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Discussion Starter #1
Our Seward propane stove has been emitting a strange smell for quite some time now and I'm not sure what is causing it. The smell is hard to describe but it make our eyes water and our noses runny, almost like tear gas but to a lesser extent. We only get the smell with the oven - not the burners. What could be causing this?
 

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Are you familiar with propane odor to know whether to rule it out?
 

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propane itself is actually odorless, they use a "rotten egg" type odor additive for safety, may vary in different countries

like dyeing petrol
 

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propane itself is actually odorless, they use a "rotten egg" type odor additive for safety, may vary in different countries

like dyeing petrol
Good point, but the odor is still very identifiable. I don't believe the additive is actually sulfur, like rotten eggs, but it is foul like that. I've seen scratch and sniff cards to help identify it, as part of safety sessions. I bet local household propane dealers would have them, if the OP is unfamiliar. Of course, just pulling the hose off the bottle would let enough escape to smell it and compare.

If I had the OP's problem, I'd get an electric gas sniffer quickly. They aren't all that expensive.
 
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Sounds like you are about to run out of propane. At least that is what I've noticed with the small 1 pound canisters.
This is most likely the issue. The odorant in Propane, Ethyl Mercaptan, is less volatile than Propane, so it tends to become more concentrated in the cylinder as you reach the end. You probably notice it more in the stove than in the range because it is more confined.
 

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In the US, it's mercaptan.
Mercaptan is not a substance in and of itself. The term indicates that an -S-H group has been added to the hydrocarbon in question.

Methanethiol aka Methyl Mercaptan is CH4S
Ethanethiol aka Ethyl Mercaptan is C2H6S
Peopanethiol aka Propyl Mercaptan is C3H8S
etc.

All of these have a rotting smell. Ethyl Mercaptan is used to give propane its distinctive smell.
 

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Mercaptan is not a substance in and of itself. The term indicates that an -S-H group has been added to the hydrocarbon in question.

Methanethiol aka Methyl Mercaptan is CH4S
Ethanethiol aka Ethyl Mercaptan is C2H6S
Peopanethiol aka Propyl Mercaptan is C3H8S
etc.

All of these have a rotting smell. Ethyl Mercaptan is used to give propane its distinctive smell.
All gas nerdy. Love it. My son is a chemist. I'm very careful of asking him chemical questions, because I'm afraid he'll answer them. :)

While I didn't expect strictly S to be added directly, it's fascinating that a sulfur molecule is, in fact, a part of the S-H additive.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It definitely doesn't smell like propane. We've noticed the smell for over a year now and recently cleaned-out the inside of the oven. We will pay close attention after we refill the tank. I also wonder if perhaps the gas is not burning completely, as happens with car engines that aren't properly tuned.
 

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. I also wonder if perhaps the gas is not burning completely, as happens with car engines that aren't properly tuned.
Yes.
Most ovens are made to use either propane or butane. You don't need to adjust the stove but you can.
Perhaps the po used a different gas? Or the burner thing moved adjustment.

You will need to find the User Manual to work out how to change it. It's something like: you pull or push the bottom gas element. Might need to ease a hose fitting type clamp.


Mark
 
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