Need help identifying a smell

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URSnshn
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:10 pm

Need help identifying a smell

Post by URSnshn » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:49 am

Today I was cleaning in my living room when I smelled a "burning sort of" odor (validated by fellow house members). Maybe like burning toast or some kind of plastic. What could it be? Here is what I did to troubleshoot - I have a keen nose:

* The odor was not coming from anything on the second floor.
* The basement was fine.
* All rooms on the first floor were fine except the living room.
* It is not the smell of an animal.
* The odor didn't appear to be coming from an outlet or even from a lamp ??? but there were 4 lamps on in the living room at the time, when I turned them off the smell appeared to dissipate.
* The a/c, furnace and blower were off.

All lamps are off now, the smell has dissipated - what would you check next? And/or your thoughts. Could it be wiring? And/or should I follow the trail of the lamps, maybe turn one on at time. I've never had trouble with them before.

Dottie57
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Re: Need help identifying a smell

Post by Dottie57 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:55 am

URSnshn wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:49 am
Today I was cleaning in my living room when I smelled a "burning sort of" odor (validated by fellow house members). Maybe like burning toast or some kind of plastic. What could it be? Here is what I did to troubleshoot - I have a keen nose:

* The odor was not coming from anything on the second floor.
* The basement was fine.
* All rooms on the first floor were fine except the living room.
* It is not the smell of an animal.
* The odor didn't appear to be coming from an outlet or even from a lamp ??? but there were 4 lamps on in the living room at the time, when I turned them off the smell appeared to dissipate.
* The a/c, furnace and blower were off.

All lamps are off now, the smell has dissipated - what would you check next? And/or your thoughts. Could it be wiring? And/or should I follow the trail of the lamps, maybe turn one on at time. I've never had trouble with them before.
Turn each lamp on by itself. See if the smell returns. Then different combos. Hope it is not wiring in the wall.

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SquawkIdent
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Re: Need help identifying a smell

Post by SquawkIdent » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:57 am

Did you look on the lightbulbs on all of your lamps? I've had weird smells that were caused by bugs burning on the bulbs.

Good luck. :sharebeer

EagertoLearnMore
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Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:05 pm

Re: Need help identifying a smell

Post by EagertoLearnMore » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:05 am

What type of light bulbs are you using in the lamps? Since you said the living room, is that a room you use frequently or infrequently? Perhaps the light bulb is going bad or the wattage is too high for that particular lamp. Maybe you could try each lamp, but look at bulb before turning on.

goodlifer
Posts: 392
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:50 pm

Re: Need help identifying a smell

Post by goodlifer » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:24 am

Try cleaning your light bulbs. There might be dust or a stray hair or something that is getting hot when the light is on.

bogglizer
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Re: Need help identifying a smell

Post by bogglizer » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:43 am

My experience is this happening when the tip of the bulb doesn't make a good connection with the back of the socket. Often accompanied by a frying sound. Sometimes there is a metal tongue on the bottom of the socket that you can bend forward, or just try to screw in the bulb tighter. If the tip of the bulb is damaged, you may need to replace it. This seems to happen more often with low power fluorescent bulbs.

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NavyIC3
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Re: Need help identifying a smell

Post by NavyIC3 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:59 am

Try sniffing around the back and under of the refrigerator

URSnshn
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:10 pm

Re: Need help identifying a smell

Post by URSnshn » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:00 am

The two types of bulbs used are:

Philips 30/70/100 watt DuraMax 120V, and Philips Ecovantage 53 Watt 120V

This room is used frequently, but rarely with all four lamps on.

I will do further testing as suggested!

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Fletch
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Location: USA

Re: Need help identifying a smell

Post by Fletch » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:02 am

I have had a few fluorescent bulbs get overheated bases and discolor and stink (burned odor). I stopped using all fluorescent bulbs and switched to LED. So far no overheating issues with them.
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.

bob60014
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Location: The Land Beyond ORD

Re: Need help identifying a smell

Post by bob60014 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:38 pm

bogglizer wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:43 am
My experience is this happening when the tip of the bulb doesn't make a good connection with the back of the socket. Often accompanied by a frying sound. Sometimes there is a metal tongue on the bottom of the socket that you can bend forward, or just try to screw in the bulb tighter. If the tip of the bulb is damaged, you may need to replace it. This seems to happen more often with low power fluorescent bulbs.
UNPLUG IT FIRST!!!!

euroswiss
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:40 pm

Re: Need help identifying a smell

Post by euroswiss » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:15 am

If you have a fireplace, you may be getting some backair from the chimney. Even with dampers closed this can happen since dampers rarely seal completely. There are several products available to block off the downdraft.
I just came across this issue in one of my rentals.

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GoldStar
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Re: Need help identifying a smell

Post by GoldStar » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:18 am

Any phone charges, gaming systems, computers, etc. plugged in?

URSnshn
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:10 pm

Re: Need help identifying a smell

Post by URSnshn » Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:25 pm

The issue in this case appeared to be the bulbs. I changed them out and no more issue!

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