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Old 10-17-2012, 07:38 AM   #1
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Gas water heater paint thinner odor

I have a 10 year old AO Smith gas heater, model number FSG 50 248E. This morning I woke up to a strong odor of what I describe as paint or thinner. I have had the gas cut off for over an hour and have drained the heater. The odor dissipated during this but after refilling it has come back. The odor does not seem to be in the water, just around the heater itself but does penetrate the walls seeping into the house Any ideas what may be causing this?


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Old 10-17-2012, 10:55 AM   #2
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Location: Hartfield VA
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One of two things and both can kill you.
A gas leak or incomplete combustion.
I'd shut the gas off now and get it serviced ASAP.
Ten years is getting close to the expected life of a water heater, may want to think about just replacing it.


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Old 10-17-2012, 11:03 AM   #3
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Thanks. I shut it off and and ended up finding that it was a small leak dripping down on the fire. I am concluding that the smell was likely due to chemicals in the water or the inside of the tank.
Thanks again
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:57 AM   #4
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joecaption was right ..gas smell from incomplete combustion where the water dripped onto the burners. Good call JOE

To others; anytime weird smell like rotteneggs/paint etc., from gas fired devices....LEAVE HOUSE WITRHOUT USING LIGHT SWTCHES AND CALL GAS COMPANY OR FIRE DEPARTMENT FROM OUTSIDE PHONE...COULD BE A LOT MORE GAS THAN YOU THINK WHICH COULD CAUSE MAJOR EXPLOSION..Once upon a time in Toronto a gas service tech responding to a smell of gas call at a residence actually used the door bell.. the house blew to smitherines. Also another tech servicing a very large gas regulator in an attached doghouse to a mammoth propane tank caused a spark from the zipper on his snowmobile suit. Blew him out of the doghouse and the only part of the suit left were the zippers. He survived! Luckily
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