Gas fireplace - room smells of gas when on - air/gas mixture problem?


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Old 12-06-09, 09:34 AM
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Gas fireplace - room smells of gas when on - air/gas mixture problem?

I have a gas fireplace, with a regular chimney with flu, and when I light the pilot and then turn the fire on the room smells like natural gas. We don't use the firplace because of this, but wonder if the air/gas shutter that can be adjusted may be set wrong? I have been pretty much sliding it closed to try and prevent extra gas from entering the fireplace/room, but maybe this is not the right thing to do.

I can't find any information to confirm or deny if the air/gas ratio may be the issue or not. The firplace works fine otherwise, but I can't very well leave it on when the family complains of the gas smell (nor does that seem safe)...

Any ideas/advice?
 
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Old 12-06-09, 11:20 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Is your flue opened when you use the fireplace? You need to allow the air to the combustion area, so keep the vent opened. Is your flame blue at the bottom or yellow? I believe what you are smelling is residual exhaust gasses, and not natural gas. Check the flue and let us know on that one.
 
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Old 12-06-09, 11:49 AM
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Yep, the flue is completely open.
Also, the flame is blue at the bottom where the holes in the tube are.
 
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Old 12-06-09, 12:59 PM
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So we just went shopping for a little while - before we left I lit the pilot light only. When we got home (~1 hour later), there was a gas smell (albeit faint) in the room. I shut it all off again - maybe we have a leak in the pipes leading up to the fireplace since even having just the pilot light on seemed to cause the odor...
 
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Old 12-06-09, 03:03 PM
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If the odor you smell is like rotten eggs, you have a gas leak that needs IMMEDIATE attention!!!

Go outside and call the gas company with your cell phone. Do not enter the house until the source of that leak is found. Do not use any light switches or appliances. One spark and we could be reading about you on the 6 o'clock news.

If this is a vent-free set of gas logs, you CANNOT adjust the air shutter. It is adjusted from the factory and is not user adjustable.
 
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Old 12-06-09, 06:28 PM
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The smell is definitely natural gas - just like it smells like when you start up a gas stove top before the fire actually lights it.

If I shut everything off, including turning the key that opens up the gas pipe coming up from the basement there is no odor, so that is how I shut it down after any attempts to get it working to be safe (we've lived here quite some time, just never get to actually have a fire).

The logs are not vent free, it is a regular chimney with the flue opened. There is a metal piece that spins around where the main pipe of gas goes, held on by a single screw. I see that I can spin it to open it up most of the way or close it, so that is what I assume is the air/gas mixture control.

Still not sure if I should be trying a different air/gas mix, or maybe we just don't use the fireplace until we can afford to have someone come out to check for leaks/tune it up for running.

I appreciate the thoughts (and concerns ).
 
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Old 12-06-09, 06:42 PM
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So I just tried 1 more time - definitely not an air/gas mixture issue!

I lit the pilot again, but this time got down and opened up the access chamber at the bottom of the fireplace where the pilot control and fan are located - boy did it smell in there! Some way or another gas must be free in there, so obviously I'll keep it all shut off until we can get a professional out to find the problem.

Any recommendations for how to find a reputable gas fireplace professional to look at this or how much it might cost? I wouldn't even know what category to use in the yellow pages...
 
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Old 12-06-09, 06:55 PM
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You might want to first call your gas utility. Telephone calls are almost free. My next step would be to look in the yellow pages under "fireplaces".
 
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Old 12-06-09, 07:49 PM
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I'll try this one more time......DO NOT use this fireplace, PERIOD, untill a professional repairs it.

Try NFI Certified and punch in your zip code to find a qualified pro.
 
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Old 12-07-09, 03:33 PM
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Everyone is right have the gas co. check it for you. But my feeling is it is in your gas key on the wall. Is it the type wear you have to use a special key? if so try turning off your gas unit useing the valve on the pilot system. then open the gas key on the wall very carefully..... smell around the key for gas leaking out. if you smell it at that area you need a plumber not a fireplace repair. Gas keys on the wall have a packing material in them and can be changed out in about 10 minutes by a plumber who knows what he is doing. Good luck. Again listen to the other people on here as well have the gas co. look at it first they dont charge for it in my area. But i have personally gone to service calls for this problem and it does not leak when the gas key is off only when you open it for the gas to flow to the fireplace.
 
 

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