DIY Doctor

"Fishy" smell when central heating on!

Postby Warspite » Sun Oct 14, 2007 9:56 pm

Guys, newbie here. Hope somebody can help?

When my central heating is turned on my downstairs hallway starts smelling rather "fishy"!

It must have something to do with the heating as it is only there when the heating is on. It is not coming from the boiler as this is some way away from the smell.

I have bled the radiator although the water from the rad seems perfectly OK and the smell is still there.

Anybody any ideas?

Thanks in advance.


ps .. I have already checked down the back of the rad for soiled undergarments!! (this had been suggested in another DIY forum which will remain nameless although that forum did recommend I try DIY Doctor!!).
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Simply Build It

Postby pavster » Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:10 am

I used to get a similar stink whenever I had bedside lamps turned on after a while.

Turned out the plastic 'bakelite' ring that screws onto the bulb socket starts to lightly burn (it yellows) and consequently smell rather bad as it gets hot. I cut them down so that they were not so close to the bulb and the smell went away.

It may be that you have an old rad-valve that is getting particularly hot and consequently is getting lightly charred, have a sniff around the valves or any other 'old' plastic type or 'bakelite' components which are in direct contact with either the radiator, valves or pipework.
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Postby Warspite » Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:33 am

To whoever reads this...

I checked as many things as I could but was unable to resolve the problem. In the end I gave up and called on our household insurance who sent out an engineer.

Would you believe the morning that he came we did not have the smell.

We turned the heating on and off several times.

Bled the radiator.

Still unable to get the smell!


Mind you we haven't had the smell since!!!
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Postby DONFRAMAC » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:28 pm

I have just had a new combi central heating system installed, and the plumbers spilt i very small amount of anti-corrosion inhibitor chemical, when filling in my bedroom radiator bleed-point. This pongs, but only when hot.
I suggest you let the smelly radiator go cold, then wash, rinse and dry it, protecting the walls using aluminium baking foil, and a scrappy ond sheet underneath it.
If that does not do a permanent job, there may be a slight leak from a coupling or valve.
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