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Smell when the gas fireplace is on

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  • Dec 26th, 2009 1:41 pm
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Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2004
4799 posts
229 upvotes

Smell when the gas fireplace is on

This is my second winter with the gas fireplace in my new house. Everytime I turn it on, there's some smell of it, plus when I'm walking upstairs I can smell more near the ceiling of the first floor. We have carbon monoxide detectors and they showed normal status. I was being told that there would be smell when the gas fireplace is brand new, but it's now the 2nd year and I just clean up the glass and surrounding trim yesterday so can't be coming from dirt or other stuff. And lots of cold air coming in once I removed the glass front for cleaning so it must be ventilated well. Is smell normal for gas fireplace?

Any comment or idea?
12 replies
Deal Addict
Jun 7, 2005
4272 posts
64 upvotes
What did you use to clean it? Is it possible its just the residue of the cleaning product?

My fireplace in my condo has no smell at all. Well I guess I shouldn't say no smell, there is a faint bit of smell but its very very mild but I can usually tell when the fireplace is on when i'm in the next room.

Might want to get a fireplace technician out to check it over, might have a plugged vent.
Newbie
User avatar
Jun 23, 2008
26 posts
oakville
Mine smells too.... And house is also 2 years old. I avoide to use my fireplace because of a smell :mad:
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 12, 2001
3554 posts
67 upvotes
You mention that you have cold with the doors open, is that perhaps indicative of back drafting? I'm not an HVAC guy...
What the H E double hockey sticks have I done now?
Sr. Member
May 24, 2003
929 posts
42 upvotes
I would bet the smell is coming from the flames impinging on one or more of the logs. This happens when the logs are not correctly in their respective locations. Take a look and see if any flames are doing this.

And having a natural cold draft coming into the fireplace is essential for the unit to work.
Sr. Member
Jul 21, 2006
653 posts
5 upvotes
How long did you burn the fireplace last year?

Did you burn the nugget?

You need to operate the fireplace for a consecutive 24 hour window to burn off the nugget, it's all in the owners manual of your fireplace.

Jay
Sr. Member
May 24, 2003
929 posts
42 upvotes
Jay1234 wrote:
Dec 2nd, 2008 12:34 am
How long did you burn the fireplace last year?

Did you burn the nugget?

You need to operate the fireplace for a consecutive 24 hour window to burn off the nugget, it's all in the owners manual of your fireplace.

Jay
Just wondering what this nugget is? Have never heard of the term and am curious as to what it is. We suggest burning the fireplace for about four hours after installation to burn out any oils that are in the unit from the manufacturing process. It will smoke and stink for this time but after that you shouldn't have any bad smells or smoke emitting from the fireplace.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2004
4799 posts
229 upvotes
I initially turned mine on for like 5+ hrs when I first moved in. Then I have been using it like 4 times a week last winter (with each time a couple hours, usually watching TV at night). So, after a winter, I have used it many times. The smell is still here but not very strong, you can just tell the fireplace is on. Ventilation is fine due to the cold air incoming once the glass was taken off. Like I said, the smell is a bit stronger up in the ceiling (as I can tell by walking up the stairs). No smell on second floor. Is this normal?

By the way, I just cleaned the glass and outter metal trims with water and I can see dust inside the fireplace and on the "fake" logs, should I clean that as well? If so, what should i use to clean?
Newbie
Dec 22, 2009
2 posts
Vancouver, BC
I realize this post is a year old now, but wanted to post my experience in case others are looking for answers.

When I moved into my condo; there was a smell of gas everytime I used the kitchen or bathroom fans. NOBODY came to look at it until the building contractor did his one year deficiency fixes. The fireplace installer came out and discovered a pin hole size gas leak. It has been a year and no smell. (he said you should never smell gas because all fittings are contained in the fireplace enclosure. The pipe with the leak was under the fireplace.) They also mentioned the only reason I am alive is because I opened windows everytime I used the fans.

golden wrote:
Dec 1st, 2008 4:47 pm
This is my second winter with the gas fireplace in my new house. Everytime I turn it on, there's some smell of it, plus when I'm walking upstairs I can smell more near the ceiling of the first floor. We have carbon monoxide detectors and they showed normal status. I was being told that there would be smell when the gas fireplace is brand new, but it's now the 2nd year and I just clean up the glass and surrounding trim yesterday so can't be coming from dirt or other stuff. And lots of cold air coming in once I removed the glass front for cleaning so it must be ventilated well. Is smell normal for gas fireplace?

Any comment or idea?
Deal Addict
Aug 31, 2006
2295 posts
185 upvotes
And just for everyone who's not aware, the 'scent' that's added to natural gas makes it smell like a rotten egg fart. If it smells like something 'burning', that's not natural gas but most likely residue of some protective oil or dust buildup being burnt off.
Sr. Member
Aug 22, 2009
521 posts
8 upvotes
When I moved into my house last week the first place stunk. The HVAC guy told me to run it for 12-14 hours straight.

It will burn off all the oils and suck that were used to making the fireplace. If you don't burn them all off, the fireplace will continue to smell.

I suggest you run it for atleast half a day and see how that helps.

I did it and now I have no smell.
Newbie
Jul 24, 2008
74 posts
6 upvotes
Its just dust.

Everyone has this. Especially bad on new homes, as dust collects around the unit during construction.

Blow air around the unit, than vacuum. Most of the time its external, not around the logs. IT will keep smelling until the dust is gone.
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