed it they gave the connector and stove top a liberal spray of touch-up paint. It took quite some time for the smell to go away on mine, so I can believe the theory that the display model got a fresh coat of paint and that contributed to the problem. Especially if they put a heavy layer on a cooler part of the stove, that wouldn't even start to smell until the stove had burned hot for a long time and would take forever to cure.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,163
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
I got a Quadra 4300 about the same time as Mincus got his new stove. When they installed it they gave the connector and stove top a liberal spray of touch-up paint. It took quite some time for the smell to go away on mine, so I can believe the theory that the display model got a fresh coat of paint and that contributed to the problem. Especially if they put a heavy layer on a cooler part of the stove, that wouldn't even start to smell until the stove had burned hot for a long time and would take forever to cure.
And maybe it's not stove paint- maybe somebody touched up a cooler part of the stove with Rustoleum or something.

Hm, going down that road... maybe the flue pipe has something other than stove paint on the outside. The smell coming from higher up might explain why it smells less near the stove?

I guess if the new stove has the same problem we'll know where to look! ;)