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Old 01-23-2013, 06:37 PM   #1
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Outlet Meltdown...


I live in an older house that was split into 4 units in Calgary, Alberta Canada and I rent. I have had a problem with this one outlet before in my place in which I phoned the landlord to get somebody to fix it; she did. But, another outlet has blown in a different location, in which case it blew and melted the outlet and casing. I ended up not phoning when this one happened due to the fact of the riga-moroll it took to get her to fix the initial one. Now, just last night the outlet that she supposedly got the guy to fix was melting and smoldering but nothing was plugged into it. I had a friend over and both me and him could smell it but no sign of the meltdown until after. How is this possible? Should I be quite worried of fire? I have 2 pics but dont know how to attach them here. Any suggestions will help, thank you.




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Old 01-23-2013, 06:41 PM   #2
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Outlet Meltdown...


How bad do you want to stay in this apartment.

You, as a tenant, can't do any repairs.

Call the landlord, tell them you want a licensed electrician over - NOW.

If they so much as hesitate, call your fire department and tell them you smell smoke and that the outlet melted.

It'll ruin the landlords day.

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Old 01-23-2013, 06:49 PM   #3
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Outlet Meltdown...


It sucks because I really love this space..it's old, the architecture is funky and as an artist it doubles as my studio space...so it would be sweet if they could rewire all...
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:50 PM   #4
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Outlet Meltdown...


That's dangerous, obviously. It's especially troublesome that it does this while nothing is plugged into it (although I think I know why). Landlord can choose: electrician RIGHT NOW (24-hour on-call service) or fire department and hotel for you at the landlord's expense.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:52 PM   #5
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Outlet Meltdown...


Something is very, very wrong for this to have happened.
Are you sure there was not some form of a space heater plugged in when this happened.
If there was nothing pluged in then this is really bad.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:53 PM   #6
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Outlet Meltdown...


There is a space heater plugged in but in a totally different outlet. The place only has one heat control and it's in the unit upstairs so I am forced to use a space heater.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:06 PM   #7
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There is a space heater plugged in but in a totally different outlet. The place only has one heat control and it's in the unit upstairs so I am forced to use a space heater.
Yeah. The other outlet is fed through the burning one, so the space heater is causing the problem. Ironically it might be better to plug the heater into the burning outlet!
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:14 PM   #8
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Outlet Meltdown...


Space heaters are the bane of any electrical circuit. They HIGHLY stress EVERY connection and splice from the point of power all the way back to the panel.

Think of it like having 90mph rated tires on your car. Every time you run the space heater it's like you are either stopped, or going a full 90 miles an hour.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:23 PM   #9
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But this is something the landlord needs to fix right? And should I be looking at different space heaters or it just comes down to old wiring or heavy draws from heater..thanks to everyone's suggestions and help..appreciate it as kinda worried, have no fire insurance and am an artist with equipment, tools and material etc.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:31 PM   #10
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Outlet Meltdown...


If your having that much difficulty getting issues repaired promptly, In this particular case, I would immediately call 3-1-1 and have them direct you to the Calgary Office of Fire Marshal. They are responsible for enforcing the code, and a call from them to your landlord will probably scare her enough to act immediately. In addition, they will follow up to ensure compliance! Don't feel bad, you pay money to reside in a safe dwelling, and its the landlords responsibility to ensure your safety while living there. So don't wait, make things happen now, before something tragic happens.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:39 PM   #11
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But this is something the landlord needs to fix right?
Yes, they need to fix it. It is dangerous!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KwaK1980 View Post
And should I be looking at different space heaters or it just comes down to old wiring or heavy draws from heater..thanks to everyone's suggestions and help..appreciate it as kinda worried, have no fire insurance and am an artist with equipment, tools and material etc.
It's likely a combination of things, old wiring and heavy draws are a part of it. There may be some bad connections elsewhere too, such as at the other outlets.

At least turn off the heater!
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:44 PM   #12
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i would look for a new place
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:45 PM   #13
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Please post back and let us know how it got resolved! Thanks and good luck.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:49 PM   #14
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Outlet Meltdown...


My experience was that the wiring was too light to support a heavy draw (for you, the heater, my case an air conditioner).

As wire heats very high, plastic coating around copper gets brittle, starts to melt. Copper then corrodes and builds up a black insulation on itself and resistance rises to the point where you are passing a lot of current through the equivalent of a very small wire which causes great amount of heat. And melting. And maybe worse.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:05 PM   #15
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Outlet Meltdown...


If the landlord will not fix this then I would call the fire department and go from there.

The more you wait the more you are putting you and your family at risk.

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