Home Inspection Sniffs Out Burning Odor From Electrical Fixture

 If a light fixture gives off a burning smell, disconnect the fixture until you have determined the source of the odor. Overheating electrical wires and devices often emit a burning smell. Don’t use the fixture again until a professional has inspected and repaired it. A fluorescent fixture may have a ballast that has failed and is spilling tar. For typical incandescent light fixtures, the burning smell may occur if you’re using an oversized bulb. Check the rating of the fixture and the wattage of the bulb. The rating will be inside the fixture, near the bulb. Never exceed the wattage recommended. You might also have a loose electrical connection at the splice or in the outlet box, or a loose screw or lamp base. A loose connection can create excessive resistance to electrical flow, and the resistance causes heat. Excessive heat makes metal connections expand and contract, loosening them further. This heat can damage insulation and even start a fire. Sometimes, when such excessive heat melts plastic, the problem area emits a misleading “dead animal” smell. If you notice any strong smells near outlets, electrical boxes, or light fixtures, they may be due to an electrical problem. Call an electrician to evaluate and fix the problem. In the meantime, do not use electrical power in that area.

Rick Erickson, Home Inspector, HomePro Home Inspections. Rochester MN, Southeastern, MN. 507-202-8942. http://www.homepro-inspection.com


Thanks again Rick.  I really appreciate the input you provided during my home inspection.  Your recommendation for future improvements was very helpful.

Carl B. Rochester, MN.

We have used Rick twice for home inspections, nce in 2005 when we bought our first home and again this year with the purchase of our second home. He is very professional and thourough. I like how his report is layed out with pictures. I like how he labels all the valves in the home. We never felt that he was in a rush and he came prepared to give us our printed home inspection report there on the spot. Rick will point out areas that need repair and suggest ways to fix them. I would recommend him to anyone buying or selling a home.‎

Kristine T. Kasson, MN

Thank You so much for your help Rick.  You answered all of my home inspection questions and even more.  I am more than happy with all of the information you offered me!

Emily V, Rochester, MN.


Call and schedule your inspection today 507.202.8942