New Propane Fireplace Smell
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  1. #1
    We had a Vermont Casting double sided direct vent fireplace installed in our new home and have used it a couple times now. Each time its left a pungent oder in the room - I can't quite place what the smell is - sort of a burning chemical like smell. I have a propane leak sensor in the room which hasn't gone off and the pilot light never causes such a smell. Does it take several prolonged uses for stuff to burn off inside the fireplace or is this a sign there is something not installed correctly?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,458
    Call back the installer or your gas co...odor may be aldehydes,which means carbon monoxide. I wouldn't use until checked. May be something simple like arranging logs

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    268
    You need to "burnoff" the unit. Some fireplaces take 8hrs to 30 hours of burning to get smell away. It should say in the manual. Open the windows and leave that room, it can be harmful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    when he says 8hrs of use, he means continuous. You need to run it on HIGH for about 8 hours straight. That should burn off all the chemicals and oils on the metal.

    If its a direct vent fireplace check to make sure all the glass is sealed up good. If it is then the smell could not be exhaust gasses. If it is a b-vent then you might want someone to check it out or at least call the place and ask them about the smell.

    I am not familiar with that brand but the fact that it needs to be burned off is probably just the same as the ones I work on.

  5. #5
    thanks guys, nobody told me to do that so I will make sure I burn it off when I get a warmis day to keep windows open! Thanks! Hope the smell isn't too bad for us as we've burned it for a few hours on low already.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    Also... I hope you know what gas smells like, and the smell is not gas. If you are unsure I would be careful.

    You should NEVER smell gas coming from a fireplace, especially direct vent. Only thing you might get is a very small poof of gas when its first turned on, sometimes a little comes out the vent on the regulator. If you smell gas for any larger period then it should be serviced.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,128

    good advice

    All good stuff. Most V.C. I've seen have some sort of pressure relief plate that has the possibility of getting knocked ajar. Heat&Glo used this system for awhile back in the mid- 90s but went to the spring loaded clips on the glass instead.
    Thanks Mike3 for the aldehyde connection. jtp and ngt are right on with the burn-off period. You can speed this up by wiping down the convective chamber with citrus based solvent cleaner.

    The bottom line is, you need to get it checked out by a pro. While a new Fp will smoke and stink, setting off smoke alarms, you need to know what is causing the odor:
    burn off
    fugitive gas leak
    CO & aldehydes
    foreign material in contact with the Fp such as inside the chase where it might be a fire hazard

    HTH

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