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Old 03-17-2008, 07:01 PM   #1
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4th of July Refrigerator


Hey everyone ... new to the site ... looked for a good place to get some advice and hope someone can help out.

Yesterday, while measuring the wall in my kitchen where the refrigerator stands, I caused a bit of a crackle, pop, flash and smoke.

I had my metal tape measure extended behind the refrigerator sliding it down the wall but did not bother to pull the refrigerator away from the wall since there was enough room to slide it back. As I was extending the tape down the wall, one edge of the measure was touching the backside of the refrigerator which is a thin metal plate. The other side of the measure was free and clear of anything until I dropped the height a couple of inches as I continued to extend the tape. In doing so, I ended up having the one side still touching the backside of the refrigerator and the other edge of the tape landed on the refrigerator plug ... not in the socket ... but just on top of it. Well the current jumped from that socket onto the tape, traveled three or four inches down the tape and then into the backside of the refrigerator which blew the breaker, and nearly burned my tape measure in half where it was touching the refrigerator

I replaced the socket and cleaned off the carbon on the refrigerator plug and everything is running fine on the refrigerator but I am wondering if that should have happened to begin with. The plug did not have any visible damaged so I don't understand why the arc off the plug itself happened. Is the refrigerator not safe or is it the refrigerator owner that just isn't safe .

Appreciate any insight anyone has.


Last edited by DavePA; 03-18-2008 at 05:52 AM.
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:02 PM   #2
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4th of July Refrigerator


Sounds like the tape slide between the plug and the receptacle touching the hot and blew out at the ground. No one can tell you it's safe without looking at the system.

If you want to know for sure you should have it checked out by a professional.

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Old 03-17-2008, 08:52 PM   #3
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4th of July Refrigerator


The upshot is that the breaker did EXACTLY what it was supposed to do.
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Old 03-18-2008, 05:55 AM   #4
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4th of July Refrigerator


Quote:
Originally Posted by NAIL View Post
Sounds like the tape slide between the plug and the receptacle touching the hot and blew out at the ground.
I suppose that is possible and would make the most sense, can't say that I can rule it out as I was looking at the end of the tape down the wall and not at the point where it was touching the refrigerator nor the plug.
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Old 03-18-2008, 09:16 AM   #5
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4th of July Refrigerator


I think operator error on the tape measure. Replacing the receptacle and cleaning up the plug was a good idea. I would expect no further problems. A thin tape measure blade can easily fit down between the plug and receptacle to the prongs. Scares the bejeebers out of you don't it?
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