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Thread: gas logs

  1. #1
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    gas logs

    What causes a white powder material to be getting on the top of an insert? I did notice a build up on the tip of the pilot as well. And the top 3 inches of the screen has the powder on it as well.
    The flame is blue with a yellow streak shooting up from time to time for cosmetics I assume.
    It is a martin insert.
    Thanks
    The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!

    If "the grass is greener on the other side", it likely has been fertilized with Bull$hit!

  2. #2
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    Could be corrosion or the burnt residue of perfumes such as candles, dryer sheets and the like.
    ~~
    Nest is poo...

  3. #3
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    A lot of things but silicone is one big one.

  4. #4
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    It sounds like you guys are more in line with the ambient air than the logs. Interesting. Care to give some details on this?
    The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!

    If "the grass is greener on the other side", it likely has been fertilized with Bull$hit!

  5. #5
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    So Hearthman, in a manual I read once that the odorizer (mercaptan) that they put in gas actually causes white filmy residue/ as well as combustion byproduct etc.. Not sure if it was a Mendota dxv 60 deep timber or not but johnson gas Manuel somewhere that I saw is that correct? And silicone

  6. #6
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    Most any fireplace engineer will extol the evils of silicone around the guts of a gas fireplace. Sure, there is a witches brew of other nasties that comprises this white film. I've heard anything from sulphuric acid to mercaptan (which is a sulphur-based compound) to binders in ceramic fiber and rockwool insulation. I've seen a gas chromatography/ mass spectrometry report on this film and it is a brew of a lot of things. For one, even inert mineral dust can comprise some of it. FYI, the amount of sulphur contained in ethyl or methyl mercaptan would be measureable in parts per BILLION according to my lab PhD. as would the sulphur contained in hydrogen sulphide contained in gas at a max. of 0.3 grains per 100 std. cubic feet that is released in a typical standing pilot.

    A gas appliance with a glass front is much more susceptible to this white film but you can find it on vented and ventfree gas logs and their pilots, burners, etc. If you don't get it off the glass soon, it will never come off. It must be removed with a micro abrasive such as White Off, Brasso or Noxon metal polish.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the info, customers are astonished that it doesn't come off after 3-4 years of no cleaning or service and explain the the odorizer/film needs to be clean off of glass at least after every season. Even got a complaint that I didn't clean it all off ( used white off) a couple months back. Do my best to educate customers on stuff like that. Have a cool weekend HM.

  8. #8
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    the OP is talking about the top of the firebox, i'd say carbonic acid..
    my boss thinks its possible to repeal the laws of physics

  9. #9
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    Isn't it against code to have a glass front with a standing pilot now (maybe just on vent free?)? I know several manufacturers don't allow it.
    Quote Originally Posted by hearthman View Post
    Most any fireplace engineer will extol the evils of silicone around the guts of a gas fireplace. Sure, there is a witches brew of other nasties that comprises this white film. I've heard anything from sulphuric acid to mercaptan (which is a sulphur-based compound) to binders in ceramic fiber and rockwool insulation. I've seen a gas chromatography/ mass spectrometry report on this film and it is a brew of a lot of things. For one, even inert mineral dust can comprise some of it. FYI, the amount of sulphur contained in ethyl or methyl mercaptan would be measureable in parts per BILLION according to my lab PhD. as would the sulphur contained in hydrogen sulphide contained in gas at a max. of 0.3 grains per 100 std. cubic feet that is released in a typical standing pilot.

    A gas appliance with a glass front is much more susceptible to this white film but you can find it on vented and ventfree gas logs and their pilots, burners, etc. If you don't get it off the glass soon, it will never come off. It must be removed with a micro abrasive such as White Off, Brasso or Noxon metal polish.
    The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!

    If "the grass is greener on the other side", it likely has been fertilized with Bull$hit!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ch4man View Post
    the OP is talking about the top of the firebox, i'd say carbonic acid..
    Yeah, it was all over the top of the insert and the screen had it on it about 3 inches down from the top of the screen. When I was cleaning the pilot I got it all in my hair- added 30 years in a couple seconds.
    The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!

    If "the grass is greener on the other side", it likely has been fertilized with Bull$hit!

  11. #11
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    Hearthman is correct in that it is a lot of different things in and cause it. I find when a customer(on propane) runs the tank out or low constantly, I see it more often. The way I understand it(i may need correcting on this) but when a tank is low the concentration of mercaptan is higher due to it being a heavier compound than propane so it settles and when burning the higher concentration you get that. Also I believe(I may need correcting on this as well) that the gas suppliers are responsible for the mixture of mercaptan and that the concentration can very? Which would explain why NG users get it.

    P.S. can you extol something as evil??

  12. #12
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    Everyday almost every insert I work on I am educating the customer blowers, burners, batteries , glass, moisture , and doing my best to save them money by finding the problem by thoroughly measuring everything measurable. I just want to do a good job. The white stuff just causes customers to get upset, even though it was the contractor or hearth professional who installed it to explain/commission/verify operation with people. 3-4-5 years later they get pissed because no one explained about the glass and now it's an eye sore. It's the beginning of the season and came across etched front 3-5 times this week alone. It's sad, wish my predecessors gave a F*** to look out for the customers.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by nchvac View Post
    Isn't it against code to have a glass front with a standing pilot now (maybe just on vent free?)? I know several manufacturers don't allow it.
    The code has nothing to do with whether or not a gas appliance can have a glass panel in front of it or not. Look to the product listing. For match lit vented gas logs that would be ANSI Z21.84; Z21.60 for vented gas logs with a safety pilot; Z21.50 for a decorative gas fireplace with a glass front; Z21.88 for a vented room heater (direct vent FP); and Z21.11.2 for ventfree. Gas log lighter pipes are tested to CSA-8. Shutoffs to Z21.15 and flex connectors to Z21.24

    You are allowed to install glass doors on an open fireplace with a gas appliance and in fact, are required to install a screen or doors but......the doors must be open during burning. HG used to make some vented logs with a high limit switch and claimed they were ok to burn with the door closed. After replacing enough valves and making enough CO and aldehydes they dropped it.

    Carbonic acid is just one of the many acids in powder form that make up this stuff. You also have inert minerals, ash, soot, other goodies. For instance, when skin cells (dust) is drawn into the fire and gets incinerated, the ash gets whipped up and can mix with this other stuff. Pet hair, dirt--it all gets cooked.

    There are many odorants each with its own properties. Thus, odorants are often combined to get the best effects of both. This can change the proportions as to how much is added but basically the federal 49CFR 192.625 calls for the odorant to be easily detected by the average person's nose at a level of 1.26% or what they consider 1/5th of the lower explosive limit for NG. This equates to a detectable level at parts per billion of gas. In Japan, where they use CNG, they require odorant detection at 0.1% by volume.

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