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Strange smell coming from vents for propane furnace. They…

Customer Question
Strange smell coming from...

Strange smell coming from vents for propane furnace

Contractor's Assistant: Did you check the furnace's filters?

Yes, they were cleaned professionally last summer.

Contractor's Assistant: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?

No

Contractor's Assistant: Anything else we should know to help you best?

I woke up the other morning and the house smelled like gasoline/sulfer. I called the propane company. They checked everything and assured there were no leaks. I then opened all of the windows and turned the furnace off and aired out the house. When I came back everything seemed fine. A few hours later there was a different smell. It wasn't like gasoline, but still had a chemical smell. It makes me cough. We had a furnace repair guy look at the furnace and he said it is working properly. The smell comes from the vents and seems to be stronger in the bathrooms. We have not changed anything in the house, so it is perplexing.

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Home Improvement
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Answered in 7 hours by:
3/25/2018
Home Improvement Expert: Machinc, General Contractor replied 2 months ago
Machinc
Machinc, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 1,023
Experience: Has written home improvement articles since 2008. Earned South Carolina Residential Builders License in 1991.
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Before you give up the odor could be coming from your water heater.
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Home Improvement Expert: Machinc, General Contractor replied 2 months ago
The clue is you said it seems to be worse in the bathrooms.
For a test run the hot water for a few minutes until it is good and hot and see if the water has the odor.
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Home Improvement Expert: Machinc, General Contractor replied 2 months ago
If the water has the “smell “ then it is likely the anode rod in your water heater has gone bad.
This rod protects the tank from rusting and once it starts to smell it is time to have the rod and possibly the heater replaced.
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Home Improvement Expert: Machinc, General Contractor replied 2 months ago
This is an odor that can become quite strong and can be sucked into your heating system causing the odor to appear to come from the furnace or duct work. Using the hot water releases it into the entire home. The odor can also escape from the water heater if the rod has deteriorated enough.More..
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Home Improvement Expert: Machinc, General Contractor replied 2 months ago
It usually is noticed when returning from vacation when the hot water has been unused allowing the fumes to build.
The more you use the water it is possible the odor will become unnoticeable .
This however is not a fix .
Once you determine the odor is coming from the hot water the anode rod should be inspected by a licensed plumber and usually replaced.
If the rod is badly deteriorated the tank may be rusty and a complete water heater replacement could be necessary.
This is more common on older water heaters 20 years but less depending on your water conditions
“Hard” or such.
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Home Improvement Expert: Machinc, General Contractor replied 2 months ago
Odors in the water can come from outside conditions , but this would also be noticeable in your cold water.
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Home Improvement Expert: Machinc, General Contractor replied 2 months ago
A less likely cause is certain odors that are present in furnace insulation but this is pretty unlikely and is caused by a physical crushing of the ductwork , usually during renovations or a disturbance to the duct work . This is more common in industrial settings or shared apartment building type situations.
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Home Improvement Expert: Machinc, General Contractor replied 2 months ago
I would not be surprised and do suspect that your water heater is going to be the problem.
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Home Improvement Expert: Machinc, General Contractor replied 2 months ago
NOTE:::
As a last long shot if the water heater is not the problem it is possible that water is getting into your vent system and “pooling “
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Home Improvement Expert: Machinc, General Contractor replied 2 months ago
This water could sit long enough to stagnate and create odors that could back flow into your system when it is off .
An inspection of your out outside vent cap and pipe would br needed to determine if this is the problem.
This can only be found by an actual physical examination of the outside where the pipe vents.Checking all of these possibilities should correct your problem.
You will need a professional licensed technician for these tasks
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Home Improvement Expert: Machinc, General Contractor replied 2 months ago
Not the first but this
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Home Improvement Expert: Machinc, General Contractor replied 2 months ago
Please disregard post at 12:24am
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