Woodstove problem
October 18, 2005 10:34 AM   Subscribe

I just bought a new cast iron wood stove and have only had three fires in it so far. Everytime there has been a horrible chemical smoke that burns off of the body which I assume is the blackening ont he cast iron? It has been significantly less each time but will it eventually stop? Is there anything I can do to prevent this? Help!
posted by cdcello to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
It probably is a chemical treatment of some sort. Try keeping it going for about 10 hours to burn it off completely.

I'm in the process of buying a natural gas stove for the basement and every showroom we've walked into has a smell from the new floor unit models - gas, wood or pellet.
posted by jkaczor at 10:42 AM on October 18, 2005

I had the same problem on a new wood stove. It eventually wore off. If you ever move and get new stove pipes, they too will put off the smell for the first couple of burns.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:47 AM on October 18, 2005

It's normal and will burn off in time. Run a hot fire in the stove for a good long time and you'll be rid of the smell faster.
posted by jessamyn at 11:11 AM on October 18, 2005

Should a person be breathing that air? Might be better to ramp up the heat, leave the house for a few hours, come back, damper the fire, open the windows, turn on a couple box fans, and leave again for a while...
posted by five fresh fish at 12:18 PM on October 18, 2005

Might be cosmoline, a protective coating often found on easily rustable parts that's put on for shipping. Usually the user is supposed to take it off.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 12:35 PM on October 18, 2005

Might be cosmoline

If it's the same as what I experienced it ain't cosmoline, more like some sort of paint or primer burning off. FYI FFF, you probably wouldn't want to burn any sort of fire in a non-ventilated house anyway.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:42 PM on October 18, 2005

It is the paint, it needs to cure. the smoke is mostly nontoxic however i tell everyone of my stove customers to open the windows when they are breaking-in the stove and not to wait until that romantic evening to light it up.

The paint is probably from stove bright

Also cast iron stoves need to be broken in with a series of fires starting with some twigs and ending with a full load of wood. Do it 5 of more times each fire bigger than the last letting it cool to touch each time.

After that let it rip.

PS. don't burn those wax logs in a stove, really don't.
Be safe
posted by blink_left at 2:42 PM on October 18, 2005

Yeah I wouldn't breathe that stuff, but it wil disappear soon enough. After that, you'll probably need to treat it with something more appropriate to ensure you've got a nice shiny, non-rusty long-lasting wood stove.

Being from a different hemisphere, I couldn't advise...

(doyou need to light fires already, in October? Man that must be cold)
posted by wilful at 4:37 PM on October 18, 2005

FYI FFF, you probably wouldn't want to burn any sort of fire in a non-ventilated house anyway.

That's not anything I've heard before. My family had a wood fireplace for eons, and my current home has both a wood fireplace and a wood box stove. There is no exceptional ventilation in either case. I've never seen nor heard of such an idea.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:01 PM on October 18, 2005

"any sort of fire in a non-ventilated house"
Most of the issues (stupid moves) i see are around unvented heaters burning kerosene and nat/lp gas. For example heating your house with a oven. When burning wood the logs will burn down and out, but a unvented kerosene or gas burner will just go and go till it eats all the O2 in a tight house.
Last week a future customer who stupidly used a heater meant for outdoors in his house. He woke up to 2 foot of soot/smoke at the ceiling and blood running out his nose. I gave him and his wife my best safety lashing(words), i hope it worked.
All solid/liquid/gas heaters should be vented (yes i know all about "ventfree gas stoves" and i would never ever use one or let anyone i cared about use one including you all).
posted by blink_left at 10:33 PM on October 18, 2005

Thanks for the advice! It will sure help!
posted by cdcello at 8:11 AM on October 19, 2005

The exhaust gases obviously have to be routed to out-of-doors. Anyone who doesn't recognize that is probably due for an abbreviated life.

No one is going to light a wood fire in their house without using a flue. At least, not more than once and for not more than a few seconds, because the thick smog of wood smoke is gonna have them putting out the fire PDQ.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:29 AM on October 19, 2005

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