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Old 10-06-2004, 08:21 PM   #1
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Funny smell when running furnace

With overnight temperatures dipping into the high 30's last night (and I'm not ready to winterize), I turned the furnace on and set the thermostat at 45 degrees to safe guard my pipes. Today I noticed a funny smell in the trailer -- almost like a propane gasey smell -- and was wondering what it could be. I don't think the smell is propane because my propane detector is quiet and seems to be working fine (blinking green light); I don't think it is CO because the smell is too strong and my CO detector is quiet.

Any ideas?
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Old 10-06-2004, 08:41 PM   #2
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funny smell

It could be dust particals being burnt off when the furnace is first started in the fall or after it's been off for a lenght of time. We always recieved a number of odor type calls when the Fall heating season started. Since your monitors are not responding I would suggest that you open the trailer door & vents with the heater on & let it "air out" & then after the door & vents are shut, if the smell continues by ALL means have it inspected. Being that the furnace is installed in a movable trailer it could have been dislodged from a vent, etc. Whatever you do, be sure it's SAFE.
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Old 10-06-2004, 08:47 PM   #3
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Forgot to add

you can also check your heater vent on the outside to see if it's venting the fumes & not plugged with ?????. Be careful not to get burned as the fumes & outlet can be hot.
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Old 10-06-2004, 08:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna
With overnight temperatures dipping into the high 30's last night (and I'm not ready to winterize), I turned the furnace on and set the thermostat at 45 degrees to safe guard my pipes. Today I noticed a funny smell in the trailer -- almost like a propane gasey smell -- and was wondering what it could be. I don't think the smell is propane because my propane detector is quiet and seems to be working fine (blinking green light); I don't think it is CO because the smell is too strong and my CO detector is quiet.

Any ideas?
I've had fumes from my furnace once when I was on battery power and the batteries were low. I assumed it was because the fan was slowing down, causing the problem. My smoke detector went off, lucky since it was 3:00 AM and my wife and I were sleeping.
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Old 10-06-2004, 10:35 PM   #5
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I kept the trailer warm last winter with a small electric heater plugged in to one of the 110 outlets. I opened the cupboards where the pipes were to make sure the warm air could get to them, and kept it like that all winter so it was ready to go if we wanted to use it.
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Old 10-06-2004, 10:57 PM   #6
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Because of your post I must assume you mean your '02 A/S, not the '68. Our new '04 had set off the smoke detector a few times before the 'residue' on the element had burned off. It also had a foul odor during that time. (I was told by the dealer, & I did, run the heater over 8 hrs. with the smoke detector disabled & a few windows open, this was in cold weather (in Texas) during Feb. this yr., & have had no smell or problems since with it) I've been told that 'experienced' A/S dealers run the heater a few times to aleviate this condition before delivering a 'new' unit. A/S has a long way to go before it understands it's new, educated with year 2000+ expectations, market...IMHO.

BTW: My daughter is due with our 1st grandchild in Nov. ...she lives north of Boston in Lynnfield! We'll be there when we are...GRANDPARENTS!!!!!! OH NO .....
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Old 10-07-2004, 07:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivetED
Because of your post I must assume you mean your '02 A/S, not the '68.
Yes, that is a correct assumption.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RivetED
Our new '04 had set off the smoke detector a few times before the 'residue' on the element had burned off. It also had a foul odor during that time. (I was told by the dealer, & I did, run the heater over 8 hrs. with the smoke detector disabled & a few windows open, this was in cold weather (in Texas) during Feb. this yr., & have had no smell or problems since with it)
I think you have it! I didn't mention in my post that the furnace is brand new and this is the first time we have used it. Thank you so much for helping to alleviate my concern!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RivetED
BTW: My daughter is due with our 1st grandchild in Nov. ...she lives north of Boston in Lynnfield! We'll be there when we are...GRANDPARENTS!!!!!!
Congratulations! BTW, I lived in North Peabody for many years and traveled through Lynnfield daily to the office. How long will you be in the area for?
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Old 10-07-2004, 09:03 AM   #8
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Burn in

Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna
I think you have it! I didn't mention in my post that the furnace is brand new and this is the first time we have used it. Thank you so much for helping to alleviate my concern!
When I bought my current Airstream, the dealer ran the furnace all night with the windows open just to burn it in and get rid of the smell that you are getting. I had no odor when I subsequently used the furnace.

I bought my trailer in relatively cool weather; probably couldn't burn it off if it was bought in high summer.

I use the furnace very little since I have the heat pump AC. The heat pump is all I need 98% of the time here in Texas. The furnace has a little odor when started up after a long period of non-use. I think it is dust burning off.
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Old 10-07-2004, 10:36 AM   #9
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There can be a small degree of smell when any furnace is activated after it has sat for a bit. We just fired up our house furnace a few nights ago when it got into the low 30s. It too had a smell, but after a short while, it went away. Our detector also registered a zero reading on the numeric display.

Though not pleasant, it should pass and you should be ok.
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Old 10-07-2004, 12:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna



I think you have it! I didn't mention in my post that the furnace is brand new and this is the first time we have used it. Thank you so much for helping to alleviate my concern!



gee, I never would have guessed. We had ours running during the last 2 outings. you guys must be hot-blooded, or somethin'
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Old 10-07-2004, 03:03 PM   #11
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When a tank is getting low we get the smell of the odorant that is put into the propane. It goes away when switched to the full tank.

Larry Ruebel
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