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Fishy smell coming from the electrics? You should be worried - here is why

One of the most common electrical faults announces itself with a strange fishy smell from a wall socket or switch. Generally, such a smell is caused by the arcing of an electrical device.

This particular problem usually occurs when a electric heater is used for long periods with the fuse working at its full capacity. When this happens the fuse becomes so hot it melts through the plastic carrier going un-noticed until the heater stops working or worse causes an electrical fire.

Physical damage to the wires is another reason for this fishy smell, and this can come in two main flavours; fatigue from excessive movement and damage from animals. The former will probably be somewhere out in the open as the wire would only get this kind of fatigue if it is being moved regularly. The latter happens when mice or rats have been gnawing at it, and so could be anywhere that those animals could get to.

Is this an emergency?

If there is enough heat being generated from your electrical wiring to cause it to burn enough to release that smell, you are in the midst of a potentially serious electrical problem. You are at a high risk of something catching fire, such as floorboards or curtains as wires are often hidden away under floorboards or near curtains.

What to do if you smell fishy smells coming from your wiring?

The first thing you should do if you experience this smell is shut off the power. If you catch the problem early enough, this should be enough to prevent any damage from being done. Other than the faulty wire itself, of course. Once your electricity is shut off, you need to contact an emergency electrician.

If you are a commercial business that requires electrical testing and inspection, to ensure electrical compliance, please don't hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team, you can contact us here: 01604 696113 |


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