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"Fishy" odor in house....warning!

Started 1311462877.513 in Viewpoints | Last reply 1311520514.5 by robbie

This is something I just found out, and thought I would pass it along to everybody, as I had never heard of this before last night.

For two days there was a lingering "fishy" odor in my foyer. And, only in my foyer. The floor was clean and there was no sign of anything that could have been done by the pets. I removed the runner to wash it, but the smell was still there after the runner was gone.

And, I haven't cooked fish in ages.

I did some Googling, and found out that electrical problems can leave a fishy odor. This would include bad wiring, outlets, lighting fixtures, etc.

Hubby was already asleep, so I climbed up on a small step stool and, sure enough, the "fragrance" was coming from my ceiling light fixture. I unscrewed the glass dome and boy did I get a whiff. The light bulb sockets were bad, and they were causing the odor.

We went to Lowe's this afternoon, as we had purchased all new fixtures not even two years ago. And, we hardly ever use that light because I have a small lamp on my entry table. The guy in the electrical department acknowledged our problem and exchanged the light fixture for us, no questions asked. This could have been a fire hazard.

Our first house, 30+ years ago, was an older home and had the original 1930's chandelier. That thing, except for needing new wiring, was perfect, including the sockets.

Just another example of the poor quality of imported junk. And, stuff like this can be dangerous.

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heartkeeper1311463116.9171919 PostsRegistered 1/27/2007

Wow. I would have never guessed that could be the cause of such an odor. Thanks for the info.

chickenbutt1311463553.4623567 PostsRegistered 1/16/2006chickentown


Wow, thanks! That could be scary and who would think?

Bippity boppity BOOYAH!

kimberlyL1311465788.25343 PostsRegistered 6/11/2011

Good info and advice! Scary. {#emotions_dlg.sad}

clemintine1311466215.37718212 PostsRegistered 11/5/2007C.C.

{#emotions_dlg.ohmy}

Burnsite1311466478.5537332 PostsRegistered 7/31/2007

Hi, shops, I had an electrician over a few months ago to change out some lights.

He was a talker and quite a character, but I learned that one of my old fixtures had a live wire right next to a sc*rew (fire hazard) and that another one was a fail for some other terrifying reason. He replaced 5 or so electric fixtures and kept saying, "What a moron!" and "This is actionable."

Anyhow, from this guy's point of view, amateur electricians don't know what they are doing and don't permit their work, and lord knows what they will get up to.

Both ceiling fans on my patio were hanging from drywall, not from the beams that were only four inches away from where the orig. fans were installed. They could have fallen out of the drywall at any time.

Anyhow, I am glad you caught your fire hazard. Probably the homeowners 30 years ago didn't try to install their own electrical devices.

Hildegarde­ Withers1311467678.4723162 PostsRegistered 7/3/2008

Thanks for sharing that.

That was nice of Lowe's to exchange it for you. I wouldn't think they would since it's been 2 years.


polar1311468611.4672686 PostsRegistered 11/7/2005

Wow, thank you so much for posting this. I had not heard of anything like this before. Our neighbor had her whole house burn down due to a telephone answering machine. Very scary.

circles1311471450.64317330 PostsRegistered 5/11/2005N.J.

Thanks for telling us...would have never guessed that at all.....

2000surviv­or1311473100.3831764 PostsRegistered 1/20/2008Arkansas
This is different from electrical wiring but does cause house fires so I hope I'm not to far off topic. Clean your clothes dryers! I've known two people who lost their homes due to clothes dryers lint accumulation. They cleaned the screens but lint collected over time in the back. Once a year take the back metal cover off and simply vacuum, and keep the duct hose/line to the outside clean. Thanks for the tip about the light sockets and that fishy smell I never heard this before.

wildcherry1311473262.1573463 PostsRegistered 11/23/2005

That's good to know. Thanks.

Veni, Vedi, Visa: I came, I saw, I did a little shopping

grandma_2_21311473625.6632249 PostsRegistered 6/5/2005

This happened to me too only shops online.

I was at work (older building) and I kept smelling a fishy odor right around my desk. I don't keep food in my desk so I couldn't figure it out. I also googled it and found the same answer as you.

We called an electrician and sure enough, two of the wall outlets behind my desk were shorting out and needed to be replaced. The building is old with tenents living above us. If a fire would have started it would have went up quick.

I was very surprised to learn of this. It's very good information to know.

Google is definately my friend!

isaboo1311474560.8171792 PostsRegistered 3/6/2007Texas

Thanks for sharing that information!

only shops­ online1311482717.1275523 PostsRegistered 10/17/2006
On 7/23/2011 Hildegarde Withers said:

Thanks for sharing that.

That was nice of Lowe's to exchange it for you. I wouldn't think they would since it's been 2 years.

We really didn't even go there expecting them to exchange it, so it was a nice surprise. We had called and they said that they had a retired electrician on duty today, so we just wanted to go and ask him a few questions, and let them know that this stuff is poor quality......like they don't know. Wink

He told us that if any of the other fixtures proved to be defective, we could bring them back at any time. That alone told me that they know this could have been serious.

It's just so frightening to me that we are allowing this poor a grade of electrical fixture to be imported into this country. I don't think it should have received the UL listing. We will probably end up replacing all of the fixtures again, if we can find a better quality at a lighting store. But, at least we currently have the problem under control.

only shops­ online1311483049.9575523 PostsRegistered 10/17/2006
On 7/23/2011 Burnsite said:

Hi, shops, I had an electrician over a few months ago to change out some lights.

He was a talker and quite a character, but I learned that one of my old fixtures had a live wire right next to a sc*rew (fire hazard) and that another one was a fail for some other terrifying reason. He replaced 5 or so electric fixtures and kept saying, "What a moron!" and "This is actionable."

Anyhow, from this guy's point of view, amateur electricians don't know what they are doing and don't permit their work, and lord knows what they will get up to.

Both ceiling fans on my patio were hanging from drywall, not from the beams that were only four inches away from where the orig. fans were installed. They could have fallen out of the drywall at any time.

Anyhow, I am glad you caught your fire hazard. Probably the homeowners 30 years ago didn't try to install their own electrical devices.

The problems we found, when we moved into this house 14 years ago, were unbelievable. We had ceiling fans hanging from one bolt. We had all of the light switches and receptacles replaced because some weren't working properly. We even had to run new telephone lines because the guy we bought the house from added phone jacks and used wire that he must have been saving for 50 years. (This house was only 19 years old when we bought it.) And, even though we had a home inspection, we discovered a high voltage live wire hanging in one of the basement storage rooms. The inspector never even saw it. We were lucky we did.

rondell1311483485.3913373 PostsRegistered 12/17/2009USA

What good information to share with us! Thank you! Smile

I'm glad you were able to correct the problem without experiencing a real tragedy.

Anniecamp1311519103.7433786 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Thank you for a very important piece of information.

Since dh and I are light fixture lovers, we've seen down through the years how the construction of light fixtures has disintegrated into junk. There's a stronger word for it but not printable.{#emotions_dlg.mad} As for buying from a special lighting store, you will find prices a lot higher, but it's still junk compared to 25 years ago.

------1311519365.5718421 PostsRegistered 2/13/2008

Great info. Thanks!

you mad bro?

robbie1311520514.5480 PostsRegistered 2/9/2005

Well a great big thank you! This is terrific information to have - and my Dad was an electrician and I never knew this!

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