07:25AM | 08/11/16
Thanks to your post, you saved me from a house fire which would've started in the walls. I was going around on my hands and knees sniffing each plug, like I was a K-9 looking for narcotics. Called fire department and sure enough, that was the problem. Thank you and I'm going to dance at your wedding if your not married yet.


10:35PM | 03/01/17
I just had the HVAC guy come out today with a large quote to not promise me anything. We had some electrical issues right before this occured so this might be hand in hand. If this is the case it will be a huge relief. Thank you all so much!!

Also any advice to ask/say to the electrician? Just telling him my HVAC smells like fish may not be enough :). Thanks again!


12:13AM | 04/25/17
fishy smell out of blue in newer home, strong in one room. reading all these posts, we called our electrician and he says he's never heard of such a thing... fishy smell related to anything electrical. hmmm....


11:02PM | 05/09/17
Unbelievable! I thew out a $140 heater assuming it was the cause. I was using it (when needed), plugged into a basement outlet for over a year before I started getting the "fish market effect". I switched to a smaller footprint heater that I knew did not smell upstairs, but obviously the same 1500W they all draw. Dam it if it didn't do the same thing. Hopefully it's just the outlet and not the wire going to it. The wife is officially annoyed that I threw out her heater. IMO? 1500W is fifteen-hundred Watts, that thing was just too big.


02:48PM | 09/24/17
We have been having this issue of the phantom, what I was describing as wet a formaldehyde odor for the entire 3 years we've been in our current house. The odor would come and go with no apparent cause. You would go I to a room and it would hit you square in the face, like someone sprayed a 'mouse urine soaked insilation' scented air freshener in there. We would give it an hour or so and the smell would slowly fade. Sometimes the smell would stay gone for weeks or months. The issue was predominately in just two rooms of the house, but has made single apearance in a few other rooms, but not all. I tried to figure it out but I couldn't find anything the rooms had in common. One room is on the first floor the others on the second. One rooms is on the east side of the house, the other on the west side. One is a bedroom the other is an office. Neither room is near plumbing. I spent an entire year tracking the smell, recording what room it was in, who smelled it first, who had been in the room last, how many days since our cleaning lady had been there, inside temp, outside temp, cloudy or sunny, humidity, wind direction, wind speed, how many days since the last rain... After all that I couldn't isolate any pattern or specific condition. The only thing I thought they had in common was the HVAC,and the problem only seemed to plaque us during cooling season. We spent $2,500 on a new cooling system only to have the smell come back a week later. The worst part about it is the randomness, there's no way to have a Profesional come out exactly when it's happening. We were defeated. The next step was to tear out the carpet and pad under the assumption the previous owners pet urinated in there and the smell was in the subfloor. Thankfully I tride another round of Internet searching and found this post. After reading this post this morning when the smell had reapeared, I started taking apart and sniffing every outlet and switch in the room. Finally I got to the light fixture and *ding*ding*ding*, we have a winner. The back of the bulb socket smells like the source. I then checked the house and every room we have had the problem in has the same fixture. I'm off to get new fixtures and hope the problem is resolved. Fingers crossed.


11:35PM | 11/16/17
I am glad to dind this post and replies. They have helped. Portable heater was melting in the outlet in my son's room.


10:28AM | 11/19/17
Member Since: 11/19/17
5 lifetime posts
Not the most popular subject of conversation, but the problem can be algae and mold. The two together are undesirable in any home but are apart of a normal operating system. The simple solution to combat the build up of algae and mold is routine seasonal introduction of bleach or recommended all purpose cleaner to the units drain line. Its a part of every spring system maintenance service and should be followed at least once a year. Simple enough, yet, unmaintained drains can cause extensive water damage if not properly accounted for and maintained. FYI, you don't have to be an expert, that's what we're here for.
Climate Engineers of Florida Air Conditioner repair in Crestview, Niceville, Fort Walton Beach, Shalimar, Valparaiso and Destin. Home to the $40 service charge and every job we performed can be financed for low monthly payments! Visit for home a/c repair.


10:32AM | 11/19/17
Member Since: 11/19/17
5 lifetime posts
This build here in the photo was in the condensate drain line and was causing a horrible fishy smell.


04:49PM | 12/04/17
Thank you so much! I found the outlet in less than a minute
Me and housemates thought it was our upstairs neighbours cooking really smelly fish haha


11:43PM | 12/27/17
Wow, thank you a bunch! I noticed a fish smell a couple days after some fish being cooked in the house. Strangely, it was in the family room so I went all over the room looking for piece a fish the cats may have dragged from the kitchen trash. Read your post and went directly to the spot the smell was the strongest, felt the nearest electrical outlet and it was extremely hot to touch with a bare hand! I've now got the breaker off in the room and headed to the hardware store to buy a new outlet. Thank you for pointing this out....very true correlation between fishy smell and bad electrical outlet....may have saved a house fire!


02:55PM | 03/01/18
Had this smell for a few days smell got worse I read this post checked my outlet where it was strongest and the outlet was half melted we were just about to go out too for an extended period of time
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