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Smell above feed area?  RSS feed

 
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In the past week or so i have been noticing a faintish smell coming from my feed area. I can smell it almost 2-3 feet above the feed and a stronger smell as i move my nose closer to the feed.

Its a faint kind of wood burning smell. Although there is absolutely no visible smoke or anything coming out that i can tell. Also the burn seems great and still plently of draft going on to make a nice growly rockety sound.

I also have put a carbon monoxide detecter right near the opening just as a precaution, and have had no alarms ringing.

Any ideas to why i am now noticing this smell? I dont notice when i come into the house from work. NoR do i notice it unless i am hovering right above the j-tube feed entrance. I have been runing this thing for about 1.5 months or so without issues at all. This is a recent discovery and it only seems to happen during a good burn.

-matt
 
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Could there possibly be some kind of leak from around the barrel? That and beyond will be under positive pressure during a good burn...
 
matthew boersma
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not that i can tell. i dont have a barrel btw. I have a large clay flue liner with a refractory cement top and a 8" cast iron door. everything seems sealed up good. it's definitely a stronger smell coming from the feed itself from what i can tell. but when i hear a loud roar from the rockety burn i just cant believe that anything could possibly be coming out backwards. i cant see any smoke at all. nor do i really smell it ever other that when there is a burn going on. so i am at a loss to what the smell could be from. i mean is it possible to get a slight puff of clear wood fumes going backwards? and if so why does it seem fairly constant. you would think that my whole house would have that essence if so. when i am out for a while and coming in fresh from outside you'd think the smell would become noticable. honestly my house is the only house i have ever been in that burns wood in the winter that doesn't smell of burning wood most of time. specifically my house never smells of burning wood ever. my air quality is perfect in comparison to my relatives and friends that burn in nasty, dirty fire boxes. I know for a fact that i am getting way more out of my wood than my neighbors. a puff of steam is all i can ever notice coming out top of my chimney. without testing instruments i still feel that i am burning very efficiently. so once again i am at a loss to why there is this smell. i might choose to take apart a few spots and make sure i have not built up a collection of flue ash somewhere where it may be constricting my flow even just a hair. any more ideas, please are very welcome.

-Thanks
 
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I have no ideas as to the source of your smells, but I would love to see photos of your rocket,and maybe they would help the diagnosis?
 
Glenn Herbert
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Maybe a lit stick of incense moved slowly around the feed area will show where the odor is coming out. Presumably it has to be coming out in air. If it is not from the firebox, it should be completely combusted and carry no more than a faint odor; a backdraft from the firebox would most likely carry some smoke and unburned material.
 
matthew boersma
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William Bronson wrote: I would love to see photos of your rocket,and maybe they would help the diagnosis?



Even better...

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B93buYMUXDXxWjR5a0pVUnhZb00/view?usp=sharing
 
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Matthew, I think I know the answer. My mini J-tube is producing a smell now and then what I could describe as "not smoke but definitely cause by heat". It's coming out of the grain ends of the fuel and it is caused by heated up (boiling) moist in the wood itself. When you smell the same odor again, feel the grain ends. When those are really hot you've found the cause of that weird smell.

The moist is turning to steam, thereby expanding to 1500 times and blowing out of the grain ends. The air is sucked in the feed at the same time so there's a stream of air which is taking the water vapor with it. That's the reason why you can't smell it a yard away and is only there when the heater is running really hot. In my case, the odor is strongest when burning soft fuel like poplar and willow.
 
matthew boersma
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Peter van den Berg wrote:Matthew, I think I know the answer. My mini J-tube is producing a smell now and then what I could describe as "not smoke but definitely cause by heat". It's coming out of the grain ends of the fuel and it is caused by heated up (boiling) moist in the wood itself. When you smell the same odor again, feel the grain ends. When those are really hot you've found the cause of that weird smell.

The moist is turning to steam, thereby expanding to 1500 times and blowing out of the grain ends. The air is sucked in the feed at the same time so there's a stream of air which is taking the water vapor with it. That's the reason why you can't smell it a yard away and is only there when the heater is running really hot. In my case, the odor is strongest when burning soft fuel like poplar and willow.



i really think you locked it down. once again peter your experience in the field of fire amazes me. this makes a s ton of sense. i figured the whole time if i was loosing draft and getting some kickback smells the fire would then run a at lesser temperature. although i have been getting hotter and hotter temps as time goes it seems. especially when it really cold out, this thing roars.

with what you are saying, my grasp of the concepts were apparently spot on the whole time. didn't think that the wood "steam" out the ends like that. so this hits the nail on the head for my understanding of the situation. really appreciate it.

-Thanks!!!
 
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