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Old 03-13-2017, 01:59 PM   #1
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Washing machine outlet issue


Hey everyone, I'm really hoping that this issue just needs a straightforward fix...

After several loads of laundry yesterday, my washing machine electrical outlet started arcing. The townhouse where I live was built around 1980 and Iíve lived in my unit for about six years without experiencing anything like this with the washing machine outlet. I bought the washing machine new in 2013.

When I removed the outlet, nothing looked amiss until I unscrewed the contacts. I found that the white (positive?) wire was burnt and that there was a bit of charring around the screw.


I just wanted to know if this sounds like something that can be fixed by snipping off the burnt part of the wire and replacing the outlet.
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Old 03-13-2017, 02:25 PM   #2
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Re: Washing machine outlet issue


My first thought is the screw for the white (neutral) wire was likely not properly tightened and the loose connection arced, generating heat, and charred things.
I'd trim back the white wire to "good" insulation and reinstall a new outlet.
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Old 03-13-2017, 03:21 PM   #3
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Re: Washing machine outlet issue


Sounds like a loose connection. A new receptacle should fix it if the wire is copper.
Aluminum wire requires special consideration.
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:14 AM   #4
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Re: Washing machine outlet issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by Canucklehead View Post
Hey everyone, I'm really hoping that this issue just needs a straightforward fix...

After several loads of laundry yesterday, my washing machine electrical outlet started arcing. The townhouse where I live was built around 1980 and Iíve lived in my unit for about six years without experiencing anything like this with the washing machine outlet. I bought the washing machine new in 2013.

When I removed the outlet, nothing looked amiss until I unscrewed the contacts. I found that the white (positive?) wire was burnt and that there was a bit of charring around the screw.


I just wanted to know if this sounds like something that can be fixed by snipping off the burnt part of the wire and replacing the outlet.
Yes. Replace the outlet and make sure the connections are tight. Get a commercial grade outlet instead of the cheaper residential grade. If it is a 20 amp circuit, use a 20 amp receptacle.
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Old 03-14-2017, 01:17 PM   #5
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Re: Washing machine outlet issue


A 20 amp receptacle is only needed if is is a simplex receptacle. A standard 15 amp duplex can be used. They are the same internally. A 15 amp duplex is rated for 20 amp feed through.
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Old 03-14-2017, 03:36 PM   #6
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Re: Washing machine outlet issue


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A 20 amp receptacle is only needed if is is a simplex receptacle. A standard 15 amp duplex can be used. They are the same internally. A 15 amp duplex is rated for 20 amp feed through.
I disagree with that. I know everyone in this forum is going to jump on my case for this, but I have not seen any documented proof that a standard fifteen amp receptacle (Other than GFCI or AFCI) is rated to carry 20 amps through its terminals.

I know that they are allowed by code to be on a 20 amp circuit. I know they accept #12 wire, I know the internal parts look the same, and I know the electrical inspector will usually pass it. But can anyone provide any documentation that specifically states that a standard 15 amp duplex receptacle is approved for 20 amp feed through.

I asked a Leviton sales rep about this and she said that Leviton labels their devices and packaging for exactly what they are approved for. I've never seen the 20 amp feed through label on a standard 15 amp duplex receptacle even though they are approved for #12 wire.

I expect you all to disagree with me on this and I am fine with that as long as you can substantiate your claim with other than "We have always done it that way". Personally I pigtail 15 amp receptacles when used on 20 amp circuits.

Here is a link to a P&S commercial grade 15 amp receptacle. I don't see 20 amp feed through mentioned in the specs:
http://www.legrand.us/passandseymour...ant/tr15i.aspx
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:30 PM   #7
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Re: Washing machine outlet issue


You could do this by extension. A 20 amp load can be placed on the circuit by using two or more of the receptacles. The code allows the receptacles to be used in this manner for that load.

I believe it is in the UL 67 standard, but do not have acess to it right now.
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Old 03-14-2017, 06:55 PM   #8
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Re: Washing machine outlet issue


From commentary nec


A single receptacle installed on an individual branch circuit must have an ampere
rating not less than that of the branch circuit. For example, a single receptacle on a 20-
ampere individual branch circuit must be rated at 20 amperes; however, two or more
15-ampere receptacles or duplex receptacles are permitted on a 20-ampere generalpurpose
branch circuit. This requirement does not apply to specific types of cord-andplug-
connected arc welders."
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Old 03-15-2017, 05:04 AM   #9
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Re: Washing machine outlet issue


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Originally Posted by ront02769 View Post
From commentary nec


A single receptacle installed on an individual branch circuit must have an ampere
rating not less than that of the branch circuit. For example, a single receptacle on a 20-
ampere individual branch circuit must be rated at 20 amperes; however, two or more
15-ampere receptacles or duplex receptacles are permitted on a 20-ampere generalpurpose
branch circuit. This requirement does not apply to specific types of cord-andplug-
connected arc welders."
We all know this already.

My question is can anyone provide any documentation that specifically states that a standard 15 amp duplex receptacle is approved for 20 amp feed through?
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:31 AM   #10
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Re: Washing machine outlet issue


Would the code allow it if it were not rated for the circuit ampacity?
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:48 AM   #11
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Re: Washing machine outlet issue


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Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Would the code allow it if it were not rated for the circuit ampacity?
Not likely. But we all know the codes are written as min. requirements. If anyone wants to exceed them, feel free.
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Old 03-15-2017, 05:49 PM   #12
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Re: Washing machine outlet issue


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Would the code allow it if it were not rated for the circuit ampacity?
I am in my CEU classes this week so I have been perusing the 2017 code book. I will give reference to the 2014 book here. Article 110.3(A)(1) Informational Note talks about labeling and listing. This is expanded a little in 2017. Also look at 110.3(B).

Table 210.24 shows that a 20 amp circuit needs at least #12 wires, but can have a #14 tap. That works for pig-tailing a 15 amp receptacle on a 20 amp circuit.

Since I have not seen labeling for a standard 15 amp receptacle that allows for a 20 amp feed through, I am inclined to think that it is a code violation. Why inspectors have not noticed is because they only see the conductors on a rough inspection. On a final inspection they usually don't go around and remove wiring devices to see how they are connected.
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:56 PM   #13
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Re: Washing machine outlet issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by MrElectricianTV View Post
I am in my CEU classes this week so I have been perusing the 2017 code book. I will give reference to the 2014 book here. Article 110.3(A)(1) Informational Note talks about labeling and listing. This is expanded a little in 2017. Also look at 110.3(B).

Table 210.24 shows that a 20 amp circuit needs at least #12 wires, but can have a #14 tap. That works for pig-tailing a 15 amp receptacle on a 20 amp circuit.

Since I have not seen labeling for a standard 15 amp receptacle that allows for a 20 amp feed through, I am inclined to think that it is a code violation. Why inspectors have not noticed is because they only see the conductors on a rough inspection. On a final inspection they usually don't go around and remove wiring devices to see how they are connected.
I am going to disagree on two points.

The #14 on a 20 amp circuit is a violation. It does not meed the tap rules. Article 240 also limits #14 to a 15 amp circuit.

The inspectors are going to see a 15 amp duplex on the required 20 amp circuits like bathrooms, SABC's which the code allows. i would find it hard to believe that out of the millions of inspections performed by thousands of inspectors that your issue has been overlooked for many many code cycles.
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Old 03-16-2017, 04:42 PM   #14
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Re: Washing machine outlet issue


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Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
I am going to disagree on two points.

The #14 on a 20 amp circuit is a violation. It does not meed the tap rules. Article 240 also limits #14 to a 15 amp circuit.

The inspectors are going to see a 15 amp duplex on the required 20 amp circuits like bathrooms, SABC's which the code allows. i would find it hard to believe that out of the millions of inspections performed by thousands of inspectors that your issue has been overlooked for many many code cycles.
I asked the instructor today in class about a standard 15 amp receptacle being used for a 20 amp feed through. I received the same answer as I did from the inspectors that I asked: As long as it is listed and approved for the use, it is okay.

Will someone PLEASE show me a listing for a 15 amp standard receptacle being approved for a 20 amp feed through!
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