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Old 10-05-2021, 08:36 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 11
Wood stove chemical smell

Hey all, we're experiencing a smell with our wood stove that doesn't start until the fire is really roaring. We have a cubic mini grizzly and I've done 2 burns outside to burn any off gasses from the paint on the unit. My suspicion is the yellow fiberglass(in-between the original metal roof of the bus) is slightly melting and causing the smell.

The vent is going out our roof and starting inside it makes contact with a double walled insulation pipe then hits the bracket hiding the hole, then the original roof that we left alone other than painting with latex paint and the roof of the bus is painted with Henry's silicone paint.

Letting the stove cool down and airing out the bus before digging into the problem further, just thought I'd see what y'all have to say. Thanks

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Old 10-05-2021, 11:37 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
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Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
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Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
A couple of thoughts.

1) Always make sure that the stove pipes and stove are properly protected from any flammable material....even if it's insulation that will melt and gas off.

2) While the outside stove pipe greatly reduces the heat coming off the inside stove pipe, the outside pipe still gets hot. I'd remove your chimney stack, assure there is a fireproof insulation between the ceiling and the roof around the chimney hole. I'd also make sure you remove any paint or silicone that is in direct contact with the hot chimney, and then use appropriate sealants for the chimney flanges.

3) Two burns outside may seem like you've burned off a lot of the stove gases, but when you put the stove in a confined area, it would not surprise me that you're still getting some off gassing and it's a stronger smell indoors.

I can't remember who the couple was, but they burned down their entire bus by not doing things properly. Do your research, ask professionals, but do this right so you stay alive.
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Old 10-06-2021, 12:38 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: Yelm, WA
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Year: 2008
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: 6L gas
If you have a short section of single wall before the double wall above it may be the source. I found that every time I got mine hotter than it had been to that point it gave off that toxic smell again. Even after many months. It's like the paint liquifies and dries again at a higher level.
I eventually started conditioning my new single wall outside on a barrel stove and you could actually see little wisps of smoke coming off the exterior of the pipe. Trouble is if you get it too hot you may warp or even collapse it I feared so.. next time the stove got away from me inside (which only happened a couple times) (mill ends) there was that horrible toxic smell again.
A newly repainted stove will do it too.
Those magnetic thermometers you stick on 2' above the stove are great for enabling you to stay below say 500f.
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Old 10-06-2021, 08:29 AM   #4
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Location: Grayson County, VA
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We installed a Cubic Grizzly too. We left a 2" air space around the double-wall chimney pipe. That meant cutting a hole that was around 8" in diameter. We then put a ring of metal flashing in between the ceiling and the roof, to keep the insulation from sliding against the chimney. The double-wall chimney pipe is centered in the ceiling/roof hole by a silicone pipe flashing boot on the outside and a decorative metal panel (to cover up the 8" hole) on the inside of the bus.
No problems so far, and we've checked a few times to see the condition of the insulation.
Our Build:
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Old 10-06-2021, 08:32 AM   #5
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Location: Springfield Missouri
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My old grizzly had a smell to it for awhile. I did 3 outdoor burns on it before I installed it but it still had a "smell" to it for about 6-8 more burns. After that, all the paint "burn in" was over and the smell stopped.
As the others have stated, check to make sure you stove pipe is safe but a chemical smell is normal until the stove tempers a bit.
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Old 10-06-2021, 11:34 AM   #6
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Isn't anyone using ceramic wool insulation? I used it to shield a turbine engine jet pipe from the metal of the airframe on a homebuilt aircraft, and after that the outside would barely get hot, even though the EGT was several hundred degrees C. It's relatively inexpensive and can be secured to the pipe with stainless steel safety wire.
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Old 10-06-2021, 12:11 PM   #7
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thermometer is a must.. definitely dont want to overfire the stove.. 500f is a good number to keep the chimney temp below (on the inner pipe)..

I dont have a stove in my bus but had plenty of experience with wood stoves in homes.. and it was amazingly easy to get a fire roaring and hit that 500 mark or go over it.. I tended to damper down the fire as it got going.. to keep the fire from really roaring.. I could re-open the air and chimney dampers some if I needed a little more but fresh wood on a hot established coal bed was really easy to over fire if I wasnt careful
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Old 10-08-2021, 01:32 AM   #8
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 11
Thank you everyone for your advice on the subject. I contacted Cubic mini and they say that getting rid of the paint smell can take up to 30+ hours of use. I've since burned it to the 30 hour mark but haven't lit it inside yet. Definitely going to get a temperature gauge for the stove pipe. I'm burning oak and plum wood and I'm sure I got the stove to hot and will be getting better and dampening the fire to keep it at a safe temperature. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 10-16-2021, 05:06 PM   #9
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 11
The first burn in a new wood stove should be outside before you install it.
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Old 10-16-2021, 07:14 PM   #10
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 11
I burned it twice outside for a total of 12 hours the instructions say 6 but it could take up to 30 hours of burn to complete the fine burn off
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