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Strange Smell In Your House You Think is Electrical

I have a strange smell in my house which I think is electrical. I can only describe it as burnt sugar or maybe burnt caramel. What should I do if I have a strange smell in my house which I think is electrical?

Electrical Smell in the House
Electrical Question: What should I do if I have a strange smell in my house which I think is electrical?

I have a strange smell in my house which I think is electrical. I can only describe it as burnt sugar or maybe burnt caramel. It is not extremely strong, but is noticeable in 2 rooms. It kind of comes and goes.

This electrical wiring question came from Sara, a Handyman in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Sara.

How to Locate a Strange Electrical Smell

Application: Locate the source of a Strange Electrical Smell.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor, or Certified Electrician.
Electrical Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester, and appropriate Safety Gear.
Estimated Time: Depends on the personal level experience, ability to work with tools, install electrical circuit wiring, and the available access to the project area.
Electrical Safety: Identify the electrical power source to the , turn it OFF and Tag with a Note before working with the electrical wiring.
Electrical Wiring Parts and Materials: Electrical parts and materials for the should be approved for the specific project and compliant with local and national electrical codes.
Electrical Codes and Inspections: Installing or changing home electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes as adopted in Nashville, Tennessee. A permit and inspections may also be required.

See more about Home Wiring for Tennessee

Strange Electrical Smell in the House

This electrical wiring question is about a strange smell that may be from something electrical.

Sara,
From what you have described there may be an electrical component that is overheating, and this could be a very dangerous condition if it is not identified as soon as possible.

Electrical or Electronic Components
This type of smell could be coming from either an electrical or electronic component such as a plug strip, or a power supply that is part of an electronic device, such as a computer or monitor, or a battery charger. The smell could also be from a light fixture or an over heating light bulb.
Unplug Electrical Devices to Isolate and Identify the Source
It would be good if you could begin unplugging any electrical or electronic components that are in the room where the smell is located.
What is On When the Smell is Noticed
Because the smell is not noticed all the time, try to notice what electrical or electronic devices are on or being used when the smell is noticed. I have had a similar problem when a computer monitor power supply was beginning to overheat and got bad.
Get Help, Call an Electrician
If you are unable to identify the source of the smell I would encourage you to have someone else help you, and of course, having an electrician check out your electrical circuit wiring and components for any irregular conditions.

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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

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Includes:
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.






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