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Old 04-05-2012, 11:29 AM   #1
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plug burned

We had a fried plug in this morning. It did not trip our breaker or the fire alarm but it was black inside and the center of the plate was melted. How concerned do we need to be?


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Old 04-05-2012, 11:35 AM   #2
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plug burned

You really need to find the cause so it can be fixed and not happen again.


Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:36 AM   #3
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plug burned

I think once I found the breaker on that circut and I shut it off then tested incoming power to be safe to make sure it's off I'd checking the wire size, and look to see what size breaker was on that circut to make sure that someone did not put the wrong on in.
Also check the wires in the box to see if there's a bare spot in the insulation that caused the problum.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:05 PM   #4
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plug burned

There was a loose connection inside the receptacle unit or inside the cord plug you put into it.

Loose connections get hot.

I actually had this happen when I was staying in a hotel. A hotel supplied electic space heater worked properly until the plug and receptacle overheated and melted. I found that the end of the power cord was not properly screwed onto the plug prongs. I fixed that part myself and moved the heater to another location in the room, leaving the hotel staff to fix the melted wall plate which they did before the next evening. That next evening the heater worked perfectly. For most lights and small appliances the power cord and plug are molded together and not repairable but you can cut off the end and purchase a replacment plug. The kind with tiny prongs that pierce the insulation at the end of the cord wires are inferior to the kind that you screw the wirses onto.

In your case it could be an example where back stabbed wires of the feed cable (push in and it sticks in place) developed a loose connection which can overheat even if nothing is plugged into that receptacle because the power cables daisy chain from one outlet box to the next. When you replace a receptacle (or a switch), use the screw terminals instead of the holes in back, unless there are specific screw down clamps that hold the wires in the holes so the wires cannot rotate.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 04-05-2012 at 01:42 PM.
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