Several Electrical Concerns...

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  #1  
Old 01-06-05, 04:42 PM
Lindsey3116
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Several Electrical Concerns...

There are several different things going on in my home that have me a little concerned.

I had a portable heater turned on in my master suite bathroom. When I unplugged the heater, the cord was very warm. And, the metal prongs that plug into the outlet were so hot, that I felt burned when I touched them.

I felt the outlet on the wall where the heater had been plugged in and it was very warm. I checked the other outlet in the master suite bathroom. It was very warm too even though nothing had been plugged into that outlet.

Then, I went into my hallway bathroom and felt the outlet in that bathroom. It was also very warm even though nothing had been plugged into it.

I checked other outlets in the house and they were all cool to the touch.

After the heater was unplugged for 15 minutes or so the 3 outlets that had been very warm cooled off.

I also have a couple of other strange things going on. In the hallway bathroom, I have one outlet with 2 places to plug-in appliances. A month ago, for several weeks, the top plug-in worked but the bottom one didn't. Now, they are both working again. I was just wondering what would cause that? It seems like either both plug-in's would work or both wouldn't work.

Also, I have an outlet in a closet in my kitchen. This outlet is close to the outlet in my hallway bathroom. I have converted this closet into a work area where I have my computer along with my printer, speakers, router, cable modem, cordless phone, tv and sometimes a heater. I have a large surge protecter plugged into the outlet that has everything connected to it except for the heater. It seems like the power from this outlet is turning itself on and off. Last night, my computer turned on and off repeatedly. There is no unusual heat coming from this outlet.

I know that seems like a lot of equipment to have connected to an outlet. But, other people have computers and have a lot of things connected to their computers.

I was hoping that someone could give me some advice on what is causing these problems and what I need to do to fix them. Thanks,

Lindsey
 
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  #2  
Old 01-06-05, 05:46 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
It sounds like you have a loose connection in one of your receptacles.

My advice is to check every receptacle and light on this circuit. Move any backstabbed connections to the screws on the receptacles, and make sure that all connections are tight.
 
  #3  
Old 01-06-05, 10:51 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Yorba Linda, CA
Posts: 338
Does your house perchance have aluminum wire? You are describing all of the classic symptoms.
 
  #4  
Old 01-07-05, 11:05 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 525
Several possibilities come to mind. As Cheyneps said, you may have aluminum wire problems. Aluminum wire expands when it gets hot and will actually force the recpetacle screw to loosen. When the wire cools back down, it contracts but the screw isn't going to tighten iself.

If this is an older home, which I'm assuming, you may have a fuse box. There could be a good chance that someone has replaced a 15 or 20 amp fuse with a 30 amp fuse. Allowing 30 amps to flow through a circuit designed for 15 or 20 amps would obviously cause overheating problems.

You need to disconnect the power to the circuit(s) in question and pull the receptacles out of their device boxes and examine them for tightness of connections, evidence of overheating, etc.

If you have a fuse box, you need to have an electrician determine if everything is fused properly and install tamper-proof fuse holders so the circuits cannot be intentionally or inadvertantly overfused.
 
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