Hot Outlet

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Old 04-23-08, 02:37 PM
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Question Hot Outlet

Yesterday I smelled a strange burning and found out it is an outlet on the middle of a run of outlets. It was hot to touch and nothing was plugged into it. So I shut the circuit off and took the outlet apart. The copper side looks rusty so I'm guessing that's the problem but not sure. I don't use this outlet at all and thought maybe I can just close it off. I did notice that it has three whites wire instead of two. But there are two black wires and one ground (not a green wire type). So what's the best way to deal with this? Close it off or replace the outlet? I don't know how to close it off and like I said it's in the middle. Like to get my bedroom and living room up and running again.
 
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Old 04-23-08, 03:15 PM
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You should turn the breaker off that controls this receptacle and replace it. You should only place one wire under a screw terminal. Make a loop and place it clockwise around the screw and tighten.

You should have an equal number of blacks and white wires.

What was being used on the same circuit? A high current draw downstream will flow through any upstream receptacles. Any loose connection in the circuit will heat up.
 
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Old 04-23-08, 04:25 PM
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I just noticed there are three blacks also. Two of them are wrapped together so tightly it was hard to see at first. Downstream is in my bathroom and I usually use a blow dryer on the next outlet down from the problem one. Should I not do that? My house is very old and I don't want to put a lot of money into it because the city is buying us out in a year or less. So I'm trying to do the least expensive fixes as possible.
 
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Old 04-23-08, 05:05 PM
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Since you have 3 wires and only 2 screws you need to add a short length of wire, called a pigtail, and cap the connection with a twist-on connector commonly called a wire nut. Attach the other end under the screw terminal.

Without rewiring the bathroom circuit there is no way to avoid the current flowing through the receptacles upstream from the bathroom.

I would just replace the receptacle.
 
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Old 04-23-08, 05:11 PM
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I will agree with PCboss just pigtail it and run new repectale then you will have peace in your mind with this one.

Merci,Marc
 
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