ruling out electrical odor


Old 08-22-15, 07:13 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
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ruling out electrical odor

Have a intermittent smell in basement that I associate with when the dehumidifier is running. No smell when its not running. It kind of smells like burning dust like you would smell from a heater or car exhaust.

I feared it was electrical.

With the dehumidifier running, I opened all the boxes on that circuit, visually inspected. Did not see any signs of melted insulation or charring. I put a infared thermometer on all the wire nuts and wiring in those boxes and nothing seemed to be overheated.

I opened the outlet box and the breaker panel and it too had no visual signs of overheating nor did the thermometer show anything.

Next day I did not run dehumidifier. No odor. However, I put a 1500W heatgun on that same outlet/circuit. Let it run for about 5-10 minutes and there was no odor. Checked all the boxes again with the thermometer and it showed nothing again.

I didn't want to move wiring or anything like that.

From what I describe, is it safe to assume its not electrical in nature? And maybe look to the dehumidifier itself as the source of odor? Is there anything else I should check to rule out the wiring?
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Old 08-22-15, 07:44 AM
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Remember the dehumidifier has a heater inside it to condense the air to water, so if it has been stored or not used for some time, it could exude that burned dust smell. Always a good idea to clean the coils and heater anyway, but you may find that to be the problem.
Old 08-22-15, 08:13 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
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Yes the next step is a cleaning of the unit. Although the manual only states the filter needs servicing. Its also used on a daily basis, 12 hours a day .... it does not cycle on and off either.... its undersized and runs continuously.... perhaps its overworked.

As far as the wiring though, do you think my method of investigation is sufficient to rule that out?
Old 08-22-15, 08:48 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
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Do you have another circuit where you can plug in the dehumidifier to see if the odor returns?


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