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PREP A question about the smell of the smoke from my wood stove...
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  1. #1

    5 A question about the smell of the smoke from my wood stove...

    Why does it smell "chemically" instead of like burning wood?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    PRNJ
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    What are you burning? Rr ties?

  3. #3
    What was the source of the wood? How long has it been aging? Where was it stored?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    265
    Could be the paint or coating on the stove or chimney pipes.

  5. #5
    Creosote will give off a chemical odor when it burns. Maybe you aren't getting complete combustion, are burning green/ wet wood, or have your draft and damper shut down too far and are burning too cool?

    Summerthyme

  6. #6
    Sure depends on what you're burning---everything smells different. Cottonwood drift logs smell like burning poo, creosote has it's own odor like Summerthyme said, pallets and pressure treated scrap could certainly smell like chemicals...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Happy on the mountain
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    What kind of wood are you burning?
    The wonder of our time isnít how angry we are at politics and politicians; itís how little weíve done about it. - Fran Porretto
    -http://bastionofliberty.blogspot.com/2016/10/a-wholly-rational-hatred.html

  8. #8
    I burn mixed , aged firewood stored in a carport. Will try dampering down less.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Little cabin in da big woods.
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    28,042
    Quote Originally Posted by Creeper View Post
    Could be the paint or coating on the stove or chimney pipes.

    Creosote will give off a chemical odor when it burns. Maybe you aren't getting complete combustion, are burning green/ wet wood, or have your draft and damper shut down too far and are burning too cool?

    Summerthyme
    Both of these things can give you a nasty odor.


    In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

    Proverbs 16:9




  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Happy on the mountain
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    Are you smelling the chemical smell inside, or outside?
    The wonder of our time isnít how angry we are at politics and politicians; itís how little weíve done about it. - Fran Porretto
    -http://bastionofliberty.blogspot.com/2016/10/a-wholly-rational-hatred.html

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by joannita View Post
    I burn mixed , aged firewood stored in a carport. Will try dampering down less.
    You getting the smell inside the house or is it outside?

  12. #12
    When you use a wood stove that you can control burn rate, creosote will build up. the smell gets strong. it is a natural thing.


    WAB
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."---- Robert A. Heinlein

  13. #13
    [QUOTE=wab54;6719838]When you use a wood stove that you can control burn rate, creosote will build up. the smell gets strong. it is a natural thing.

    So the best thing to do if you're a regular burner is to flash a hot fire once a day to burn off any creosote that has built up. Always start the season with a clean chimney, burn good seasoned dry wood and enjoy. Nice dry heat when it's damp and cold. Dries your boots too....

  14. #14
    If if is the first time you've used the woodstove in a while, then you are burning off household dust and chemicals. That smell should go away after the first burn.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by naturallysweet View Post
    If if is the first time you've used the woodstove in a while, then you are burning off household dust and chemicals. That smell should go away after the first burn.
    If you're getting the "smell" in the house, and you've got a clean chimney, I would check the seals around the door. If they're old, cracked, you could be getting leakage back into your home. Make sure you have a CO2 detector thats working. They go bad after about 10 yrs. A simple test on the door seals is a paper test. If you trap a piece of paper halfway in the door, no fire of course and are able to pull it thru with the door locked down, you need to replace the seals. Try it before you reload the stove.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by nadhob View Post
    If you're getting the "smell" in the house, and you've got a clean chimney, I would check the seals around the door. If they're old, cracked, you could be getting leakage back into your home. Make sure you have a CO2 detector thats working. They go bad after about 10 yrs. A simple test on the door seals is a paper test. If you trap a piece of paper halfway in the door, no fire of course and are able to pull it thru with the door locked down, you need to replace the seals. Try it before you reload the stove.
    Hey! Thanks for this.

    FT
    Courage doesn't always roar,
    sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day
    which says,
    "I'll try again tomorrow."


  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by nadhob View Post
    Make sure you have a CO2 detector thats working.
    CO, not CO2.

  18. #18
    No smell inside the house. I burn wide open during the first half hour every day. The house might melt if I didn't damper it down quite a ways. Have been using it for years.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Shenandoah Valley
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    963
    If you don't have one, I'd highly recommend a pipe thermometer...Helps keep you from burning too cold/sooting or too hot/creating a fire hazard. If I get up over 500 degrees I get off-gassing and funky smells, especially the during the first fire of the season.
    Attached Images

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by SurfaceTension View Post
    If you don't have one, I'd highly recommend a pipe thermometer...Helps keep you from burning too cold/sooting or too hot/creating a fire hazard.
    Have a 36" old wood stove in the shop. I usally start a fire in it with well seasoned old 2x4s and scrap from construction sites. Just throw it in and about a cup full of old diesel and used oil mix. Then when the sigle wall flue pipe starts to turn red, I flip a switch and a box fan comes on, thats directed at the flue. Works great.


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    northern ontario
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    if its damped down

    make sure you open dampers a few min b4 opening door

    that gets all the gases heading up the pipe b4 you add your wood

  22. #22
    Ty everyone for your advice, and yes i have a pipe thermometer, but the Pipe is double walled, so I am not sure if that affects the accuracy
    ?

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    IIRC a double wall pipe requires a probe type flue thermometer.

    The wonder of our time isnít how angry we are at politics and politicians; itís how little weíve done about it. - Fran Porretto
    -http://bastionofliberty.blogspot.com/2016/10/a-wholly-rational-hatred.html

  24. #24
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Little cabin in da big woods.
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    We also have a double walled pipe. We put our thermometer on the top of the stove next to the pipe. But we have a cast steel stove and not cast iron if that makes a difference. We also have 3 on top. All give different temps altho they are side by side........ figure that one out. We split the difference usually or go by the highest temp one.....lol.

    If the smell is outside, then it's possible it's the creosote burning off when the flu/damper is wide open. That stuff stinks really bad.


    In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

    Proverbs 16:9




  25. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Jefferson
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    6,869
    We've got a neighbor burning something in their fire place that stinks up the neighborhood. Nasty!
    We have done so much, with so little, for so long....We can now do anything, with nothing, forever.

  26. #26
    Every year when my chimney is cleaned, I am told that there is just a little creosote at the very top edge of the chimney.

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