Bad smell

Bad smell

PostBy: stakirk On: Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:04 pm

Hi all. I was directed to this forum from another one - hopefully someone here can help me out.

We purchased a Hitzer 30-95 last year and used it last winter with no problems. This year we are having trouble with it going out and smelling up the house. It isn't a sulphur smell, its more of a "chemical fume" smell. It is also not the horrible smell we got the first few times we used the stove which I am told was the smell of the new paint burning. Yuck. We have a CO detector installed in the same room as the stove and it have never gone off. I live in central NY and we have been experiencing an unseasonably warm winter so far and it was suggested that his could be contributing to the problem. I am ready to yank the thing out and install electric baseboard heat.

The stove is installed in the lower level of out raised-ranch house with the factory-specified 6" pipe through the masonry wall and then 12" triple-wall chimney outside. We do not have a damper on the pipe inside. The seals on the doors all look fine.

We are burning chestnut size anthracite coal - same as last year.

Any help will be greatly appreciated!
stakirk
 

PostBy: bksaun On: Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:36 pm

Sounds like you need to check the chimney for obstructions, if you have not done so already.Could be anything from fly ash to a nest of some sort.

My dealer has that same stove in use to heat the shop and his works fine.

If it worked OK last year there is no reason it should not work the same this year.

BK
bksaun
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Hybrid, Gentleman Janitor GJ-6RSU/ EFM 700
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503
Coal Size/Type: Pea Stoker/Bit, Pea or Nut Anthracite
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer/ EFM-Gentleman Janitor
Stove/Furnace Model: 503 Insert/ 700/GJ-62

PostBy: BinghamtonNY On: Tue Dec 19, 2006 5:19 pm

I get a similiar smell on very warm days. It's been very warm lately here in upstate NY. Check for obstructions too.
BinghamtonNY
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Magnum Stoker


Re: Bad smell

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Dec 19, 2006 5:30 pm

stakirk wrote:The stove is installed in the lower level of out raised-ranch house with the factory-specified 6" pipe through the masonry wall and then 12" triple-wall chimney outside.


The stack is 12" or you have 12' above your stove in chimney height? Either of these could be your problem. It has been very warm lately and that sours a draft. It is considerably colder tonight and if your problem is clearing up you need more draft. 60F is about the limit for a lot of hand fired appliances unless you have a nice tall chimney.

Once had trouble with a blocked chimney, it was a not very happy racoon.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: stakirk On: Tue Dec 19, 2006 7:00 pm

The stack is 12" diameter and there is at least 12' above stove height. The stove is in the lower level of a raised ranch and the stack goes to about 18" above the roof of the house.

I made my DH empty it out completely and we have an electric heater going down there now.

He thinks the problem is that he has been trying to keep the fire down because everyone was complaining that it was too hot downstairs. It was over 90 degrees in the family room! I know, what a bunch of whineasses.

I told him if I have to choose between suffocating from the heat and living with the constant smell and headaches then I choose getting rid of it. How do we control the heat being put out by this thing?
stakirk
 

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Dec 19, 2006 7:43 pm

Sounds like you don't have enough chimney for the warm weather. I think Anthracite wants one about 20-25' min @ 60F.

Anyone that burns Anthracite should gauge the draft, as it is more important as the weather is warmer and the fire is turned down. This stuff doesn't like running on low, it's purebred and wants to run. That's when it's happy (and you will be too).
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Dec 19, 2006 7:51 pm

If you want to reduce the heat output of your stove, you may try reducing the size of the firebox. There have been a few threads on this subject.

Depending on your shaker grate design, you may be able to put a steel plate over part of the grates, completely blocking the grate and the air coming through the grate.

Create a 'wall' of firebrick dividing the unused [blocked] portion of the firebox from the new smaller firebox. Make the 'wall' of firebrick as high as the current firebrick on the sides of the firebox. You may have to stack some supporting brick behind the wall.

Heat output from a coal fire is from the square inches of firebox, The duration of burn is determined by the depth of the coal fire.

In the photo below you can see my moveable back 'wall' of my firebox. It has a steel framework behind the firebrick. I reduce my firebox size by 50%-75% depending on the heat output desired. The wall rests on the steel plate that block the rear, unused portion of the firebox. You can see this steel plate just over the grate in the photo.

Do a search for 'reduced firebox' and I believe you will find the threads on the subject.

Hope this helps, Greg L
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LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

PostBy: EasyRay On: Tue Dec 19, 2006 7:56 pm

I have a Harmon TLC 2000 manual loader and can burn the stuff in 70 degree weather and I don't get any odor. I can do this because I have a good draft and I can still keep the heat down, plus I do open windows and doors. * To lazy for a restart *
Sounds like a blockage somewhere or a draft problem of some sort. My chimney comes up through the lowest portion of the roof but rises to 3 feet above the height of the peak.

I hope you solve your problem.

Regards, Ray
EasyRay
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman TLC 2000
Coal Size/Type: Pea,Nut or Stove

PostBy: stakirk On: Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:17 am

Thanks everone.

We have let the stove go out and have cleaned it out. We are going to check the chimney this weekend for blockage and give it a good clean-out. I have a feeling a lot of our trouble has been the warm weather and trying to keep it burning at a lower temp. We were not aware that we shouldn't use the stove if outside temps are warmer.

Oh, and to confim our chimney is (I'm estimating) at least 20' high. I'll have to measure to be sure, maybe adding another section to it wouldn't hurt?

Thanks again - you guys have been very helpful!
stakirk
 

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:14 am

stakirk wrote:Oh, and to confim our chimney is (I'm estimating) at least 20' high. I'll have to measure to be sure, maybe adding another section to it wouldn't hurt?


Try to remember your home itself is a chimney and will compete for draft with the stove. Depending on placment of the chimney, it's height and the overall shape of the home and it's height, and even prevailing wind conditions in your area will have a significant impact on your draft. I am big on tall chimneys especially with Anthracite. Another 5-6 feet could bring your draft up a point or two.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: Berlin On: Wed Dec 20, 2006 4:23 pm

definately add another section or two if possible, also it would be ideal to build an insulated chase, having an all-metal exterior chimney just adds to the potential for problems.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal