Electrical Wiring in the Home/Burning smell from a/c


When i cut on a/c i smelled a burning smell. I turned off. Then a few minutes later i plugged back in and noticed an outlet on another wall had a light coming from inside. I started to smell a slight burning again from a/c. Is that a fire behind the outlet?

I am concerned how you are doing,  have you been able to find some help or a contractor?

In addition to unplugging  even better is to turn off the breaker to the circuits where you saw light or arc   

While I cannot be sure it is unlikely this arc is still burning if it ever was,   but it could if there was an arc set insulation on fire,   but I would think you would see smoke,  

YOU can take the BACK of your hand and lay it on the outlet and see if you feel heat   you should never feel heat from an outlet or cord    

Breakers protect wiring   wiring hidden behind sheetrock walls  not devices plugged in,   at least that is the core purpose,   of course any device that creates over amps for that circuit the breaker should detect  but most do not understand   breakers do not protect devices as their primary purpose,   that is why motors and other devices have on board fuses and  thermals

Once you shut down the breaker to the circuit with the light behind the outlet  you can remove the face plate and with a good flashlight inspect looking for charred or carbon tracking  it will be a dark streak and or melted wire insulation,   

Keeping all unplugged will keep current from flowing but if there is a short behind theoutlet or in the outlet it could draw current   that is why shutting the breaker off, you are not using the outlets anyway  so might as well turn off the breaker,   

Its also a good time to change or check your smoke detectors and if you dont have some get some fire extinguishers,  start with a general type  and dont keep them in the room you might use them  put them in the path to or into the room,   

YOu should have at least one ext for each floor of the house  and more specific one for the kitchen marked as kitchen duty and one for the garage,  

There are nice looking cabinets to put them in,  I know they look horrible on the wall  but if you ever have a fire   you will never be more prepared to maybe stop major damage or worse,  

While it gets expensive to buy all this stuff,  do it a little a time,   but smoke detectors and carbon mono detectors are not expensive and make sure they are tested and the batteries are changed     even unused batteries may leak or become discharged.  

It takes a few minutes to install or maintane a detector,  and should be done every sic months,

I was the victim of a fire in my home,   believe it or not,  with all the testing I do  I had a coffee maker  I hjad tested and still the cord  not pinched not abused  just failed and shorted  the maker was not even ON    

Years of misery with the insurance, living in a rental house bad contractors   Prevention is way more prevention than anyone knows until they have a fire,    

If you need anything  have any questions use my personal email and I will get right back to you,    any thing at all  there are no stupid questions   and especially the contractors  if they seem out of line they probably are     

Well I cannot imagine it is anything  but either arcing or a small fire or maybe a carbon track glowing,    

Whatever it is , it needs professional attention,   

So this is a window or portable unit of some kind,   and you got odors of  burning   and what appears to be a glow behind another outlet,   that tells me something overloaded  or a connection is loose   but why no breaker or fuse tripping?  

IT MIGHT be a simple repair  a high resistance connection could glow  but by the time it got to that point the current should be high enough to trip either a breaker or fuse,   that is the big deal    why if indeed it was a glow or small fire   did something not trip?

You really need a pro on this   get some references and if what they say makes no sense  let me know and I will talk to them   but do get a pro   with references   ASAP  before using the AC or the outlets  
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Will Babbitt


Electrical issues of all types, wiring, control, appliances, components, specialty in Electric MOTOR or APPARATUS trouble shooting, electric motors, electrical problems, single phase, three phase, DC, capacitors, elevator MG-Sets, modifications, reverse engineering, VFD Drives, single to three phase convertors. Repair of most any electrical/mechanical/electronic apparatus, OEM, AC, DC, Industrial Applications, Three phase, single phase failure mode, determining the root cause of the equipment failure BEFORE failure repeats, Antique appliances, electric motors, fans, ceiling fans, base mount fans, poor equipment performance, Modifications, habitual failures, vibration, redesign, obsolete issues, collectible items restored, rewinding. Owner of EMR Repair Inc www.emrrepair.com More information on electric motors, under Engineering/Motors Ask about any electrical or mechanical problems in the home, office, or even at your work. B2B or business to business CONSULTING I can do but it would be a much more complex issue, that would require a significant amount of time. repair@mearservice.com from there we can discuss and begin work on about anything. Industrial electric motors, controls, troubleshooting, vibration, alignment, any type of industrial or commercial electric/electrcical equipment For the home owner, renter, apartment if you have odd things going on, describe to me, photos are normally very helpful, appliances, heating and air conditioning issues, light switches, installation, DIY PROJECTS FOR THOSE NOT EDUCATED IN ELECTRICAL, we can do some things, but for safety and sanity reasons, I may refer you to a local electrician, and help you find one, help you with pricing and even speak directly with anyone you hire if you have issues,


Over thirty years with a major repair and sales company, VP of Operations, and former owner of my own specialty repair shops, MEAR Services local to Kansas City Missouri EMR Repair Inc., located in Kansas City Missouri, 2014 sold both businesses to JCI Industries, Lee's Summit Missouri wbabbitt@jciind.com Evaluation and repair of electrical/mechanical apparatus. Electrical and mechanical repairs, trouble shooting including, vibration and balance issues. About.com provides this service, and the huge costs to provide help on about any subject. They provide the servers, the people to vet the experts, costs that would be the same as operating a good sized business, They should be appreciated for what they do, the huge costs and the great help they provide for free, Electric motor questions, can be answered here but there is a dedicated category that has other experts to help and add to a solution. Other common questions, are noises in the walls, breakers tripping, devices not starting or shutting down for no apparent reason, smoke alarms buzzing, thermostat change outs, or sizing wire or needing information for a new project, but anything can be resolved, anything, with enough effort and patience, DIY, with electrical is possible, but in most cases the use of a simple ohm meter or volt meter is needed, they can be purchased at any hardware store for a few bucks. If you have smoke, or smell smoke, don't be writing me, call 911 the Fire Department has no problem looking for smoke smells, better then spraying water on a blazing fire. DO NOT GET CAUGHT INVESTIGATING AND TRAPPED IN A BASEMENT LOOKING FOR A BLOWER FAILING< As to the tip jar, it is up to you, it is appreciated, every expert spends out of pocket that I know, we spend on IP time, computer wear, printing documents, books, and of course our time, but if we prevent a $400 service call, we did well,

Former IBEW, EASA, IEEE, UL, ..............


10 plus years, various Technical Schools, followed by Industrial College Credit and non Credit Courses, electronics courses, experience in most any electrical apparatus, electric motors and generators, AC OR DC, fractional to above 5000HP, other electrical apparatus, slip rings, sleeve [plain] bearings, lubrication, identification-no data plate, control components, service and sales. I have continued night schools for decades, the list is extensive. I have been in the business of repairing most anything with wires or mechanical parts for decades, I have some helpful hints and directions you won't have to dig up. Or hopefully not have to pay a huge service call invoice to find.

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