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 '19 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 '19 at 9:32
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    Was the oven cleaned lately? – ThreePhaseEel Mar 18 '19 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 - Reinstate Monica Mar 18 '19 at 12:18
  • Thank you. Oven clean, no plastic. Definitely a hot wire smell, breaker off now. – Sandy Mar 18 '19 at 15:35

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)...


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 '19 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 '19 at 16:37

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