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Old 12-22-2010, 04:19 PM   #1
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Outlets


had heater in attic motor burn out which caused the outlet to burn out. a/c service reps say heater it on separte circuit but 2 outlet on the same wall are now not working. Any suggestions?
Help!!! have hit circuit breakers, etc. Could it be that the outlet just needs to be replaced and were burnt out because of the burnt out outlet in attic?

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Old 12-23-2010, 06:46 AM   #2
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Outlets


I am not sure that I clearly understand your issue. It sounds as if you had an outlet fail, possibly caused by a failed heater. It sounds as if you also have other outlets also not working. Is this correct?

Many times outlets are wired to each other. Failure of one could cause a loss of power to others to which it is wired. Depending on the failure mode of the first, fixing this may solve the problem with your others.

The fact that an outlet "burned out" makes me concerned that your circuit breaker did not function properly. Do you have any reason to suspect problems here? This concern, alone, would make me inclined to sort though the wiring beyond the simple replacement of an outlet. If you are not comfortable doing this, the cost of an electrician may be money well spent.

Do you have ability to test for voltage. Repairing this will likely involve shutting off power, removing failed outlet, identifying and confirming wiring, and replacing outlet. I would not attempt this without some comfort with voltage and resistance measurment.

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Old 12-23-2010, 07:12 AM   #3
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Probably just the outlet unit (receptacle unit) in question burned out. Particularly if the wires just stuck in the back, the connections could have been a little loose and the more current through a loose connection, the more that spot heats up.

Such overheating can happen without tripping the breaker.

Replace the receptacle unit, but screw the wires on instead of pushing them in the holes in back. (Using the holes is okay if there are clamps inside activated by screws nearby.)

It is possible that you may have to trim about half an inch off of the old wires because the wires got fried in the process.

Just a reminder, the white wires go on the side of the receptacle unit closer to the slightly larger plug slots.

When (usually) receptacles are wired to each other (daisy chained) a more reliable connection to the next receptacle is had by wire nutting the incoming and continuing wires to each other with a short length (just under 6 inches) of wire of matching color called a pigtail added to get to the receptacle. here, only one screw on each side of the receptacle needs to be used.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-23-2010 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Such overheating can happen without tripping the breaker.
Can happen? Yes. I agree with AllanJ that it can happen and that it is possible that you have nothing wrong beyond a single, failed outlet, or wiring therein.

Failed breakers can also happen. I think such a possibility is worthy of consideration.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:44 PM   #5
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I actually had this experience in a hotel (in China).

The heat wasn't working so they brought an electric heater. Next morning I found that the receptacle had melted!

I took the heater's power plug apart (it screwed together as opposed to being one of those molded jobs) and found the connections, also screwed, from the cord wires to the plug prongs were loose. I tightened them up, tried the plug in another receptacle, and it worked fine (and also worked fine in the first receptacle the next night). I had set the heater aside elsewhere in the room so they wouldn't discard a perfectly good heater.

Unfortunately I forgot to tell the hotel management about it, although they did fix the receptacle while I was out during the day.
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