Woodstove "plastic" smell?

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We've had our woodstove for about four years now. Late last year, we started noticing a "plastic" smell when we are using the woodstove. It seems to be most noticeable when we have a hot fire going. If I damper down the fire, the smell goes away.
I assumed it was just the paint on the woodstove or chimney pipe, but the smell never seems to burn off. And it's strong again the next time we use the woodstove.
I've cleaned the chimney, vacuumed all dust on and around the stove, cleaned the door, etc. I've checked the walls around the woodstove to make sure it isn't coming from an external source, but they rarely even get warm to the touch.
We burn only clean dry wood (fir, pine, cedar, and alder mostly), NEVER garbage or other material that might produce the smell. In fact, we rarely even smell smoke unless I've opened the door to load wood or something.
Our wood stove (Lopi Patriot model) also gets it's combustion air from an external source, not from the living space.
I've checked everything I can think of. What am I missing?
Thanks,
Anthony
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I use a high temperature chimney sealant every year because I have to take my chimney apart from downstairs to clean the chimney (top too high to reach).
Anyway each year when I burn my first few fires, this stuff burns off and gives a nasty smell. Also smokes a bit. But after this it no longer smells.
I would suggest opening all your doors and windows, then letting the fire burn at a higher temperature a few times. Then I bet the smell will go away.
(My stove also had a bad smell when new with the first few very hot fires. Perhaps the paint?)
"HerHusband" wrote in message

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I use a high temp silicone on my chimney pipe (recommended by the woodstove company), but it's only above the roof line and not in our living space. Also, it has been there since I installed the stove, and the smell only started last year.
I previously took the lower part of my chimney apart after cleaning so I could clean out the top of the woodstove. This usually meant it got a few scratches and had to be repainted. Thinking the paint might be the cause of the smell, I cleaned the stove out from the inside this year so I wouldn't have to paint. But the smell is still there.

I'll give it a try, but I've had lots of hot fires and the smell always seems to return.
Thanks,
Anthony
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Anthony,
If you have attic space I'd go up there and look around. Something may be too close to your chimney or stove pipe. Are you sure about the trash? There's a lot of plactic in junk mail.
Dave M.
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Dave,

Nope, no attic. We have vaulted ceilings. I boxed in the chimney pipe where it passes through the 2x12 rafter bays (with about 3" of air space between the pipe and wood). It's capped by flashing on top and a trim ring on the bottom. Nothing can get in there.
In addition, the smell is noticeable long before the chimney pipe is even warm to the touch.

Nope, I never burn paper, junk mail, or any other kind of trash. Only dry wood (Logs, woodworking cutoffs, NO pressure treated, NO plywood). I use a couple of "fatwood" sticks to start the fires.
Anthony
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When you called the manufacturer about this problem, what did they say?
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HerHusband wrote:

The stove's made of plastic?
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The new Fisher Price woodstove?
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It's the paint. It will always do that when you get 'em extra hot.
steve

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Steve,

That's what I thought, but it seems to smell long before the woodstove or chimney pipe has gotten hot enough to cause the paint to release vapors.
Anthony
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HerHusband wrote:

Have you used a cleaner of any sort or a touchup paint?
Are the firebricks loose in the bottom/sides or are they cemented in? Neighbor had one (forget the maker) where it broke down after some time whereas the Fisher I had just had loose brick mechanically restrained.
Does it come at the beginning of a fire and then lessen? If so, perhaps it's a moisture accumulation related problem?
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The only cleaner I use is a glass cleaner for the inside of the door. "Red Devil" I think. It works really well for cleaning the glass, and I've been using it longer than the smell has been occurring. I've never noticed any smell or residue from the cleaner.
I have used touchup paint on the chimney in previous years where it got scratched during cleaning. But I tried to avoid that this year by cleaning the woodstove from the inside instead of from the top.

Ours are loose laid, held in place by brackets. I checked them when I cleaned the woodstove, and they all look in good condition.

It does seem to occur more at the start of the fire, but we have noticed it later in the evening too.
The only repeatable thing I have been able to determine is when the damper is fully open and the fire is burning hot. It's not necessarily when the woodstove is hot, just the fire is burning strong.
Thanks for your thoughts!
Anthony
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When you called the stove manufacturer, what insights did they offer, if any?
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HerHusband wrote:

What's the wood supply and how is it stored?
--
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Don't know then. In your OP, you said:
We've had our woodstove for about four years now. Late last year, we started noticing a "plastic" smell when we are using the woodstove. It seems to be most noticeable when we have a hot fire going. If I damper down the fire, the smell goes away.
so i thought that it was only when it was extra hot.
steve

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Steve,

I notice it most when the "fire" is burning strong and hot. This can occur when we first start the fire and the stove is still cold, or it can occur later in the evening if I open the damper and get the fire going strong again.
Thanks for your thoughts and input.
Anthony
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/Woodstove-plastic-smell-258778-.htm hartsong wrote: Anthony, Did you get any answers?
We are using a wood stove in our basement to supplement heat and I have started to notice a \"plastic like smell\" especially when I've rekindled a fire and got it going nice and hot. Any ideas? Haven't used any paint etc. just burning a lot of wood keeping the fire going for heat in the house. Thanks for any input.
Bob
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Bob,

That was an old post from a few years ago, and I don't remember hearing a reasonable explanation for the plastic smell.
Thankfully, the plastic smell eventually went away on it's own, as inexplicably as it started.
Anthony
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Whatever it was burned up.
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Perhaps, though I had burned many hot fires previously and the smell remained. I never burn anything except clean dry wood (usually alder, fir, or cedar).
Every summer I clean the woodstove and chimney thoroughly. This includes scooping out all the ash, then vaccuuming out any remaining ash. I have fine filter bags in my vac to avoid blowing ash all over the house. :). I also vaccuum all around the outside and back, and wipe everything down with a damp rag (water only).
So, I suppose there may have been something in the ashes that gave off the smell and removing it got rid of the smell. I really don't know, but am thankful it has gone away.
Anthony
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