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Jason Raddenbach
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If the Carbon Monoxide detector is not being tripped then it could be elevated NO2 levels. Gas logs are know for putting out a fair amount of NO2, CO2. Or it might be incomplete combustion. Is there any odor affiliated with running this gas log and did the professional test the draft of the chimney?
If the smelly creosote happened in just one month. You really need to evaluate what type of wood you are burning and how dry it is. Burn some of your regular wood and watch the stack to see if the smoke is thick and dark or light and wispy. To fix the problem you can look at it a few ways, but the situation you are running into is likely due to the fact that your stove is in the basement and the stack effect of air in the house is causing the chimney in intake air during times of non-use. A chimney balloon might still work for you if there is an ash clean-out port on your chimney or unit that can give you access to the flue or if one of the pipes is designed to semi-easily disconnect to give your chimney sweep access. I wouldn't count on the cap or the longer chimney to do it for you in this one. A heated insert or burning 24/7 will do the trick but at a cost of fuel and energy.
Hi Duane, Here is a link to a picture of a Chimney Balloon installed in a round flue: And here is a display page of many sizes of standard Chimney Balloons: If a person accidentally lights a fire underneath an installed Chimney Balloon the balloon is designed to burst and shrink at about 180-210 degrees Fahrenheit. That is why it is important to put the Chimney Balloon in low in the flue and near the firebox of the fireplace or wood stove, so that release will happen quickly.
It could be a fresh air intake on the back side of the fireplace. Is there a vent that looks like a clothes dryer vent on the outside wall opposite of the fireplace?
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Mar 15, 2010
TH, I see now where the rumor is coming from, but is there any science behind the suggestion in the code? I have long ago learned that something is not necessarily true (or a good idea) just because “professionals” included it in their code. Burning standard table salt NaCl would produce a sodium and chlorine gas only at 800C or ~1400F. No furnace or fireplace could reach that temp, only a kiln could. But taking flame to salt creates an intense yellow color because of the flame hitting the sodium metal. Perhaps this “fireworks” display gives the illusion of a chemical separation taking place. Ah, so maybe the truth is it is all a slight of hand trick!? I would love to hear the science one way or another.