Power cord overheating at outlet - melted cord a bit - very scary will not use anymore - my outlet looks a little brown now - Delonghi 9707 electric heater
Hi, what causes this could be a couple of different things. Yes, do not use this outlet until the problem is solved. Normally this is caused by your heater drawing more amperage then it was intended to do, due to a problem in the heater . Not knowing the age of your home, the electrical wiring through out may be the old aluminum wiring that has stopped being used due to the problem of this type of wiring heating up at outlets causing them to burn the insulation off of the wiring, burning out the receptacles, and in many cases in the past, burning down the home, not to to scare you. I will offer you some solutions to find out if your home is wired with aluminum wiring. Don't be afraid to do this for me. You need to find the breaker that shuts the power down to that outlet and area of the house. If you are not afraid to plug something into it for a few minutes and have a helper turn off breakers until you know it is dead. Once you have done this, take a regular or phillips driver and remove the 1 screw to take off the plate cover. Now, remove the 2 screws at the top and bottom of the outlet. This will take it loose from the electrical juntion box, so you can get a look at the wiring and damage to this. Normally, you will see any where from 3 up to six wires depending on if its what we call the start of the run, middle of the run, and so on. Wire colors will be black for hot and white for neutral. You will know if the wiring is copper or aluminum. If you think you are up for this, you can change this yourself. A new outlet is about $1.19. 1st, buy a couple so you will have a spare. The newer ones have screws on the side, and on the back have quick connects to strip the insulation back and just plug and push into a small hole that locks the wires. Facing the plug, black should be on the left side and white on the right. Another way to tell on the new plug is the color of the screws that hold the wires in place. Look at it and on one side the screws will be brass in color which is for the hot black wires. The other will be silver in color for neutral. If you find that the wiring is aluminum, there is nothing you can do but make sure all wiring connections are always tight! If you have to go through the complete home a little at a time to check all outlets only if they are aluminum, its worth the time! Do this once every couple of years or so and check and tighten, not so with copper wire. If copper, just check the one outlet. You can pick up a inexpensive pair of wire strippers and if the wire is aluminum, buy a small tube of nolox which is a gray paste they use on aluminum wiring to help keep it from oxidizing. Has different names, but you will find what you need in the same isle at home depot to do the job. Just cut off any brittle or hard wire and strip a 1/4 inch off the ends, either wrap around the screws on the side cw, not ccw, or use the quick connects in the back. When you are getting these items, pick up a new cord for your heater. Very easy to replace. Just follow where the cord goes into the heater until you find where the ends terminate and remove the old and install the new. You will have to have a few connectors and remove a cover on the heater, but really it is very simple. Just remember this, if the wiring is copper just get a new outlet and replace that and the cord. I believe this all started with that one outlet having loose wiring. If you don't feel like you can handle this, you still need to find out what kind of wiring you have so you are up on the dangers and consult a electric repairmen. I sincerely hope I have given you some direction to follow on this, and hope you will take on these minor repairs. Please be kind as I know you will, when rating this thread.
A/C, Heating, & electrical Contractor
PS, just to say there will be a ground wire normally bare that will connect to a screw on the corner of the new plug, depending on the age of your home also. If no ground wire, leave it blank :))
Oct 20, 2010 |
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