Burning Odor

I received a call from a client that I did home inspection for. The inspection was a pre listing inspection. My client has owed the home for many years. And the house was in excellent shape. I only came across a few small issues. She said she has always smelled a burning odor in the house. She asked if I could come by and see for myself. I told her I would but I cannot smell (only citrus, oranges limes etc.) I asked if anyone else in the house smells it. She said her husband does not. I asked if he only smells it during the heating season (thinking maybe boiler related). She said she smells it all year round. Anyway does anyone have any suggestions (again she smells a burning all year). I am not sure how strong, and I believe it through out the whole house.

Have you checked the main lugs on the breaker panel?
I had a similar situation.One of the main lugs was stripped so couldn’t be tightened down.Hence a loose connection,hence arcing ,resulting in a burning smell and a fire hazard. I understand your olfactory disadvantage.Electrical fires have a distinct odor so maybe you could have your client sniff around at,but not touching ,the panel and let you know.

Take an Infra red thermometer and look at plugs ( panel as said above ) and other places this just might show a loose connection some where . Good luck Roy Cooke

While we’re on the subject of burning wires. I can recall an inspection last year where just one room had a distinct smell of burning wires. I then went into the attic (above this room) and wouldn’t you know, there was Knob & Tube wiring that was spliced into with Romex and electrical tape that was causing the burning smell.

wow good catch

It was probably Tony testing the insulation. :wink: