I did something dumb, is it a fire hazard

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  #1  
Old 02-25-06, 03:49 PM
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I did something dumb, is it a fire hazard

I moved into a new apartment and have been trying to weatherize it. One thing I noticed is a draft coming from some of the outlets, so I bought a bunch of those outlet insulators. While installing them I noticed on some of the outlet boxes, the insulators did not cover the entire hole in the drywall. I had seen a diy home tv show that said to use expandable foam to fill in the gaps between the drywall and the outlet box, so that's what I tried to do. I shut off the breaker for the outlets I was going to work on, but instead of testing the foam on another surface, I tried it right away on the first outlet. The speed and expansion of the foam caught me off guard and I got some foam on the side of the outlet itself. From the warnings on the can it is flammable and reading on other sites, many people said it is not a good idea to use this type of foam inside electrical boxes. I scraped as much of the foam off of the outlet as I could, but could this still be a problem? Would it be a good idea to replace the outlet or just make sure I get all of the foam off the existing one?

Thanks for any help.

-Mike
 
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  #2  
Old 02-25-06, 04:22 PM
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The foam is not electrically conductive. I would just leave it after scraping off as much as possible.
 
  #3  
Old 02-25-06, 04:23 PM
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Well, think of it this way a new receptacle is $0.49 and how much is your insurance deductable?
There will probably never be a problem , but better be on the safe side. That stuff is really only flammable before it dries. Also you NEVER want to fill the inside of an electrical box with that stuff be it could cause heat build-up and could cause problems. Good luck!
 
  #4  
Old 02-25-06, 04:38 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Since it is not conductive, unless it gets wet, it really should not be a hazard if it gets on any of the terminals on the outlet. I guess as long as the outlet doesn't overheat, it should be fine. I will definately not be filling any of the boxes I was just trying to seal some of the larger gaps between the outside of the box and the drywall. I'll probably just leave it after I make sure I got most of it off tomorrow. I just gotta be more careful on the rest of the boxes.

-mike
 
  #5  
Old 02-25-06, 04:56 PM
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This is an apartment. You cannot do any electrical work yourself. You should not even have removed the switch plate. Do not even think of trying to replace the receptacle. You COULD get yourself into trouble if the management determines you have been messing with the electrical.

Do not mess with the other boxes. Complain to the management about the drafts.

By the way willyp923, you shouldn't use 49 cent receptacles. Spend a little more and get decent ones.
 
  #6  
Old 02-26-06, 05:00 PM
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I've been including the better recptacles in my bids lately but some people no matter what you tell them will just do what they want. If he was questioning weather to replace the receptacle in the first place there's a good chance their going to go to the store and buy the cheapest one anyway. I had a guy just put up a $30,000 pole barn and wanted to use used outlets from a house he was going to tear down. If you do us ethe cheapys don't use the stupid stab holes in the back, that is the best way to burn up a rec.
 
  #7  
Old 02-26-06, 05:44 PM
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Willyp923,

I don;t think the person who wanted to install used receptacles wanted to save money, I think he wanted to avoid throwing something out that still worked. I have met numerous people in my life who grew up in a time of rationing. They were taught to save everything and never throw away anything that still worked.

I remember the man who lived across the street from me when I was growing up. He was outside at the curb one day removing screws from an oven that was being thrown away. He told me those were good screws and he wanted to save them in case he ever needed them.

In my own basement I still have the old receptacle and switch plates that the previous owner of my house painted to match the walls. Thank goodness he didn't paint the receptacles! I have no idea why I saved them. I would never use them, except perhaps very temporarily if an existing cover became broken.
 
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