Smelly furnace sets off smoke detector

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blsmith25

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Jul 5, 2006
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70
Location
Santa Clara, CA
I decided to try out my new furnace but after running and generating heat, it is putting off this burn smell.
It is strong enough that it sets the smoke detector off.
I'm assuming it's burning the "new" off and that's what I'm smelling.
Is that what is happening? How long does this usually take to burn off?
At the moment, I have to open the top vent and a window when running it and the smoke detector still isn't completely happy.
There's not much point running the furnace with the window and vent open...  ???
 

blsmith25

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Jul 5, 2006
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Santa Clara, CA
If I don't do that with the windows and vent open, the smoke detector will set me crazy or make me deaf in a short period of time...

Also, is the smoke detector wired in or would it be running on a 9V battery like house ones? I could just take the battery out until it's broken in and the smell goes away. But if it's wired in, I can't turn it off...

How long do you think it will take to burn off?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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At our Silver Springs FL home
The detector is probably battery operated - take it off the ceiling and see.

Make sure it is the smoke detector and not the LPG or CO (carbon monoxide) detector that is alarming. Either of those two indicates a serious furnace problem that could be fatal to you.

Smoke detectors sense smoke particles, so "smoke" (whether visible or not) is coming into the interior. That should never be. A furnace draws its combustion air from outside and vents the smoke outside, never into the interior. he only way yoou could be burning something off would be in the heat exchanger has some crud on it or perhaps is overheating and burning something near by. There is supposed to be a high temp limit sensor to prevent that, but...

If the alarm doesn't stop within a few minutes, shut her down and get professional help.
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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Davison Michigan
How long to burn off, perhaps five minutes tops

How long to air out the rig so the smoke detector quites alarming

Perhaps five hours

You can rush it buy opening all roof vents, turning on all fans and opening windows
 

blsmith25

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Jul 5, 2006
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Location
Santa Clara, CA
Ok, next time I need it, i'll open the windows and top vent and see what happens.
I'm not sure if I can or should take off the cover to see if anything would be close or not.
It's new... shouldn't everything work properly??? Don't they test these things before I get it?

If it still stinks after 5 - maybe 10 minutes of continuous heat and sets off the alarm, I'll call the dealershiip. That I'll have to bring it back for...

It is the smoke detector since it's round and white and just above the door. I've put it off before once when cooking something burned and yes, there was a little visible smoke then, although mostly the smell of burned food.
The CO2 and LPG detectors are against the wall and flat. One at the top and one at the bottom I believe.

Thanks.
 

KodiakRV

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Aug 19, 2006
Posts
1,820
Location
Florida
I've got the same problem.? When I first used the heat last month, the smoke detector went off.? I figured since the unit sat on the lot for 10+ months, that wasn't so unexpected.  I have the same problem with my home furnace after it sits idle from April to December.

Took it out again this past weekend and the smoke detector did not go off the first night, but did the second night.? I did change the direction one of the vents was blowing inbetween.

While you probably wouldn't say the air smelled like smoke, you can tell a definite difference in smell when the furnace is running.

How hard is it to take apart to the point where you can check it?? I assume the first thing to check is the two outside vent channels (inlet & outlet?) for blockages like mud dauber nests.? Can that be done with a flashlight, or is disassembly required?

[I did buy the anti-mud-dauber screens several weeks ago and installed them, but did not inspect inside the furnace.]
 

blsmith25

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Jul 5, 2006
Posts
70
Location
Santa Clara, CA
I don't know the answers to any of your questions. It's a brand new unit. Got it in Auguast and it was not sitting on the lot for any real length of time.
I'm afraid to take it apart in case I wreck it and it may not be "broke" so I'm not sure that I need to "fix" it. Or if my fix will actually fix it or make it worse...
I don't know what mud dauber is and not sure how I'd pick up mud...  ???
I'm hoping the smell will go away as in what Solly said once it is burned off. Now it's not cold enough at night anymore to have it on.
 

BruceinFL

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Mar 12, 2005
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3,205
Mud-daubers are wasps that like to make nests made out of mud. Adobe haciendas for the daubers.  :D They like to pck places like furnace intakes' etc.
 

KodiakRV

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Aug 19, 2006
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1,820
Location
Florida
blsmith25 said:
I don't know the answers to any of your questions...

I apologize, I was butting into your thread and asking questions of my own to those who may have taken a furnace apart before.  I'm looking for answers like you are.  :)
 

Fcranger

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Oct 15, 2006
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125
Location
Northern Arizona
I have a new Winnebago that I tried the furnace for the first time a few weeks ago and it smoked a little at first and set off the smoke alarm but it's been good since then. :)
 

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