01:34PM | 07/06/03
Member Since: 07/05/03
1 lifetime posts
I just moved into an apartment. This complex is about 30 years old.

The cable guy came yesterday and each time he tried to turn on the cable box the breaker flipped. He tried a second box and the same thing happened. I noticed that I can turn the box on if it's the first thing I power up and then I can turn some other things on (computer, cable modem, TV, etc.) Even in that situation sooner or later the breaker will go.

The scarry thing is that I keep smelling smoke whenever the breaker goes. It smells like an IC burning but all my electrical stuff seems to work.

I'm not running anything abnormal. Just the basics - cable box, TV, computer, cable modem, a few lights.

I have two questions:

1. Does this sound like a fire risk? What is the smoke smell when the breaker goes?

2. Is this something I can demand that they fix? Will they have to make a major change in the wiring? Isn't it acceptable to demand that I should be able to run normal things.

The cable guy said he's seen this problem in this complex before and to his knowledge they fixed it.

Our maintenance guy tried to blame it on my stuff but I've tried different combination of things and the only culprit is the cable box.

The maintenance guy said he'll check the outlets on Monday to make sure they're okay. Can a bad outlet cause this? The problem only occurs when things are turned on .

Thanks in advance. For now I'm leaving the cable box unplugged.


Dave Nix

12:11PM | 07/07/03
Member Since: 04/12/03
2 lifetime posts

Please do not plug anything else in.

This sounds like an electrical fire waiting to happen!

The smell is most likely from the wires in the circuit overheating and burning the insulation or dust that has accumulated over the years.

This is a serious problem. The owners should be notified immediately!

This problem is one of the leading causes of residential fires.

Please call the owners now.

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