Bad Sulfur Smell

A Coal stoker furnace or stove controls most operations including automatically feeding the coal. They are quite similar to any conventional oil and gas units and easily operated for extended periods of time. They commonly use rice coal but may use larger sizes like buckwheat. They can be used as primary heat, supplementary heat or have a dual set up with your existing oil/gas furnace.
hoptoad
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Post Wed. Feb. 20, 2008 10:21 pm

I came home tonight to a very bad sulfur smell in the house. I went down to check on the furnace and notice the smell coming from the hopper. Is this a danger to our health? There are three kids in the house and it has me worried. And what could be causing it. I never noticed it before tonight.


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Richard S.
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Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite
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Post Wed. Feb. 20, 2008 10:32 pm

First do you have CO detectors?
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

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hoptoad
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Post Wed. Feb. 20, 2008 10:35 pm

Yes, I have one that plugs right into the wall. I've been home for about 45 minutes now and haven't heard anything going off.

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Richard S.
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Post Wed. Feb. 20, 2008 10:41 pm

Well thats good thing, bad thing is the sulphur smell is indicative that you have gases backing up.

What type of stove? Make and Model?

Whens the last time you cleaned out flue pipe?
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

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hoptoad
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Post Wed. Feb. 20, 2008 10:46 pm

It's a Leisure Line, Hyfire I or II, I forget exactly. And my husband is downstairs right now shutting down the stove to clean out the pipes. It's also been having alot of condensation on the hopper lid probably within the last week or so. At the beginning of the burn season I noticed a hairline crack in the grate that the coal burns on. I spoke to someone from Leisure Line and he said that it should be ok if it's no bigger. Would that have anything to do with it? And is the condensation part of the blame, and if so, where is the condensation coming from. The coal has been in the coal bin since beginning of January so it can't be wet.

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gambler
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Post Wed. Feb. 20, 2008 10:47 pm

If you have been running all winter it would be a good idea to check any horizontal runs and pipe elbows for a buildup of ash that may be causing a restriction in your chimney system. I would shut the unit down now!! If you are smelling it that is a sure sign that the gasses are not going up the chimney. Do you have a draft gauge hooked to the chimney?

Sorry, I type slow.
Take Care and God Bless
Rick

hoptoad
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Post Wed. Feb. 20, 2008 10:53 pm

I'm not sure what that is. My guess is no.

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Richard S.
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Post Wed. Feb. 20, 2008 11:01 pm

I'm guessing you'll find that the pipes are probably blocked, the condesnation I remeber being mentioned before but foget exactly what the cause is. In any event something is most likely blocking the draft hence the reason you get that smell. This is uaaly due to a blocked flue pipe, once you ge them cleaned out you're problems will probably be solved, gues you probably know by now if he's ripping it apart. ;)

The smaller stoves have less tolerances for fly ash build up and smaller flue pipes and usually require a mid season shut down and clean out if not more.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

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gambler
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Post Wed. Feb. 20, 2008 11:02 pm

By: Leisure Line On: Wed Aug 01, 2007 7:46 pm

The secret is to draw from the stove, but not to much, leaving the heat in the steel body as long as possible. I have stated this before but it's worth repeating. When sweat is visible on the bottom side of the hopper lid, you will soon have a draft problem. The heat and gases inside the stove can no longer be drawn up the pipe, so they need a way to get out of the stove. The feeder or hopper will work just fine for gases to escape, but not what we want. This can be caused by a faulty baro, or faulty setting. With a LL we recommand 2/3 on the weight.
Jer
This was quoted from Jerry at Leisure Line. So if the pipes are not restricted I would also check the baro damper.
Take Care and God Bless
Rick

hoptoad
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Post Wed. Feb. 20, 2008 11:09 pm

He just yelled up the floor grate (yes the old fashioned kind that I was given from an old farmhouse) that the elbow coming out of the bottom in the back was clogged. Probably the kind of thing that is more fun to do in the daytime and not at bedtime when mom's too paranoid to let anyone go to bed until the problem's fixed. Will this fix the condensation problem too? And does a missing gasket on the ash pan door pose a threat? It worked it's way off the other day.

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Richard S.
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Post Wed. Feb. 20, 2008 11:17 pm

You should be good now, the gasket is not a big deal but get replacement for it.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

hoptoad
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Post Wed. Feb. 20, 2008 11:24 pm

It sounds like he's putting the pipes back together right now. Hopefully we'll be sleeping warm and peacefully in about an hour. Thank you so much for all your help. This forum is awesome.

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gambler
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Post Wed. Feb. 20, 2008 11:29 pm

Richard S. wrote:You should be good now, the gasket is not a big deal but get replacement for it.
I would be very cautious about running the stove with out a gasket.
This is quoted from the Leisure Line owners manual trouble shooting guide "sulfur fumes, Make sure all gaskets are intact and in good repair"
Last edited by gambler on Wed. Feb. 20, 2008 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Take Care and God Bless
Rick

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tvb
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Post Wed. Feb. 20, 2008 11:40 pm

I would be very cautious about running the stove with out a gasket.
Especially at nighttime when everyone is sleeping. If you can switch to a space heater for the night, you can always deal with it in the morning.

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WNY
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon
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Post Thu. Feb. 21, 2008 6:53 am

You guys did the right thing, Shut it down and check everything... :)

The condensation is from the warm gases escaping into the hopper due to lowered draft up the chimney, picking up any moisture from the coal and then cooling and condensing onto the lid or hopper. Normally a draft problem when this happens. The gases are not going up the chimney. The pipes should be cleaned every season after burning and draft checked periodically.

There is a Draft Manometer loaner program that you can get the device to check your draft to make sure it's good and setup correctly.

Do yo have your CO mounted near the stove, you might get another upstairs too.

I don;t think mine has a ash pan gasket either.

I remember we just talked about this the other day
Ash Buildup Problem: A Safety Issue

How did you make out? :)
- Dave
Hyfire I & Keystoker 90K heating an 1890 Victorian
- Amsoil Authorized T1 Certified Dealer


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