This Weird Smell Means Your Home May Be In Danger Of An Electrical Fire

February 12, 2018

The smell: A “fishy” odor in your home.

Now, we know— chances are, you’re not experiencing this problem right now but for the love of your home, your family’s safety, and your wallet, keep reading.


Well, reading up on this issue now can prevent 2 future problems

  1. An electrical fire in your home
  2. Thousands of dollars wasted on exterminators/air-duct cleaning/
    AC service calls (due to misdiagnosing the smell)

We’ll explain why fishy smells mean electrical danger and what you should do if and when you ever come across this common issue.

What a “fishy” smell in your home really means

Nine times out of 10, a fishy smell throughout the home means you have overheating electrical components (circuit breakers, outlets, wiring, etc.).

You see, most wires, circuit breakers, etc. are made with heat resistant chemicals. But if those wires/outlets/breakers overheat, the chemicals they’re made of release a weird odor that smells exactly like… fish.

So why would your home’s appliances start overheating in the first place? Well, several electrical hazards can cause overheating, including

  • Incorrectly sized breakers/fuses
  • Overloaded circuits
  • Loose wires
  • Frayed cords
  • Wire insulation breakdowns
  • Older homes with electrical systems that aren’t up to code

What to do if you smell a fish odor in the house

The bottom line? Call an electrician right away.

An electrician will quickly find and repair the overheating component. They can also check for other potential overheating problems.

The longer those wires/devices overheat, the more likely it is that the heat being produced will cause a fire—especially if the device is near flammable objects such as wallpaper, cellulose insulation, paint, or wood.

The scary part is that most homeowners misdiagnose that smell as either a sewer gas, mold or a dead animal in the walls, attic, or basement. That means they waste valuable time (and lots of money) trying to fix a problem they don’t have.

We’ll save you some time: sewer gases, mold and dead animals will never give off a fish odor.

Note: Sewer gases smell like rotten eggs/sulphur while mold is often described as a sweet/musty/rotten wood smell. A dead animal will smell more rotten than it will “fishy”.

Prevent this “fishy” issue with an electrical inspection

Annual electrical safety inspections are the best defense against overheating electrical components in your home.

The good news? Starting at just $6 a month, we offer electrical maintenance plans that include:

  • One electrical safety inspection per year
  • A FREE service call
  • Discounts on home electrical repairs
  • Free replacement of broken light switches and plates
  • Free replacement of broken outlets and plates
  • Smoke detector and carbon monoxide batteries
  • Much, much more (benefits depend on your agreement choice)

Expert Electricians in Florida

Want to learn more about our electrical maintenance plans? Just contact us. We have multiple options that will fit your budget and keep your home and family safe. We have locations in SarasotaOrlandoNaples, and Tampa Bay and serve SW Florida, Tampa Bay and Central Florida.

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