sulpher smell and toxicity- new baby in the house

sulpher smell and toxicity- new baby in the house

PostBy: peggy On: Wed Dec 14, 2005 9:58 am

WE just installed (11/28) a Leisure Line rear vent, rice stove. Due to structural limitations we placed it on the Northwest corner of the house. We have had quite a strong sulpher smell in the house. Upon asking our installer he suggested sealing the area where the foundation meets the siding, that perhaps it was drafting back into the house from the power vent. We did that but still have a very strong odor w/ no alarm from the CO detector. This occurs on calm and windy days. Our installer has no other ideas.

What are the toxicity issues inhaling this gas? Especially w/ a 5 month old baby.
Although the smell is thru out the house when we lift the hopper lid the smell is very strong, however there does not seem to be an odor from the fan. Is this the source and not somthing else, like a bad stove seal?
Also there are times when the interior vent is wide open when I have it turned down to be just barely open.

Any ideas and help will be appreciated


PostBy: LFarm On: Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:20 am

How new and tight is your home?? Sometimes the building that the stove is in is so tight that the stove has a hard time pulling air from the room to burn.

If you have a window near the stove, try opening the window enough to put the hose from a shop vacuum or a similar 2-3" diameter hose in the window opening, and block the rest of the window opening with foam or cardboard taped over the opening. This is just to test to see if outside air helps. Route the hose to the base of the wood stove so it can draw in the outside air.

If this reduces the smells in the room get a perminent outside air source installed.

As for the sulphur smell, I seriously doubt if it is harmful. Unless it causes your eyes to burn and makes for dificult breating. If you are concerned use a good air purifier in your baby's room.

PostBy: Richard S. On: Wed Dec 14, 2005 6:38 pm

I can remeber walking into school on very cold days and the place would reek of sulfur. My guess is you got a batch of coal with an excessive amount of sulfur in it. I doubt it would be harmful, I'll take another gues that the coal is wet your putting in the hopper?

If it is there's a good chance it's evaporating moisture which would contain the sulfur smell. If it is wet try spreding some out to dry overnight. I'm not suggesting t.hat as a permanent solution but just to troubleshoot your problem. The water used by every coal processing plant is generally pumped directly out of the ground on site and will contain a lot of sulfur.

If that don't work or your not using wet coal purchase some bagged coal and see if the problem still exists with the bagged coal.
Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: Rich On: Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:25 am

If you are using a power vent, it's unlikely that you have a draft problem. Im not sure of the Leisure's design, but if its anything like the Alaska Stoves then its possible the grate where the coal burns might be need to be reseated. If thats the case your combustion fan could be pushing air back up through the hopper. On the Alaska stoves they are gravity fit and can come unseated occasionally during shipping. Its very important to have a newer Carbon Monoxide Detector (they should be replaced every 5 to 7 years) in the house, ideally you should have one in each bedroom, one outside the bedrooms in the hallway, and minimum 1 per floor. Obviously some protection is better than none at all. Infants are much more susceptible to Carbon Monoxide poisoning than adults. Most local Fire Departments will come to your house and do a carbon monoxide sweep for you if you are concerned. As stated in an earlier reply, overly wet coal will also give you a sulfur smell as the water evaporates in the hopper...if thats the case you should be able to see moisture or even water drops inside the hopper. Hope this info was helpful.

PostBy: nwaelder On: Sat Dec 17, 2005 9:22 am

Hi Peggy. The Leisure Line power vent system has a vent motor speed adjustment as well as a barametric damper. It also has a fume switch, that will shutdown the stove if pressure is lost in the combustion chamber i.e. the power vent speed is too slow or there is a restriction in the vent piping. Since you have not indicated that the fume switch is not causing your stove to shutdown, the power vent may be working properly or it is not, and the fume switch may not be installed correctly. I WOULD VERIFY THIS FIRST. To test this, unplug or turn down the speed of the power vent while a fire is going. The feeder, combustion blower, and convection blower should all stop within a minute or two.
If this is not working properly, you must repair it before continuing operation of the stove!
Next, you should adjust the speed of the convection blower so that sufficient draft is developed for the full operating range of the stove. Sorry, I do not have the Leisure Line power vent instructions handy, but in general the draft must be set so that at high firing rates all gasses are drawn away from the stove and out the power vent with the barametric closed. (Including drawing fumes from the fuel hopper.) Once the speed is set it need not be adjusted again. This is meant to get you started in a safe and fumeless direction. Finer adjustments to the power vent speed and barametric damper can be done to increase fuel economy. We'll save for a later date.
Everything above is on the assumption you have a power vent.

Hope this helps.

PostBy: WNY On: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:02 pm

I noticed our second batch had very little sulfer smell and burnt up way better then the first batch we bought. The first batch had a very strong sulfer smell from the hopper and outside (near the exhaust), and had alot of ash, I was dumping the pan almost every day. This second batch, burns up almost to nothing, empty the ash pan about every 3rd day or so.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

PostBy: BinghamtonNY On: Wed Dec 21, 2005 3:06 pm

Has the newer batch of coal worked out better for you. Is the sulfur smell staying away? I was forced to buy some bagged coal from agway called or something like that and I got similiar results even after I let it dry outside the bag.. Now I only mix that stuff with my regular coal just to get ride of it.

Edit: Please don't mention coal brand's or dealers. Good or Bad.
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Magnum Stoker