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Solution for me: I just bought a Rowenta Precision for $5.95 at Goodwill. I brought it home and it didn't work I read about the cords and weird size screwdriver needed. It sounds like a lot of work. So what I did was push the electrical cord into the iron. it didn't seem to move but must have. The iron works perfectly now. Such a deal!
My wife has used these since they were made by Sunbeam. The majority of the times they failed it was the cord broken inside the black insulation right behind the plug. If you can get access to a continuity tester or an ohm meter (part of all multimeters) just set the meter on ohms or continuity, connect the red lead to one prong on the plug and the black lead to the other prong. If the meter doesn't read any resistance, hold the plug still and move the wire around behind it. If that results in intermittent continuity readings there is where the break is. If there is a reading on the first try, move the temperature selector to the OFF position and the reading should disappear. As you move across the range of temperatures, the resistance reading should climb. If it does not, the thermostat is bad.
You can try to remove the spray nozzle if it unscrews and soak it in vinegar or CLR (Calcium,Lime,Rust available at stores) solution. Yes or use vinegar water mix 1/4 c vinegar 2 c water, or again there are products that are made for iron cleanout but vinegar is the least chemical based and cheaper. Fill the sprayer with the solution, and the steamer also. Operate the iron on the highest steam setting and iron on a folded towel to clean it out. You may have to scrape out the scale build up from the sprayer if it wont clear with the solution.
As with any appliance, they should be checked on a regular basis. Quite often the cord becomes damaged where the insulation becomes worn with the constant movement and friction against the iron and board. The copper strands must have sheared inside the cord causing a spark to ignite the rubber. she did have a lucky escape. I expect the water came out when she dropped the iron
Unless you have a 5 or 6 hundred dollar iron, there is an excellent rule of thumb when an iron quits working. Buy a new one. These days, irons can be purchased cheaply enough that it is WELL worth the money. Not just for the convenience, but for the safety issues. This is an appliance that could burn your house down even if it's in PROPER working order. Hope this helps!!
The iron may actually be ok. If not, remember that because it's new it will come with a guarantee.
Did you put the plug onto the iron yourself? Check inside the plug to make sure that there's no bare wires that can touch as the cord flexes as you iron. This would cause it to short and throw the power in the house.
Try using the iron in a different room. If you get the same problem then there's possibly a wiring fault (maybe a broken/worn insulation on the wires of the iron cord ... though as it's new, I would doubt this).
Are you using an electrical extension lead to plug the iron into? If you haven't overloaded the socket with other electrical appliances it may be that the extension cable has a broken/faulty/loose wire inside that when they touch, causes the power to go off. A few years ago the power in my house used to go off on occasions whenever someone went to the fridge. The fault was traced to split insulation on one of the wires in the extension cable I was using. Whenever somebody stood on the cable it shorted out and cut the power.
To be really sure - go into a neighbours and use the iron! If the power goes off - it's the iron at fault. If not, it's probably just a small problem like worn insulation/loose/broken wire in an extension lead in your own house.