We've been trying to identify the cause of what smells electrical in a wall near the dining room in our old house built in 1911. The smell has been there for a long time, at least 6 years. The house has been renovated by others over the years and we had the knob & tube wiring replaced about 3 years ago.
We've had 2 electricians and the fire department come to test the wiring and (dining) light switch where the smell seems strongest, but so far, none can find a cause: the wiring tests okay, and a heat camera didn't reveal any issues, but the smell persists regardless of whether the power is on or we're using the switch. One of the firemen thought it smelled more like a dead mouse, but that smell is different and usually disappears after 6 weeks.
Sometimes the smell seems stronger when the light is in use. But not always.
Even over Christmas when we were away and the light switch was off, there was still a noticeable odor from the switch/ wall.
Any suggestions for determining the smell i.e. if its electrical or its source?
Is it possible that there was a small fire or smoldering there in the past and the smell from the charring comes out at certain times like when there is rain or heavy humidity?
I think that Chuck Steak has a possible reason for the cause of the odor, and it's transient reappearance.
Ghosting out of odors when the humidity is higher is also common for pet urine too.
Not any fire since we've owned the house, but possibly before. I've wondered that myself. What you say about humidity and rain is an interesting thought. Not sure if there's been a variation due to this but I'll keep an eye on it over the next few days.
Good point - thanks.
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