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Old 07-05-2012, 01:45 PM   #1
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Electrical Fire Averted......JIT

Yesterday (the 4th), I was working in the TT and unplugged the
battery charger for my cordless drill. Whoops, the plug was HOT.
The warning flag went up as this is a low current device (<1amp
@ 117VAC) that should not heat its cord. I figured that the plug
or outlet might have "crud". The plug was fine, but the outlet
showed scorch marks. Second warning flag; this is NOT good.

Went to remove the cover for a look and burned my finger on the
outlet. Holy S***, this is very NOT good!. Left it alone to cool for
about an hour. Returned and again to remove the cover plate.
Burned again! Holy cow, there was nothing plugged in and it is
still emulating a Toaster Oven. No breakers popped, so there
must be a high resistance "short" causing current flow. Opened
the main breaker and unplugged the TT (Belt & Suspenders guy!)
and returned an hour later.

Removed the outlet and found about 4" of wire with melted
insulation and VERY discolored. This thing was really *HOT*.
I had planned to leave it plugged in over night. That would
not be the July 4th "Fire Works" that I wanted to see.

Lesson learned: check ALL outlets from time to time.....
Be safe folks.

cheers,
johnd
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:55 PM   #2
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Good catch.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:05 PM   #3
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I am wondering why it failed. Cheaply made, loose connections? Could you see any indication of why? Is it a recognizable brand name?
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Susan View Post
I am wondering why it failed.
Cheaply made,
Probably.

loose connections?
Didn't seem to be. When I removed it, all screws were TIGHT.
(Maybe due to corrosion, tho')


Could you see any indication of why?
Is it a recognizable brand name?
No and No.
Could have been just about anything as cause.
Since it's a decade old, some PO may have plugged
in something with a corroded plug, thus starting the
"heat cycle". Once some of the plastic get carbonized
enough, current can "leak" to the other terminal
and the future is FIRE. I think I was WELL on the way!
With the heating continuing with nothing attached, the
Death Spiral had certainly begun...........

Whew.

johnd
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:27 PM   #5
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Just answered a PM on this very topic!

That duplex is a 15 amp rated duplex used with a 20 amp circuit.
When using a 30 to 20 amp adapter, the connections inside the duplex are in overload.

A 20 amp rated duplex has a pin socket shaped like a "T" on it's side.

Using the iPhone and will post a photo when I can.
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Just answered a PM on this very topic!

That duplex is a 15 amp rated duplex used with a 20 amp circuit.
Indeed, it certainly is a 15A outlet, But NOT used on a 20A
circuit. In a miracle of production, FR actually got it right
with a 15A breaker.
Main = 30A
A/C = 20A
All else = 15A
I ding em good when they (often) screw up, but I credit them
when they (finally) do it right....


When using a 30 to 20 amp adapter, the connections inside the duplex are in overload.

A 20 amp rated duplex has a pin socket shaped like a "T" on it's side.
Yep, it sure do.

Using the iPhone and will post a photo when I can.
My best guess as to the Original cause is still probably misuse
by PO combined with cheap ***** outlet....YMMV

cheers,
johnd
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Old 07-05-2012, 04:29 PM   #7
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I need to apologize to the OP.

Using the iPhone I misunderstood where the outlet was. I had just gone through this in a PM and jumped to the conclusion it was the same issue.

Hard to read the tiny print. I need to get used to the iPad/iPhone app.

It was an older style duplex and threw me.
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
I need to apologize to the OP.
None needed; we're all friends here. Some of us might
even have made a mistake once....Long ago, of course!


Using the iPhone I misunderstood where the outlet was. I had just gone through this in a PM and jumped to the conclusion it was the same issue.

Hard to read the tiny print. I need to get used to the iPad/iPhone app.
If your eyes are anything like mine, that's totally understandable......

It was an older style duplex and threw me.
And I plan to T_H_R_O_W it. Far, far away!!!!
Hope ya'll are enjoying the holidays,
johnd
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:49 PM   #9
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Were you running off shore power, or an internal inverter?
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saratoga Camper View Post
Were you running off shore power, or an internal inverter?
Shore.
Don't even own a 3.6KW inverter.....Or even a 1.8KW one.....

cheer,
johnd
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