Sulfur Smell in house

Re: Sulfur Smell

PostBy: jpen1 On: Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:15 pm

Like Flyer has said the important draft reading is the overfire draft in the stove body itself. You can have a good draft reading in your pipe and still have a poor reading in the combustion area of the stove. It is possible to have a sulfur odor(sulfur dioxide) and have no CO present. However the sulfur smell is usually a precursor to the eventual release of CO. In any case the draft in the stove is to low to overcome the air volume created by both combustion fans and needs to be checked and corrected immediately.
jpen1
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: 110 Boiler

Re: Sulfur Smell

PostBy: coal berner On: Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:35 pm

jpen1 wrote:Like Flyer has said the important draft reading is the overfire draft in the stove body itself. You can have a good draft reading in your pipe and still have a poor reading in the combustion area of the stove. It is possible to have a sulfur odor(sulfur dioxide) and have no CO present. However the sulfur smell is usually a precursor to the eventual release of CO. In any case the draft in the stove is to low to overcome the air volume created by both combustion fans and needs to be checked and corrected immediately.

I think he my of found his problem with the draft However if the coal is high in sulphur content even having the best drafting chimney and stove will not always get rid of the sulphur smell a shitty vein of coal is still a shitty vein of coal.

Don't worry about me, I'm not dead yet. Still have the smell, but I just shut the stoker down. I think it's the chimney - I don't have a chimney cap and I had a couple of dead birds at the start of the season so I think they might have a nest in there. I'm going to try and take a look this weekend to see what I have. In regards to the CO detectors though, I have a couple throughout the house and none of them are more than 3 years old so I doubt they are all lying to me. Other than the nasty smell, I've had no indications that there is CO in the house. It doesn't take much of a sulfur odor to stink up a large area so I'm sure the presence of the actual exhaust gases is minimal. Thanks for the input though and I'll let you know if I find something in the chimney
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: Sulfur Smell

PostBy: pconn171 On: Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:34 pm

I didn't get a chance to look in the chimney this weekend so I'm just running on one stoker. I will say that I almost ran out of coal in the hopper to the point that I could see the light from the fire when looking down into the hopper and there was no sulfur smell at all. The tells me that the issue is definitely related to draft and most likely a blockage in the chimney considering that I haven't had this in previous years. The other thing is that the Reading stoves seem to be build pretty poorly in that the gasket around the door doesn't even seal properly so you can acutally see the light from the fire around the door perimeter which will obviously be a point of leakage for exhaust. I doubled up the gaskets and the "glow" has reduced quite a bit so the seal should be better, but the door is a bear to close now.
pconn171
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Reading
Stove/Furnace Model: Susquehanna

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Re: Sulfur Smell

PostBy: 009to090 On: Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:43 pm

pconn171 wrote:Reading stoves seem to be build pretty poorly in that the gasket around the door doesn't even seal properly so you can acutally see the light from the fire around the door perimeter which will obviously be a point of leakage for exhaust. I doubled up the gaskets and the "glow" has reduced quite a bit so the seal should be better, but the door is a bear to close now.


That sounds like a warped door.
009to090
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice

Re: Sulfur Smell

PostBy: pconn171 On: Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:03 am

It's not the door that's warped, it's the actual stove body. I'm pretty sure it's been there from the beggining because I can remember seeing the light coming out the first time I lit it. I'm also not even sure that it's warped because if you look at the construction, there's nothing making the door seal flat. It's just welded and appears unfinished (i.e. no machining). I think they weld it together and the piece warps naturally and they do very little to flatten it out.
pconn171
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Reading
Stove/Furnace Model: Susquehanna

Re: Sulfur Smell

PostBy: buck24 On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:18 pm

The brother-in-law bought a Reading Stoker--- Allegheny RS-96S brand new and paid $2400 or $2600 for it. He called me over to check it out before he fired it up. GOOD THING HE DID. I looked at the stove and told him he better not light it. There was a 3/4 inch gap at the top of the door with the door tightly closed. Sides were fine and bottom was fine. It was only the top that had the 3/4inch gap ? The door was fine but the stoves front panel was the problem. Looking at the stove from the side the front panel came up straight for 2/3rds of the panel and then beveled in at the top 1/3rd of the panel. The panel has to be straight for a straight door to seal properly. Now he had a brand new stoker he paid for and couldn't use. Dealer where he bought the stove kept avoiding him and his problem. Finally got through to Reading Stove Company and they sent a rep to his home to check out the problem. Rep said they put the wrong panel on the stove at the factory and couldn't believe nobody picked this up at the factory while welding it or the dealer who sold it. Three days later they deivered him a New Stove and took back the problem stove. So, check that stove good, you may have a similar problem.
buck24
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: New Buck Corp. / MODEL 24 COAL
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Nut / Anthracite

Re: Sulfur Smell

PostBy: pconn171 On: Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:35 pm

So my sulfur smell has returned. It seems that it happens when the stove is on idle and the second stoker is running with it. I have a manometer hooked up and am pulling -.05 in wc and have my blowers running full time - no more tri-burner. This is the first year I've had this new configuration and the first year I've had this much trouble with the odor. In addition to this, I've added a chimney cap. I need input on this because it's really pi$$ing me off at this point. The only way I've been able to beat is so far is by running 1 stoker and taping over the hole for the second blower. Should I try sealing up the barometric damper to get all of the draft through the stove?
pconn171
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Reading
Stove/Furnace Model: Susquehanna

Re: Sulfur Smell

PostBy: coalkirk On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:12 am

pconn171 wrote:So my sulfur smell has returned. It seems that it happens when the stove is on idle and the second stoker is running with it. I have a manometer hooked up and am pulling -.05 in wc and have my blowers running full time - no more tri-burner. This is the first year I've had this new configuration and the first year I've had this much trouble with the odor. In addition to this, I've added a chimney cap. I need input on this because it's really pi$$ing me off at this point. The only way I've been able to beat is so far is by running 1 stoker and taping over the hole for the second blower. Should I try sealing up the barometric damper to get all of the draft through the stove?


Your .05 draft reading I assume is at the vent pipe prior to the barometric damper? Have you taken an over fire draft reading? I'm not familiar with your stove but said it occurs when your second stoker runs. The second stoker probably brings on a second combustion fan which may be over pressurizing the combustion chamber. I don't want to open up the whole sulfer smell debate again but there should not be any sulfur smell unless its when you have the combustion door open briefly.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Sulfur Smell

PostBy: equipmint On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:39 am

Hi I have a Harmon VF 3000 stoker boiler and several times over the last couple years i encountered sulfer smell and had my co alarms sounding. What i found the problem to be was a irregular size piece of coal that was too large for my stoker mechanism to push from the bottom of the hopper where it meets the pusher block onto the burning grates. This created a situation where my stoker pusher block wasnt able to stroke fully forward and backwards leaving a gap for the gases of combustion from the burn bed to come back through my hopper and start to circulate around my basement. Unfortunately about 3 times ive had to remove all the coal from my hopper to physically see where the pusherblock meets the bottom of the hopper and sure enough an odd size piece of coal just sitting their that ive just had to remove. Hope this helps others.
equipmint
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman VF3000

Re: Sulfur Smell

PostBy: pconn171 On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:32 am

coalkirk wrote:Your .05 draft reading I assume is at the vent pipe prior to the barometric damper? Have you taken an over fire draft reading? I'm not familiar with your stove but said it occurs when your second stoker runs. The second stoker probably brings on a second combustion fan which may be over pressurizing the combustion chamber. I don't want to open up the whole sulfer smell debate again but there should not be any sulfur smell unless its when you have the combustion door open briefly.


My draft reading is after the barometric damper and before the chimney (after meaning further from the stove). I just realized how stupid this is...the draft isn't regulated after the barometric damper. Regardless though...I've covered the damper with aluminum foil last night to run with max draft. The baro isn't regulating the draft that much as it is because it doesn't move until the draft reaches .05-.06 and when I checked it this morning, it was .06 and it's 18 degrees out. Although my draft reading is in the wrong spot, it is pretty accurate now that the baro is removed from the equation as it's covered with alum foil.

I believe the second stoker is overpressurizing the combustion chamber, but I don't see how I'm supposed to fix it. My manual says that the draft should be between .04-.06 in wc and in my opinion, this should provide enough "flow" to remove the air being added to the combustion chamber considering that they designed the stove. I am grabbing some fittings from work today to check the pressure in the firebox.
pconn171
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Reading
Stove/Furnace Model: Susquehanna

Re: Sulfur Smell

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:06 am

Yes, please check the over-fire draft. It may be necessary to drill a hole in the stove body/door.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Sulfur Smell

PostBy: Coalfire On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:35 am

pconn171 wrote:
coalkirk wrote:Your .05 draft reading I assume is at the vent pipe prior to the barometric damper? Have you taken an over fire draft reading? I'm not familiar with your stove but said it occurs when your second stoker runs. The second stoker probably brings on a second combustion fan which may be over pressurizing the combustion chamber. I don't want to open up the whole sulfer smell debate again but there should not be any sulfur smell unless its when you have the combustion door open briefly.



I believe the second stoker is overpressurizing the combustion chamber, but I don't see how I'm supposed to fix it. My manual says that the draft should be between .04-.06 in wc and in my opinion, this should provide enough "flow" to remove the air being added to the combustion chamber considering that they designed the stove. I am grabbing some fittings from work today to check the pressure in the firebox.



Look at a harman mag they have simple piece of flat metal over the combustion fan so you can reduce the fire box pressurization. This may not work for you as your fan is integrated with your feed motor correct?


Eric
Coalfire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 96K btu Circulator
Coal Size/Type: Nut

Re: Sulfur Smell

PostBy: pconn171 On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:39 pm

I checked the draft in the firebox and it was, in fact, pressurized. I don't have the metal flaps to regulate the air into the combustion blowers, but I did place some duct tape over the openings to regulate the amount of air. The fire doesn't seem anywhere near as intense which is concerning for me at this point because I use alot of heat here. Does anybody else regulate their air going into the combustion blowers for anything other the controlling clinkers?

On a side note...this is a bit upsetting because I have the proper draft in my chimney according to Reading Stoves. I also have the proper chimney size, but yet I still get a pressurized firebox. Any takers on this one?
pconn171
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Reading
Stove/Furnace Model: Susquehanna

Re: Sulfur Smell

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:05 pm

Is there anyplace that there could be an accumulation of flyash that is blocking the airflow from the firebox to the chimney? An elbow in the bottom of the flue? or a baffle in the top of the firebox?
Trace the entire path that the exhaust gasses follow from the grate to the thimble where the flue enters the chimney.

Make sure there is nothing causing a restriction.

Then, remove the chimney cap, that may be more of a restriction than a help for draft and air flow.

Is the exhaust pipe at the stove exit 6" or 8" ? is your flue 6" or 8" ??

Two stokers can make a large volume of exhaust gasses, I'd think an 8" exit and flue is in order if there is no other restrictions for airflow.

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

Re: Sulfur Smell

PostBy: blrman07 On: Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:45 am

Start out by putting everything back the way it was last year when you didn't have the odor. The first thing I would do is loose the chimney cap then start checking again. It doesn't take much to pressurize your firebox. Are you absolutely positive that your exhaust passages are not partly blocked? To have a draft in the chimney and then have a pressurized firebox tends to point to some type of restriction in the stove, not the chimney.
blrman07
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Bucket a Day
Hand Fed Coal Stove: installing a VC 2310 this summer
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Wood in the VC and anything that will fit in the Bucket a Day. It's not fussy.

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