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Friday solar panel company was in attic crawl space doing wiring for panels. Solar not yet energized. Sunday used electric wall oven, had very strong hot wire/chemical odor, never had this before. Could the Solar work somehow have disturbed or loosened the wall oven wiring in the attic?

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. It doesn't seem likely to me. – Daniel Griscom Mar 18 at 9:21
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    What was last cooked in the oven? Could something plastic have got in the oven? – Solar Mike Mar 18 at 9:32
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    Was the oven cleaned lately? – ThreePhaseEel Mar 18 at 11:44
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    This is a 5-alarm fire! Or it's liable to become one. You need to go up in the attic crawl space and figure out what might have gone wrong. Or bring in a pro to inspect everything around their work. This is serious business, not to be trifled with. – Harper Mar 18 at 12:18
  • Thank you. Oven clean, no plastic. Definitely a hot wire smell, breaker off now. – Sandy Mar 18 at 15:35
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When a new smell emerges immediately after electrical work, and the smell has any chance of being electrical related, that is an emergency.

Fire inside the walls of a building is the most insidious type of fire, because it can smolder for hours and become fully engaged before it is obvious the building is on fire. A homeowner can't really fight a fire inside a wall (and sprinklers won't work on it)... but worse, it can spread to the whole house rather quickly, and that can catch you off guard.

It's possible they damaged a cable, or more likely, pulled a wire out of its terminations. If your range wiring is 3-wire and they damaged neutral, that creates an electrocution risk to boot!

But most likely we are dealing with series arcing from a damaged wire or connection. Find it, and kill it with fire (figuratively)... Before it kills you with fire (literally)...

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If you have had electrical work performed recently, it might be related but not likely. However, it is going to take more than a mere answer on a website to find out.

Out of an abundance of caution, I would turn off the breaker to that oven and call a different electrical contractor to your home. Don't take a risk if you smell what might be an electrical fire. This may cost you a hundred bucks or so but it might save your home and most importantly, your life!

  • Good advice, but not an answer. (I'm not sure that the question is answerable as it is anyway.) – isherwood Mar 18 at 16:25
  • Advising to turn off the breaker and call a professional is definitely the correct answer and the best advice anyone could give. – Jerry_Contrary Mar 18 at 16:37

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