Smoking Wall Outlet When Connecting Refrigerator Through An Extension Cord - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:24 AM   #1
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Smoking wall outlet when connecting refrigerator through an extension cord


Hello, I have a small refrigerator. My voltage stabilizer wasn't working so i connected the refrigerator through an extension cord to a power outlet (stabilizer was not connected). Within a few seconds after I switched it on, I started to see smoke coming out of the wall outlet and the extension cord plastic melted a bit. Thankfully I switched it off and there wasn't any fire. The extension cord I used is a 10 meter round extension cord with a max rating of 10 amps. My refrigerator says that it draws 0.9a of current. So i'm not sure why there was a problem. Could someone explain to me why this happened. I'm not sure if I should try and plug it in to the outlet directly without the extension cord as I'm not sure if it is safe.

Also, I live in India and we recently had a major flood during which half of this refrigerator was submerged in water. I had it repaired and it was working fine for about 4 months before this happened. Below is a picture of my refrigerator plug.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:56 AM   #2
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Re: Smoking wall outlet when connecting refrigerator through an extension cord


It looks like the pin in the cord damaged and the connection to the wires inside the plug are partially broken. This causes heat and burning plastic.
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:31 AM   #3
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Re: Smoking wall outlet when connecting refrigerator through an extension cord


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It looks like the pin in the cord damaged and the connection to the wires inside the plug are partially broken. This causes heat and burning plastic.
Perhaps. However, the heating damage appears to be around the large "Earth/Ground" pin, which, under normal circumstances, should not carry any current.
Hence, it should not get hot.
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:45 AM   #4
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Re: Smoking wall outlet when connecting refrigerator through an extension cord


Not being familiar with that type of plug I did not know that was the ground.

It would still suggest that the ground is getting hot. The only way to get hot would be current flow through a bad connection. Perhaps there is some sort of ground fault on the unit. Or maybe heat transfer to the ground terminal through a poor connection on the receptacle. If the ground pin is up that would be more possible since heat rises.
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:54 AM   #5
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Re: Smoking wall outlet when connecting refrigerator through an extension cord


Thanks for your replies. I'm a complete noob at this and am getting somebody to look at it tomorrow. I'm just wondering if there are any specific questions I should ask them?
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Old 04-04-2017, 03:01 PM   #6
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Re: Smoking wall outlet when connecting refrigerator through an extension cord


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Thanks for your replies. I'm a complete noob at this and am getting somebody to look at it tomorrow. I'm just wondering if there are any specific questions I should ask them?
I would also have them check the receptacle, just in case. While it does look as though the heating is internal to the ground pin of the male plug, it's also possible that there is an issue with the female ground slot in the receptacle and the heat is transferring from the receptacle to the male plug.

You said that the refrigerator was flooded. Is it also possible that the receptacle was flooded?

Cheers,
Brian
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:28 PM   #7
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Re: Smoking wall outlet when connecting refrigerator through an extension cord


I would say you have currents flowing in your earthing system
that should not be there,
so it may not just be a problem with the fridge
so check everything carefully
Like he said there should NOT be currents flowing in your earth wire
The only time there should be currents in your earth wire
is when there is a fault !
maybe you have one ?
or a nearby neighbour even ?
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