Black Stains on Ceiling and Above Electrical Outlets?

About 2-3 years ago we had a puff back with our furnace. I have been noticing the black on the ceilings and my husband kept telling me it was from my candles. I do burn a lot of them.


One weekend we went away for the weekend and when we returned the black was 100 times worse. We called out insurance company and they said it was a puff back from our furnace. They paid for a cleaning company to come in and clean from top to bottom of our house and its contents and also for painting ceilings and walls. We also replaced our furnace.

A couple months ago I noticed the black coming back again. Again, my husband said it is my candles. I stopped using them to prove a point, because I noticed that it has even gotten worse. I even have black above three of my electrical outlets. We heat with oil, have an electric stove, no gas. We have a fireplace, but never ever use it. Any ideas?

By Melinda R


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January 27, 20130 found this helpful

If it is an old house, you could take the plate off and see if the back of it is covered in dust. It could be simply dust blowing thru the outlet from not insulation in the walls. It would not hurt to have one of them checked for proper wiring.

I would have it checked for short circuits and turn off electrical circuit switch before you take off plates.

Here is another article explaining what would make an outlet smoke or have this soot around it:

Robyn from Tennessee

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