Why Your Outlet Is Hot And Smells (Fixed)

A functional wall outlet is going to slip into the background and become a part of your property.

However, things can go haywire when an outlet is hot and smells.

If an outlet is hot and smells, this means the circuit board has overloaded or the wiring connected to the outlet has burned. To fix the issue, reset the circuit breaker, replace the burnt wiring, and change the outlet.

If you attempt to keep using the burnt wall outlet, it will only get worse with time. This can happen from time to time and it’s the last thing you want to do as it might overload other outlets connected to the circuit.

Your best option is to turn off the power to this outlet, inspect the wires, and replace anything that has burned.

When an outlet is hot and smells, taking action right away has to be a top priority. It’s the only way to get on top of things before they spiral out of control.

This guide will explain more about what to do if an outlet is hot and smells.

Best Outlet Extender (EDITOR’S CHOICE)

USB Wall Charger,LVETEK Surge Protector 5 Outlet Extender...
  • Multi-functional Outlet Splitter: This Multi Plug Outlet Extender can turn 2 into 5, plus 4 USB Ports; 1680 joules surge...
  • Smart USB Wall Charger: 5V 4.2A shared rating; USB A port up to 2.4A, USB C port up to 3A MAX. This USB wall charger can...
  • Wall Mountable Design: Just plug the surge protector into a standard grounded duplex wall receptacle and if you want secure...

Last update on 2022-05-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tips On What To Do If An Outlet Is Hot And Smells

1. Turn Off The Power And Reset The Circuit Breaker

If an outlet smells like a dead animal or has a burned tinge to it, this means there is something wrong with the electrical circuit.

For the most part, you will want to immediately turn off the power running to the outlet.

You can do this by going to the breaker panel and toggling the switch off for that specific part of the property. This will cut the power running to the outlet.

Now, you are going to want to reset the circuit breaker if it was overloaded.

The goal is to make sure there is nothing wrong with the power that is going to the outlet before you begin to assess the wiring or outlet itself.

This will ensure that any changes that are made to the outlet don’t get ruined because the circuit is still overloaded.

outlet is hot and smells

2. Take Off The Outlet

If an outlet smells like fish or is burned, you are going to have to see what’s going on behind it.

The faceplate is just one part of the outlet.

The real concern will have to do with the back of the faceplate and the wiring that is connected to it.

In most cases, the burnt smell comes from one of the wires getting burned or frayed. You will have to take out that wire and replace it with a new one as soon as possible.

It’s the only way to get the outlet to work again and get rid of the odor.

3. Inspect For Burned Wiring

You will now want to move forward with a complete inspection of the burned wiring.

The goal here is to see which wire is burned and what you can do about it to fix the issue at hand.

A simple fix will be to replace everything that is burned once you have reset the circuit breaker. This should take care of the issue at the backend while also focusing on the outlet itself.

outlet is hot and smells

4. Replace The Burned Wiring And Faceplate

The last step is to replace the burned wiring and the faceplate too.

Getting a compatible outlet is one step, you also have to ensure the wiring that is being connected to it is in the right spot.

Otherwise, misaligned wiring can also be the root cause of burning.

You don’t want the wiring to get damaged, which means looking at how it is connected will be essential. It is the only way to preserve your wall outlet and ensure it does not start to smell like burning plastic again.

This is a simple step that you are going to want to complete as soon as you can.

Final Thoughts

These are the main steps to follow if an outlet is hot and smells.

if an outlet is hot and smells, this means the circuit has become overloaded or one of the wires has burned inside the outlet. To fix the issue, turn off the power at the circuit breaker, reset the circuit by toggling it off and on, and replace the burned wiring or faceplate.

This is the best way to target the issue on all fronts.

When an outlet is hot or smells, you have to focus on the root cause. This is likely to do with an overloaded circuit that is starting to release excess electricity to the outlet.

This can damage all parts of the wall outlet including the wiring.

Read More About Outlets:

  1. How To Fix A Deep Outlet
  2. How To Manage Burned Wires In An Outlet
  3. Tips To Buy A Good Tamper-Resistant Outlet
  4. Would Attic Wiring Require A Conduit?
  5. Should Your Outlet Be Blocked By Plastic Inserts
  6. Does The Outlet Box Have To Stick Out?