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weandbc

05:07PM | 01/17/04
Member Since: 01/16/04
5 lifetime posts
Bvbasement
We started to notice a strange smell coming from our living room radiator about 2 months ago. We thought it was the radiator and bled it but the smell persisted. It was a strange, did one of the kids poop, kind of smell that you noticed only when entering the room. After about a month or more we stopped noticing the smell. (We thought it could be a dead animal, but where? the radiators are not covered.) Then yesterday we noticed the smell in the living room again and this time a much stronger smell in the basement. It seems to be coming from the furnace, which is under the living room, but then again maybe not. The furnace is directly underneath a gas fireplace too. We think the odor smells like a mix of gas and poop and maybe some rotten eggs, but the smell is not strong enough that if you're in the room for longer than 20 seconds you continue to smell it.

We're on the east coast and have had freezing termperatures for the last few days. No rain. No sign of any dead animals.

Any idea what might be causing this smell?

plumber Tom

01:44AM | 01/18/04
Member Since: 05/10/03
810 lifetime posts
Call the gas company immediately! Natural gas is odorless, however an additive that smells similar to sulphur and rotten eggs is added to help weed out gas leaks. Normally they won't even charge you to come out and check your gas lines and furnace and gas fireplace. On older brass gas valves the seal that is used is brass on brass. Sometimes when the valve is turned off and on the user forgets to tighten the nut on the back of the valve. The gas company will have special test instruments that can pinpoint even a small leak.

weandbc

03:12PM | 01/18/04
Member Since: 01/16/04
5 lifetime posts
Thank you!! We were like, nah, no way but let's call to rule out gas. Well, sure enough no gas in the fireplace, but once the technician got down to the furnace his instrument went crazy. There was a leak at one of the valves, which he was able to tighten. Thanks again!!

plumber Tom

10:55AM | 01/23/04
Member Since: 05/10/03
810 lifetime posts
Your welcome. Can I suggest you also install a carbon monoxide detector in your basement? You get get a half decent one now for around $50.00. carbon monoxide (also called the silent killer) can leak from your furnace's heat exchanger if it ever developed a crack. Also from rust spots in your flue pipe. A complete a to z inspection of any heating system should be performed at the beginning and end of each heating season.
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