Outlet Melted, Microwave Loses Power Intermittently

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Old 09-05-09, 05:28 PM
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Outlet Melted, Microwave Loses Power Intermittently

Hello Everyone,
I recently moved into a new house. Ever since we moved in the microwave has acted strangely. It will randomly shut off during use, or when not being used. However, if you unplug it, and plug it back in, it starts working again. It also only has this problem when plugged into the 125V 20 amp receptacle in the cabinet above it. When it is plugged into a regular outlet it works ok (although it does trip the breaker occasionally). Today I took the 20 amp outlet apart, and found that it was all burned and melted where the hot wire connects to it. I purchased another receptacle and changed it out, thinking that this had been the problem all along. But no good, the microwave still does the same thing.

I'm worried that the new outlet will also burn up, and could cause a fire. I also don't know where the problem lies. Is there something wrong with the microwave, or is it a problem with my wiring? I know very little about wiring.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Joel
 
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Old 09-05-09, 07:24 PM
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Is this circuit just for the microwave or is it shared with something else?
 
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Old 09-05-09, 07:35 PM
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and did you replace the recep with a back stab recep or did you attach to screws on the side of the recep?

can you determine if the wiring goes directly back to the panel or are there junctions between the panel and the recep.


It sounds like a bad connection somewhere the MUST be found before you continue to use this recep/circuit.
 
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Old 09-05-09, 07:51 PM
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The outlet is on a GFCI circuit with a few other outlets around the kitchen sink.

I replaced it with a screw on type outlet.

Could there be a bad connection in the wall somewhere? I hope not.
 
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Old 09-05-09, 08:04 PM
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let's hope it isn't in the wall. It surely shouldn't be as all joints are required to be within junction boxes.

I would suggest tracking the wiring and checking all connections you find. It sounds like a loose connection which can produce large amounts of heat and we all know what that can lead to

be sure to turn the power off when you are doing this.
 
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Old 09-06-09, 08:24 AM
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Gfci's today often have this feature that looks like back stab, but really is not. It works on principle how wire clamp into breakers in panel box. A very good method, actually. The screws are loose when you buy one (and if not, unscrew them 'til loose), then insert wire into rear hole, and when you tighten screw it clamps down on the wire.
 
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Old 09-06-09, 08:35 AM
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In a case like this. I replace the outlet AND the appliance cord. Overheating will wreck both.

And it is possible there was a problem with the appliance wire connection to the plug and this caused the overheating in the first place.

Many times problems like this are caused by someone unplugging the appliance by pulling on the wire rather than the plug itself. This causes wires inside to break, then if not enough stands inside making contact with the plug, this causes the plug to heat up. Then the heat transfers to the outlet...
 
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Old 09-06-09, 01:11 PM
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OP did state when plugging into another recep there are no problems. Now, it could be how the cord lays but I would tend to think it discounts the cord theory pretty much.
 
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Old 09-06-09, 03:01 PM
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I think the issue may be resolved, and I may be an idiot...

When I had the new outlet installed and plugged in the microwave, it didn't seem like the plug went all the way in. I didn't really think much of it, since the microwave appeared to be working. However last night I realized that the microwave was shutting off when the cord was bumped. It was losing power because it wasn't plugged in all the way. So I gave it a real good shove and it popped all the way in. Now the microwave seems to be working ok. I'm going to give it a couple days and see what happens. It still doesn't explain what was going on with the old outlet to make it melt like it did, but hopefully my problem is solved.

Thanks for all of the replies.
 
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Old 09-06-09, 04:04 PM
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It still doesn't explain what was going on with the old outlet to make it melt like it did, but hopefully my problem is solved
Actually it does. If it was not fully plugged in that could have caused over heating.
 
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Old 09-06-09, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Actually it does. If it was not fully plugged in that could have caused over heating.
ditto.


if a plug is not fully inserted, the pinches in the receptacle are not squeezing the plug tabs like it should. A microwave is a fairly high current draw appliance so a poor connection will cause a great amount of heat to be produced. and viola` you have a melted receptacle.

glad you appear to have discovered the problem without having to chase circuits through the walls.
 
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