Odd Smell From My Propane Appliances

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OK Corgi Rancher

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Special Hen Supporter
May 14, 2020
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Greater Francis, OK metropolitan area
I worked for a propane company for 10 years, mostly delivery with some light service work and I didn't know this. I don't know if I never learned it or did but just forgot. Either way, this was pretty interesting to me.

My wife did some painting on some wood trim for a project she's making and used oil-based paint. She left the pieces (and a stir stick) inside the house to dry.

When I came inside I noticed the house smelled like lighter fluid or kerosene. I chalked it up to the paint she was using. But then the propane fireplace kicked on and it was obvious that's where the smell was coming from. I checked the burners on the kitchen stove and same thing. They were giving off a very strong lighter fluid smell. I shut the fireplace off so the pilot wouldn't burn and checked everything for leaks, etc. But I knew it wasn't the odorant in the propane because I know what that smells like. I couldn't find anything wrong.

So, I axed the Google. Turns out many petroleum based projects give off molecules that mingle in the air. When these molecules are burned with the air that's mixed with the propane it creates a smell like kerosene or lighter fluid. I did not know that. Now I do. Took the painted stuff outside to dry and no more smell.

Just an FYI if any of you experience the same thing and are wondering what's causing it.


Staff Member
Special Hen Moderator Moderator
Aug 13, 2012
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Good info.

The way the wind is blowing today I thought from the title that maybe your pilot lights (if your appliances even have them) might have blown out.

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