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#1 Posted : 11 August 2001 21:08:00(UTC)
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Posted By David M Calvert-Brown
Help please. I am investigating an odour of rotting cabbage that seems to be coming from a gas fire. We've checked the gas supply - no problem, no other tenants have a smell, there is no landfill within 10 miles of the property. We have replaced the gas fire three times and combined boiler twice. (It is a combination fire/backboiler) The smell only occurs when the fire is on alone. There is no smell when the back boiler is on or when the back boiler and fire are on together. I have sampled for formaldehyde and methyl/ethyl mercaptans with no result. The tenant does use essential oils and is a non smoker.
Does anyone have any experiences similar.

#2 Posted : 11 August 2001 22:38:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By Nick Higginson
Have you ruled out a poltergeist? If so, PLEASE send the risk assessment!

Hope someone can help

#3 Posted : 12 August 2001 11:24:00(UTC)
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Posted By Mike Charleston
By a process of elimination you are presumably facing only one remaining common source - the flue. 2 thoughts:

1. Perhaps with the fire on alone, the temperature at a soiled point of the flue just above it is hotter than when the fire & boiler are both on - causing some contamination to gassify more.

2. The opposite might be the case - cooler temperatures allow the gassification whilst higher temperatures when both units are on takes the gassification beyond the point of a smell being detected.

#4 Posted : 13 August 2001 07:30:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By Ken Urquhart
I don't have specfic information but some of the following may be of interest.

First and most importantly:

Have the installations and re-installations of the Gas Fire and the back boiler been carried out by a Registered Corgi Installer with Registered and Card carrying accredited installer personnel?

Have all the combustion and air flow checks been done? On the Fire, The Boiler and the FLUE? ( I know that you refer to some aspects of measurement, but are they the measures required by the Guidance and the Regulatiuons? )

The relevent regulations are :
Gas Safety(Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and AcOP.

Is the FLUE or venting clean, clear, in good condition? Have combustion and gaseous wastes and flows been measured?

If you have Smell/odour problems during combustion, Have you also checked for CARBON MONOXIDE?

Some web sites that might help;

For Gas installations and accredited companies and operative personnel

For general information on Gas Safety and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

For services information and technical support, Building Services Research and Information Association UK

For Heating and Ventilating Industry Trade Association News Etc., The Heating and Ventilating Contractors Assosiation

Finally, have you checked for dead and decomposing animals in Flues, ventilation spaces, underfloor, in cavity walls etc. Dead birds, rats, mice, even cats etc.,
I have experienced problems in the past where due to inferior construction quality of the original premises such creatures have got in/fallen in or down voids or flues etc., (Which they shouldn't be able to do, but such is life) and the decomposition smells have been more noticeable when heat/temperature is higher ie; Heating appliances are in use etc.

Also are there any foul drains or waste/soil pipes or runs nearby, are any of them leaking even slightly.

Hope some of this is of some use.


Ken Urquhart.

#5 Posted : 13 August 2001 09:27:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By Robert Woods
Have you tested for hydrogen sulphide?
It smells more of rotten eggs than cabbage It was found to be the substance given of in a similar case.
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