ask the electrician
Electrician Training Electrical Certification wiring recessed light fixtures Electrical Wiring Electrical Troubleshooting and Electrical Repairs wire outdoor light fixture Home Electrical Wiring Diagrams
wiring home generator and transfer switch wiring a 220 volt range cord outlet Wiring for GFCI Outlets Wiring Outlets and a Switched Outlet Wiring and Installing Ceiling Fans and Remote Controls wire dimmer switch wiring diagrams for switches wiring a dryer cord and 220 outlet circuit breaker panel
Electrical Wire and Cable

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 Video #1

Home Electrical Wiring and Electrical Repairs Made Simple

Helping You to Wire It Right!

See more Home Electrical Wiring Videos

Check out my YouTube Channel, and Subscribe!

See the Electrical Wiring Video #2 Below:

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.

Strange Electrical Smell in the House

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

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.

More about Electrical Troubleshooting and Electrical Wiring

Troubleshooting Electrical Wiring

Electrical Testers for Home Wiring

Wiring an Outlet

Electrical Wire

Home Electrical Safety Articles

Home Electrical Safety

Electrical Safety Articles covering several topics of home electrical safety and Do-It-Yourself Electrical Safety.
Electrical Safety

The following may also be helpful for you:

Electrical Wiring Video #2

Home Electrical Wiring Videos about this Topic and More

Check out my YouTube Channel, and Subscribe!

Learn more with my Home Electrical Video Course:

Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example

Dave's Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.
  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handy Women, and Electricians
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
....and much more.

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

More articles about Electrical Safety, Electrical Wiring and Home Electrical Wiring:
« Previous Next »
How to Wire a Disconnect Switch for a Tankless Water Heater Tripping Breaker for a Ceiling Fan and Light