Smell From Coal Stove

Modern and vintage hand fired coal stove are similar to a wood stove and in some cases can burn either. They need to be regulated and fed by hand usually every 12 to 24 hours depending on your usage. They require no power to operate making them ideal for rural settings with long power outages.
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madesouz
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Posts: 15
Joined: Mon. Nov. 19, 2012 11:24 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Reading
Stove/Furnace Model: Allegheny

Post Thu. Dec. 27, 2012 3:00 am

So, this is the issue. Recently, my coal stove has been smelling a little bit more than normal. It started on around the 20th. I am not sure if it is just my imagination, but I believe I have a leak somewhere. My carbon monoxide detectors around the house have not beeped. I have one 7 feet from the stove, and one in other rooms. On smelling around the coal stove, I feel as if it is coming from where the feeder/hopper meets the coal stove. There is a little metal joint, where the hopper is bolted to the coal stove. I am thinking that in time, this seal may have sprung a leak? Is this possible? Is there any sort of sealant (which can withstand 600F heat) which I could put around it? Do let me know.

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titleist1
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Posts: 4404
Joined: Wed. Nov. 14, 2007 4:06 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite
Location: Cecil County, MD

Post Thu. Dec. 27, 2012 7:42 am

there is sealant that could be used there to stand the temps, but most joints like that use gasket rope of one size or another so that taking it apart later is not so bad.

have you cleaned out any fly ash recently from the stove itself or from horizontal sections of flue pipe? what is your draft reading now compared to previous years on the flue pipe versus the firebox?

have you adjusted the amount of combustion air recently, cleaned the grates holes, started burning a new load of coal that may be a different size than previous?

all of these things could have an effect on the draft of your stove and cause exhaust to escape from other places rather than the flue pipe.

edit to add....i always suggest having a digital co detector like a kidde nighthawk so you can see numeric readings. the alarm may not sound until it hits 35 or 40 ppm, the digital will show you readings less than that without alarming for an earlier warning.
I drive a VW TDI, heat my home & workshop with two coal stokers and have two vintage JD diesel tractors....
The EPA just loves me!!

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dcrane
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Posts: 3115
Joined: Sun. Apr. 22, 2012 9:28 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404
Location: Duxbury, MA./Hanson MA./Brockton, MA

Post Thu. Dec. 27, 2012 8:32 am

What kind of coal stove do you have? I assume because your using terms like "feeder" & "hopper" that you have a coal stoker of some sort? If this is the case then 90% chance your drafting is the issue (in other words...your hopper is drafting more then your chimney/stove pipe is, thats an extreme analogy, but may help you understand whats happening better HaHa). this is one problem with the auto feed pellet/rice burners (they can never be truly air-tight because they always need to maintain an opening for the pellets to feed onto the grate). fly ash build up is HUGE and NECESSARY maintenance item for this type of stove! If you have a different type of stove then im assuming please elaborate for me and ill try to make some suggestions...

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madesouz
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Posts: 15
Joined: Mon. Nov. 19, 2012 11:24 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Reading
Stove/Furnace Model: Allegheny

Post Thu. Dec. 27, 2012 2:10 pm

Thank you so much for all the responses. As usual, every bit of education I have received has been on this forum, as I don't know anyone who has a coal stove in Upstate NY.

I contacted Reading stoves(my stove manufacturer), and he stated that even if the gasket was lose, the fumes should have still exited from the stove pipe, UNLESS IT WAS DIRTY!. He also told me that my stove had two pipes, where one visible and the other one was hidden. I shut off my furnace, did the best clean job I have ever did on it, and noticed that there was this other hole which I had neglected. This is my first winter with a Coal stove, and coming from an area where we didnt see snow, it has been a HUGE learning curve for me.

Anyway, I cleaned it out, and fired up the stove. AFAIK, I couldnt smell the stong fumes as I previously could. I am hoping it stays this way. If something goes on, I will be back on this forum.

P.s: Thank you for the recommendation on the digital CO detector. I have the normal ones all over the house, but will invest in a digital one, so that I can actually read it.

MarySthewriter
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Posts: 19
Joined: Tue. Nov. 13, 2012 7:28 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure line
Stove/Furnace Model: 12505
Location: Owego, NY

Post Mon. Dec. 31, 2012 9:43 pm

You're not a lone in the Upstate wilderness! lol
My stove always smells a bit of sulfur when I change the ash bin... I just assumed that was normal.

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Dennis
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Posts: 1066
Joined: Sun. Oct. 30, 2011 5:44 pm
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: AHS/WOC55-multi-fuel/wood,oil,coal
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/stove size
Location: Pottstown,Pa

Post Tue. Jan. 01, 2013 10:01 am

MarySthewriter wrote:You're not a lone in the Upstate wilderness! lol
My stove always smells a bit of sulfur when I change the ash bin... I just assumed that was normal.
Mary, if you only get the smell when changing the ash pan that might be fine,but if you smell an odor when everything is closed up you better check for leaks.
When your changing the ash pan,you might be smelling the odor from the hot coals while it's praticly in your face while bending down to change,that happen to me also and happy new year

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dcrane
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Posts: 3115
Joined: Sun. Apr. 22, 2012 9:28 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404
Location: Duxbury, MA./Hanson MA./Brockton, MA

Post Tue. Jan. 01, 2013 10:08 am

Dennis wrote:
MarySthewriter wrote:You're not a lone in the Upstate wilderness! lol
My stove always smells a bit of sulfur when I change the ash bin... I just assumed that was normal.
Mary, if you only get the smell when changing the ash pan that might be fine,but if you smell an odor when everything is closed up you better check for leaks.
When your changing the ash pan,you might be smelling the odor from the hot coals while it's praticly in your face while bending down to change,that happen to me also and happy new year
she is all set and fixed the problem guys... incase mod wants to lock thread?

94Bison
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Posts: 26
Joined: Thu. Dec. 20, 2012 5:31 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing III
Location: Allegany, NY

Post Tue. Jan. 01, 2013 4:29 pm

What was the cause of your smell?

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dcrane
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Posts: 3115
Joined: Sun. Apr. 22, 2012 9:28 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404
Location: Duxbury, MA./Hanson MA./Brockton, MA

Post Tue. Jan. 01, 2013 7:29 pm

94Bison wrote:What was the cause of your smell?
her second post (only 3 down from her original thread states as follows...

"I contacted Reading stoves(my stove manufacturer), and he stated that even if the gasket was lose, the fumes should have still exited from the stove pipe, UNLESS IT WAS DIRTY!. He also told me that my stove had two pipes, where one visible and the other one was hidden. I shut off my furnace, did the best clean job I have ever did on it, and noticed that there was this other hole which I had neglected. This is my first winter with a Coal stove, and coming from an area where we didnt see snow, it has been a HUGE learning curve for me. "

It appears that her secondary vents were clogged (which could present a "drafting" problem for the unit), so the cause of the smell was poor "draft". hope that helps my friend...

94Bison
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Posts: 26
Joined: Thu. Dec. 20, 2012 5:31 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing III
Location: Allegany, NY

Post Wed. Jan. 02, 2013 9:41 pm

whoops, I somehow missed that post.

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