Gas Fireplace Problem

Old 12-14-02, 05:54 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Vent free Fireplace/gas logs

We have a finished walkout basement. For supplemental heat, we installed a Martin ventfree fireplace Model ZCB and 24" gas log set purchased at Home Depot and made by Sure Heat Mfg. All this is in a stone fireplace; the gas logs light manually, no thermostat or remote control. We are having some problems with unpleasant odors generated by the gas logs. The finished area is a room about 30' long. Most of the smell seems to settle in the area away from the fireplace and in the stairwell leading up out of the basement. Is there anything we can do to eliminate these odors? Do some log sets burn better, creating less odor? Should I try to vent the stairwell up into the attic? Can the fireplace box be vented ( we have a second clay flue in the chimney we didn't use; a mistake). Should I have a professional come out to check over the burner? Thank you.
Old 12-14-02, 07:51 AM
Sharp Advice's Avatar
Admin Emeritus
Join Date: Feb 1998
Location: The Shake and Bake State USA
Posts: 9,927
Upvotes: 0
Received 7 Upvotes on 6 Posts
Hello: dobczeman

If the smell is the odor I suspect it to be, it could be and most likely is toxic. The heavier the odor the more toxic it is. You're smelling carbon monoxides in the form of aldyhides.

Aldyhides are products of unburned gas which is also very toxic and does have an odor. This odor smell is usually lite smelling, has a sweet smell and can be combined with a mildew type odor.
Hard to explain here in text only. Most places I have completed a CO test at, I would not have had to even do the test if it where not for legal reasons & documentations, etc. The odor is un-mistakable to the highly trained professional.

Hope you can understand my explaination description as well as those whom are also reading this reply. Not so easy to put into words and there are many variations to explain & describe it.

Basically speaking, you're smelling an odor which may be produced by the gas appliance or the odor is produced by whatever is already in the air or environment in the room.

I would not suggest attempting to vent the fumes out by any other method except by a venting system. No holes to attics etc.
CO fumes and aldyhides are heavy fumes and settle down low as well as upwards. They CAN NOT be vented safetly anywhere. Outdoor areas included. The cause of the problem has to be determined and corrected, period.

The problem may be correctable but not as a doityourself project. For your own safety and others in the home, hire a pro asap.

DO NOT use the appliance until doing so. Serious health injuries or death is a very real possibility. Accept no other solutions accept that of a professional on site and in home help.

Nor should you accept any additional replies from other members in this forum topic suggesting alternate means or methods to correcting the problem, etc.

You need professional help. Or replace the appliance with a vented unit. Have the vented unit inspected after installation if done as a doityourself project or have it professionally installed.

Additional Note & Disclaimer:
I do not suggest nor recommend the usage of any unvented gas heating or decorate appliance to anyone for any reason. Period.

Regards & Good Luck, Forum Host & Moderator.
TCB4U2B2B Company Enterprises. Energy Conservation Consultants & Gas Appliance Diagnostics Technicians.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: