Fireplace Extraordinaire problem
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    23

    Fireplace Extraordinaire problem

    Since new, and now 4 years old, the unit smells like it's burning off paint when in use. The retailer says it's just because the unit gets as hot as it dose. I don't buy it, but I can't figure out what it is. Now we don't even use it because it smells so bad when in use.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    Wood or GAS? What model?

    Have you ever done the manufactures recommended burn-off procedure?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    23
    Model- 44DVXXL
    Gas-LP

    I am not aware of any such procedure, did not see anything about it in the manual either.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    Any new fireplace needs to be run for a long period of time to burn off the oils and cure the paint. First of all, if you are unsure, it would be a good idea to make sure it is operating correctly and not leaking any exhaust or gas.

    Found the manual online
    http://www.travisbuilder.com/TravisDocs/100-01149.pdf

    Page 39

    Starting the Fireplace for the First Time

    + Burn the heater at a high setting with the blower off for an extended period (up to 48 hours). This will cure the painted surfaces. Fumes from the paint curing and oil burning off the steel will occur. This is normal. We recommend opening a window to vent the room.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    23
    Thank you, I'll give it a shot, on the next warm day.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    1,213
    Who installed it, & is actually set up for propane? If the orifices are incorrect, or the pressures wrong, could be the problem.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    Forgot to mention, IMO 48 hours is a little insane. I would go for 8 hours if you want to make sure its done good. If you go 8 and can stand two more, go for 10 hours. I have never asked a homeowner to do more than a 10 hour burn. If it takes longer than that there's probably something else going on.

    ALso as Moose said, if you are not sure of the setup and install make sure everything is safe before doing this long burn.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    2

    Fireplace extrodinaire smells funny...

    I know your post was from 2008, however I have had the same problem with my fireplace extrodinaire since It was installed as well. There is a smell when you start it up. I thought there may have been some insulation on top of the unit or possibly some plastic packaging left that was never removed. I had the installer come back out and they took a look and finally told me it "MAY" be water condensation in the vent. But, they saoid it wasn't gas so I am fine. It is extremely frustrating to smell it and I am also worried it may be a harmful odor. If I call the same retailer I fear I will get the same answer. Any suggesstions, or did you ever figure out the problem?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    38
    Quote Originally Posted by derkocx View Post
    I know your post was from 2008, however I have had the same problem with my fireplace extrodinaire since It was installed as well. There is a smell when you start it up. I thought there may have been some insulation on top of the unit or possibly some plastic packaging left that was never removed. I had the installer come back out and they took a look and finally told me it "MAY" be water condensation in the vent. But, they saoid it wasn't gas so I am fine. It is extremely frustrating to smell it and I am also worried it may be a harmful odor. If I call the same retailer I fear I will get the same answer. Any suggesstions, or did you ever figure out the problem?
    derkocx,

    Did you see the post below by jtp10181? What he stated is fact. You have to burn off the fireplace. Some units take longer to burn off than others. I have seen this problem more times than I would like. Every unit that had the smell eventually was fixed. Although some people just don't listen and had to do the burn off multiple times, because they kept cutting the burn time in half.

    SG

  10. #10
    hearthman's Avatar
    hearthman is offline AOP Committee/Professional Member*
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,135

    Cool stinky fireplaces

    First, have the fireplace installation inspected by a professional not associated with the original installer if possible. You must ensure it is installed oer mfrs. specs and operating within specs. That includes gauging the orifices, gas pressures, etc. Try to get a sewer-type camera to scope the venting. Inspect the firebox for airtightness visually and test with a chemical smoke puffer. Test the seals on the glass gasket cold with puffer before firing. Fire the unit and test with a carbon monoxide pump-type analyzer for combustion product spillage around the fireplace.

    Clean the unit: vacuum and brush aggressively then wipe down every surface you can with a citrus based solvent cleaner such as the orange products.

    Repeat burn-off for 8-12 hours on high with no blower running. I strongly disagree with the 8-10 hour limit. Fireplaces cannnot tell time. Certain designs have areas that simply do not get very hot but have oils, sealants, dirt, finger prints, etc. so, yes, it can take an extended burn to really cook it off. When I talk about hours of burning, that means continuously--not one hour here then one hour there. Let it rock & roll all day. Open the windows so it doesn't set off the smoke alarm. If you have an alarm company, you may want to call them and advise of a possible false positive for that day, that the homeowner will be home and to call first to verify of an actual fire before alerting the Fire Dept. and incurring a false call charge.

    Inspect the home. What is in the wall immediately around this fireplace and is it aromatic? Foams, acrylic adhesives, masonry bonding additives, etc. Now, look at the interior finish. Hardwood floors, paints, varnishes, etc. Personal property-plastic kids toys, dried flowers, potourri, scented candles, air fresheners, etc. Are there any chemicals stored in the basement right under the fireplace such as paints, household chemicals, home beauty salon, woodworking shop, etc.? Check to see if the insulation accessible in the basement got wet. Fiberglass insulations use either a urea formaldehyde or phenolic resin to glue the fibers together and when wet, both can stink. Is the basement damp? Look for signs of mold and wet basement. Measure indoor Rh%. Smell around any sewer drains for odors. Look for cracks in floor that might indicate a damaged sewer. Do they smoke? Look for signs of heavy smoking. Open the furnace plenum and inspect the blower compartment with the power off. Any signs of dirt, nicotine, etc.? Replace the filter but save it.

    Look outside. Are there any lawn & garden chemicals or gasoline powered equipment stored in proximity? Any vegetation known to rot or give off distinctive odors? Nearby operations that smell such as farming, mushroom sheds, composting, furniture finishing, etc.

    These are just a few of the items to consider or check off when trying to diagnose odor problems related to fireplaces. Note that every item I listed here has been attributed to an actual odor case I've investigated for a mfr. so these are not just BS.

    HTH,

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    2

    Thank you

    I greatly appreciate your advise. I did visit a different dealer who was one of the first to carry Extrordinairs. They suggested similar cleaning and actually showed me how to vacuum the intake to the blower. Dog hair, oils from the hair and dust/debris was their first suggestion. I followed their advise, vaccumed, burned it hot for 8 hours, and I may have found my issue. Thanks again.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    392
    Great info Hearthman !!!
    Common sense is NOT common !!!

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