Checking for burning smell

How's the best way to find out if there's any wiring that might be overheating inside a wall?
For the last few months, I have been waking up once a week or so between 4-5am smelling what smells like cigarette smoke. Today it was more like hot wood - like when a dull saw blade starts burning the wood. As soon as I wake up, there's no smell. It's not like it's coming thru a window - more like right next to me. No one else has smelled it and since the smell was always gone right away, maybe it's a dream, but never heard of having a smelly dream.
Anyway, first time I smelled it, I took it seriously and checked all the electrical in the house. All looked OK. No smell at any outlets, cords, electronics, appliances, no hot cords, etc. Most everything is off at that time. No one uses any hot hobby tools, only thing that burns is gas stove and water heater - both fine. No smokers in the house or neighbors. Garage is fine.
Already checked for rat-chewed cables in the attic, pulled covers off receptacles, cb panel, traced all exposed wiring, etc.
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Fortunately you can attack this simultaneously from two directions: 1. Identify and instal the best smoke detector. The UEL fire research laboratory may be able to advise. 2. Consult a psychologist specializing in either dreams or aging, to find out whether there is any reliable research about smell senses in sleep and how to tell real instances from mental hallucinations.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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On Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 8:22:51 AM UTC-4, Don Phillipson wrote:
He could also turn off all non-essential breakers at night and see if it stops. But when it's happening only once a week, that could take a while to find out.
I guess a test could be performed at the panel, seeing if there is any current flowing on circuits when there should not be. Upgrading to AFCI on the circuits in that area of the house might be a good idea too.
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On 03/29/2015 06:56 AM, Claude Balls wrote:

Just wondering if someone in the house might be sneaking a cigarette?
Today it was more like hot wood - like when a dull saw blade starts burning the wood. As soon as I wake up, there's no smell. It's not like it's coming thru a window - more like right next to me. No one else has smelled it and since the smell was always gone right away, maybe it's a dream, but never heard of having a smelly dream.

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but can be a symptom of a brain tumour. Or possibly parosmia, where a common scent is mis-interpreted. You may fart, for instance, and smell a rose ;}. Perhaps you sniff your armit, and smell wood-smoke.
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Col. Edmund Burke posted for all of us...

What does it taste like? You should be able to differentiate between your jiz donors by now.
--
Tekkie *Please post a follow-up*

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On Sun, 29 Mar 2015 04:56:23 -0700, "Claude Balls"

I have something like that.
Once in a while I get a short whiff of an oily smell, and I have oil heat. But a couple times, including this morning, while I was sleeping the smell seemed to go on for an hour. I think that's because one can have a whole dream that seems like an hour, but it only takes a couple seconds for the dream. When I woke up maybe there was a smell, but a minute or so later it was gone.

One time, it smelled like electrical wires burning. I went to the bathroom and when I came back and was 15 feet from the head of the bed, I look at the high intensity light, and could tell that the smell was coming from it, which is less than 18" from my nose when I'm sleeping, and not the heating duct like I had thought.
Noses vary widely from one person to the next. Other senses do too, including the abiltiy to remember smells and pain. Not just to remember sensing a smell or having pain, but according to people in another group, they can actually remember the pain or the smell. OTOH, one or two said they couldn't remember a sight or a sound, but I can.

Maybe a remote thermometer or IR thermometer, or whatever you call it. ?? Point at the wall and move it alnong to all the electric boxes. Shouldn t' be any hot spots.
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On Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 7:52:01 AM UTC-4, Claude Balls wrote:

t wood - like when a dull saw blade starts burning the wood. As soon as I wake up, there's no smell. It's not like it's coming thru a window - more like right next to me. No one else has smelled it and since the smell wa s always gone right away, maybe it's a dream, but never heard of having a s melly dream.

lectronics, appliances, no hot cords, etc. Most everything is off at that time. No one uses any hot hobby tools, only thing that burns is gas stove and water heater - both fine. No smokers in the house or neighbors. Garage is fine.

may be a good idea to call the fire department. they have sensitive equpite ment to locate combustion. as i found out one day when our 3 month old smok e and CO detector alarmed. my GF was very shook up..........
the detector had failed
it would be sad to see a home fire after not getting things checked in a ci rcumstance like this
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t wood - like when a dull saw blade starts burning the wood. As soon as I wake up, there's no smell. It's not like it's coming thru a window - more like right next to me. No one else has smelled it and since the smell wa s always gone right away, maybe it's a dream, but never heard of having a s melly dream.

lectronics, appliances, no hot cords, etc. Most everything is off at that time. No one uses any hot hobby tools, only thing that burns is gas stove and water heater - both fine. No smokers in the house or neighbors. Garage is fine.

*Do you have any fluorescent light fixtures in the house? The older ballas ts have a burning smell when they start to go bad.
John Grabowski http://www.MrElectrician.TV
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On 3/29/2015 7:56 AM, Claude Balls wrote:

horizontal (sleeping) position. I have awakened to smell different smells, some smokey and some like food, etc. When you go vertical, the problem usually goes away. Just my 2 cents worth.
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any exterior appliances?
we are over 100ft from the road and still once in a while i can get a whiff from someone driving by.
and yes, you can have dreams with smells.
as for your specific case, dunno for sure, but i sure hope it isn't anything dangerous.
make sure your smoke detectors are working...
check all of your fuses and the wires coming in and out of them in your electrical panel.
when i first moved in here we had many mice crawling in the walls and some did chew through some wires. what a mess...
songbird
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