Electrical Wiring in the Home/Burning smell from outlet


Hi there. I hope you can answer my concerns regarding an electrical issue in my apartment. This one dedicated AC outlet in my bedroom had been smelling of smoke for a little over week earlier this month. Last week, while in my bedroom, I started to smell a LOT of smoke. I go over to the outlet only to see black smoke emitting from it, which I then quickly proceeded to turn off the surge protector and call 911. (This outlet had a surge protector plugged in to power other things, like the TV, game console, wifi router, and the AC. This was because the dedicated outlet was the only 3-prong outlet in the room.) Anyway, the fire department came and checked it out, said I should probably have my landlord call a licensed electrician to look into it. Landlord called a "contractor" instead... The contractor replaced the outlets, and it was all fine until later that evening, I smelled smoke again! After a few threats to file a complaint with the city to my landlord, he finally decided to call a licensed electrician. He replaced everything the contractor did, all down to the wiring; he used electrical tape and new wires and outlet played; explained what to do and what not to do, etc. Said we should ONLY have the AC plugged into the dedicated outlet and nothing else, and an AC that uses no more than 15 amps (which he checked on the AC and came out to a reading of 15/16), and to avoid using extension cords to connect the AC to the outlet. Except, we used an extension cord. We had to, because the AC is far from the dedicated outlet. Figured, we'll use it for now until we are able to purchase an AC with a longer power cord. But today... Five days after the electrician replaced everything... The burning smell came back! And I'm worried yet again. At this point I'm wondering, is the outlet going to burn out and go up in smoke again? We can't seem to find an AC with a power cord that is longer than 6 feet, and so we have no choice but to use an extension cord. What are we to do? ALSO, I must mention, the AC is very, very, very old. Over a decade old, probably. The groundling (third prong) has also been pulled out from the power cord. Length of power cord is probably 3 to 4 feet. Could THIS be why the outlet is smelling of smoke?? The electrician said that it was fine to use the old AC as long as it's plugged directly in to the dedicated outlet without an extension cord. But the issue is that the OUTLET is smelling, not the AC cord! What are we to do? Any advice or insight would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Sorry for the delay in answering.
After reading the condition you describe and what you say has been done, I can't think of anything I would suggest that hasn't been done already.
Since you are stuck using an extension cord, I would suggest that it has to be a 12 gauge copper conductor at minimum.
Good luck
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Robert Wilber


Licensed Philadelphia electrician serving Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania. I install and repair residential, commercial and industrial wiring and lighting. Troubleshooting and repair of problems that stump other people is my favorite. I am willing to help people figure out why things don`t work. I understand motor controls, transformers and machine wiring. I do not teach basics to novices or do free design work.


Experience in the area I have 44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair, 480 volts and below. This is not to be confused with one week repeated two thousand times.

44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair

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