bad smell from gas appliances

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by storms, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. storms

    storms New Member

    Feb 13, 2009
    I turned on my gas clothes dryer and got an awful oil/fuel smell emanating from it as it heated up. A short time later I preheated the gas oven and ..same thing. Had PG&E out here for 3 leaks nothing...they left scratching their heads. They thought that maybe (just maybe) there was some sort of breakdown in the gas pipes that were run 10 years ago to support these new appliances..highly unlikely but they were at a loss for any other explanation.
    This morning PGE boss guy calls and says that maybe it has something to do with the fact that we are having wood floors refinished as we sit here! Someone that he worked with said that he had encountered this years ago (same smell situation etc.) and fumes from wood floors were present. question is this: has anyone heard of anything (even remotely) similar to this? Does the "mixing of fumes/reacting to gas being burned in appliance" sound plausible at all? Any other ideas or thoughts would be hugely appreciated. This is a head scratcher.
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    Interesting question. I have experienced the same odor occasionally and have never figured out where it comes from or why. I is infrequent and doesn't last long. Seems to be strongest in the stairwell between the basement and the ground floor.
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  4. alternety

    alternety Like an engineer

    Apr 2, 2006
    Keep in mind that the can of floor finish probably warns you about the fumes being flammable. That means lighting a gas appliance (or pilot light) could be a bad thing.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    IF there is ANY possibility of it being something involving propane, it is deadly serious. I saw a situation on TV recently when there was a propane leak, but the gas company could not find it because they did not calibrate or test the instrument in clean air so it did not recognize the gas in the building. However, it did react to a small spark and demolished the 6 story building.
  6. storms

    storms New Member

    Feb 13, 2009 propane

    no propane..we are hoping that as the floors dry and the smell dissapates it will all just go away...weird though.. will update as it goes...
  7. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Jul 30, 2008
    Tech. Instructor
    S. Maine
    Yes, polyurethane reacts with the gas and produces a pretty nasty smell.
  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    Is your floor finish water base or spirit based...
  9. storms

    storms New Member

    Feb 13, 2009
    i would guess spirit based....why? does any of this sound familiar?
  10. storms

    storms New Member

    Feb 13, 2009
    beware!! hardwood floor refinishing solvents and gas appliances do not mix

    So it has been almost a week now and the smell from our hardwood floors being refinished has pretty much dissapated....guess what?? no more smell coming from gas appliances! Mystery solved! We were that close to hiring a plumber to start ripping into gas pipes to figure it was that bad! PG&E was at a complete loss.....Whew!!
  11. burleymike

    burleymike New Member

    Nov 4, 2008
    It is funny this came up. My dad painted over some old paneling in his house with an oil based primer. He thought he had good venilation but then when my mom dried clothes she thought the laundry smelled like kerosene burning.

    Even with our electric dryer you could smell the solvents from the floor finish burning. We had this odor for almost a month, I have a feeling that it is from the linseed oil in the urethane since the light solvents evaproate fairly quickly.
  12. Turtlegrl

    Turtlegrl New Member

    Dec 15, 2010

    I just found this thread. I live in a condo and just had my place painted. On Monday evening, they finished painting rustoleum on the door. I went to use the stove (natural gas) about an hour later and noticed a kerosene smell. I sniffed around the burner, and that seemed to be where it was coming from. When the burner is off, it just smells like paint in the apartment. Last night, same thing. Do you think the kerosene smell coming from my burners is due to the recent painting in the condo?
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