We have moved into a house with a flame effect oil stove (Harmony 2
for those in the know) set in the living room fireplace. It's been
serviced because we had a few problems with it, but there's one thing
still bothering me - the smell of oil fumes. It's strong enough to
make my eyes smart a bit when sitting in the living room and is very
noticeable when going from outside the house to inside. I think I may
even be getting a headache from it. The service engineer said that the
smell was due to a bit of oil residue and it would soon burn off, but
the stove has been in operation now for a total of about 48 hours and
it still smells. If I open the windows and let fresh air in, then
close them again, the smell is back within a few minutes.
We have a new CO detector and that's not raising any alarm, but is
this strength of smell normal? The flue is the chimney liner type and
the service engineer says it's pulling OK. Could it be leaking?
On Sun, 19 Aug 2007 09:13:15 -0700, KingoftheBungle
Are you burning the right oil? Paraffin oil for home heating used to
be de-odourised but the heaters will burn kerosene, are you being sold
the right stuff, or even is it still available?
Google for "Esso Blee Dooler". :-)
Then I'd take it seriously, my eyes became sensitised to fumes from
burning fat after we got an electric oven to replace the previous gas
oven which was ventilated and had catalytic linings.
It must be the right oil. The engineer had to do work on the tank
(it's well away from the house, so that's not the source of the smell)
and emptied it out and refilled it, so he would have known if it was
the wrong stuff.
Yes, I know the feeling. The stove has been off for a couple of hours
and I can still feel my eyes are irritated.
Perhaps there's not enough ventilation in the room? It's double glazed
and I can't see any air bricks.
There are engineers and then there are Engineers.
If your ventilation and flueing are up to scratch you should NOT smell
any products of combustion! There should be NO leaks of fuel to create
I'd get him (her?) back pronto and demand a proper check which you can
witness and have fume clearance demonstrated during the course of.
If you still don't get any joy contact OFTEC for a properly trained
person to investigate
He is OFTEC registered, but I don't have a lot of confidence in him,
now. Trouble is, we are tenants and the landlord is ultimately in
charge of who is brought in. I think I'll phone the company who sold
the stove - several years ago - and get their advice. I've never lived
with one of these beasts before and I'm not looking forward to this
Yes, I guess that's the final recourse once relations have broken down
completely. I've looked on the OFTEC site for other people that
service vaporising stoves and rung a few but it turns out that they
mostly don't touch the type we have - maybe for a good reason! I'm
pretty sure now that the smell is coming from a faulty or leaking oil
control valve (Toby model). It's a bugger to get to because the stove
is set back in a chimney breast - I reckon the engineer just didn't
fancy it so is trying the easy way out.
I've found the source of the smell. The joints on the oil control
valve are weeping slightly, even when the valve is off - not much but
enough to be detected with a wipe of a kitchen towel. I guess they'll
probably weep more when oil is flowing and hot (valve is very near the
burner pot). Definitely an oversight by the engineer.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.